Tropical Storm Debby Bearing Down on Florida Panhandle

January 9, 2013

The large, stalled out tropical storm Debby pounded Florida on Sunday and spawned twisters in the central portion of the state that claimed one adult victim. Two tornadoes destroyed four houses in the southern end of Highland County and damaged several others. The victim was found inside a home located in Venus which is in the middle of Florida.

As of 7 pm Sunday, Debby was just over 110 miles south/southwest of Apalachicola, FL according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The storm has already caused trouble and is likely to be responsible for flooding in the days to come. But because Debby stalled out Sunday evening and is not moving, it’s hard for forecasters to say where it will end up.

In Clearwater, rescue personnel responded to 30 calls in an hour as of 6pm Sunday to assist motorists stranded in their vehicles due to flooding. Many Clearwater beach areas were underwater as were many surface streets and at least two major highways. Residents living in low lying areas on the Panhandle were told they must evacuate Sunday evening due to flooding there. With the stores eye taking aim at the Tampa and Petersburg areas, one of the more densely populated regions of Florida could creating a major flooding problem.

The National Weather Service is predicting that Debby will make landfall on the Florida Panhandle Thursday. It is warning however that the storm’s track remains uncertain. The tropical storm could dump up to 15 inches of rain in the Panhandle and on other portions of the state with as much as 25 inches possible in some areas.

The southern portion of Georgia could get up to 10 inches of rain from Debby while parts of coastal Alabama and southeastern Louisiana could see between five to ten inches of rain – raising flooding concerns. This amount of rain on top of recent rainfall and wet ground conditions could cause very serious flooding along the eastern Gulf coast. Heavy rains with storm surges and high tides could cause up to six feet of flooding along Florida’s Big Bend coastline and along the Mississippi coastline where two to four feet deep floodwaters could swamp areas there.

Debby has raised concerns for workers on the nearly 600 oil and gas production platforms located in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell has already evacuated hundreds of workers Saturday and was planning on moving more out. BP has also evacuated most of its offshore staff in the gulf due to the tropical storm.

Debby is a very large storm which has tropical storm force winds of 60 miles per hour extending out 200 miles from its center. If Debby’s wind speeds increase to over 74 miles per hour, it will be upgraded to a hurricane. Whether or not the tropical storm will become a hurricane is not known. However, Debby is already a record-setter as it is the earliest date for the fourth named storm of any tropical season in the Atlantic basin.

Historical Flooding Rocks Northern Minnesota and Parts of Wisconsin

January 9, 2013

What Has Caused the Flooding?
Northern Minnesota has experienced steady torrential rainfall for much of the past 12 hours. This is as a result of flash floods and storm sewers that cannot contain the massive amount of rain that has fallen upon the region. Despite many floods over the last 10 years this flooding has reached historic levels in terms of the magnitude of rain in such a small period of time.

More To Come

Despite the fact that the rain began late last night it is expected to continue until 9 P.M. CST tonight. Flash flood warnings have been issued until around 4:30 P.M. so the full nature of the damage will not be known until after the storm clears. The storm is also proceeding towards the Wisconsin area at this very moment so areas in that state may also experience a similar flooding. The areas that are expected to be affected and that are included in the threat zone are the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, northern Wisconsin, southeastern Nebraska, nearly the entirety of Minnesota, as well as northwestern Missouri and Kansas. Clearly this storm is affecting a great deal of the heartland region of the U.S. These further storms are expected to bring more massive downpours, hail, and strong winds that may cause even further damage to the area.

Affected Areas

While many cities have experienced some sort of flooding the worst flooding has occurred in the Duluth and Superior area. The cities have essentially been shut down and authorities have warned residents to only venture outside of their homes in the case of an emergency. Interstate 35 and downtown tunnels in Duluth have also been closed due to the rains as police have stated sinkholes and washouts have made travel too dangerous to continue. Most local roads in Duluth have also been closed as well as the city hall and the University of Minnesota at Duluth college campus.

Potential Damages
There is not an accurate count of the total monetary amount of the damages inflicted by the storm but it will surely be a significant amount when everything is totaled up following the storm. In addition to the damages that will occur to the houses and businesses in the bigger cities and suburbs the crop damage is also sure to be significant. The crops had already experienced a great deal of rain and this further rain may damage many of the crops and will create a considerably smaller yield from the farmers than expected.

No deaths have been reported yet and hopefully this is not something that will occur as the storm finishes its course.

Flooding in Florida Panhandle force Residents to Flee – Brace for more Rain

January 9, 2013

Torrential rainfalls throughout the Florida Panhandle have damaged homes, businesses, closed roadways and cut off power – prompting residents to seek shelter elsewhere as they readied themselves for more rain.

The storm system that brought the heavy rains also spawned a tornado which knocked down trees and destroyed some out buildings in southeast Alabama. A few houses also sustained damage from the twister. Hundreds of inmates at a jail in Escambia County, Florida were left without power after more than five feet of floodwater filled the bottom floor. Workers spent Sunday pumping excess water out of the jail while extra guards were brought in to keep peace.

Pensacola got over 13 inches of rain Saturday and another 1.9 inches of Sunday. Mobile had nearly 6 inches Saturday with another 2.8 inches falling Sunday – so says the National Weather Service. In and around Gulf Breeze, Florida, dozens of homes were left flooded after storms dumped 4 feet of water there. A few car rescues were made and three swimmers were taken in for medical treatment after they became caught in fast moving flood waters. More rain and thunderstorms are in the forecast for Monday with up to 2 inches expected in some areas.

The American Red Cross’ Panama City chapter was on standby Sunday as officials in Pensacola struggled to deal with some of the worst flooding ever seen there. Many city streets and businesses were completely under water after more than 12 inches of rain fell.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s office has estimated at least $20 million in damages have occurred across the county. Flood damage assessment teams will be inspecting the affected portions of the county once the rains stop and the water recedes. Residents are being warned that they should evacuate now if they see high water in their area because the additional rain that’s on the way is expected to last at least through Monday morning. People are also being told not to leave their homes because many roads are completely impassable. The National Weather Service has said that the total projected rainfall for this weather event across Escambia County is between 20 and 30 inches of rain.

Tropical Storm Beryl Dumps Heavy Rains on Georgia, Florida

January 9, 2013

Tropical Storm Beryl grew weaker over the Memorial Day weekend as it cut a soggy path across the southeastern United States Monday. At around midnight Sunday night the storm swirled ashore in Florida at near hurricane strength.

Beryl is the second named storm of this year’s Atlantic Hurricane season. It has been reminding people living in hurricane-prone areas of the US to take tropical storms seriously as heavy bands of rains pounded the region. Beryl lashed the east coast from northern Florida to the southern portions of North Carolina even after it weakened to a tropical depression at around noon on Memorial Day.

Forecasters are concerned that the slow moving storm which continues to dump heavy rainfall from northern Florida to southern North Carolina could result in widespread flooding. Beryl is expected to dump up to ten inches of rain on some parts of northern Florida and southeast Georgia while some areas could see even more – so says the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

When Beryl made landfall near Jacksonville Sunday night, it packed winds of 70 miles per hour which is just shy of the 74 miles per hour threshold that would have made it a Category 1 hurricane. Forecasters expect the storm to push back out over the ocean Tuesday – posing no threat to oil and gas installations in the Gulf. The storm knocked trees and powerlines down which resulted in power outages in portions of Florida after coming ashore. About 21,000 people lost power Sunday night in the Jacksonville area. The storm also plunged sections of southeast Georgia into darkness overnight Sunday.

Beryl put an end to many Memorial Day outdoor activities across the southeastern US and cut short weekend plans for scores of boaters, campers and swimmers. The good news is that no serious injuries or deaths have been reported thus far from Beryl.

Beryl followed the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season’s first named storm Alberto, which was the earliest forming Atlantic storm in nine years. The hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th although it is not uncommon for storms to form before that.

The National Weather Service stated Monday that tropical storm conditions will continue along the southeastern coastline Tuesday with tropical storm-forced winds being possible as well as heavy bands of rain. High tides could result in coastal flooding of up to two feet along the coasts of Georgia and Florida. Dangerous rip currents are also expected from Florida to the coastline of North Carolina.

Tropical Storm Alberto Ushers in 2012 Hurricane Season Ahead of Schedule

January 9, 2013

Tropical storm Alberto loomed off South Carolina’s coast Sunday, prompting tourist cruises to cancel operations and spawning rain showers along the coastline. Alberto is the first named storm of the 2012 hurricane season, reminding us that the official start of the hurricane season is just around the corner.

This first tropical storm of the 2012 season arrived two weeks ahead of schedule as the season officially kicks off on June 1st.The storm system is on a slow moving, southwesterly track but it’s forecast to turn northeast sometime today (Monday) and head out to sea where it will dissipate. The tropical storm is not expected to grow stronger due in part to a cool, dry air mass to the north and west of the system. Even though Alberto is not going to make landfall, that has not stopped officials in several North Carolina counties from preparing for storms later in the season.

Residents in numerous North Carolina coastal communities are being told that now’s the time to put together emergency storm kits and to agree on family evacuation plans and routes. They are also being told that it’s important to listen to regional and local watches and warnings whenever a tropical storm or hurricane is in the forecast. Many people lose their lives in hurricanes because they don’t heed evacuation orders as was clearly evident during Katrina. People living in coastal regions are also being reminded that it only takes one hurricane to make landfall to make it a very active season for them.

There is expected to be a total of ten named storms this year – four hurricanes and two major hurricanes included in that tally.

South Carolina’s National Guard has been busy preparing for the 2012 hurricane season. Leaders of various units gathered last week to establish headquarters and supply points. They also made plans for moving supply and workers to various points in the state, depending upon where a hurricane might strike. This type of early planning helps the Guard ready its units in case it is called upon by the governor or FEMA.

Homeowners living in hurricane-prone areas still have time to install storm shutters and to check the outside of their homes. It’s highly advisable to repair loose shingles, to clear gutters and storm drains and to cut away tree limbs and dying trees near structures. It’s also advisable to secure large objects such as water or fuel tanks.

Texas Hit by Damaging, Flooding Storms

May 13, 2012

For people living in the southern half of Texas, it has been a stormy, wet end to the week. There were several a href=””> on Thursday as well as numerous reports of tornadoes. Thousands of homes and businesses lost power in the Houston area as thunderstorms moved through Thursday night.

A tornado reportedly touched down in the community of Weimar Thursday night, which is in the southeastern of the Lone Star state. Several people in a trailer there were injured slightly and more than two dozen train cars were derailed due to strong, gusting winds. The high school football field in Weimer sustained heavy damage as the press box and two stadium lights were completely destroyed.

The Houston area has been under a drought as it has received less than an inch of rain over the past three weeks. But with the strong storm system that is hanging over the area now, those drought-like conditions will improve as a total of one to three inches of rain is expected this weekend.

The storm system that is moving into Louisiana is bringing with it heavy rain showers and strong thunderstorms to the region. The system is pulling a great deal of moisture and energy up from the Gulf. People in the storm’s path can expect severe weather this weekend with heavy rainfall, damaging winds, hailstorms and possibly tornadoes.

The severe weather knocked down trees in many areas in northern Texas. Large bolts of lightening were witnessed by several people – striking trees and splitting them in half. Some of the lightening strikes resulted in small fires, downed powerlines and tree limbs being knocked onto cars. In central Texas, several flash flood warnings were issued Thursday evening. Emergency crews in Austin conducted several water rescues Thursday as several residents were trapped inside their flooded homes when creeks and streams flooded over. Several cars were also reported stalled out on Austin-area roads which were overcome with floodwater.

The heaviest rains which will include some severe thunderstorms are predicted to fall along the Gulf Coast in southern Louisiana. People living in portions of Mississippi and Alabama also can expect some wet weather as between two and four inches of rain are forecast for the region. There is a chance that floods could occur in this part of country in low-lying areas.

Will 2012 Set a Record for Tornado Disasters in the US?

April 25, 2012

2011 was a year that saw several major tornado outbreaks in the United States and less than a year later, the twisters are making a huge comeback. Just 3 months into the New Year and the Midwestern and Southeastern states have already reportedly witnessed over a 100 tornadoes. The number will likely come down a bit once official investigations peg a confirmed figure. Billions of dollars have already been lost to these furious twisters and people are starting to wonder if 2012 is going to set a record for tornado disasters in the US!

Billion Dollar Twisters

Over $1 billion worth of property and belongings were damaged in the 5 separate 2011 twister episodes. But early 2012 tornado disasters have already crossed that figure in damages. Uncertain weather conditions and unprecedented climatic changes have put people very much on the edge. In fact, in several towns in states like Alabama where tornadoes struck last year as well, the March 2012 episodes have sucked out all hope from the residents who were still rebuilding their homes and starting over again. People are wondering if their towns have some sort of twister-attracting property that is causing repeat episodes of the disaster.

From what scientists already know about deadly twisters, their path of destruction is quite arbitrary. If you have seen the tornado information series on Discovery Channel or if you have ever experienced a live tornado and lived to tell the tale, you have probably witnessed this phenomenon. Deadly twisters can be very random and change directions as the storm system builds up on strength. Field studies that were conducted in the aftermath of violent tornado disasters have found tornadoes taking the most unpredictable directions as suggested by debris relocated by them. There is no truth in the fact that certain areas have weather systems that attract violent tornadoes. A statistician would in fact, deem it highly unlikely for an area to be struck repeatedly by a tornado. There is clearly no way to predict if 2012 is going to set a record for tornado disasters. Unfortunately, the odds are in favor of the twisters.

Disaster Preparedness Becomes Need of the Hour

Ohio, Kentucky, Kansas, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina and West Virginia are some of the states that suffered tornado outbreaks between February and March 2012. Some of these states came under attack in 2011 as well. Over 50 people have lost their lives in these disasters and some really grim news stories of people including children being carried away from their homes by a tornado, are making waves across the US.

As cities expand and the density of population increases, areas become more vulnerable to tornado disasters. A spate of tornadoes in an area typically knocks off the storm warning systems. Although the National Weather Services forecasts were able to warn people in some areas, the fact remains that despite a high-risk warning some of those places were not hit. State government officials are worried that this may result in future warnings not being taken very seriously. As we have already mentioned, there are no tornado-prone or tornado-proof areas. It is best to take heed of the storm warnings and head for the storm shelters in time. In case of these unpredictable and violent twisters, it is better to be safe than sorry and best to stay clear of their sphere of influence!

The following article and information page was written by with The Disaster Recovery Pros of Jarvis.

Dozens of Tornadoes Reported Across US – Storms Taking Aim on Midwest Sunday

April 15, 2012

Hail the size of baseballs ravaged portions of northeast Nebraska Saturday, damaging many homes and businesses and shattering glass. Dozens of tornadoes were spotted in Kansas and Oklahoma as forecasters were warning people living in the mid-section of the country to be prepared for potentially life threatening weather.

At sunrise Saturday, tornado sirens sounded in Oklahoma City when several twisters were reported outside the metropolitan area. A few homes received damage although no serious injuries were reported. However, the most perilous weather is still being predicted by the National Weather Service. Officials are warning people in the Midwest to be prepared overnight for tornado sirens to sound as many fast moving twisters could develop. There is a very large area of the Midwest that is at risk for tornadoes which includes portions of Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

One of the tornadoes in Oklahoma Saturday struck near the small community of Piedmont – taking a similar course as a twister last spring that killed several people there. Residents of that community have worked together to create several storm shelters in their town.

It was just the second time in history that the Storm Prediction Center put out a serious warning more than twenty-four hours in advance that the tornado outbreak could be “life-threatening”. The last warning of this kind was in April ’06 when dozens of twisters ripped across the southeastern portion of the country – killing twelve people and damaging hundreds of homes in Tennessee.

In Wichita, sixteen aircraft re-fueling tankers were being relocated Saturday at an Air Force base due to the fact that they would be very costly to replace if damaged by large hail or tornadoes. Numerous events were canceled or rescheduled across Kansas on Saturday due to the rapidly deteriorating weather. Significant damage occurred at a mobile home park in Wichita as well to an industrial section of the city’s south side.

Tornado season started early in the United States this year. Already, fifty-seven deaths have been blamed on twisters in the south and Midwest, raising fears that 2012 will be a repeat of 2011 or perhaps even worse. Last year, 550 people lost their lives in tornadoes including over 300 who were killed in April in five states and 161 were lost their lives in Joplin, Missouri in May.

The following article and information page was written by with The Disaster Recovery Pros of Jarvis.

2012 Thus Far has been Interesting as far as Weather is Concerned

April 12, 2012

Unusual weather patterns which have existed across the United States thus far this year have resulted in many records being broken. Record high temperatures dominated across the eastern portion of the country in March resulting in the warmest March for the lower forty-eight states since temperatures were first recorded back in 1895 – so says the National Climate Data Center.

The first quarter of the year was also the warmest on record. The early March tornado outbreak in the Southeast and Ohio Valley region of the country which resulted in dozens of fatalities is the first weather event of the year to exceed the one billion dollar mark as far as damages go.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA stated recently that there were over two hundred and twenty tornadoes reported during March – a month that normally averages eighty tornadoes. Most of the tornado activity occurred across the Ohio Valley and in the southeastern portion of the US and resulted in forty people losing their lives. Total losses from the tornadoes are estimated to be more than $1.5 billion – making this the first event of the year to exceed $1 billion in damages and losses.

A large, turbulent weather system affected Hawaii in early March, resulting in extremely heavy rains and severe thunderstorm activity. A rare tornado struck two communities on Oahu, causing some minor damages. In Alaska, the temperatures during March ranked as the 10th
coolest on record. Another system dropped hail the size of softballs – the largest hailstones on record for the state.

The recent cold season in the United States which runs from October to March was the 2nd warmest on record for the lower forty-eight states. Temperatures averaged 3.8 degrees Fahrenheit above average during that period. The most recent cold season which was warmer than the last was that of 1999 to 2000.

What does this all mean? Is the unusual weather in the country related to global warming? Scientists are not sure. There is a whole lot that we still do not know about the planet’s climate. It simply is not known if the recent unusual weather patterns have been brought on by mankind or were caused due to the natural cycle of the earth. We can only hope that through more research we can be better prepared in the future for unexpected and unusual weather conditions.

The following article and information page was written by with The Disaster Recovery Pros of Jarvis.

How to Prevent Mold and Mildew Growth in your Basement

March 30, 2012

If your basement has a lot of moisture it can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. This can really make your life miserable when you consider the effects it can have on the quality of your health.

When this fungi starts to grow, the mold and mildew spores will start to circulate and spread all over your house and can even deteriorate some of the structure of your house. You can catch mold and mildew growing anywhere in your home, but the basement is probably where you’ll have your biggest problems because of the high levels of moisture down there.

You can get the mold removed professionally or you can try a do it yourself approach. Here is an idea to get rid of any mold or mildew growth you see and stall the future growth of mold in some places you can’t access.

• Scrub the basement floor and walls with disinfectant thoroughly.
There really isn’t much you can do without the help of a pro if there is any growth inside of the floor or walls, but you can clean all of the surface growth you can find. There is a ton of mold and mildew products available for you to use on the market.

When you see any visible discoloration on the floor and walls, use your mold and mildew cleaner on it. Then grab a flashlight and check out those hard to reach type of areas (Mold loves to thrive there) and start moving all of your furniture away from the walls so you can get a good view of the whole surface of the basement.
When you start to clean up all of the mold, make sure you are wearing gloves and a face mask so you don’t get those nasty mold spores all over you and especially in your mouth.

You need to know that mold on concrete basement flooring or walls can be a sign of a very serious problem that can’t be solved by just cleaning the surface. The thing about concrete walls is that they can collect and hold hundreds of gallons of water and provide a pristine environment for mold growth.
Moisture in your home is the enemy, because it is mold and mildews best friend.

A big cause of mold and mildew in your home is high humidity. That means you have got to try your best to remove it as soon as you see it and try to stop all the sources of moisture that you find.

This also means you need to repair any cracks or leaks that you find so you can block water vapors and h20 from getting in there. If you have downspouts that drain on the ground next to your basement, find a way to divert them like using piping to transport the water to the garden or lawn.

Reduce the Humidity
You also have to discourage any future conditions that will help mold and mildew grow in your basement. Using a dehumidifier is a good option, because it will lower the humidity levels in the air so mold growth will be a lot harder in the future.
Of course, the best solution is to prevent mold growth altogether in the first place.

The following article and information page was written by with The Disaster Recovery Pros of Jarvis.

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