Archive for ‘Disasters’

March 25, 2013

Americans Warned: Home Schoolers Stripped of Rights

Homeschooling

Recently, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said that home schooling is not a parents right. It is a statement some are saying should frighten American parents.Nations like Germany and Sweden show that when governments take away home schooling rights, its a slippery slope to no parental rights. America the Refuge or NotThe Romeike family came to the United States from Germany five years ago hoping to find refuge. They wanted to home-school their children in freedom and a federal judge granted them asylum.But now the Obama administration has been trying to deport them, arguing that home schooling is not a right. The case is currently before a federal appeals court.

via Americans Warned: Home Schoolers Stripped of Rights.

December 7, 2012

FEMA teams told to ‘sightsee’ as Sandy victims suffered | Fox News

Hurry up and wait.

That’s what first responders were left to do after being deployed by FEMA to assist in the storm-ravaged areas in the initial days after superstorm Sandy, FoxNews.com has learned. A FEMA worker who spoke to FoxNews.com described a chaotic scene at New Jersey’s Fort Dix, where emergency workers arrived as the storm bore down on the Atlantic Coast. The worker said officials at the staging area were unprepared and told the incoming responders there was nothing for them to do for nearly four days.

“They told us to hurry, hurry, hurry,” the worker, who works at the agency’s headquarters in Washington and volunteered to deploy for the storm recovery effort. “We rushed to Fort Dix, only to find out that our liaison didn’t even know we were coming.”

“The regional coordinator even said to us, ‘I don’t know why you were rushed here because we don’t need you,’” said the worker, who spoke out of frustration with the lack of planning and coordination following the devastating storm.

via EXCLUSIVE: FEMA teams told to 'sightsee' as Sandy victims suffered | Fox News.

November 8, 2012

Assumption Sinkhole – Acadiana’s Multi-Media Station

For the people of Bayou Corne, a small community in northern Assumption Parish, the first signs of trouble appeared in late May. Streams of bubbles appeared in the water in nearby Bayou Lofourche. Then in early August a series of tremors led to the discovery of a sinkhole. Since then that hole in the ground has continued to grow along with the concerns of local residents and the officials they are looking to for answers.

via Assumption Sinkhole – Acadiana’s Multi-Media Station.

Louisiana’s Assumption Parish sinkhole caused the evacuation of 150 homes in early August and continues to threaten the area with possible explosions due to methane gas pockets. Property owners have not been allowed to return home yet, and businesses are at risk.

Texas Brine Co. began burning off natural gas Friday that was trapped in a water aquifer near a sinkhole in northern Assumption Parish, officials said.

This was the first time state, parish or company officials have been able to get gas to flow from four “vent wells” driven into the ground around the sinkhole in order to draw the dangerous gas out of the aquifer.

Located in the swamps between Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou south of La. 70 South, the sinkhole is more than 5½ acres in size at the surface and has prompted authorities to issue a standing evacuation order on Aug. 3 applying to 150 homes.

Fears that the trapped gas, which is colorless, odorless and potentially explosive, could accumulate to dangerous levels at the surface has further justified the evacuation order, parish officials have said.

via Gas flowing from sinkhole | Home | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA.

November 7, 2012

New York Failed to Heed Advice from Local Storm Experts: Build Sea Walls to Avoid Floods – NYTimes.com

This article appeared on September 10, 2011 in the New York Times, calling for swift action on building disaster-mitigating infrastructure such as “sea walls” around New York City, to prevent Sandy-force hurricane damage post-Irene one year before. As this article shows, one year and almost two months before Superstorm Sandy hit, storm experts were already worried about how vulnerable New York and its environs were to increasingly-violent coastal storm events, now rendered even more so in Sandy’s wake. While some planning experts are calling for 100-year planning horizons, the city had been in the process of spending more than $2 billion over the course of 18 years, clearly a drop in the needs bucket, and too late for Sandy and its aftermath just one year later.

In this Aug. 28, 2011, file photo, a biker makes his way around a taxi stranded in floodwaters of Hurricane Irene, downgraded to a tropical storm, in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan, File)

Only a year ago, [city officials] point out, the city shut down the subway system and ordered the evacuation of 370,000 people as Hurricane Irene barreled up the Atlantic coast. Ultimately, the hurricane weakened to a tropical storm and spared the city, but it exposed how New York is years away from — and billions of dollars short of — armoring itself. “They lack a sense of urgency about this,” said Douglas Hill, an engineer with the Storm Surge Research Group at Stony Brook University, on Long Island. Instead of “planning to be flooded,” as he put it, city, state and federal agencies should be investing in protection like sea gates that could close during a storm and block a surge from Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean into the East River and New York Harbor.

via New York Faces Rising Seas and Slow City Action – NYTimes.com.

Sadly, Hill’s words have been proven true.

November 4, 2012

Superstorm Sandy stops filming of Noah’s Ark

In what could be termed an ironic case of life imitating art, filming of a biblical epic telling the story of Noah and his ark was put on hold this week due to Superstorm Sandy.

Darren Aronofsky’s film, starring Russell Crowe as Noah, was due to be filmed on Monday at locations in New York.

Cast and crew stayed away following warnings about the path of the storm, and two arks built for the production were docked, one in Brooklyn and the other in Oyster Bay in Long Island, an area hit by the storm.

via Superstorm Sandy stops filming of Aronofsky's Noah's Ark epic | The Jewish Chronicle.

November 4, 2012

Haiti: 1.8 Million People Impacted By Sandy, According to UN

Around 1.8 million Haitians have been affected by Hurricane Sandy, according to data collected by the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The number comes after an earlier report saying 1.2 million Haitians faced food insecurity as a result of the storm, which killed 60 people in Haiti.

Up to 2 million people are at risk of malnutrition in Haiti, according to Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the OCHA.

The OCHA, which has expressed continued concern for the nearly 350,000 Haitians still living in tent camps for displaced persons from the 2010 earthquake, said that while most tent residents that had been evacuated before the storm returned home, around 1,500 people remain in 15 hurricane shelters in Haiti.

Late last week, a spokesperson for the UN World Health Organization said there was limited access to health services and restocking supplies due to impassable rivers and damaged and obstructed roads.

The WHO also warned that poor sanitary conditions could increase the risk of cholera transmission, which has reportedly already seen a rise since Sandy.

via Haiti: 1.8 Million People Impacted By Sandy, According to UN.

November 4, 2012

Sandy Victims to Confront Cold, Another Storm | Common Dreams

Cold temperatures and a Nor’easter loom over Sandy survivors still without power and heat. Temperatures dipped down to 39 in New York City Saturday night and are expected to get even colder Sunday night. Weather Underground co-founder Dr. Jeff Masters expects the mid-Atlantic and New England to face an early-season Nor’easter on Wednesday bringing strong winds and heavy rains to areas still affected by Hurricane Sandy.

via Sandy Victims to Confront Cold, Another Storm | Common Dreams.

November 4, 2012

Fun Town Pier at Seaside Heights Destroyed | 6abc.com

The Fun Town Pier in Seaside Heights is now a pile of twisted metal and broken rides lying on the beach as waves lap over it.

It’s one of two piers destroyed in hurricane Sandy where the iconic Ferris wheels seem to be the only thing left standing. “I think anybody who’s ever been to Seaside or grew up here loves this place; this the way I make my living and a lot of other people make their living. They’ll be back,” arcade worker Helen Stewart said. It’s hard to conceive of how long that could take. Seaside Heights and nearby towns are under martial law.

via Seaside Heights residents wait to see what remains | 6abc.com.

November 4, 2012

What’s Really Happening In Blacked-Out Manhattan | Co.Exist

The lack of an official, coordinated door-to-door response here in downtown, close to some of the most affluent neighborhoods in the country, is a bit chilling. Currently across the five boroughs almost half a million people are still without power. If you were going to target people most likely to need help when the power and water is out, it would be the elderly residents of high-rise towers like the ones that surround us. According to a 2011 NYU report, the East Village, Lower East Side, and Chinatown have a population of 169,000. Over 34% of the housing is low-income, 60% more than in the rest of Manhattan, comprising tens of thousands of people. And the lights are out for all of them.

via 1 | Whats Really Happening In Blacked-Out Manhattan | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation.

November 4, 2012

Temporary Fuel Trucks Arriving in NYC and Long Island – 10-gallon maximum | NBC New York

Temporary fuel trucks were being deployed in key locations in New York City and Long Island to help provide free gas to emergency vehicles and the public. Cars will be able to fill up directly from the 5,000 gallon trucks, which are being provided by the Department of Defense in coordination with the National Guard. There is a 10 gallon limit per vehicle.

via Amid Gas Shortage, Pleas for Help from Sandy Victims, Temporary Fuel Trucks Deployed to NYC and LI | NBC New York.

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