Photos: Seattle motorists encounter treacherous Monday morning commute as heavy snow falls on cityamanda.schmidt•First, at vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui voluptatum.
SEATTLE (AP) — Winter weather pounded a swath of the U.S. West on Monday, closing schools, delaying flights and turning streets into sledding hills in coastal cities like Seattle that rarely get much snow.
Parts of California and Montana braced for the threat of mudslides and avalanches this week, while the Midwest warmed up from a dangerous blast of cold last week that is linked to at least 30 deaths in several states.
The Pacific Northwest’s first major winter snowstorm hit western Washington hardest, closing numerous schools in Seattle and nearby cities, canceling ferry service, and causing car crashes but no major injuries.
Some areas north and east of Seattle got 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters) of snow. Temperatures were expected to be 15 degrees below normal this week, with lows in the teens, the National Weather Service said.
More than 200 flights at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport were canceled and over 450 delayed.
Chris Allahyar of Edgewood, Washington, told Seattle news station KOMO-TV that he was trying to make a flight but his car got stuck on an icy road.
„Everything was fine until I got off the freeway and everything turned to ice. Couldn’t even make it off the road. I’m just stuck right now,” Allahyar said. „I really underestimated the temperature.”
Communities on the northern Oregon coast got several inches of unusual snow, and it was falling steadily in Portland, Oregon. A cold spell in Portland was expected to last for about 10 days, with overnight temperatures dipping well below freezing and more snow later in the week.
The storm system lingering over the Northwest has sent waves of snow into the Northern Rocky Mountains, where it mixed with a blast of frigid arctic air and gusting winds to create hazardous driving conditions and dangerous wind chills 40 degrees below zero and lower.
The cold closed or delayed schools. Much of western and northern Montana will likely see subzero temperatures until at least Wednesday, weather service meteorologist Cody Moldan said.
„We’re kind of stuck in a cold pattern,” Moldan said.
The weather was warmer near Yellowstone National Park, but the fresh snow that fell on the weak snowpack in the mountains near the park led to avalanche warnings.
Snow and rain throughout California has threatened flash flooding where massive wildfires roared through communities last year and dangerous driving conditions in the latest of a series of storms over the past few days.
Officials lifted flash flood warnings Monday but warned that another storm Tuesday could bring danger of mudslides and flooding in the Malibu area, where a wildfire destroyed homes and burned hillsides bare, and southeast of Los Angeles, where an August blaze scorched a huge area in the Cleveland National Forest.
The weather service issued a winter storm warning for the Los Angeles and Ventura County mountains through Wednesday, with more than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow expected at higher elevations.
A storm that swept across California and Nevada dumped as much as 8 feet (2.5 meters) of snow over the weekend, with much more expected.
In parts of California’s Sierra Nevada, officials issued blizzard and avalanche warnings through Monday night, warning that cold conditions in the northern mountain range could become life-threatening as a series of intense storms and powerful winds brought whiteout conditions that closed some mountain roads.
Electric-powered commuter trains in the Chicago area were getting back to normal with temperatures in the 40s. The arctic cold played havoc with overhead powerlines and forced the shutdown of two major train lines.
But cold weather again moved into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where an ice storm created hazardous travel conditions and led schools and businesses to close. Icy conditions were expected Tuesday night and Wednesday in the Lower Peninsula, including the Detroit area.
Heavy snow and gusty winds also made travel difficult in North Dakota
Seven dead in Paris building blaze: fire service
The blaze in the French capital’s trendy 16th arrondissement also left 27 people – including three firefighters – with minor injuries
Paris (AFP) – Seven people died and another was seriously injured in a fire which ripped through a building in a wealthy Paris neighbourhood on Monday night, the fire service said.
The blaze in the French capital’s trendy 16th arrondissement also left 27 people — including three firefighters — with minor injuries.
„The toll could still increase because the fire is still in progress on the 7th and 8th floors” of the eight-storey block, fire service spokesman Captain Clement Cognon told AFP at the scene.
Described by firefighters as a „scene of incredible violence”, the blaze started at about 1:00 am (0000 GMT). Its cause is so far unknown.
Some of those affected scrambled on to nearby roofs to escape the smoke and flames, and needed to be rescued by fire crews.
With landmarks including the Trocadero overlooking the Eiffel Tower, Paris Saint-Germain’s home stadium the Parc des Princes, the picturesque Bois de Bologne and an array of upmarket shops and restaurants, the area in the capital’s southwest is popular with tourists.
Captain Cognon added: „We had to carry out many rescues, including some people who had taken refuge on the roofs. Thirty people were evacuated on ladders.”
At approximately 5:00 am (0400 GMT), fire crews had finished evacuating the block on rue Erlanger but were still fighting the flames.
Two adjacent buildings were also evacuated as a precaution and local officials were on site to help find housing for residents who could not go back to their homes.
Around 200 firefighters were still at the scene in the early hours of Tuesday, battling the blaze and treating the injured.
Several streets of the chic neighbourhood were cordoned off by police and fire crews, and an AFP journalist said a strong smell of smoke was in the air.
In late December, two women and two girls died from asphyxiation in a fire that broke out in a public housing block in a suburb northeast of Paris.
And in January a gas explosion followed by a fire killed four people in the 9th arrondissement.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on Wildfire victims ordered to leave damaged property (all times local):
A Northern California county hard-hit by wildfire ordered residents living in temporary shelters on burned out lots to leave their property.
The Butte County supervisors voted 4-1 on Monday to repeal a December law permitting residents who lost homes to wildfire to live in recreational vehicles and other temporary shelters on their property while awaiting cleanup and rebuilding.
The Paradise Town Council voted several hours earlier to repeal a similar ordinance.
Federal officials warned the county and Paradise that those laws jeopardized federal funding for the massive cleanup of the Nov. 9 wildfire that wiped out most of Paradise and destroyed 14,000 homes.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said permitting residents to live on burned-out lots before they are cleared and inspected puts health and safety at risk.
Hundreds of residents had moved back to their lots since December. Paradise and county officials said they don’t know how the change back to the old rules will be enforced, but authorities are trying to schedule crews to clear those properties as soon as possible.
Hundreds of residents living in recreational vehicles and other temporary shelters are being ordered to leave their burned out properties after federal authorities threatened to withhold paying for the massive cleanup of California’s most destructive wildfire.
The Paradise city council on Monday rescinded a two-month old law allowing residents to live in temporary shelters on their wildfire-damaged property while rebuilding. Thousands of residents were left homeless by the Nov. 8 wildfire that destroyed most of Paradise and many still remain without reliable shelter.
Mayor Jody Jones said the council reversed course after the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it would halt cleanup funding if residents were allowed to live on properties before before they are cleared of debris.
FEMA didn’t immediately return a call from The Associated Press.
Southern Californians can expect rain through Tuesday, but the National Weather Service said showers will be much weaker than Saturday’s storm that triggered mudslides, road closures and power outages.
A steady but light-to-moderate rain will move across the area through Tuesday, said meteorologist Keily Delerne with the Los Angeles forecast office.
Rain rates will stay below half an inch per hour, the office forecast, so shallower minor debris flows may be possible in the Woolsey and Hill fire burn areas. The high ground saturation from the heavy rains the past couple days, Delerne said, poses more risk than the intensity.
„If you have continuous rain for a long period of time, the grounds can only absorb so much,” Delerne said. „So, flooding is definitely a concern.”
The Weather Prediction Center predicted flash flooding and debris flow risk on Monday and Monday night in burn scar areas.
Winds knocked down power lines in Santa Barbara County on Saturday and reached 89 mph in Los Angeles County, Delerne said, but weakened by Sunday morning. Speeds slowed to 40 mph or below and are expected to diminish further, the National Weather Service said.
The storm also was to blame for the death of 50-year-old Jeff Dye, a search-and-rescue team member who was killed in a crash on wet roads on Interstate 5 in Los Angeles County. The crash injured nine other people, including two other team members.
A minivan carrying a family was traveling too fast for the wet conditions, lost control and plowed into members of the team, Los Angeles County fire Capt. Tony Imbrenda said.
“This is a very unfortunate situation that could’ve been avoided,” Imbrenda said, warning motorists to slow down in the rain.
In Northern California, the Weather Prediction Center said the storm will bring heavy snow in the Sierras through Tuesday morning.
Contributing: Doyle Rice and Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: California rains are weakening but Monday could bring flooding, debris flows
As glaciers have retreated they have also increased the number of dangerous glacial lakes that can burst unleashing catastrophic floods into valleys below.Pakistan is thought to have some 3,000 glacial lakes alone and and a survey has found 33 considered at risk of bursting in Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, threatening seven million people.The 2015 Paris Agreement seeks to keep a global temperature rises this century well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and aim to keep them to 1.5 degrees if possible.World leaders in December agreed on a common rule book to implement the accord. But major polluters, including the United States and Saudi Arabia, disputed a landmark scientific report released in October that suggested nations must slash fossil fuel use by nearly half in a little over a decade.
California plane crash: Five killed and two injured after aircraft smashes into houseSamuel Osborne•Five people were killed and two others injured when a small plane smashed into a house in a neighbourhood in southern California.The small plane apparently came apart midair on Sunday, raining debris over the area and igniting a house fire before landing in a back garden, authorities said.Four people died in the Yorba Linda house that caught fire and the male pilot, who was the only person in the twin-engine plane, was also killed, Orange CountySheriff’s Lt Cory Martino said.He said two males and two females died in the home, but gave no other identifying information.The Cessna 414A took off from the Fullerton Municipal Airport about a dozen miles west of the blaze, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said.A man puts out fire on a piece of debris from the plane crash (Joshua Nelson/via Reuters)The two-storey house burst into flames after being struck by the main cabin and one engine of the plane, sending panicked neighbors into the streets.
The second engine dislodged and fell onto the street, creating a large hole in the asphalt, according to Eliott Simpson, an aviation accident investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board.
Two wounded people were taken to hospital with burn injuries, said Pokey Sanchez, an assistant chief with the Orange County Fire Authority. A firefighter was also treated for a minor injury.
“It was a boom. It sounded like something exploded. It shook our house,” John Wolbart, who lives a block away, told the Associated Press.
He said he ran to the burning house and saw a woman come out with singed hair.
Clint Langford, who lives about half a mile away, said he was in his living room when he heard a low rumbling.
“It’s the eerie, low rumbling sound that keeps getting lower and louder. It was scary,” he said. “And then all of a sudden boom. It shook the house.”
He said he looked out his front door and could see plane parts falling out of the sky in the distance.
Video posted on Twitter showed panicked residents running to the house as it became engulfed in flames and dark smoke. One man doused a burning wing that landed on the street with a garden hose.
Aerial footage taken from news helicopters showed plane parts, including side panels and a propeller, scattered on rooftops and driveways near the burned house.
The main body of the twin-engine plane was found in the backyard of another home not far from the burned house. The fire spread to an SUV that was parked in the driveway.
Debris was scattered over four blocks, Mr Simpson said.
Rain from a winter storm helped firefighters extinguish the house fire. They planned to search the burned house in case there were additional victims, Mr Sanchez said.
The National Transportation and Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.
Additional reporting by Associated Press
A sweep of cold air is bringing snow to the mountains and even the lower elevations of the western United States into Tuesday.
Behind Saturday’s storm which unleashed flooding and mudslides across California, a colder system is rolling ashore, bringing the lowest temperatures of the winter so far to the Northwest.
The storm is bringing enough cold air for snow to fall at sea level across the Pacific Northwest.
Astoria, Oregon, which lies right along the coast, reported snow throughout Sunday night.
Snow was accumulating and creating slippery travel along the Interstate-5 corridor early Monday morning.
The first snowflakes since March 24, 2018, fell in Seattle late Sunday.
This is the first measurable snow in the city since it received 1 inch on Feb. 21, 2018, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun.
Snow showers will linger across the Seattle metro area through Monday.
Portland, Oregon, can also be whitened with a bit of snow to start the new week.
Rathbun warned that slippery travel would be possible across the area.
Motorists and pedestrians should use extra care when heading to and from work and school on Monday.
Travel is likely to be extremely difficult over I-5’s Siskiyou Summit in Oregon, where 6 inches of snow or more can pile up through Monday.
As temperatures plummet across the Pacific Northwest into Tuesday, any wet or slushy areas on untreated roads and sidewalks can turn icy.
Download the free AccuWeather app to see how much snow is expected in your area and just how cold it will get.
„During Monday and Tuesday, the storm is forecast to drop southward along the California coast and bring rain showers at low elevations and snow showers to the mountains, including the passes in Southern California,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
Travelers over the Grapevine should use caution and be prepared for slippery travel.
Feet of snow will continue to inundate the Sierra Nevada into Tuesday, meaning more treacherous travel, chain requirements and possible closures.
Snow is also likely to whiten the northern part of the Great Basin as colder air moves in from Monday to Tuesday.
While this storm will not bring nearly as much rain and wind to California as Saturday’s system, any additional rainfall in the hardest-hit areas can hamper cleanup efforts, disrupt travel and create new flooding and mudslide hazards.
A few thunderstorms with small hail can even rumble across Northern and central California through Monday. An isolated waterspout or two cannot be ruled out.
Dry but chilly weather will prevail across the West Coast as the storm moves into the Four Corners states at midweek.
Moscow’s long winters see a small army of snow-clearing teams keeping the city moving
Moscow (AFP) – From the first snowfall in November to the very end of the thaw in April, Moscow enlists a small army of shovelers, scrapers, road gritters and plough drivers to keep the city moving.
Trucks carry mounds of snow through the night towards melting plants in the capital’s outskirts, while smaller vehicles hum down the pavements scattering salt mix.
„Russia without snow is not Russia,” says Alexei Babunashvili, the head of one such melting station, on a January morning after a normal week’s worth of snow has fallen overnight.
„It’s like a man without a woman… no life at all,” he adds, as behind him a truck carrying around 30 cubic metres of dirty snow dumps its load into a pit of heated water.
But Babunashvili, like many residents of the city, has questions over the salt mix that Moscow has in recent years been using in increasing volumes to keep the roads and pavements clear of ice.
On the streets and social media, complaints from Muscovites about the substance locally known as „reagent” begin as soon as temperatures drop below zero.
„Reagent spoils shoes and car wheels, but for melting snow it’s good,” Babunashvili says, as workers use poles to break up floating chunks of ice before the water goes into the sewage and re-enters the city’s supply after purification.
Other people are less equivocal about the mix of salt, marble chips, calcium chloride, formic acid and other chemicals that is liberally scattered around Moscow.
In 2009, a study by scientists from Moscow State University found that „reagent” harms soil, underground pipes and clothing, and can aggravate human and animal skin.
But Moscow officials who oversee snow clearing insist the substance is safe and that its exact makeup is constantly being developed.
One expert scattered road salt on black bread and ate it on state television two years ago.
– Sick pets –
„It’s disgusting,” says Ksenia Schmidt, a 20-year-old student chatting with friends in central Moscow.
„My dog got sick from reagent, it was awful. We went to the vet and he said it was most likely salt poisoning,” she says, adding that the substance ruins leather boots.
Pet owners across the capital say they have to dress their dogs’ paws in „shoes” to protect them from the salt, carry the animals or simply avoid areas where reagent is spread.
Opposition politician Ilya Yashin this winter released an online video entitled „Sobyanin (Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin) is poisoning Moscow with reagent. Why?”, in which he argued city hall was continuing to use the substance so it could award big contracts to preferred businessmen.
This year the city spent a record six billion roubles ($91 million, 79 million euros) on the mix, according to official data.
Yashin said that in the West other salt combinations, sand or roads with better snow resistance were more common.
„The reality is that the chemicals our city services use are far from safe,” the politician said.
– 60,000 snow clearers –
„What’s used in Moscow, before it starts being used, is tested by experts,” the deputy head of the city’s roads department Andrei Sokolov told AFP, however.
„You just need to clean your boots. I clean my own maybe once a week.”
Like others in city hall, he says there is no way Moscow could function without reagent.
„If we didn’t use anti-freezing material, it wouldn’t be physically possible for us to collect all the snow straight away or to clean the roads,” he added.
And, Sokolov suggested, if other countries get by without it, perhaps it’s because their task is not on the same scale as in Russia.
In Europe’s largest city — with an official population of 12 million but likely home to several million more — some 60,000 people and 14,000 vehicles are employed by the Moscow roads department to clear the snow.
This does not include those working for other departments or private contractors.
„I don’t know if it’s harmful or not,” says 64-year-old plough driver Viktor Antonov of reagent, sitting in a traffic jam between the Kremlin and Moskva river.
Antonov is at the front of a dozen-strong convoy of vehicles that are scraping the roads clear before laying anti-freezing agent ahead of further snowfall.
At the back, Evgeny, 30, controls the quantity and spread of reagent from his tobacco smoke-scented truck cabin decorated with a small Russian flag.
The pair and their colleagues spend winter days waiting for the call sending them out on their two-hour, 25-kilometre (15-mile) route through the city centre.
Antonov says of their Sisyphean task: „I’m not against the snow. But it’s important that the streets are clean, and not icy.”
Emergency services admit that not all the bodies may be recovered from the disaster, which occurred at a mine owned by Brazilian company Vale
Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – The toll from a dam collapse at a mine in southeast Brazil has risen to 134 deaths after more than a week of searches, with 199 missing, authorities said Monday.
The count showed the gradual recovery operation of bodies more than a week after the January 25 disaster at the dam, owned by Brazilian mining giant Vale, near the town of Brumadinho.
Those listed as missing are presumed dead, but not yet located under the layers of muddy mining waste released when the tailings dam broke apart. Almost all the victims were workers at the mine.
A fire services spokesman said it was possible that not all the bodies would be located and recovered.
„After a while, because of the decomposition of the bodies, it becomes impossible to recover the remains. But until that moment comes, even if we have to stay four, five or six months, the fire offices will work without stopping,” he said.
The disaster occurred three years after a similar dam collapse tragedy at another mine in the same region which was part-owned by Vale.
That 2015 incident, close to the town of Mariana, had a lower death toll of 19, but was considered Brazil’s worst environmental disaster because the mining waste released ravaged whole ecosystems along hundreds of miles (kilometers) of waterways.
President Jair Bolsonaro, in a statement read to Congress as he recovered in hospital from abdominal surgery, said excessive regulation of Brazil’s mining industry was partly to blame for the Brumadinho dam collapse.
„The government has dozens of overlapping monitoring structures which stop people producing but didn’t prevent the Brumadinho tragedy,” he said.
„It’s not with bigger government that we are going to solve these problems, but with more efficient government,” he said.