weather

Ice Storm Leaves Tens Of Thousands In The Dark

Dec 23, 2013

About 200,000 households are in the dark across the country, after a massive ice storm swept through Midwest and the Eastern Seaboard.

The Associated Press estimates that some 95,000 households are without power in New York, Vermont and Maine. MLive.com reports that 155,000 are without power in Michigan.

Flickr Creative Commons, imrambi

Motorists who fail to remove ice or snow from their vehicles will face possible fines beginning Dec. 31.

The so-called "ice-missile" legislation requires drivers to remove any "threatening" ice or snow from the hood, trunk, and roof of their car or face a $75 fine. Fines will be even higher if the ice or snow causes property damage. Non-commercial motorists could face a $200 to $1000 penalty for each offense. Commercial violators could be fined between $500 and $1200.

Winter won't officially begin for nearly two more weeks, but a winter storm continued to plow across much of the eastern part of the U.S. on Monday, bringing a dangerous mix of snow, ice and freezing rain. The storm knocked out power in some areas, fouled morning commutes and caused more than a thousand flights to be cancelled.

"Heavy snow fell Sunday in the Mid-Atlantic, with more than 8 inches reported in Philadelphia and a foot in nearby Newark, Del.," The Associated Press reports.

Winter Storm Moves Into Mid-Atlantic

Dec 8, 2013

Freezing rain has been creeping across Tennessee on its way to the mid-Atlantic as the stunning cold, snow and ice that gripped Texas and the west on Saturday advance eastward.

The storm is expected to turn Virginia and Pennsylvania into an icy mess today and scrabble north into New York and southern New England tonight.

Roads will be perilous in many places by this evening and forecasters warned travelers and holiday shoppers to stay home.

(This story was updated at 8:30 p.m. ET)

Wind-whipped freezing rain were moving through large parts of the nation on Friday, with the major winter storm blamed for a traffic death in Dallas and the deaths of four people from hypothermia in California.

The Associated Press says "more than a thousand flights have been canceled, football and basketball games postponed and holiday celebrations including town tree lightings and parades curtailed."

Tom Turley / AmeriCares

Stamford-based AmeriCares said it has shipped over $3 million in medical aid to the Philippines, with more to come. 

As I write this, snowstorms are swirling over the East Coast, threatening Thanksgiving holiday travel plans for millions of travelers. How much time in the purgatory of airports will this mean for you? Check out FlightAware's MiseryMap, which combines weather and flight data into a live map that lists which airports are being struck by storms, the number of delays and cancellations, and graphs that show flight destinations and the chances they'll actually make it on time.

Rain, sleet, snow and an estimated 43.4 million Americans traveling to be with family or friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mark Mirko / Hartford Courant

Typhoon Haiyan reportedly killed more than 4,000 people and affected millions more when it struck the Philippines nearly two weeks ago. Among those touched by the storm were Jack and Fe Shanahan, a Connecticut couple with a home in one of the heavily affected towns.

Matthew McDermott / Americares

Nearly two weeks ago Typhoon Haiyan, perhaps the strongest storm on record, ravaged the Philippines. Survivors in the hardest-hit parts of that island nation are still in need of the most basic supplies, like food, water and shelter. On Wednesday, Philippine officials estimated the death toll from the storm at 4,000.

Stamford, Connecticut-based AmeriCares has been in the Philippines since the day after the typhoon, delivering medical supplies, and helping to rebuild hospitals.

Jan Ellen Spiegel / WNPR

The state is opening two new disaster assistance centers on Wednesday to help residents who suffered losses during Superstorm Sandy. One is a mobile center, serving Middlesex County. The other will be located at the Groton senior center. 

Emergency aid workers are rushing this week to get food aid to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines — just the latest reminder of how vulnerable the food supply can be when disaster hits.

The physical damage from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is catastrophic. Hundreds of thousands of people are now homeless.

Soon, though, people will start to rebuild, as they have after similar natural disasters.

How they do it, and where, is increasingly important in places like the Philippines. The island nation lies in a sort of "typhoon alley," and with climate change and rising sea levels, there are more storms in store.

The Philippine-American Association of Connecticut

Filipino organizations in Connecticut are working hard to help their home country recover from the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census report, there are 16,402 Filipinos living in Connecticut. In the hours after the storm hit, they anxiously waited for word on whether their loved ones survived. "I have a brother that's in Cebu, and they are okay," said Cecilia Rogayan, president of the Philippine-American Association of Connecticut

Update at 12:30 p.m. ET:

Grim estimates that the death toll in the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan might be around 10,000 appear to have been "too much," President Benigno Aquino III told CNN Tuesday.

Aquino said that as more information has come in about the devastation, the figure is looking more likely to be between 2,000 to 2,500.

Erik DeCastro / Reuters

Stamford-based Americares has sent a relief team to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. The non-profit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization said days before the typhoon reached landfall, Americares stockpiled relief supplies in the Philippines in anticipation. 

Aid agencies are scrambling to try to get water and food to people in the Philippines who've been left homeless or injured by Typhoon Haiyan.

But reaching some of the areas ravaged by the intense storm is proving difficult. Even when aid can make it onto the islands, it's still not clear what supplies are needed the most.

(Click here for related updates.)

The news from the Philippines, where it's feared that last week's powerful Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 10,000 people, isn't getting better as hundreds of thousands of people struggle to survive and authorities struggle to get help to them.

(Click here for our latest update.)

Meteorologists weren't holding back Friday after watching in amazement as Typhoon Haiyan roared over the Philippines with pounding rain and top sustained winds approaching 200 mph as it neared the coast.

Heather Brandon / WNPR

In Hartford, we at WNPR witnessed a beautiful rainbow to the east, and a gorgeous sunset to the west on Thursday evening. People all over social media noticed it too. Here are a few of their snapshots.

In the two years since a tornado tore through Springfield, Massachusetts a volunteer effort has spearheaded the planting of thousands of new trees.  The work is being done as the U.S. Forest Service conducts a study on the environmental impacts from the loss of the urban tree canopy.

More than 4,400 new trees have been planted in Springfield in the last two years in an effort to restore, largely for later generations, the shade trees that lined streets and filled public parks prior to the June 1, 2011 tornado.

Jan Ellen Spiegel / WNPR

This week marks one year since Superstorm Sandy slammed into the northeast, causing deaths, destroying homes and businesses, and reshaping Connecticut’s shoreline. The storm also caused leaders to rethink our response to major environmental events.

Jan Ellen Spiegel / WNPR

The state will establish a loan fund for shoreline residents who want to raise their homes out of the flood zone. Thousands of shoreline homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed by flooding just one year ago, during Superstorm Sandy. And for many, that was a second time around, after Tropical Storm Irene the year before. 

J Holt

As they contemplate the first anniversary of super storm Sandy, some shore dwellers have given up and moved inland. Others are still determined to rebuild and continue. One shoreline restaurant is about to embark on its second major comeback.

What's being described as the worst storm in years hit Britain before moving across the English Channel to lash the Netherlands, France and Germany. It's claimed as many as 13 lives, The Associated Press reports, and has caused flooding as it whips the region with wind gusts of nearly 100 mph.

The BBC reports:

One year ago Tuesday, Hurricane Sandy bore down on the East Coast, devastating shoreline communities from Florida to Maine.

Many of these areas have been rebuilt, including the Long Beach boardwalk, about 30 miles outside New York City. Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new boardwalk Friday.

Ninety percent of the funding for the restoration came from the federal government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency paid $44 million to repair the devastation.

Cyclone Phailin has struck India's east coast in the Bay of Bengal, where more than 500,000 people have evacuated from vulnerable areas along the coast. Phailin reportedly packed sustained winds of more than 120 mph when the eye of the storm hit; strong winds will likely persist for hours to come.

Update at 3:15 p.m. ET:

Windsor Locks Fire Department

Although Connecticut is not in tornado alley, it still has a place in the record books for violent twisters.

Last week's EF-4 tornado in Nebraska was the first violent October tornado to strike the United States in 34 years. Back in 1979, three people died when a F4 tornado hit Windsor Locks, Connecticut. It was one of the costliest tornadoes in U.S. history.

A weakened Tropical Storm Karen, the first named system this year to threaten the U.S., still has its sights set on the Louisiana coast, but the National Hurricane Center has shifted the system's path a bit.

At 10 a.m. CDT, the storm was about 250 miles south southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving at about 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.

NOLA.com says:

Putnam has banned non-essential water use as of today because the water level in the Little River is low. Residents may not water lawns and gardens or wash cars, and they are urged to conserve water for showers and household cleaning. No rain is expected for several days, which means the ban could last a week or longer.

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