All Articles Tagged "flooding"
(New York Times) — As many people in the path of Tropical Storm Irene struggled to recover, floodwaters continued to rise on Tuesday in New Jersey and Connecticut, forcing thousands of evacuations, even two days after the storm swept through the region. Flooding from rivers and inland streams swallowed up homes and turned neighborhoods into swamps, and widespread power failures were expected to last through the weekend, if not longer. Clean running water was unavailable in some parts of New Jersey. “You watch TV and see those people in Mississippi with their stuff messed up,” said Josh Steed, a manager at Sogo Sushi House in Denville, N.J. “You never think it’ll be you.” His employees found the patio and parking lot inundated and a statue of Buddha, once standing between hibachi grills, floating on its back in a pool of water.
(New York Times) — As Senator Bernard Sanders toured Vermont by helicopter on Tuesday to assess the damage from what he said could be his state’s worst-ever natural disaster, the idea of cutting other federal programs to aid towns pummeled by Hurricane Irene was stoking his outrage. “To say that the only way you can come up with funding to rebuild devastated communities is to cut back on other desperately needed programs is totally absurd,” said Mr. Sanders, an independent, responding to a call by leading Republicans to balance any financial relief with spending reductions elsewhere. “Historically in this country we have understood that when communities and states experience disasters, we as a nation come together to address those. “That is what being a nation is about,” he said in an interview.
(Smart Money) — So you survived the hurricane. How about a loan? That’s the nothing-if-not-timely pitch from at least two banks now offering “hurricane specials” — discounted loans for consumers in mid-Atlantic states hit by Hurricane Irene this weekend. M&T Bank has lowered the rates on personal loans (read: no collateral required) to as low as 5.99%, compared with its standard starting rate of 8.99%, says spokesman Kent Wissinger. SunTrust has cut the rates on several loans, including a home equity line of credit with a below-prime rate for the first three years and no closing costs. Both offers expire by the end of September.
(Wall Street Journal) — Record floods surged through New Jersey with no signs of slowing on Monday, bringing the state’s death toll to four and thwarting efforts to restore power to about 600,000 homes and businesses across the state, authorities said. ”We’re not out of the woods yet regarding this storm,” Gov. Chris Christie said Monday afternoon after he toured flooded Manville. On Monday, the federal government made emergency aid available to assist New Jersey as it struggled to restore normalcy after Tropical Storm Irene slashed through the state. But it was a challenge. New Jersey Transit continued its suspension of nearly all train service on Monday, while operating buses and light rail on a modified schedule. It said it planned to begin most of its regular weekday services on Tuesday, but that delays and cancellations were still likely, along with suspended service between New Brunswick and Trenton.
(AP) — A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision to blow up the levee at Birds Point in eastern Missouri last month appears to have sealed the fate of a tiny community comprised primarily of African-Americans. Pinhook took a big hit when water from the bloated Mississippi River flowed through the town of about 30 residents. At one point in the 1960s, the village was home to more than 250 people. Today, nobody lives there and there’s not much chance of anyone moving back. ”It’s never going to recover,” said George Williams, who has lived in the town for nearly six decades. “It won’t. It’s over with.” The corps blew holes in the levee in early May to relieve pressure on communities upriver that were being threatened by floodwaters. When residents of Pinhook heard of plans to breach the levee, the collection of friends, family and relatives who lived there headed for higher ground.
(Wall Street Journal) — The Mississippi River crested Tuesday at Memphis, Tenn., and kept rising to the south, dealing a blow to Mississippi’s gambling and agriculture industries. Fifteen of the state’s 19 riverside casinos have been closed because of flooding, with another scheduled to shut down Wednesday, said Larry Gregory, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. The gambling facilities, stretching from Tunica in the north to Natchez in the south, employ about 13,000 people and generate some $13 million a month in state and local taxes. The casinos themselves float, but access ramps and parking lots are under water. It could take weeks for the casinos to reopen, said Mr. Gregory. The state’s gambling industry “has been hit hard by the recession,” said Webster Franklin, president of the Tunica Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The flood has come at a time when we’d hoped to begin rebounding.” In Memphis, the river hit its expected high of 47.8 feet, but it will take weeks for the water to recede. Area levees were holding.
(AP) — Firefighters searched one splintered pile after another for survivors Thursday, combing the remains of houses and neighborhoods pulverized by the nation’s deadliest tornado outbreak in almost four decades. At least 297 people were killed across six states — more than two-thirds of them in Alabama, where large cities bore the half-mile-wide scars the twisters left behind. The death toll from Wednesday’s storms seems out of a bygone era, before Doppler radar and pinpoint satellite forecasts were around to warn communities of severe weather. Residents were told the tornadoes were coming up to 24 minutes ahead of time, but they were just too wide, too powerful and too locked onto populated areas to avoid a horrifying body count. “These were the most intense super-cell thunderstorms that I think anybody who was out there forecasting has ever seen,” said meteorologist Greg Carbin at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. “If you experienced a direct hit from one of these, you’d have to be in a reinforced room, storm shelter or underground” to survive, Carbin said. The storms seemed to hug the interstate highways as they barreled along like runaway trucks, obliterating neighborhoods or even entire towns from Tuscaloosa to Bristol, Va. One family rode out the disaster in the basement of a funeral home, another by huddling in a tanning bed.
(Washington Examiner) — A coastal flood warning for the Washington area remained in effect through noon Tuesday after the Potomac River overflowed, drowning Georgetown businesses and putting several lives in peril. Emergency personnel evacuated the Washington Harbour on Monday morning as water overtook the terrace level when the property owner failed to erect the flood wall designed to keep the area safe, D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Pete Piringer said. Meanwhile, dozens of people were rescued from the rising water — including a Boy Scout troop — as the Potomac rose to five feet above flood stage. Carrie Larsen, a metereologist with the National Weather Service’s Baltimore/Washington office, expected a high tide for Tuesday morning of 9:45 a.m. She urged commuters to leave early for work and to steer clear of the water.
(Atlanta Business Chronicle) – Disaster relief funding is on its way for metro Atlantans who lost their properties in last fall’s flooding. The federal government’s $5.1 billion in supplemental Federal Emergency Management Agency funding singed by President Barack Obama includes $33.3 million for property buyouts in the Atlanta suburbs.
The projects include about 120 Atlanta-area properties in flood plains. To qualify for the money, damage to the homes had to be more than 50 percent of their appraised value. The homes will be demolished and preserved as green space and flood buffers.
(Chicago Sun Times) — Chicago area homeowners dealing with flood damage should be on the alert. Unscrupulous contractors and con artists are scouting for prey and ready to make what already is a bad situation even worse.
The Better Business Bureau of Chicago and northern Illinois notes scam artists are often quick to take advantage of people when natural disasters occur. They’ve been known to pop up on door steps offering to begin work immediately. Don’t let them. The bureau offers this advice for homeowners who need home repairs: