Damaged Oroville spillway in California prompts mass evacuations

February 13, 2017 by  
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Winter storms continue to drench California , and over the weekend people living near Oroville in Northern California faced a crisis. After officials noticed a hole in the emergency spillway at the United States’ tallest dam , around 180,000 residents were ordered to evacuate , some given just one hour to flee their homes. Flooding in the area had been a threat for around a week as the reservoir behind Oroville Dam reached capacity. When the main spillway started eroding, officials opened an emergency spillway that’s never been used since the dam was built in the 1960’s. But then officials noticed the hole, and ordered evacuations on Sunday. Some residents had just one hour’s notice before officials feared the auxiliary spillway could fail, which could precipitate “an uncontrolled release of flood waters from Lake Oroville,” according to the National Weather Service . Related: Record winter storm pounds California Late Sunday reservoir water levels finally lowered, providing a bit of a respite. But officials said evacuations should continue, and conditions are still perilous. Governor Jerry Brown proclaimed a state of emergency on Sunday for three counties , saying in a statement, “I’ve been in close contact with emergency personnel managing the situation in Oroville throughout the weekend and it’s clear the circumstances are complex and rapidly changing.” During the night evacuation shelters were still being outfitted with blankets and beds, according to NPR. Gizmodo reports residents of Oroville, Wheatland, Marysville, Plumas Lake, Hallwood, and Olivehurst were told to evacuate. According to the Los Angeles Times, if the emergency spillway failed, large amounts of water could gush into the Feather River, which travels through downtown Oroville. Flooding and levee failures would likely follow in the wake of a spillway failure for miles south of the Oroville Dam. Many communities could be flooded if that were to happen. Via NPR , the Los Angeles Times , and Gizmodo Images via California Department of Water Resources Facebook and Wikimedia Commons

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Damaged Oroville spillway in California prompts mass evacuations

Historic tram depot reborn as chic co-working space and restaurant in Amsterdam

February 13, 2017 by  
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As if charming canals and beautiful bicycle paths weren’t reasons enough to visit Amsterdam, the cosmopolitan city just welcomed another beautiful landmark with a gorgeous multipurpose space for both work and play. Converted from a former tram depot in Amsterdam west by design firm Studio Modijefsky , the cavernous Kanarie Club is a stunning example of adaptive reuse that’s refreshingly modern without compromising the building’s historic integrity. Although Amsterdam is better known for its canals, the city also prides itself on its extensive tram network still in use today. To pay tribute to the old trams, the architects carefully preserved elements of the De Hallen tram depot, formerly used to service broken trams, during the restoration process. The new interior pays homage to the materials and color palette of the 19th century tram depot, from the custom-made furniture that mimics the vintage design of old electric tram seats to the tram signage and language adopted for the restaurant signage. The architects bring greater attention to the old trams with light-integrated arches and enclaves aligned with the tram rails in the ground. Tall vaulted ceilings, skylights, and large windows fill the venue with natural light, while the open layout adds to the sense of spaciousness. Exposed brick, industrial lighting, and multiple references to the tram depot’s history give the space an industrial chic vibe, while the bold colors, strings of light, and tropical plants gives it a playful edge. The centrally located bar placed atop a platform forms the focal point of the venue. Level changes help delineate different spaces. During the day the Kanarie Club functions more as co-working space and is outfitted with lockers, charging points, and built-in USBs. The space also has restaurant amenities and a kitchen. Related: Old potato barns come back to life as a pair of modern and stylish homes The most playful space in the Kanarie Club is the Pool Bar, a lounge area with a blue-painted pool that has no water. Studio Modijefsky writes: “The concept is taken from the squatters who used to live in the old tram depot before its renovation, they used the leaking water from the ceiling to create an inside pool for themselves. The new pool however will not be filled with water. With round comfy cushions and a splash of blue everywhere, it’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a cocktail. Made out of blue rubber with a stroke of matching tiles, the pool is complimented with a typical pool railing and a wavy mirror element on the bar lift. Pool signs and graphics with a direct reference to swimming pool rules have been used in the space to emphasize the identity of this part of the interior.” + Studio Modijefsky Images by Maarten Willemstein

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Historic tram depot reborn as chic co-working space and restaurant in Amsterdam

Unprecedented Louisiana flooding forced tens of thousands to evacuate

August 15, 2016 by  
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Over the weekend, heavy rains across the southern United States caused severe flooding in Louisiana , putting tens of thousands of local residents in danger. Creeks and rivers near Baton Rouge overflowed, and water rushed into streets and homes faster than many people anticipated. Officials say over 20,000 residents have been rescued so far from the north and east parts of the cities, stretching west past Lafayette. So far, at least six people have been killed by the floodwaters. Of those who have perished in the floods to date, three were motorists drowned when their cars were swept away after many major roadways were overtaken by water. The floods left many other drivers stranded, but state officials report that all surviving motorists were rescued from the roads by Sunday evening. The flooding has destroyed thousands of homes and displaced at least 10,000 local residents so far. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards requested an emergency declaration, which President Barack Obama granted on Sunday, allowing the state to tap into federal funds for continued recovery and relief efforts. Related: 26-acre Louisiana sinkhole swallows whole trees in 30 seconds (VIDEO) The storms that spurred the flooding have dispersed, but officials say that does not mean the worst is over. As tributaries and backwaters continue to fill, fed by already swollen rivers upstream, more flooding is expected. How severe or widespread the flooding will be is anyone’s guess. “The simple fact of the matter here is we’re breaking records,” the governor told reporters on Sunday. “And any time you break a record, the National Weather Service cannot tell you what you can expect in the way of the floodwaters: how wide they’re going to be and how deep they’re going to be.” Although southern Louisiana caught the brunt of flooding from the weekend storms, the National Weather Service has a ‘flash flood threat’ warning in effect across the south and midwest, stretching from Texas to the Ohio River valley. That alert will continue through Wednesday, as more rains are expected across the region. + How to help Louisiana flood victims Via New York Times and NOLA.com Images via Wikipedia and Red Cross Mid-South

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Unprecedented Louisiana flooding forced tens of thousands to evacuate

South Carolina braces for another onslaught of flood waters

October 8, 2015 by  
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Hurricane Joaquin is long gone and the heavy rains have subsided in South Carolina, but flooding continues to devastate areas of the state , as rivers run over and dams threaten to burst. Two more people were killed Wednesday in the flood waters, bringing the death toll for the coastal state to 17. Although federal aid has been approved for the region, the storm’s damage isn’t yet complete. And now additional flooding is expected in the coming days as dams become weak, threatening even more residents with an onslaught of flood waters. Read the rest of South Carolina braces for another onslaught of flood waters

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South Carolina braces for another onslaught of flood waters

California’s devastating Valley Fire spread so fast, homeowners couldn’t collect their belongings

September 14, 2015 by  
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Wildfires have been scorching parts of California, Washington , and Alaska this summer. Over the weekend, two more huge blazes ignited outside Sacramento and have already consumed thousands of acres of forestlands, as well as nearly 1,000 homes and business. The fires spread so quickly that many residents didn’t have time to gather their belongings before evacuating. The severity of the damage has spurred California Governor Jerry Brown to declare of state of emergency, as over 100,000 acres continue to burn. Read the rest of California’s devastating Valley Fire spread so fast, homeowners couldn’t collect their belongings

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California’s devastating Valley Fire spread so fast, homeowners couldn’t collect their belongings

Obama Blames Global Warming for California Drought, Pledges $183 Million in Aid

February 17, 2014 by  
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In response to one of the most serious droughts to hit California in decades, President Obama has promised hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid to help residents cope. The past three years have seen  below-average rainfall, putting 17 communities and many famers at risk of literally running out of water within the next three months. While Obama’s offer of $183 million in drought relief funds has been welcomed by those in the rural and agricultural areas most affected by the drought , his attempts to link the water shortage to climate change have not been so appreciated. Read the rest of Obama Blames Global Warming for California Drought, Pledges $183 Million in Aid Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: barack obama , california agriculture , california drought , california state of emergency , california water conservation , Climate Change , extreme weather , federal disaster relief , federal drought relief , global warming , president obama , state of emergency        

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Obama Blames Global Warming for California Drought, Pledges $183 Million in Aid

The ‘Fire Tracker’ Online Tool Monitors Yosemite Rim Fire Damage

August 27, 2013 by  
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Thousands of firefighters have descended upon the “ Rim Fire ” blazing in Yosemite National Park. A new online tool launched by Southern California radio station KPCC allows visitors to monitor the progress of the inferno and those struggling to contain the disaster. The site also keeps track of structures threatened, damaged, and the total number of injuries. Statistics on recent fires are available for comparison, and conditions and road closures are updated regularly. The massive fire has already burned an area the size of Chicago, consuming over 160,000 acres at time of press. Read the rest of The ‘Fire Tracker’ Online Tool Monitors Yosemite Rim Fire Damage Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: chicago , fire conditions , fire tracker tool , firefighters , hetch hetchy valley , hydroelectic plant , kpcc , kqed , los angeles times , news fix blog , power supply , Rim Fire , San Francisco , state of emergency , water supply , wildfire , yosemite national park        

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The ‘Fire Tracker’ Online Tool Monitors Yosemite Rim Fire Damage

City of Dallas Bombarded With Duet Pesticide to Kill West Nile Virus Mosquitoes

August 17, 2012 by  
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Crop duster photo from Shutterstock

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City of Dallas Bombarded With Duet Pesticide to Kill West Nile Virus Mosquitoes

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