US Lawmakers Investigate Firm's Contract to Help Restore Puerto Rico's Power

       

Workers from Montana-based Whitefish Energy Holdings help fix Puerto Rico’s power grid. Photograph: Alvin Baez/Reuters

CLICK HERE - NPR - Here's What's In That $300 Million Whitefish Contract

Multiple congressional committees seek information on $300m deal awarded to Whitefish Energy Holdings, tiny company in interior secretary’s hometown

theguardian.com - October 26, 2017

Multiple congressional committees are investigating a $300m contract awarded to a small Montana company in the hometown of the interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, that was tapped to help restore Puerto Rico’s damaged power grid.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority awarded the contract to tiny Whitefish Energy Holdings to restore transmission and distribution lines damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Maria. The two-year-old company had just two full-time employees when the storm hit last month.

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Congressional Auditor Urges Action to Address Climate Change

           

Members of the Wyoming Hot Shots firefighting crew battling the Lizard Fire near Willcox, Ariz., in June. Credit Kyle Miller/Wyoming Hot Shots, via Associated Press

CLICK HERE - U.S. GAO - CLIMATE CHANGE: Information on Potential Economic Effects Could Help Guide Federal Efforts to Reduce Fiscal Exposure

nytimes.com - by Lisa Friedman - October 23, 2017

WASHINGTON — Fires, floods and hurricanes are already costing the federal government tens of billions of dollars a year and climate change will drive those costs ever higher in coming years, a new federal study warns.

The report by the Government Accountability Office, Congress’s auditing arm, urges the Trump administration to take climate change risks seriously and begin formulating a response.

The study, scheduled to be released Tuesday, says that different sectors of the economy and different parts of the country will be harmed in ways that are difficult to predict.

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Ocean Acidification Poses Threat to Sea Life, Research Finds

CLICK HERE - BROCHURE SUMMARY - Exploring Ocean Change - BIOACID - Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification (24 page .PDF file)

CLICK HERE - BIOACID - Exploring Ocean Change

news.sky.com - by Rebecca Taylor - October 23, 2017

Increased acidity in the oceans could affect many species including molluscs and corals, an eight-year study has found.

The research from more than 250 scientists also highlighted the risk of knock-on effect up the food chain.

Increased acidity in the oceans, called by some the "evil twin of global warming", compounds the effect of rising temperatures.

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CLICK HERE - More acidic oceans 'will affect all sea life'

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The Great Thaw of America's North is Coming

Vladimir Romanovsky crouches as he collects temperature recordings beneath the forest floor (Credit: Anthony Rhoades)

Image: Vladimir Romanovsky crouches as he collects temperature recordings beneath the forest floor (Credit: Anthony Rhoades)

bbc.com - Sara Goudarzi - October 17th 2017

Vladimir Romanovsky walks through the dense black spruce forest with ease. Not once does he stop or slow down to balance himself on the cushy moss beneath his feet insulating the permafrost.

It’s a warm day in July, and the scientist is looking for a box that he and his team have installed on the ground.

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The U.S. Solar Industry's New Growth Region: Trump Country

       

The Apple One 4.9 MW solar project, built by Cypress Creek Renewables, is pictured in Newton, North Carolina, United States in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters March 28, 2017. Cypress Creek Renewables/Handout via REUTERS

reuters.com - by Nichola Groom - October 12, 2017

President Donald Trump’s administration has vowed to revive the coal industry, challenged climate-change science and blasted renewable energy as expensive and dependent on government subsidies.

And yet the solar power industry is booming across Trump country, fueled by falling development costs and those same subsidies, which many Republicans in Congress continue to support.

Data provided to Reuters by GTM Research, a clean energy market information firm, shows that eight of the 10 fastest-growing U.S. solar markets between the second quarters of 2016 and 2017 were Western, Midwestern or Southern states that voted for Trump, with Alabama and Mississippi topping the list. And solar firms are ramping up investments in these regions, signaling their faith that key renewable energy incentives will remain in place for years to come.

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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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AVMA - Large Animals and Livestock in Disasters

submitted by Carrie La Jeunesse

       

There are unique considerations for horses and other livestock during a disaster. Preparing ahead of time and acting quickly are the best ways to keep you and your animals—pets and livestock—out of danger. Protect your whole family when emergencies arise with the proper supplies, veterinary information, animal identification and an evacuation plan that has been practiced. Whether the threat is a hurricane, wildfire​ or other disaster, lives may depend on being ready.​

CLICK HERE - READ COMPLETE ARTICLE - Large Animals and Livestock in Disasters

 

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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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