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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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Controversial Study Shows Higher Cancer Risk in 9/11 Firefighters

CBS News - September 2, 2011


A firefighter breaks down after the World Trade Center buildings collapsed September 11, 2001 after two hijacked airplanes slammed into the twin towers in a terrorist attack.  (Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(CBS) The 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City killed almost 3,000 people, but what about New Yorkers who were in the area at the time but survived? New studies show they face heightened risk for asthma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and cancer - but not all health experts agree the attacks are to blame for survivors' health problems.

For one study - published in the September 1 issue of The Lancet - Mount Sinai researchers evaluated more than 27,000 police officers, firefighters, construction workers, and office workers who were in or around ground zero over the nine years following 9/11. The researchers found more than one in five responders had multiple physical or mental health illnesses.

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The Economics of Rapidly Emerging Cities

As the human populations of our small planet exceeds 7 billion on its way potentially to 9 million or 10 billion by the mid-21st Century, migrations of millions are becoming common place -- some out of desperation, others out of seeking opportunity and a better life.  According to a large percentage of climatologists and other scientists that are studying global change, the social ecologies of many large cities will become non-viable for their human populations and many other species due to climate change, the drying up of water supplies, the lose of food sources, natural disasters, wars, and other factors.  In other cases, new cities of opportunity or attractive culture will draws those seeking a better life and way of being.  

Tens of millions, and perhaps hundreds of millions will be forced to leave their homes in search of more viable communities.  Millions more will create new communities with intentionality, exploring new economic, social, and political models that improve health, human security, resilience and sustainability for the new citizens.  In some cases, simple shared principles will shape new, fast growing economies, and, in other cases, rules and conditions will be imposed on inhabitants of new communities and cities.

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H5N1 - Possible Bird Flu Resurgence - August 29, 2011

More on the mutant H5N1 strain

Thanks to Sari Setiogi for tweeting the link to this article in Indonesia Facing Biggest Problems of Possible Bird Flu Resurgence. First an excerpt, then a comment:

The United Nations warned of a possible major resurgence of bird flu and said a mutant strain of the H5N1 virus was spreading in Asia and elsewhere. 

When Capitalism Converges With Resilience

It is hard to argue against that fact that the U.S. and even "Communist" China, for that matter, have great influence in global markets and on health and human security -- for their own people as well as human populations world-wide. The power of capital within global, regional, national, and local markets has been transforming the world since the growth of the industrial revolution, which has only accelerated since the broad introduction of global communication and computing in the 20th century. That said, there has been growing criticism of the destructive nature of market fundamentalism and laissez faire economics in the face of a growing awareness of ecosystem carrying capacities, and the problems inherent in growth economies in decline.  So what happens when capitalists become aware of the destructive nature of growth economies, where populations are exceeding the carrying capacities of ecosystems and mass consumption economies begin to collapse?

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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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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.


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