New Orleans floods raise questions about city pumping system Associated Press 4 hours ago NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Heavy weekend rainfall in New Orleans overwhelmed the municipal pump stations, leaving parts of the community flooded, and some officials say they’re not satisfied with the city’s response.”Are our city pumps working as they should?” Councilman Jason Williams said, according to local news reports. „If we can’t handle a bad storm, then what will we do when there’s a hurricane?”Williams said the council will meet Tuesday to seek answers.Some neighborhoods saw between 8 and 10 inches (20 and 25 centimeters) of rain over a few hours Saturday. City officials said that was too much for the Sewerage & Water Board’s 24 pump stations to cope with even though all were operating.Some cars got stuck, with water covering their wheels, and people slogged through water that was knee deep and even hip deep in some places. There were also reports of businesses and homes getting water damage.Council members questioned whether the city’s pumping stations were working correctly.The Sewerage and Water Board has maintained that they are.”There is no drainage system in the world that can handle that immediately,” the Sewerage & Water Board’s Executive Director Cedric Grant said, according to WWL . „I continue to tell the people what this system can do. It’s pretty amazing in that it can do one inch of rain in the first hour and a half an inch of rain every hour after that. We are dealing with 8 to 10 inches of rain in three hours. It is not going to be able to pump that in an hour.”NOLA.com reports some candidates for city offices have already raised the city’s flood response as a campaign issue.Deputy Mayor Ryan Berni told reporters the city has no immediate plans to request an emergency declaration from the state, but that could change as the city collects more information on flood damage.City homeland security director Aaron Miller says that with more heavy rain predicted for Monday afternoon, the city’s pumping capacity could be overwhelmed again.
Rare August tornado sends 30 to hospital in Tulsa; no deaths KEN MILLER,Associated Press 4 hours ago OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A rare late summer tornado smashed into a shopping district of Tulsa early Sunday just hours after it was packed with people, sending more than two dozen people to hospitals including two with life-threatening injuries, many of them from restaurants that were either preparing to close or were still open.No deaths were reported from the tornado that struck shortly after 1 a.m. in the midtown area of Tulsa, according to city of Tulsa spokeswoman Kim Meloy.National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Teague said the tornado was rated an EF2, with wind speeds of 111-135 mph and that two smaller, „probably” EF0 tornadoes with winds of 65-85 mph were seen shortly afterward on radar near Inola and Claremore, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east and northeast of Tulsa.Emergency Medical Services Authority spokeswoman Kelli Bruer said the ambulance company transported a total of 13 people to area hospitals, eight from a TGI Fridays restaurant, which lists its closing time as 1 a.m., four from a 24-hour Whataburger restaurant, and one person who was in the area.St. Francis Hospital spokeswoman Lauren Landwerlin said about 30 people were treated at the hospital. Meloy said many people were taken to hospitals by private vehicles.One of the most severely injured was in TGI Fridays and the other was inside the Whataburger, Bruer said.The timing of the storm was fortunate, according to Meloy, because hundreds, if not thousands of people were in the area only hours earlier.”It’s a highly commercial area with a lot of people normally in there. There’s a mall, there’s a movie theater,” in addition to the restaurants, Meloy said. The area also includes some industrial sites.The mall had closed at 9 p.m. Saturday, according to its website. A phone call to the mall was not answered Sunday.The estimated one-square-mile area remained blocked off Sunday while crews worked to remove the debris, Meloy said.Resident Rayvonne Marcheselli told The Associated Press she received a tornado warning on her cellphone about five minutes before the storm hit and was able to get her 16, 17, and 18-year-old sons downstairs in their two-story home.”They pounced on the couch and then the ‘boom’ hit, and I was like ‘what was that?'” Marcheselli said.Later Sunday morning, she saw the damage.”Like a … razor, it just took out a path of trees through here,” Marcheselli said.Some of the damaged power poles leaned precariously over roadways, with power lines dangling to the ground, and forced the closing of Interstate 244 for about two hours immediately after the storm. The wind ripped a „Pet Smart” sign down and it ended up dangling from power lines. The TGI Fridays restaurant was extensively damanged.More than 17,000 customers were without power at one point and about 4,200 remained without electricity Sunday afternoon, according to Public Service Company of Oklahoma.Tornadoes are generally associated with spring months, but weather service meteorologist Amy Jankowski said they can occur any time.”I wouldn’t say outrageously rare, but it is uncommon,” to see an August tornado, Jankowski said.The weather service said thunderstorms with dangerous lightning the most likely threat were expected to continue through Monday._Follow Ken Miller on twitter at @KenMiller7Sign up for the AP’s weekly newsletter showcasing our best reporting from the Midwest and Texas: http://apne.ws/2u1RMfv
U.S.Plane Avoids Rocky Landing at Amsterdam Airport Storyful 4 hours ago 1:30
1:543:270:262:360:22Plane Avoids Rocky Landing at Amsterdam AirportJust twenty meters before landing this Boeing plane came close to a rough landing.The B777 stumbled under the windy weather conditions at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol resulting in a rocky approach to the runway. The plane made a second attempt at the runway ten minutes later and landed safely on the ground. Credit: Schipholhotspot via Storyful
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Miami-Bound American Airlines Flight Bursts Into Flames Pritha Paul,International Business Times Sat, Aug 5 5:59 AM PDT A new footage showing an American Airlines flight bursting into flames last year in October surfaced online Friday. The American Airlines flight 383 was about to take off from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to Miami when the right side of the aircraft caught fire, causing emergency evacuations. It is estimated that the flight lost more than 2,000 gallons of fuel at the time due to fire. The video shows the aircraft picking up speed as it rode down the runway at 147 mph, leaving a trail of black smoke behind, before it slowed down and came to a complete stop, according to the Telegraph. The flight was carrying 161 passengers at the time of the crash. It could have proved to be quite disastrous if the pilots had not taken the split decision of aborting plans of a take-off and follow emergency protocols to ensure the safety of everyone onboard. The crew too acted swiftly and deployed emergency chutes.Read: American Airlines Crew Forced Passenger To Sit Next To Masturbating Man, Woman ClaimsTwo minutes and 21 seconds after the plane went up in flames and it came to a halt, all the passengers and the plane crew was back on the land, at a safe distance from the burning aircraft.One of the flight attendants described the scene inside the plane as chaotic with the panicked passengers jumping over the seats in order to get to the exit, according to an NBC report. The crew member also said that even though she could see the flames cover the right wing of the plane, she failed in communicating the same to the captain, despite several attempts to do so.It was reported that no one was hurt in the incident.Read: American Airlines Flight Reportedly Delayed For Hours Over ‘Urine Smell’According to the Telegraph, the Boeing 767 blew a tire, part of which smashed through fuel lines to one of the engines, which caused the flight to be engulfed in flames in minutes. However, NBC Chicago puts the cause of the fire to a fan disk in the right engine flying apart.”Immediately, passengers were at the door, pleading to get off the airplane,” the NTSB said in a report, New York Daily News reported. „The 4L slide deployed, but was blowing towards the rear of the airplane because the engine was still running.”The video footage shows several fire engines rushing to the scene and trying to put the fire off. At the time, investigators looked at whether “dry bays” above the engines, which are designed solely to prevent an incident from metal shards from entering into fuel tanks in the wing, were faulty.
10 people hospitalized after unexpected turbulence on an American Airlines flight Martha Tesema,Mashable 12 hours ago American Airlines Flight 759 headed from Athens, Greece to Philadelphia experienced extreme, unexpected turbulence that left 10 people (passengers and crew) hospitalized, according to reports.The flight had almost 300 people on board and eventually landed safely in Philadelphia. Jessica Huseman, a reporter on the flight, tweeted her experience after the plane had safely landed in Philadelphia. SEE ALSO: American Airlines delayed a flight because the plane smelled like pee„Turbulence on flight was so insane and unexpected a flight attendant dislocated his shoulder,” she tweeted.”Some passengers are injured as well. We all used our fleece blankets to mop the ceiling of the plane down after drinks went flying,” she continued, before praising the American Airlines attendants. Huseman explained that the flight attendants had just handed out drinks to passengers, which meant when the plane began experiencing turbulence, beverages went flying. According to a report from Action News, an Philadelphia ABC affiliate, people also went flying within the aircraft. „Thirty minutes out. They were giving us our drinks,” passenger Ian Smith told Action News. „The flight attendants were in the last couple rows when they said ‘fasten your seat belts.’ And then they said for the flight attendants to get to their seats, and they didn’t even have time. It started shaking, then it took a big drop. Babies screaming, people in front of us hitting the ceiling,” Smith said.In a statement made to Fox News Travel, American Airlines explained what happened after the „severe turbulence.” „The seat belt sign was on at the time. Three passengers and seven crew members were transported to a local hospital for evaluation. We are taking care of our passengers and our crew members at this time and want to thank our team members for keeping our passengers safe,” a statement read. WATCH: NASA is looking for a planetary protection officer to keep space safe
WABC – NY Flight lands safely in Philadelphia after extreme turbulence; 10 injured
WABC – NY 14 hours ago At least ten people have been hospitalized after an American Airlines flight from Athens, Greece experienced extreme turbulence prior to landing in Philadelphia.
U.S.Some wildfires simply can’t be fought Los Angeles Times 17 hours agoThere is a cadence to fire season and a predictability to the headlines: A wildfire is burning, homes are threatened, residents are urged to evacuate.We’ve grown used to watching the air-and-ground assaults. The image of a DC-10 dumping retardant on burning brush is an indelible symbol of our attempt to control nature. We’ve come to expect that firefighters will bring flames into submission because they so often have — and this has made us comfortable.Perhaps too comfortable. Despite the reassuring images of firefighters conquering wildfires, the truth is that once a large fire is burning, there’s very little that firefighters can do to stop it, or to protect homes nearby. Faced with the decision to risk their lives to save somebody’s property or let the property burn, firefighters know that there is only one sensible choice.Fire feeds on grass and fallen leaves. It uses brush and toppled branches to climb onto the crowns of trees, where it then takes off. You cannot subdue rushing flames with shovels, picks, power saws and axes — the tools that firefighters carry. The best strategy is to retreat.
Toxic waste from U.S. pot farms alarms experts By Sharon Bernstein,Reuters 13 hours ago Toxic waste from U.S. pot farms alarms expertsScroll back up to restore default view.By Sharon Bernstein WEAVERVILLE, Calif. (Reuters) – Pollution from illegal marijuana farms deep in California’s national forests is far worse than previously thought, and has turned thousands of acres into waste dumps so toxic that simply touching plants has landed law enforcement officers in the hospital.The volume of banned or restricted pesticides and illegally applied fertilizers in the woods dwarfs estimates by the U.S. Forest Service in 2014, when a top enforcement official testified that the pollution was threatening forest land in California and other states.California accounts for more than 90 percent of illegal U.S. marijuana farming, with much of it exported to other states from thousands of sites hidden deep inside forested federal land, and more on private property, law enforcement officials said. The state is still developing a licensing system for growers even though legal retail sales of the drug will begin next year, and medical use has been allowed for decades.Ecologist Mourad Gabriel, who documents the issue for the Forest Service as well as other state, local and federal law enforcement agencies, estimates California’s forests hold 41 times more solid fertilizers and 80 times more liquid pesticides than Forest Service investigators found in 2013.Growers use fertilizers and pesticides long restricted or banned in the United States, including carbofuran and zinc phosphide. In previous years, it was commonly sold fertilizers and pesticides that were used illegally, law enforcement officials said.Exposure to the pesticides has sent at least five law enforcement officials and two suspects to hospitals with skin rashes, respiratory problems and other symptoms, court documents and state data show.Use of any chemicals in national forests is against federal law, as pesticides have killed sensitive species and fertilizers can cause algae blooms and bacteria problems in rivers and streams.According to unpublished data seen by Reuters, Gabriel, who has visited more than 100 sites in California and is widely considered the top expert on toxics at marijuana farms, calculated that federal land in California contains 731,000 pounds of solid fertilizer, 491,000 ounces of concentrated liquid fertilizer and 200,000 ounces of toxic pesticides.If much of the pesticide and fertilizer were released into a single stream rather than scattered around the state in leaky containers, the volume would exceed the amount of chemicals spilled in 2014 into the Elk River in West Virginia, which left 300,000 residents without access to potable water.”We’re getting contamination over and over again at those locations,” said Gabriel, as toxins move from unsafe containers into the soil and water.At sites that state officials said they had cleaned up completely, his team found 30-50 percent of the chemicals were still there.”They are like superfund sites,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar, whose Fresno office has filed numerous marijuana-related environmental damage cases. Superfund sites are those targeted by the U.S. government for hazardous waste cleanup because of the risk to human health or the environment.Federal prosecutors have also charged pot growers with environmental crimes in Alaska, Oregon and Washington.The most toxic sites cost as much as $100,000 to clean up, leaving taxpayers with a bill that could reach $100 million or more in California alone.”These places aren’t safe to go into,” said state Assemblyman Jim Wood, who has pushed for cleanup funding.Use of toxics has grown over the past three to four years, and chemicals have been found at sites in Oregon and Washington as well, said Chris Boehm, the Forest Service’s assistant director for enforcement and investigation. „In the last couple years we’ve lost a lot of the ground we had picked up in eradicating and cleaning up the new sites we find.”The expense and danger of cleanup has created a backlog of 639 illegal marijuana farms awaiting restoration in California, according to U.S. Forest Service data compiled for Reuters. Each farm covers up to 50 acres.Gabriel said that figure understated the problem, and pointed out that toxics are used at thousands of illegal farms on private and tribal land. After a year or two, growers often abandon sites, leaving containers of chemicals so toxic a quarter-teaspoon could kill a bear.As California moves to license growers, officials plan to regulate the use of chemicals. But rules can only be enforced against those who cultivate pot legally.”There are a lot of incentives for continuing to grow illegally,” said Washington Fish and Wildlife Deputy Chief Mike Cenci, citing growers’ distaste for taxes and red tape.”We’ve got 4,000 illegal grows in our county,” said Keith Groves, a supervisor of Trinity County in Northern California. „I’ll be happy if we can get 500 of them to become licensed.”(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Ben Klayman and Richard Chang)
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