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Extreme Weather

Lyons Flooded: Colorado Town Completely Isolated, With No Sewage, No Fresh Water


Three vehicles crashed into a creek close after the road washed out from beneath them near Dillon Rd. and 287 in Broomfield, Colorado, September 12, 2013 in heavy flooding. Three people were rescued. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post) - by Andrea Rael - September 12, 2013

Residents in Lyons, Colorado are "completely isolated" by floodwaters that have disrupted their sewer and fresh water.

Boulder County Sheriff Joseph Pelle told 7News that residents were being told to reach for higher ground.

"They're completely isolated at this point. There is no access in or out," Pelle said during a Thursday media briefing. "They've lost their sewer plant, they've lost their fresh water, lost their market."


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Scientists Predicted A Decade Ago Arctic Ice Loss Would Worsen Western Droughts. Is That Happening Already? - by Joe Romm - June 30, 2013


Scientists predicted a decade ago that Arctic ice loss would bring on worse western droughts. Arctic ice loss has been much faster than the researchers — and indeed all climate modelers — expected (see “CryoSat-2 Confirms Sea Ice Volume Has Collapsed“).

It just so happens that the western U.S. is in the grip of a brutal, record-breaking drought. Is this just an amazing coincidence — or were the scientists right and what would that mean for the future? I ask the authors.


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3 Dead as Remnants of Lee Trigger Historic Flooding Across Northeast

by Ashley Hayes - CNN - September 8, 2011

(Additional Photos in this Washington Post Article)


CNN iReporter Nick Bohacz of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, said flooded roads prevented him from getting to work.

(CNN) -- Thousands of people were told to evacuate their homes Thursday as the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee moved across already sodden portions of the Northeast, triggering near-historic flooding and leaving at least three people dead.

In Luzerne County, in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania, between 65,000 and 70,000 people were ordered to leave their homes by Thursday afternoon as the Susquehanna River rose above flood stage, according to Emergency Management Coordinator Stephen Bekanich.

The county, which earlier said 100,000 to 125,000 residents were being evacuated, did recalculations and revised the number downward.

While Wilkes-Barre, in Luzerne County, was spared flooding as of late Thursday afternoon because of a 17-mile levee system, other communities not protected by the system were not so fortunate.

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Texas Firefighters Face Stiff Challenge

by Rick Jervis - USA Today - September 7, 2011


A residential street is lined with homes destroyed by a wildfire in Bastrop.

BASTROP, Texas – Todd Jamison, a division chief for the Little Elm Fire Department near Dallas, has fought house fires and wildfires.

But when wildfires — such as the ones in this area 25 miles east of Austin — engulf homes and neighborhoods, his job becomes far more complex, he says.

On Wednesday, Jamison, one of hundreds of Texas firefighters helping fight a nasty blaze here, revisited one of the homes he and his team spent nearly two hours trying to save the day before. Now, it was a pile of smoldering cinderblocks. The only signs of what was once a home: a few charred lawn chairs and a melted toilet.

"This is a different beast for us," Jamison says of the ongoing firefight. "We're fighting to protect homes."

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Under NYC's Streets, Power Lines Stayed Safe


Photograph by Eduardo Munoz, Reuters

AP Business Writers - by Jonathan Fahey and Peter Svensson - August 28, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) -- Below the streets of New York City, a network of pipes, cables and tunnels up to 200 feet deep transports power, gas, water, Internet traffic, trains, sewage and more. When Hurricane Irene hit the city Sunday, this underground network was largely protected from major damage.

On the island of Manhattan, only a handful of its 1.6 million residents lost power. And roughly 50,000 households in the city's outer boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island lost power.

Elsewhere, Irene left millions of East Coast residents without power, as winds knocked trees into above-ground power lines.

But while the city's buried infrastructure is safe from wind, it is vulnerable to flooding. Some experts say the city simply got lucky that the flooding wasn't more severe. The subway system is especially at risk, which is why transportation officials preemptively shut it down.

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Hurricane Irene Map & Visualization Resources


New York City Hurricane Evacuation Zones Map   (Click on Map)

NYC Evacuation Zones Map


New York (Potential) Storm Surge Risk Map incidating 250,000 residents reside below storm surge level (Click on Map)

NY City Storm Surge Risk Map

The National Disaster Medical System and U.S. Public Health Service have been activated in anticipation of the need for medical teams and hospital evacuation support.


U. S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response

Public Health Emergency - Public Health and Medical Emergency Support for a Nation Prepared

Hurricane Irene 2011

August 27, 2011:  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is poised to provide public health and medical support to states along the east coast as Hurricane Irene makes landfall.

State-by-State Developments Related to Hurricane Irene

CNN - August 26, 2011 - 8:44 p.m. EDT

(CNN) -- On Friday, President Barack Obama said of Hurricane Irene that "all indications point to this being a historic hurricane."

Numerous local, state and federal agencies, among other organizations, have taken steps in preparation. Here are some of those measures, for states most affected by Hurricane Irene:


Irene was off the South Carolina coast on Friday, with its outer bands bringing gusty winds, heavy rain and dangerous surf.

No evacuations were ordered, as the storm path appears to be too far east to present serious problems. However, state emergency officials were monitoring Irene and have contingency plans. The state emergency management agency is using its website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to keep the public informed.


Hurricane Irene is expected to make its first contact with the U.S. mainland on Saturday morning near Beaufort, according to CNN meteorologist Sean Morris.

Hurricane Irene Moves North, FEMA Sets Expectations

The Washington Post - August 25, 2011


Hurricane Irene appears headed towards the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions this weekend — areas that haven’t endured tropical storm-force winds and rain in years.

And the Federal Emergency Management Agency, panned by Southerners almost six years ago for its inept response to Hurricane Katrina, is reminding Americans up north that they should turn first to local and state authorities in advance of the storm.

“If the public’s seeing FEMA, it’s most likely if we’ve had impacts and we have requests for assistance,” the agency’s administrator, Craig Fugate , told reporters Thursday. “Otherwise, we’re doing things to get ready, but we’re not getting in front of the governor’s teams, we’re there to support them.”


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