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Puerto Rico power grid 'devastated' by Maria, PREPA CEO says

Radar image of Hurricane Maria.

Image: Radar image of Hurricane Maria.

utilitydive.com - Gavin Bade - September 25th 2017

Dive Brief:

  • Puerto Rico could be without power for four to six months after a double hit from Category 4 hurricanes in recent weeks, territory officials said this weekend. 
  • The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority said it would begin restoration efforts on Monday, having waited to avoid safety hazards to employees. Significant flooding and debris have limited the ability to conduct damage assessments, federal officials said Friday.

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Hurricane Maria: Whole of Puerto Rico without power

bbc.com - September 20th 2017

Hurricane Maria has knocked out power to the entire island of Puerto Rico, home to 3.5m people, emergency officials have said.

Abner Gómez, head of the disaster management agency, said the hurricane had damaged "everything in its path".

None of the customers of Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority had any electricity, he said.

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FEMA chief: 'Millions' could be without power from Irma

cnn.com - Miranda Green and Rene Marsh - September 9th 2017

As Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida's southern coast, the nation's emergency management chief is warning that 'millions' of residents could be without power, in some instances for weeks.

"We could see millions of people without power in Florida for multiple days in some areas, maybe weeks, and so I think it's very important to set the expectations of citizens," Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long told CNN's Rene Marsh at his agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C., Saturday. "This is why we ask and plead with people to be ready for multiple days, and unfortunately this is coming into reality,"

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This is how your world could end

The 2014 El Portal fire burning near Yosemite National Park, California. Scientists have warned that rising global temperatures will lead to more wildfires in Yosemite and elsewhere. Photograph: Stuart Palley/EPA  theguardian.com - Peter Brannen - September 9th 2017

Image:  The 2014 El Portal fire burning near Yosemite National Park, California. Scientists have warned that rising global temperatures will lead to more wildfires in Yosemite and elsewhere. Photograph: Stuart Palley/EPA

theguardian.com - Peter Brannen - September 9th 2017

Many of us share some dim apprehension that the world is flying out of control, that the centre cannot hold. Raging wildfires, once-in-1,000-years storms and lethal heatwaves have become fixtures of the evening news – and all this after the planet has warmed by less than 1C above preindustrial temperatures. But here’s where it gets really scary.

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Desperation Mounts in Caribbean Islands: ‘All the Food Is Gone’

A street in St. Martin after Hurricane Irma. Residents spoke of a disintegration in law and order as survivors struggled in the face of severe food and water shortages. Credit Martin Bureau/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Image: A street in St. Martin after Hurricane Irma. Residents spoke of a disintegration in law and order as survivors struggled in the face of severe food and water shortages. Credit Martin Bureau/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

nytimes.com - Azam Ahmed and Kirk Semple - September 10th 2017

At dawn, people began to gather, quietly planning for survival after Hurricane Irma.

They started with the grocery stores, scavenging what they needed for sustenance: water, crackers, fruit.

But by nightfall on Thursday, what had been a search for food took a more menacing turn, as groups of people, some of them armed, swooped in and took whatever of value was left: electronics, appliances and vehicles.

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More Than 40 Sites Released Hazardous Pollutants Because of Hurricane Harvey

Map of Houston area and potential leak sites. Estimated data from Aug. 23 to Aug. 30, 2017

Image: Map of Houston area and potential leak sites. Estimated data from Aug. 23 to Aug. 30, 2017

nytimes.com - Troy Griggs, Andrew W. Lehren, Nadja Popovich, Anjali Singhvi, Hiroko Tabuchi - September 8th 2017

Houston’s sprawling network of petrochemical plants and refineries released millions of pounds of pollutants in the days after Hurricane Harvey began barreling toward Texas.

Even under normal operations, the hundreds of industrial facilities in the area can emit harmful chemicals. But from Aug. 23 to Aug. 30, 46 facilities in 13 counties reported an estimated 4.6 million pounds of airborne emissions that exceeded state limits, an analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund, Air Alliance Houston and Public Citizen shows.

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AEP CEO: Harvey 'devastated' transmission, distribution system in south Texas

Flooding during Hurricane Harvey.

Image: Flooding during Hurricane Harvey.

utilitydive.com - Robert Walton - September 1st 2017

Dive Brief:

American Electric Power's transmission and distribution system in its south Texas service territory has been "devastated," CEO Nick Akins told Bloomberg yesterday.

In an interview with the financial news provider, Akins said several transmission lines are down including over 20 miles on one system that is "laying on the ground."

While utilities struggle to bring power back online to affected communities, the operator for most of the state said the grid remains in stable condition and Electric Reliability Council of Texas competitive markets continue to operate.

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We're Nowhere Near Prepared for the Ecological Disaster That Harvey Is Becoming

An oil refinery.

Image: An oil refinery.

esquire.com - Charles P. Pierce - August 30th 2017

It is the Christian thing to do in the middle of tragedies like the one currently unfolding along the Texas-Louisiana Gulf coast not to politicize human suffering and, certainly, the stories of people rescuing their fellow citizens from this calamity deserve to be told and they deserve to be spread as widely as possible. But there is nothing I can find in the Gospels that would forbid us from politicizing politics. So let us summon the ghost of Walter Winchell and review some of the events of the past few days.

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Nation's largest oil refinery forced to shut down as Harvey floods Port Arthur

money.cnn.com - Julia Horowitz and Jill Disis - August 30th 2017

The largest oil refinery in the country is shutting down as Hurricane Harvey causes more catastrophic flooding, and more have followed suit.

Early Wednesday, Motiva said it started closing its Port Arthur refinery "in response to increasing local flood conditions." The plant won't open until flood waters recede.

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Global fuel prices jump as Harvey's impact ripples beyond U.S. Gulf

reuters.com - Erwin Seba and Devika Krishna Kumar - August 31st 2017

Tropical Storm Harvey’s impact on the energy industry spread worldwide as flooded U.S. refiners and closed fuel pipelines threatened to squeeze national supply, roiling global fuel markets and rerouting millions of barrels of fuel to the Americas to avert shortages.

The storm, which lashed Louisiana with rain on Thursday, has pummeled the U.S. Gulf Coast, immersing Houston, Texas, and the surrounding area in several feet of water and forcing the closure of about a quarter of U.S. refining capacity.

Benchmark U.S. gasoline prices RBc1 and margins RBc1-Clc1 surged anew on Thursday.

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