Third “Pineapple express” storm in five days wreaks havoc on West Coast

San Diego to get better warning of severe storms        Blasting out of the Pacific, the third and most powerful “Pineapple Express” storm of the week swept over the Bay Area Sunday morning, dumping heavy rain on a region already soaked to the roots and

 reeling from power outages and flooding. “It’s a mess,” said CHP Officer James Evans. “We’ve got flooding everywhere.” The triple whammy toppled trees and power lines, snarled traffic, caused accidents on slippery roadways and cut electrical power to about 297,000 customers in the region, including BART riders who were stranded on subway cars during a harrowing, one-hour outage early Sunday morning. Measured by rainfall and wind, this was one of the most powerful storm events since October 2009, said Jan Null, a meteorologist with the Golden Gate Weather Services. Pineapple Express is a term for warm weather fronts that start in the southwest Pacific and head toward California. This one started north of Hawaii, Null said.

“It was a pretty significant series of storms,” he said. The storms actually swept through over a five-day period from Wednesday to Sunday, allowing some time for drowning areas to drain out. “If we had no breaks, it could have been worse.” After the first two storms saturated Bay Area flatlands and hillsides late last week, the National Weather Service issued flash-flood warnings over the weekend for Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties, including Ben Lomond and Boulder Creek, after as much as one inch of rain per hour fell in the area. And some of those predictions came true: On Sunday morning, authorities in Santa Cruz reported trees into power lines at several spots throughout the county. There were also two rock slides on Highway 17 — the narrow, winding connecting road between San Jose and Santa Cruz. The first slide was near Sugar Loaf Road and the second was reported at Glenwood Cutoff. Both required work but no major problems resulted. Although the Santa Cruz Mountains saw the heaviest rainfall, no part of the Bay Area was spared from the storms and the treacherous driving conditions they created.

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Flooding Affects Dozens Of Scottish Homes

Mandy Strachan clears flood water from a shop in Aberfoyle which has been flooded after the River Forth burst its banks.Residents have been Evacuated from their homes after Scottish villages were affected by Flooding after heavy Rain.Residents in Comrie, Perthshire, were forced to leave when the Water of Ruchill burst its banks just before 8am .Tayside Fire and Rescue Service said about 70 firefighters and 10 appliances were at the scene, including water rescue teams.The flooding has extended into large parts of Dalginross, Camp Road, Bank Road, Tay Avenue, Glebe Road and Duke Road, the fire service said.Roads around Dalginross have been closed by police and an emergency rest centre has been set up by Perth and Kinross Council at Strathearn leisure centre in nearby Crieff. Properties have also been flooded in Dunblane, Aberfoyle and Callander, a spokesman for Central Scotland Fire and Rescue Service said, leading to the main street in Aberfoyle being closed in both directions.A Red Cross spokesman said the volunteers, who are based in Dundee, have helped more than 20 people who were evacuated from their properties, including a number of elderly people from two care homes.

Other volunteers have been standing by in a specially-equipped Red Cross Fire and Emergency Services Support (FESS) vehicle, which is an adapted mobile home where people can be given shelter, first aid, emotional support and dry clothing.Robert Colburn, Red Cross senior service manager for east Scotland, said: “Our FESS team were called in by Tayside Fire and Rescue at about 11.15am.”Just 20 minutes later, we were asked to send in emergency response volunteers by the Scottish Ambulance Service. “Our main duties are to look after the welfare of people arriving at the rest centre and to give as much help as we can to the emergency services.”All Red Cross FESS and emergency response volunteers are highly-trained in the skills needed to look after people in times of crisis such as flooding or house fires.”As an emergency response organisation, the Red Cross has vast experience of helping people in all sorts of crises.”Rab Middlemiss, group manager at Tayside Fire and Rescue, said that about 30 people who had moved out of their homes because of flooding in Comrie in August had again been hit by the severe weather. Source:Sky News

At least 48 dead, millions without power in Sandy’s aftermath

The misery of superstorm Sandy’s devastation grew Tuesday as millions along the U.S. East Coast faced life without power or mass transit for days, and huge swaths of New York City remained eerily quiet. The U.S. death toll climbed to at least 48, many of the victims killed by falling trees, and rescue work continued.

The storm that made landfall in New Jersey on Monday evening with hurricane force cut power to more than 8.2 million across the East and put the presidential campaign on hold just one week before Election Day.

New York was among the hardest hit, with its financial heart closed for a second day. The storm caused the worst damage in the 108-year history of the city’s subway system, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it could be four or five days before the biggest U.S. transit system was running again.

“This was a devastating storm, maybe the worst that we have ever experienced,” Bloomberg said.

But the full extent of the damage in New Jersey was being revealed as morning arrived. Emergency crews fanned out to rescue hundreds.

A hoarse-voiced New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave bleak news at a morning news conference: Seaside rail lines washed away. No safe place on the state’s barrier islands for him to land. Parts of the coast still under water.

“It is beyond anything I thought I’d ever see,” he said. “It is a devastating sight right now.”

The death toll from Sandy in the U.S. included several killed by falling trees. Sandy killed 18 people in New York City. It also killed 69 people in the Caribbean before making its way up the Eastern Seaboard.

Airlines canceled more than 15,000 flights. New York City’s three major airports remained closed.

Some bridges into the city reopened at midday, but most major tunnels and bridges remained closed, as were schools and Broadway theaters.

The storm sent a nearly 14-foot surge of seawater, a record, coursing over Lower Manhattan‘s seawalls and highways and into low-lying streets. The water inundated tunnels, subway stations and the electrical system that powers Wall Street and sent hospital patients and tourists scrambling for safety. Skyscrapers swayed and creaked in winds that partially toppled a crane 74 stories above Midtown. A large tanker ship ran aground on the city’s Staten Island.

Around midday, Sandy was about 120 miles east of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, pushing westward with winds of 45 mph, and was expected to make a turn into New York State on Tuesday night. Although weakening as it goes, the storm will continue to bring heavy rain and flooding, said Daniel Brown of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Sandy also brought blizzard conditions to West Virginia and neighboring Appalachian states, with more than 2 feet of snow expected in some places.

Sandy will end up causing about $20 billion in property damage and $10 billion to $30 billion more in lost business, making it one of the costliest natural disasters on record in the U.S., according to IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm.

President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in New York and Long Island, making federal funding available to residents of the area. He suspended campaigning for a third day Wednesday, and planned to join Christie in viewing the damage in New Jersey.

Obama, speaking during a stop Tuesday at Red Cross headquarters, warned the public that the massive storm that struck the East Coast “is not yet over.” He said there were still risks of flooding and downed power lines. He called the storm “heartbreaking for the nation.”

The president offered his thoughts and prayers to those affected and told them “America is with you.” He said he also told government officials coordinating the response that there was “no excuse for inaction.”

And he said he told governors in affected areas that if they get no for an answer, “they can call me personally at the White House.”

Republican challenger Mitt Romney resumed his campaign, but with plans to turn a political rally in Ohio into a “storm relief event.”

Water cascaded into the gaping, unfinished construction pit at the World Trade Center, and the New York Stock Exchange was closed for a second day, the first time that has happened because of weather since the Blizzard of 1888. The NYSE said it will reopen on Wednesday.

A fire raged in a neighborhood Tuesday morning in the borough of Queens, near the Atlantic Ocean, with 80 to 100 homes destroyed but no deaths reported.

“This will be one for the record books,” said John Miksad, senior vice president for electric operations at Consolidated Edison, which had more than 670,000 customers without power in and around New York City.

In New Jersey, where the superstorm came ashore, Sandy cut off barrier islands, swept houses from their foundations and washed amusement pier rides into the ocean. It also wrecked several boardwalks up and down the coast, tearing away a section of Atlantic City’s world-famous promenade. Atlantic City’s 12 waterfront casinos came through largely unscathed.

A huge swell of water swept over the small town of Moonachie, and authorities struggled to rescue about 800 people, some of them living in a trailer park. Police and fire officials used boats to try to reach the stranded.

The massive storm reached well into the Midwest with heavy rain and snow. Chicago officials warned residents to stay away from the Lake Michigan shore as the city prepared for winds of up to 60 mph and waves exceeding 24 feet well into Wednesday.

Curiosity turned to concern overnight as New York City residents watched whole neighborhoods disappear into darkness as power was cut. The World Trade Center site was a glowing ghost near the tip of Lower Manhattan. Residents reported seeing no lights but the strobes of emergency vehicles and the glimpses of flashlights in nearby apartments. Lobbies were flooded, cars floated and people started to worry about food.

As Hurricane Sandy closed in on the Northeast, it converged with a cold-weather system that turned it into a monstrous hybrid of rain and high winds — even bringing snow in West Virginia and other mountainous areas inland.

Just before it made landfall, forecasters stripped Sandy of hurricane status, but the distinction was purely technical, based on its shape and internal temperature. It still packed hurricane-force winds.

While the hurricane’s 90 mph (144 kph) winds registered as only a Category 1 on a scale of five, it packed “astoundingly low” barometric pressure, giving it terrific energy to push water inland, said Kerry Emanuel, a professor of meteorology at MIT.

New York University’s Tisch Hospital was forced to evacuate 200 patients after its backup generator failed. NYU Medical Dean Robert Grossman said patients — among them 20 babies from the neonatal intensive care unit who were on battery-powered respirators — had to be carried down staircases and to dozens of ambulances waiting to take them to other hospitals.

A construction crane atop a $1.5 billion luxury high-rise overlooking Central Park collapsed in high winds and dangled precariously. Thousands of people were ordered to leave several nearby buildings as a precaution.

Bloomberg told reporters that the storm deaths were tragic but said the city pulled through better than some people expected, considering the magnitude of the storm.

The mayor said: “We will get through the days ahead by doing what we always do in tough times — by standing together, shoulder to shoulder, ready to help a neighbor, comfort a stranger and get the city we love back on its feet.”

Click for updates from the MTA website

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/weather/2012/10/30/at-least-17-dead-millions-without-power-in-sandy-aftermath/?intcmp=trending#ixzz2ArRlcGHm

Sandy Makes New York City Look Like “The Day After Tomorrow” Movie

The Day After Tomorrow hits home

This morning millions of people on the East Coast are facing flooded homes, fallen trees and widespread power outages caused by the giant storm, which swamped New York City’s subway system and submerged streets in Manhattan’s financial district.

Battle: More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze fire in the Breezy Point section, but they are still putting out some pockets of fire

Sandy, one of the biggest storms to ever descend on the country, hit the mainland at 6.30pm local time yesterday having laid waste to large parts of the coast during the day.

The storm that made landfall in New Jersey yesterday evening with 80 mph sustained winds killed at least 18 people in seven states, cut power to more than 7.4 million homes and businesses from the Carolinas to Ohio, caused scares at two nuclear power plants and stopped the presidential campaign cold.

New York was among the hardest hit, with its financial heart in Lower Manhattan shuttered for a second day and seawater cascading into the still-gaping construction pit at the World Trade Center.

Looking down: These shocking views taken from high-rise buildings in Manhattan show the extent of flooding in New York City after it was hit by Superstorm Sandy

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the death toll in the city from the huge storm is up to 10. He also says it could be three days or more before power is restored to hundreds of thousands of people now in the dark.

He is giving no estimate on when public transit would be running, though he expects some buses be running later today. He said there have nor been any storm-related fatalities in NYC hospitals.

Among the dead in New York were two children killed instantly by a falling tree in Westchester County, a woman electrocuted to death by falling wires in Manhattan and a 29-year-old man killed in a car crash in Queens. A 30-year-old man was also killed when a tree fell on his house in Flushing, Queens.

Extraordinary: This CCTV photo shows flood waters from Hurricane Sandy rushing in to the Hoboken PATH train station through an elevator shaft in New Jersey

The storm caused the worst damage in the 108-year history of New York’s extensive subway system, according to Joseph Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

‘This will be one for the record books,’ said John Miksad, senior vice president for electric operations at Consolidated Edison, which had more than 670,000 customers without power in and around New York City.

An unprecedented 13-foot surge of seawater – 3 feet above the previous record – gushed into Gotham, inundating tunnels, subway stations and the electrical system that powers Wall Street, and sent hospital patients and tourists scrambling for safety.

Curiosity turned to concern overnight as New York City residents watched whole neighborhoods disappear into darkness as power was cut.

The World Trade Center site was a glowing ghost near the tip of Lower Manhattan.

Residents reported seeing no lights but the strobes of emergency vehicles and the glimpses of flashlights in nearby apartments. Lobbies were flooded, cars floated and people started to worry about food.

A huge fire destroyed 80 to 100 houses in a flooded beachfront neighborhood Tuesday, forcing firefighters to undertake daring rescues and injuring three people.

More than 190 firefighters contained the blaze but were still putting out some pockets of fire more than nine hours after it erupted.

Raging: More than 50 homes have been destroyed at Breezy Point in the Queens area of New York, as a result of Hurricane Sandy
Beached: A 168-foot water tanker, the John B. Caddell, sits on the shore where it ran aground on Front Street in the Stapleton neighborhood of New York's Staten Island

Beached: A 168-foot water tanker, the John B. Caddell, sits on the shore where it ran aground on Front Street in the Stapleton neighborhood of New York’s Staten Island

As daylight broke, neighbors walked around aimlessly through their smoke-filled Breezy Point neighborhood, which sits on the Rockaway peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. Electrical wires dangled within feet of the street.

View from above: This aerial photograph shows burned-out homes in the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York after the fire

Fleet in the floods: Yellow cabs in a parking lot are surrounded by water after Superstorm Sandy struck Hoboken, New Jersey

Water, water everywhere: An aerial view of flooding on the bay side of Seaside, New Jersey

source – Daily Mail UK

All 19 children confirmed dead in China landslide

(Oct 6, 2012) Rescuers have found the bodies of all 19 children buried when a landslide engulfed their primary school in China as they made up classes lost due to recent deadly earthquakes, state media said Friday. The landslide, triggered by sustained rains, buried the school and three farmhouses on Thursday in the village of Zhenhe in Yunnan province where a pair of earthquakes last month killed 81 people and injured hundreds. Any last hope for survivors evaporated early Friday when rescuers pulled the body of the last missing child from the landslide debris, China National Radio said in a report on its website. The disaster in the village of Zhenhe is likely to raise questions over why the children had been brought back into the school, located in a deep mountain valley, when the rest of China was on a week-long national holiday. But local officials have said the children needed to make up class time lost due to disruptions stemming from the September 7 earthquakes. China has a highly competitive education system built around cramming for high-stress testing that determines entry into good schools later. A local villager also was buried under the rubble and has yet to be found by rescuers, China National Radio said. State media reports initially identified the school as the Youfang Primary School, but subsequent reports have said its official name is the Tiantou Primary School. School safety is a sensitive issue in China after thousands of students died when an 8.0-magnitude tremor centred in Sichuan province rocked the southwest of the country in 2008. Many schools collapsed in that quake, which killed more than 80,000 people.