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Federal Harvey Relief Funds Might Take Years, Officials Tell Legislators

           

Flood damaged debris piled outside of homes in Port Arthur Texas. The city saw 47 inches of rain during the storm. - Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

texastribune.org - by Brandon Formby - October 2, 2017

 . . . state lawmakers were told that Housing and Urban Development disaster relief funds, which includes money for extensive home repairs or rebuilds, could take seven to 32 months to work their way through bureaucratic processes and several layers of government agencies . . . Congress approved $7.4 billion in HUD disaster relief funds last month. But that may have to be shared with Florida and Puerto Rico, which have each been hit by hurricanes in the weeks after Harvey battered Texas, unless legislators approve another aid package . . .

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Wildfires Sweep Across Northern California; 15 Are Dead

Map of active north California wildfires as of Monday October 9th 2017. By The New York Times | Sources: NASA MODIS, Santa Rosa Fire Department.

Image: Map of active north California wildfires as of Monday October 9th 2017. By The New York Times | Sources: NASA MODIS, Santa Rosa Fire Department.

nytimes.com - Thomas Fuller, Jonah Engel Bromwich, Julie Turkewitz - October 10th 2017

Wine country was shrouded in a thick layer of smoky haze here on Tuesday as firefighters continued to battle wildfires that have left at least 15 people dead and have damaged or destroyed more than 1,500 structures, including wineries, homes and resorts.

State fire officials estimated that 17 separate fires, the first group of which began Sunday night, had burned about 115,000 acres over eight counties. More than 100 people had been taken to hospitals by Tuesday morning, and officials said that the tallies of the dead and injured were likely to rise.

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Puerto Rico’s Slow-Motion Medical Disaster

Marry Ann Aldea hands her mother medicine at her home in Juncos, Puerto Rico.DENNIS M. RIVERA PICHARDO/THE WASHINGTON POST/GETTY IMAGES

Image: Marry Ann Aldea hands her mother medicine at her home in Juncos, Puerto Rico.DENNIS M. RIVERA PICHARDO/THE WASHINGTON POST/GETTY IMAGES

wired.com - Eric Niiler - September 29th 2017

Hurricane Maria left a ruined island and 16 Puerto Rico residents dead. But public health experts worry that figure could climb higher in the coming weeks, as many on the island fail to get medicines or treatment they need for chronic diseases. Roads are blocked, supplies are stuck at the ports, and only 11 of Puerto Rico’s 69 hospitals are open. 

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‘Flesh-Eating Bacteria’ From Harvey’s Floodwaters Kill a Woman

The Meyerland neighborhood of Houston on Aug. 27. Some of the worst flooding from Hurricane Harvey occurred in Meyerland, and the floodwaters teemed with bacteria. Credit Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Image: The Meyerland neighborhood of Houston on Aug. 27. Some of the worst flooding from Hurricane Harvey occurred in Meyerland, and the floodwaters teemed with bacteria. Credit Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

nytimes.com - Maggie Astor - September 28th 2017

From the moment the waters began rising in Texas last month, disease was on health officials’ minds. Floodwaters, after all, are filthy.

When Hurricane Harvey finally moved north and the feet of flooding drained, hospitals saw a spike in skin and gastrointestinal infections, but Texans were spared some of the most serious illnesses that contaminated water can spread: cholera, for instance, and typhoid.

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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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National Guard Plans Relief Efforts as Hurricane Maria Slams Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Army National Guard members work on clearing Highway 511 from Ponce to Jayuya in Puerto Rico, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Sept. 11, 2017. Today, Hurricane Maria is battering the hard-hit island territory. Puerto Rico Army National Guard photo by Spc. Agustin Montanez

Image: Puerto Rico Army National Guard members work on clearing Highway 511 from Ponce to Jayuya in Puerto Rico, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Sept. 11, 2017. Today, Hurricane Maria is battering the hard-hit island territory. Puerto Rico Army National Guard photo by Spc. Agustin Montanez

defense.gov - Army Sgt. Juanita Philip and Sgt. 1st Class Jessica Barnett - September 20th 2017

National Guard troops and members of federal agencies throughout the Caribbean region are hunkering down and making disaster relief preparations as Hurricane Maria made landfall today in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm, with winds of 150 mph, weather officials said.

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Tropical Storm Jose - Tropical-Storm-Force Winds Probability

Current predicted probability of tropical-storm-force winds from Tropical Storm Jose.

Image: Current predicted probability of tropical-storm-force winds from Tropical Storm Jose.

nhc.noaa.gov - September 15th 2017

Note: The time of the tropical cyclone's center location at the bottom of the graphic will be 3 hours earlier than the time of the current advisory. The forecast cycle for each advisory begins 3 hours prior to the issuance of the advisory products.

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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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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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