Category: News


“Greatest Evacuation In History” – 650,000 Ordered To Leave Florida via Zero Hedge

“There was no gas and it’s gridlock. People are stranded on the sides of the highway… It’s 92 degrees out and little kids are out on the grass on the side of the road. No one can help them.”

Source: “Greatest Evacuation In History” – 650,000 Ordered To Leave Florida | Zero Hedge

Advertisements

Irma Has Company as Two Other Hurricanes Make Their Debuts

As Hurricane Irma rampaged through the Caribbean, two more hurricanes made their debuts Wednesday.

In the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose was heading westward at a 17 mph clip and packing 75 mph winds at of 5 p.m., according to a National Hurricane Center update. It was about 1,140 miles east of the Lesser Antilles chain of islands in the eastern Caribbean.

https://www.nbcnews.com

Hurricane Irma is so strong it’s registering on devices designed to detect earthquakes

As Hurricane Irma strengthens, here is a look at how each hurricane category corresponds to their wind strength, according to The Saffir-Simpson scale. (USA TODAY)

Hurricane Irma is so strong it’s showing up on seismometers — equipment designed to measure earthquakes.

“What we’re seeing in the seismogram are low-pitched hums that gradually become stronger as the hurricane gets closer to the seismometer on the island of Guadeloupe,” said Stephen Hicks, a seismologist at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom.

The noise is likely caused by high winds — which cause tiny motions in the ground — and also by trees swaying in the wind, which also transfers energy into the ground, he said. The seismometer is located close to the ocean, so waves crashing along the coastline reverberate around the island, also generating seismic energy, Hicks added.

The hurricane isn’t creating earthquakes, he said. “Earthquakes occur tens of (miles) deep inside Earth’s crust, a long way from the influence of weather events, and there is no evidence to suggest that hurricanes and storms directly cause earthquakes,” Hicks said.

It’s not unusual for large storms to register on seismometers for hours to days as they pass over.

“We saw this for Hurricane Harvey on seismometers located close to Houston,” he said. In the U.K., wintertime storms can sometimes make it hard for seismologists to see small earthquakes because the noise level generated by storms is so high.

As Irma approaches seismic sensors, “we will see a dramatic increase in the amplitude of the seismic recordings,” Hicks said.

As Irma approaches seismic sensors, “we will see a dramatic increase in the amplitude of the seismic recordings,” Hicks said.

Source: Hurricane Irma is so strong it’s registering on devices designed to detect earthquakes | khou.com

 

The Intercept: Before Harvey, Houston Sought Funding to Mitigate Floods — But Congress Refused

THE RAINS WERE going to come eventually. It was only a matter of when, and how bad.

With flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey still inundating Houston — exacting a toll of 31 deaths and incalculable damage so far — the city is left asking what could have been done to prevent the extent of the catastrophe, or at least diminish its effects. One of the questions is why federal funding that should have been in place to help Houston deal with flood mitigation never arrived.

Houston and surrounding Harris County, in Texas, had many ambitious proposals for flood mitigation projects lined up, but couldn’t afford them. And, despite the efforts of one of the city’s congressional representatives, Capitol Hill declined to fund the cash-strapped local governments.

“We’ve gone at this from every angle we could,” said Rep. Al Green, a Democrat from Houston who sponsored a bill to fund various projects after the “Tax Day flood” of April 2016. “We were hoping to help mitigate flooding across the city. I don’t know if we’ll ever mitigate all of it, but we can mitigate some.”

After the Tax Day flood, which left 16 dead, Green introduced a bill to fund $311 million for the Harris County Flood Control District. That bill stalled out in the House Budget Appropriations Committee and never came up for a vote. (Committee Chair Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., did not return requests for comment.)

The federal funds provided in the bill could have jump-started flood mitigation projects in Houston that had already been approved by the Army Corps of Engineers. Those projects had languished for years, even decades, because the federal share of their budgets was never appropriated by Congress.

“What I can tell you is that if it would have allocated funds, we would have tried to use those to our best ability,” said Nicholas Laskowski, the Corps’ Galveston District project manager, who declined to comment specifically on Green’s legislation.

Source: Before Harvey, Houston Sought Funding to Mitigate Floods — But Congress Refused

As Dwight Chandler sipped beer and swept out the thick muck caked inside his devastated home, he worried whether Harvey’s floodwaters had also washed in pollution from the old acid pit just a couple blocks away.

Long a center of the nation’s petrochemical industry, the Houston metro area has more than a dozen Superfund sites, designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as being among America’s most intensely contaminated places. Many are now flooded, with the risk that waters were stirring dangerous sediment.

The Highlands Acid Pit site near Chandler’s home was filled in the 1950s with toxic sludge and sulfuric acid from oil and gas operations. Though 22,000 cubic yards of hazardous waste and soil were excavated from the acid pits in the 1980s, the site is still considered a potential threat to groundwater, and the EPA maintains monitoring wells there.

 

Source: AP EXCLUSIVE: Toxic waste sites flooded in Houston area – ABC News

1,200 Dead; Up to 41 Million Affected in Asian Flooding

By Andy Rowell / Common Dreams

As much of the North American media focuses on the ongoing unprecedented flooding and relief efforts in Texas and now potentially Louisiana, another tragedy is unfolding, which is going largely unreported, in Asia.

Whereas the death toll in Texas stands at 20, the estimated death toll in South Asia is estimated at 1,200 after weeks of unusually strong monsoon rains affecting India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

The Red Cross estimates that 14 million people have been affected by flooding in India; over 7 million in Bangladesh and 1.5 million in Nepal. The United Nations puts the total number of people affected by floods and lindslides at total nearly double that at 41 million.

“Although the monsoon is an annual event, this year’s rains have been seen as far worse than usual, which people are blaming our changing climate for making things much worse.”

Source: 1,200 Dead; Up to 41 Million Affected in Asian Flooding | By Andy Rowell | Common Dreams

Officials have evacuated workers from the Arkema site in Crosby as flooding has created a risk of a chemical reaction leading to fire or possible explosion.

Source: 1.5 mile radius around Crosby plant evacuated amid risk of explosion | abc13.com

Officials have evacuated workers and residents within 1.5 mile from the Arkema site in Crosby as flooding has created a risk of a chemical reaction leading to fire or possible explosion.

According to plant officials, the situation has become serious.

The plant has been shut down since Friday when site leaders were anticipating landfall of Hurricane Harvey. The location received more than 40 inches of rainfall, leaving the site heavily flooded and without electricity since early Sunday morning.

Back-up generators have largely been inundated with water. A small ride-out crew of 11 people remained on site for the last few days, but by Tuesday afternoon, the decision to evacuate all personnel was made.

Arkema officials are working with the Department of Homeland Security and the State of Texas to set up a command post in a suitable location near the site. Refrigeration on some of the back-up product storage containers has been compromised due to extremely high water, which is unprecedented in the Crosby area.

Authorities are monitoring the temperature of each refrigeration container remotely. At this time, they say they do not believe there is any imminent danger, but the potential for a chemical reaction leading to a fire and/or explosion within the site confines is real.

Arkema manufactures organic peroxides at their Crosby plant. The product needs to be stored at a low temperature.

 

 

Arkema Inc. incident news

News posted here is for the sole purpose of informing the public of any current and/or ongoing incidents.  Once the incident is resolved, this content will be archived.  Follow us on Twitter and check this site for updated information.

Arkema Statement: Status of Plant in Crosby, Texas

6:50 pm est., August 29, 2017

The Arkema site in Crosby, Texas has been shut-down since Friday.

The site anticipated the storm, and safely shut down all operations before hurricane landfall. The facility has had extraordinary levels of rain, receiving approximately 40 inches by Monday afternoon. The site has been heavily flooded and without electric service since early Sunday morning. Back-up generators have largely been inundated with water. A small ride-out crew of eleven people had remained on site for some days.

As of late this afternoon, the situation at the Crosby site had become serious.  In order to ensure the safety of our ride-out team, all personnel have been evacuated from the site at this time.  We are working with the Department of Homeland Security and the State of Texas to set up a command post in a suitable location near our site.  We also have been in contact with other regulatory authorities, who are aware of this situation.

Arkema manufactures organic peroxides at the Crosby plant. The primary challenge has been maintaining refrigeration for these products, which are stored at low temperature. The site lost refrigeration to all of its cold-storage warehouses when electrical power was lost and back-up generators were flooded. Our team then transferred products from the warehouses into diesel-powered refrigerated containers, and continued to monitor the situation.

At this time, refrigeration on some of our back-up product storage containers has been compromised due to extremely high water, rising to levels that are unprecedented in the Crosby area.  Arkema is limited in what it can do to address the site conditions until the storm abates.  We are monitoring the temperature of each refrigeration container remotely.  At this time, while we do not believe there is any imminent danger, the potential for a chemical reaction leading to a fire and/or explosion within the site confines is real.

We have no higher priority than the safety of our employees, neighbors and the environment. We have been working without pause to keep our materials safe.

http://www.arkema-americas.com/en/social-responsibility/incident-news

 

 

Hurricane Harvey is similar in many ways to the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. One of the marked differences is the role modern technology plays in preventing the horrendous loss of life that occurred in 1900 from being repeated today.

The Galveston Hurricane

Harvey may look like the more dangerous hurricane on paper but the consequences of the Galveston Hurricane were much worse.

The city of Galveston was demolished when the hurricane struck on September 8, 1900. The highest points in the city when the hurricane hit ranged between seven and nine feet above sea level. The storm surge crested at 15 feet. The hurricane rolled over the island destroying everything in its path.

Homes were knocked off their foundations and either carried away or reduced to kindling and rubble. Thirty thousand people, almost the entire population of the city, were left homeless. The rest were dead.

The loss of life in Galveston was horrendous. The death toll is estimated between 6,000 and 12,000. The generally accepted total is 8,000 deaths but no one knows for sure. To gain some context, 1,836 people died as a result of Katrina in 2005. Eight thousand dead is more than the number of American deaths in the Iraq and Afghan wars combined. The Galveston Hurricane is the deadliest natural disaster in the history of the United States.

There were too many bodies to bury so the corpses were weighted, shipped out into the Gulf of Mexico on barges, and dumped overboard. Shortly thereafter the bodies began to wash back onshore. The survivors and rescue personnel turned to constructing funeral pyres to burn the corpses. The fires burned day and night for weeks.

Source: As Terrible As Harvey Is, The Galveston Hurricane Of 1900 Was Much, Much Worse

Banjir Akibat Badai Harvey, Houston Terisolasi

Sumedang Media, Houston – google translate:

The flash floods that followed Hurricane Harvey’s storm has made the Houston City in the state of Texas, USA, increasingly isolated on Sunday (27/08/2017) local time. The reason, two airports and highways in the city was closed, while the city residents climbed to the roof of their house in order to avoid the brunt of the flood. AFP reported, two airports …

“Banjir bandang yang terjadi menyusul terjangan Badai Harvey telah membuat Kota Houston di negara bagian Texas, AS, semakin terisolasi pada Minggu (27/8/2017) waktu setempat. Pasalnya, dua bandara dan jalan-jalan raya di kota itu ditutup, sedangkan warga kota naik ke atap rumah mereka demi menghindari terjangan air bah. AFP melaporkan, dua bandara…”

Source: Banjir Akibat Badai Harvey, Houston Terisolasi – Sumedang Media

%d bloggers like this: