Hurricane Paulette knocks out power in Bermuda but moves on by Don Burgess•Hurricane Paulette batters Bermuda, on the Hinson Island By Don Burgess HAMILTON, Bermuda (Reuters) – Hurricane Paulette knocked out power lines in much of Bermuda on Monday but eventually appeared to have caused only limited damage even as swells reached as far as the east coast of the United States.The storm lingered over the British territory longer than initially forecast by the Bermuda Weather Service.In an address to the island, Premier David Burt said there were no deaths, no serious injuries and less property damage than expected. „We have weathered the storm,” Burt said.But a spokesperson for BELCO, the local electricity company, said 25,222 customers out of 36,000 lost power. In the evening there were still almost 14,700 people in the dark.Later in the day, its eye was still located west of Bermuda, which lies about 650 miles (1,050 km) east of the United States, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).
It was picking up speed, hitting a maximum sustained speed of 105 miles (169 km) per hour with higher gusts but moving gradually north-northeastward from the Atlantic archipelago and into open water, NHC said.
Swells were reaching parts of the Leeward Islands, the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas, Bermuda and the east cost of the United States, the Miami-based center said.
Another hurricane, Sally, was headed toward the U.S. Gulf Coast on Monday. [nL1N2GB0IB]
„The back side of the storm is always the worst,” said Ann Botelho, one of the residents who lost power for most of the day in reference to heavy rains.
Lt Col Benjamin Beasley, command of the Royal Bermuda Regiment, said soldiers started road cleanups. „We are not through it yet,” he said, adding that the island is now watching tropical storms Vicky and Teddy.
Both are currently in the Atlantic basin. While Vicky is weakening, Teddy is strengthening and expected to become a hurricane on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Don Burgess; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Christopher Cushing)
A newly formed hurricane is closing in on the US Gulf Coast, threatening several southern US states including Florida, Mississippi and Alabama.
Hurricane Sally grew to a category two storm on Monday and was expected to make landfall early on Wednesday.
The hurricane will bring more than 1ft (30cm) of rain and 85mph (135km/h) winds to some areas, with the potential of deadly storm surges, officials say.
This year’s hurricane season has been particularly active.
For only the second time in recorded history, there are five tropical storms churning in the Atlantic basin at the same time.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, whose state is still recovering from Hurricane Laura last month, tweeted on Monday to warn residents to „be smart and be safe”.
Alabama and Mississippi each declared states of emergency in anticipation of the hurricane, which at 21:00 GMT on Monday was located 145 miles south-east of Biloxi, Mississippi, and moving towards land at a rate of 6mph.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said Sally was expected to make landfall near Biloxi at about 02:00 (06:00 GMT) on Wednesday.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm had shifted and was not expected to directly hit Louisiana, but could still cause storm surges that could trigger major floods.
„Additional strengthening is forecast tonight and early Tuesday and Sally is expected to be a dangerous hurricane when it moves onshore,” the NHC warned.
In New Orleans, residents who live outside the city’s levee protection system have been ordered to evacuate their homes.
As of Monday, almost 80,000 homes in Louisiana were without power as a result of Hurricane Laura, which hit three weeks earlier.
In addition to Sally, there are four other tropical cyclones – Paulette, Rene, Teddy and Vicky – swirling in the Atlantic Ocean basin.
If only one more storm is officially named – Wilfred has already been chosen – meteorologists will begin naming new storms after the Greek alphabet.
Climate change experts attribute the pace of major hurricane development this year – as well as the severity of wildfires currently sweeping the US West Coast – to the effects of climate change.
Mississippi residents and those living in low-lying areas in Louisiana were under evacuation orders as Sally churned across the Gulf of Mexico, gaining hurricane strength on Monday.
BAY ST. LOUIS RESIDENT, TERRY (NO LAST NAME GIVEN): „So we have to take precautions of everything right now, making sure that we have everything for the storm, making sure that if they say leave, we will leave.”
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said Sally is a slow but powerful storm, expected to make landfall as a category 2 hurricane in the southeast part of the state as early as Tuesday.
„What we know with a slow-moving storm, if one of those bands settle over part of Louisiana, we know that flooding is going to be a big concern.”
Sally could dump 8 to 16 inches of rain on the coast and could cause widespread flooding.
Thousands of Louisiana residents are still living in temporary housing after they evacuated for Hurricane Laura, whose damaging winds and rains wrecked havoc just weeks ago.
Other residents are still clearing debris and tens of thousands are still without power.. Sally’s path remains east of that hard-hit area.
„The past 24-hours have shown a couple of shifts eastward on the track for Hurricane Sally… Obviously, if that continues to happen, that’s good news for our state, it is not good news for our neighbors in Mississippi and in Alabama.”
Energy companies in the U.S. Gulf have slowed or cut refinery output and scrambled to pull workers from offshore oil and gas production platforms.
Sally is the 18th named storm in the Atlantic this year and will be the eighth of tropical storm or hurricane strength to hit the United States.
– Mississippi residents, and those living in low-lying areas in Louisiana, were under evacuation orders, as Sally churned across the Gulf of Mexico, gaining hurricane strength on Monday.
– I’m very concerned. When they say evacuate, we have to go, and I leave. We leave, my whole family leaves.
– Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said Sally is a slow, but powerful storm, expected to make landfall as a category 2 hurricane in the southeast part of the state as early as Tuesday.
JOHN BEL EDWARDS: What we know with a slow-moving storm– if one of those bands of rain settles over part of Louisiana, we know that flooding is going to be a big concern.
– Sally could dump 8 to 16 inches of rain on the coast, and could cause widespread flooding. Thousands of Louisiana residents are still living in temporary housing after they evacuated for Hurricane Laura, whose damaging winds and rains wreaked havoc just weeks ago. Other residents are still clearing debris, and tens of thousands are still without power. Sally’s path remains east of that hard-hit area.
JOHN BEL EDWARDS: The past 24 hours or so have shown a couple of shifts eastward on the track for Hurricane Sally. Obviously, if that continues to happen, that’s good news for our state. It is not bad news to our neighbors in Mississippi and in Alabama.
– Energy companies in the US Gulf have slowed or cut refinery output, and scrambled to pull workers from offshore oil and gas production platforms. Sally is the 18th named storm in the Atlantic this year, and will be the eighth of tropical storm or hurricane strength to hit the United States.
U.S. Coast Guard crews took part in a harrowing rescue of two people who were stuck on a listless boat that was caught in high winds and heavy seas off Key West during Tropical Storm Sally this weekend.
The storm became a hurricane after it left the Keys, with its sights set on the Gulf Coast.
During the operation, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer who was lowered into the water from a helicopter struggled in the rough seas to reach the vessel for so long that the chopper had to return to Miami because it was running low on fuel, according to a Coast Guard press release.
The action began Sunday evening around 6:30 p.m. west of Ponce de Leon Bay off Key West when the sailors called Coast Guard Sector Key West to report their engine was disabled and they were in danger of capsizing.
Other than the MH-65 helicopter crew, the Coast Guard also sent the Cutter Raymond Evans.
After the helicopter returned to Air Station Miami, the rescue swimmer stayed in the water trying to get to the sailboat, according to the press release.
An airplane was sent from Miami to provide aid to the swimmer, but he continued to have trouble getting to the vessel in the 6- to 10-foot seas, with winds blowing at 35 mph, the press release stated.
The cutter launched a small boat crew, which picked up the rescue swimmer early Sunday morning and then the two people on the sailboat.
The press release stated the boat owners contracted a towing company to recover the vessel.
“Florida weather during hurricane season is unpredictable,” Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven Evens said in a statement. “It is important that mariners check the weather before going out on the water, whether it’s a day trip or longer.”
Firm bolsters network to maintain critical voice, data service during tropical cyclone
BILOXI, Miss., Sept. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — With parts of Mississippi and Alabama in the cross hairs of Hurricane Sally, C Spire’s bolstered network and highly-trained staff is ready to respond to any emergencies or widespread natural disasters caused by the rapidly strengthening tropical cyclone.
Company officials deployed one of its cell on light trucks (CoLTs) to the Mississippi Gulf Coast on Highway 67 over the weekend to support state and local emergency response efforts, topped off generators with fuel at cell sites and switching facilities, tested high-capacity back up batteries at cell sites and sandbagged several sites to protect from flooding.
Hurricane Sally is expected to make landfall early Tuesday as a Category 2 storm with 96 mph winds or greater, but could strengthen even more with dangerous storm surge, winds and flash flooding from torrential rainfall. The slow-moving storm is currently located about 150 southeast of Biloxi.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has declared a state of emergency and several coastal communities and low-lying areas have been evacuated in anticipation of storm surge that could reach 11 feet in some areas. Federal officials already have approved the state’s disaster relief request ahead of the storm.
„We’re all praying for the best, but preparing for the worst,” said C Spire CTO Carla Lewis. „When disaster strikes, people depend on telecommunications as a lifeline to the outside world. We are committed to providing our customers with the best network coverage possible for all of their communications at the time of greatest need.”
Lewis said all C Spire employees and contractors, along with an extensive suite of network resources, will be on „high alert” throughout this week to respond to the slow-moving storm. The firm also is ready to activate its Emergency Response and Crisis Communications plans, which guide the use of resources and personnel.
C Spire routinely takes precautionary steps and puts restoration teams through various training and test scenarios and masses equipment and materials to protect critical network facilities and cell sites. The company uses back up batteries and diesel generators at mobile sties and switching centers and makes arrangements for replacement fuel supplies in case normal fuel delivery options are interrupted by commercial power outages or road closures.
The company operates multiple hurricane-ready „super switches” that provide added protection and service assurance for customers. The high-tech telecommunications switching facilities are designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 155 miles an hour, connect millions of calls, wireless data transmissions, video content and other critical services daily for consumer and business customers. In addition to hardened and reinforced shells, the all-steel and concrete buildings house large-scale 500-kilowatt diesel power generators, a grid of back up batteries and other redundant back-up systems, operations and technologies.
Some of the structures feature a 9-inch think external steel-reinforced precast concrete walls welded to 6-foot-wide spread footings. In addition to multiple redundant power feeds, the buildings also boast giant diesel generators each capable of producing 1.65 megawatts of continuous power, enough to light thousands of homes and businesses.
C Spire also relies on an extensive network of microwave technology that can circumvent damaged or destroyed landline systems and ensure that communications can be routed to their final destination, Lewis said. „Microwave technology can assist with communications during natural disasters when landline systems are down,” she added.
In addition, C Spire offers companies of all sizes a suite of disaster recovery and business continuity services through commercial data centers that operate 24/7/365 with the industry’s highest design, construction and operation certification through the Uptime Institute.
The company is coordinating its emergency response efforts with local, state and federal agencies and organizations, including the emergency response agencies in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service, the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.
About C Spire
C Spire is a privately-held telecommunications and technology company driven to deliver the best experiences in wireless, fiber internet, and business IT solutions such as internet, VoIP, cloud and managed services. Read more news releases and announcements at cspire.com/news. For more information, visit cspire.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Dauphin Island, Alabama — As the time to prepare for Hurricane Sally runs out, the storm’s threat is coming into focus. Forecasters are expecting a storm surge of up to 11 feet for parts of the Gulf Coast and up to 16 inches of rainfall. Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have all declared a state of emergency.
More than 17 million people are in the path of the Category 2 hurricane. Hundreds of miles of coastline are under storm watches and warnings. There’s a possibility that Sally will turn into astorm with maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph before it makes landfall Tuesday afternoon.
Andrew Gilich, the mayor of Biloxi, Mississippi, is concerned about the storm surge. „We’re hearing, of course, it’s changing almost every hour, 7 to 11 feet of storm surge,” he said. „That’s what kills people.”
Earlier forecasts showed the hurricane making a direct hit on New Orleans. Sally is tracking east, but officials still aren’t taking any chances. CBS News was there as flood gates closed, and the city braces for a potential storm surge.
The system was put into place after Hurricane Katrina. The idea is that the metal doors will close and minimize the water going into the city.
Even before intensifying, Sally had already dumped close to a foot of rain which led to flooding in parts of Florida, like the Keys.
The National Hurricane Center is predicting the storm surge will be deadly and officials are urging people to get out.
NHC said in its latest advisory that Sally’s outer rain bands are moving onshore in the Florida panhandle. The hurricane center said Sally is about 100 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi River and 135 miles southeast of Biloxi, moving west-northwest at 5 mph.
Australian officials say they will try to guide a humpback whale out of a crocodile-infested river in the Northern Territory after it got lost and ended up 30km (18.5 miles) inland.
The whale and others were on an annual sea migration when some of them „took a wrong turn”, experts believe.
Two whales were later able to swim out of the river, but at least one remains.
It’s the first known instance of a whale being found in crocodile territory so far inland in Australia.
Given its estimated 16m (52 ft) length, the humpback is considered unlikely to be disturbed by crocodiles.
But that risk could escalate if the whale were to become stranded in the shallow waters, officials said on Monday.
Wait, what happened?
The whales were spotted last week in the East Alligator River by people boating in the Kakadu National Park – Australia’s biggest national park and a World Heritage-listed site.
The sight of the animals swimming along the muddy bends of the river – so far from open water – has amazed locals.
„It’s something that’s never been recorded before – not just in the Northern Territory – but [in] Australia. It’s really, really unusual,” said Carole Palmer, a marine ecosystems scientist for the territory’s government.
It was hard to determine if more than one whale needed assistance because of the river’s „murky brown water”, she added.
How did the whales get there?
Ms Palmer told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that experts weren’t sure „why these whales took a wrong turn” off the country’s north coast.
It is thought they had been heading south to Antarctica but mistakenly entered an estuary which took them further upstream into the river system.
Whales migrate to warmer waters off Australia during spring to give birth before heading back to Antarctica to feed.
Is there danger?
Although the river teems with saltwater crocodiles, experts do not expect a confrontation.
But if the whale becomes trapped in the shallow bends and washes up on a bank „it’s an easy feed for them,” Ms Palmer told the ABC.
„There’s no way we can lift a 12-16m humpback whale off the sandbar and that’s potentially when the crocs would kick in.”
What are officials doing to help?
To clear a path to the ocean, boats have been banned along part of the river.
It had been hoped the whale would leave on its own, but it has remained around the deepest section of the river – about 20km from sea.
Ms Palmer said officials were considering several options to draw it out, such as using „noisy sound” from nearby boats or recordings of humpback whale calls.
„It’s tricky on every level, but everyone is really trying to move forward with this in the most positive way that we can,” she said.
On October 11 last year, the World Wildlife Foundation tweeted a video of four bison being released into Badlands National Park. They spill from the trailer at the top of the hill and tumble down into the snowy expanse below, urged on by the ululations of the staffers above. If bison can look happy, these four do. They’d soon link up with the existing Badlands herd of almost 1,200 fellow bison; like cows, they are very social creatures.
Typical WWF videos get 3 to 4 million views. This one received 15 million. The discrepancy is an encouraging sign for conservationists and bison lovers. Bison are the unlikely recipients of a grassroots affection typically reserved for the pandas, elephants, and tigers. But the online love for the creatures also points to a conundrum: How does one take all that love and channel it to save America’s national mammal?
Though Teddy Roosevelt led a push to bring back bison in the early 1900s, for the last half-century the constituency for returning massive herds of bison to the Great Plains has largely been limited to the nonprofit world and Native Americans. Conservationist groups such as the WWF have expertise and money to burn: more than $2 million in the past five years. They work largely with indigenous groups, for whom bison can have spiritual, social, and economic value.
But the political forces arrayed against rewilding are many, and they make reasonable points. In an age when buying a new home is still easiest in recently developed areas, why restrict land from being turned to profitable use? And no matter how financially successful small- or medium-scale butchering becomes, it will be difficult to compete with the cattle conglomerates that supply the nation’s supermarkets with cheap beef. Moreover, many proposals to repopulate national parks would require closing grazing land that is currently leased to private interests.