AuthorTopic: The Strafing Run of Mother Nature  (Read 22099 times)

Offline Eddie

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Re: The Strafing Run of Mother Nature
« Reply #375 on: September 18, 2018, 08:56:00 AM »
What a fine mess. Looks like it's going to be bad for some time. Wow!

On the comparison scale, it will be interesting to see how quick they can get BAU up and running again in NC, compared to Puerto Rico.

I can't tell you how bad the trucking logistics are right now with huge stretches of both the I-40 and I-95 closed.  I must have driven both those roads 100 times at least, and working around them is an enormous re-route.  Besides that, fixing those roads won't be cheap, and you can't do it in a day or even a week.

RE

Enjoy this picture of the mighty Amazon as it wends it's way to the south Atlantic.

Uh, no.

That's Interstate 40 in North Carolina.



What the guy in the canoe said.....it's surreal. Wow! Just WOW!
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Re: The Strafing Run of Mother Nature
« Reply #376 on: September 18, 2018, 09:07:59 AM »
What a fine mess. Looks like it's going to be bad for some time. Wow!

On the comparison scale, it will be interesting to see how quick they can get BAU up and running again in NC, compared to Puerto Rico.

I can't tell you how bad the trucking logistics are right now with huge stretches of both the I-40 and I-95 closed.  I must have driven both those roads 100 times at least, and working around them is an enormous re-route.  Besides that, fixing those roads won't be cheap, and you can't do it in a day or even a week.

RE

Enjoy this picture of the mighty Amazon as it wends it's way to the south Atlantic.

Uh, no.

That's Interstate 40 in North Carolina.



Maybe they can turn it into a Canal!  Wilmington can be the New Venice!

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Offline Eddie

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Re: The Strafing Run of Mother Nature
« Reply #377 on: September 18, 2018, 09:54:10 AM »
I'm envisioning a Venetian gondola, but turned into an airboat, like an airboat from the Everglades. NC has some long stretches to cover. Speed would be a factor.

I can't even find a fake image of this. I might once again be the first person to come up with a great idea. Happens to me all the time.

Feel free anyone, to build it. I'm an idea man.
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💩The Strafing Run: Neck Deep in Pig Shit
« Reply #378 on: September 18, 2018, 04:46:40 PM »
That should be a fun cleanup.  ::)  Remind me not to buy Sweet Potatoes from NC.

RE

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/09/18/649132289/florence-engulfs-hog-farms-and-chicken-houses-thrashing-north-carolina-agricultu

Food For Thought
Florence Engulfs Hog Farms And Chicken Houses, Thrashing North Carolina Agriculture


2:46

    Download

September 18, 20181:39 PM ET
Heard on All Things Considered
Dan Charles

Dan Charles
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A flooded farm stands next to the Lumber River on Monday in this aerial photograph taken after Hurricane Florence hit Lumberton, N.C.
Charles Mostoller/Bloomberg /Bloomberg via Getty Images

Farmers across the southeastern part of North Carolina are just starting to report details about the hit they've taken from Hurricane Florence. The rain is over, but rivers still are rising, and the full picture of damage to farms and the surrounding environment probably won't be known for weeks.

Before the hurricane, many were worried about thousands of open-air ponds where farmers store manure from their hogs, allowing the waste to decompose. According to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, as of noon on Sept. 18, the walls on four of these "lagoons" had failed, allowing manure to escape. Nine additional lagoons had been inundated by flooding from nearby streams, and 13 had received so much rainfall that they had overflowed their banks. Several dozen more were at or near the limit of what they can hold.
Florence Death Toll Rises To 32 As Rivers Continue To Flood In N.C. And S.C.
National
Florence Death Toll Rises To 32 As Rivers Continue To Flood In N.C. And S.C.

These lagoons have already been the focus of intense political controversy in North Carolina. Some residents who live near them have filed lawsuits against a large pork processor, accusing the company of creating a public nuisance and environmental hazard, and won million-dollar judgments.

After Hurricane Floyd, in 1999, the state of North Carolina bought out many hog farmers and permanently shut down hundreds of manure lagoons that lay within the flood plains of rivers.
How Has Tropical Storm Florence Affected You?
National
How Is Tropical Storm Florence Affecting You?

A spokesperson for the state said that officials do not yet have any information on the number of hogs that may have been trapped by floodwaters. During Hurricane Floyd, thousands of hogs drowned.

State officials have not yet carried out their own inspections of hog farms, and they're relying on farmers to report any damage. Some farms still may not have power or phone service.

Sanderson Farms, a poultry company with big operations in North Carolina, says that 60 of its 880 production chicken houses in the state have flooded. As a result, 1.7 million birds died, out of a total population of about 20 million. In addition, four out of 92 "breeder" houses flooded. These crucial farms are where mature chickens lay the eggs from which the baby chicks hatch. According to the company, an additional 30 chicken houses holding 6 million birds near the town of Lumberton have been cut off by flood waters, and those birds could die if the company can't resupply them with feed.

North Carolina's farms grow about half of the country's sweet potatoes, and Florence hit right at the start of harvest. "There's no way I can tell you" how much damage the flooding will cause, says Regan Boyette, with Boyette Brothers Produce in Wilson, N.C. It depends on how quickly farmers can get into the fields to resume harvesting. If sweet potatoes sit in waterlogged fields for too long, they can rot.
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🌊 Floodwaters Rise In Carolinas, Taking Lives And Prompting Environmental
« Reply #379 on: September 19, 2018, 02:59:05 AM »



Floodwaters Rise In Carolinas, Taking Lives And Prompting Environmental Concerns

September 18, 20183:53 PM ET

Laurel Wamsley


A church is surrounded by floodwaters from Hurricane Florence on Monday, in Conway, S.C.
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Updated at 4:45 a.m. ET on Wednesday

As former hurricane Florence marches on to New England, the Carolinas remain inundated with waters that just keep rising.

"I know for many people this feels like a nightmare that just won't end. I know many people are tired of the present and are scared of the future," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday, The Associated Press reports. "But please know we will not give up on you."


Left: Jimmy Shackleford, 74, of Burgaw transports his son Jim, his wife Lisa, and their pets Izzy, Bella and Nala in the bucket of his tractor as the Northeast Cape Fear River breaks its banks in Burgaw, N.C. on Monday. Right: A mobile home sits off its foundation, knocked loose by floodwaters from Hurricane Florence near the Nuese River in Kinston, N.C. on Monday.
Jonathan Drake/Reuters; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Florence is now a post-tropical cyclone, which the National Weather Service is describing as an "increasingly elongated low pressure area," which continues to dump heavy rain over the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England, where flash flood warnings are in effect in some places.

Twenty-seven of the 37 deaths attributed to the storm have been in North Carolina, where Florence and its floodwaters have caused significant damage in the state. First responders have made more than 4,000 rescues, approximately 10,000 people are in shelters, and the state has set up four mass-feeding kitchens.

In a news conference Tuesday, Cooper warned that sunshine doesn't mean the threat is over, and rivers continue to rise. The state has 16 rivers at major flood stage; three still have not yet peaked.


George Skinner, 83, is comforted by his neighbor Mary Ann Dunn after their homes were damaged by floodwaters from the Nuese River in Kinston, N.C., on Monday. Since the creek behind his home first overflowed during Hurricane Floyd in 1999, Skinner said each subsequent storm has produced worse flooding. After Hurricane Florence, his whole family is leaving and does not plan on returning.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

North Carolina state troopers say they've responded to 126 collisions in a 24-hour period. Road closures are widespread: more than 1,100 roads are shut down, including 255 primary roadways. Interstates 95 and 40 are closed in 19 different locations.

In the state's Pender County, drone footage showed a section of I-4 that looked more like a river.

In eastern North Carolina, the Little River continues to rise, but the Cape Fear River crested at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday at 61.51 feet. By 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, it was at 59 feet, higher than it reached during 2016's Hurricane Matthew.

People are being urged to not go around or move barriers in the roadways.

"Even though the heavy rains have ended, the flood hazard to life and property is real. Do not become complacent," the city of Fayetteville and Cumberland County said in a statement.


Lumberton Fire and Rescue members help a resident walk through flooded waters in Lumberton, N.C., on Monday.
Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

In Wilmington, the mayor said two routes into the city were now open, but people who have evacuated are asked to stay away for now, the AP reports.

Reporting from near Fayetteville, N.C., NPR's Sarah McCammon told Morning Edition that the Cape Fear River had risen significantly in the previous 24 hours.

"That rain has to go somewhere, it flows from the basin upstream down into the Cape Fear river," Amy Cannon, County Manager for Cumberland County, told McCammon. "So it's not just our rainfall that we need to be concerned with, it's all the other tributaries in our own basin and the rain that's collected at a higher level."

In Conway, S.C., some residents are concerned that a new wall meant to keep the highway to Myrtle Beach from flooding will instead push waters into their town.


Bob Richling carries Iris Darden as water from the Little River starts to seep into her home in Spring Lake, N.C. on Monday.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

"It's never been done before. They can't say for certain what it might do," Conway resident Joe Holmes told the AP on Monday. "Why is that highway so important? Why can't they just fly food and fuel in? We've got a big airport."

Conway's city administrator told the AP that the South Carolina Department of Transportation told city officials that the damming effect of the barrier would be negligible, and that if the river crests as high as is expected, nearly 1,000 homes will be flooded either way.

The floodwaters are also causing environmental concerns in the region. One major worry is the North Carolina's many hog lagoons, full of waste from pig farms.
Hog Farmers Scramble to Drain Waste Pools Ahead Of Hurricane Florence
The Salt
Hog Farmers Scramble to Drain Waste Pools Ahead Of Hurricane Florence

As NPR reported before the storm, the waste is usually kept in large open ponds.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality says that walls on four of these lagoons had failed, spilling manure. Nine other lagoons have been inundated, and 13 more have overtopped their banks.
Florence Engulfs Hog Farms And Chicken Houses, Thrashing North Carolina Agriculture
The Salt
Florence Engulfs Hog Farms And Chicken Houses, Thrashing North Carolina Agriculture

"North Carolina allows all this dangerous waste to be stored next to its flooding coastal — and, for that matter, inland — rivers," Frank Holleman, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, told the Raleigh News & Observer. "How long do we have to go through this until we decide it's too much risk?"

He noted that landfills, hazardous waste dumps, factories, and coal ash ponds are all located near the Cape Fear and Neuse Rivers in the eastern part of the state.

A small levy breached due to flooding from Hurricane Florence in Rocky Point, N.C. on Monday.
Steve Helber/AP

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority said on Friday that flooding had caused more than 5 million gallons of partially treated wastewater to spill from its sewage plant and into the Cape Fear River, according to the News & Observer. Two smaller sewage spills were reported in Johnston County.

At least one of Duke Energy's coal ash landfills was damaged by Florence, causing at least 2,000 cubic yards of coal ash to flow out of its site near Wilmington.

Sanderson Farms, a major poultry producer in North Carolina, said more 1.7 million chickens were killed by floodwaters, out of a total population of 20 million.
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💩The Strafing Run:Swimming in Pig Shit
« Reply #380 on: September 19, 2018, 05:25:40 AM »
That's a LOT of shit! 💩

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Lagoons of Pig Waste Are Overflowing After Florence. Yes, That’s as Nasty as It Sounds.


A hog farm in eastern North Carolina on Monday. The pink area is a lagoon of pig excrement.CreditCreditRodrigo Gutierrez/Reuters
Kendra Pierre-Louis

By Kendra Pierre-Louis

    Sept. 19, 2018

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The record-breaking rains that started with Hurricane Florence are continuing to strain North Carolina’s hog lagoons.

Because of the storm, at least 77 lagoons in the state have either released pig waste into the environment or are at imminent risk of doing so, according to data issued Tuesday by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. That tally more than doubled from the day before, when the department’s count was 34.

When a pig in a large-scale farm urinates or defecates, the waste falls through slatted floors into holding troughs below. Those troughs are periodically flushed into an earthen hole in the ground called a lagoon in a mixture of water, pig excrement and anaerobic bacteria. The bacteria digest the slurry and also give lagoons their bubble gum-pink coloration.

North Carolina has 9.7 million pigs that produce 10 billion gallons of manure, mostly on large-scale farms, primarily in low-lying Sampson and Dupin counties. Both counties were affected by Florence.

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When storms like Florence hit, lagoons can release their waste into the environment through structural damage, for example, when rains erode the banks of a lagoon and cause breaches. They can also overflow from rainfall or be swept over by floodwaters.
Florence Floodwaters Breach Coal Ash Pond and Imperil Other Toxic Sites

The storm has begun washing coal ash, which contains toxic residue, out of a storage pond in North Carolina. The flooding is also raising fears about Superfund sites, chemical plants and hog farms with waste lagoons.
Sept. 13, 2018

Whatever the cause, the result when a lagoon leaks can be environmental trouble. If the untreated waste enters rivers, for example, algal blooms and mass fish die-offs can happen, as they did in 1999 during Hurricane Floyd. That year, many animals drowned in lagoon slurry.

Hog lagoons and the associated large-scale farms, also known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, have been a sore spot in the eastern part of the state where residents say that the operations harm their health and well-being.

A recent Duke University study published online this week found that those complaints may have some merit.

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“Life expectancy in North Carolina communities near hog CAFOs remains low, even after adjusting for socioeconomic factors that are known to affect people’s health and life span,” Dr. H. Kim Lyerly, a professor of cancer research at Duke, said in a statement. The Duke study stops short of drawing a causal link.
Voices of Experience
We asked survivors of past hurricanes to share advice.
Tips for Life After Florence, From Those Who’ve Been There
Sept. 18, 2018

Last week, Andy Curliss, chief executive of the North Carolina Pork Council, said that the pig producers had learned a lot from Hurricane Floyd. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew caused 14 lagoons to flood but none breached, according to the pork council.

“A lot of the farms that were flooded were bought out and closed,” he said. “That’s why you didn’t see the same impact in Matthew — we had maybe 15 floods, no breaches.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, the North Carolina Pork Council’s website listed only 26 lagoons as affected by the storm, far fewer than the number cited by the Department of Environmental Quality.

As Florence approached, farmers tried to free up more space in lagoons ahead of the storm by spraying manure onto fields, said Heather Overton, a spokeswoman for the state’s Agriculture Department.

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Will Hendrick, a staff attorney with the environmental nonprofit group Waterkeeper Alliance, said that manure sprayed on fields could run off into rivers, streams, and groundwater supplies if the fields flooded.
Image
A pig farm in eastern North Carolina photographed by Waterkeeper Alliance on Monday.CreditRick Dove/Waterkeeper Alliance

Excess nitrates in groundwater, such as those associated with pig manure, are linked with health problems such as blue baby syndrome. In some cases of the syndrome, nitrogen binds to the hemoglobin in a baby’s blood and makes red blood cells unable to carry oxygen. The syndrome’s name comes from the fact that the lack of oxygen causes the baby’s skin to take on a bluish tint. The syndrome can also be caused by heart defects.

Part of the problem, said Alexis Andiman, an associate attorney with the environmental nonprofit law firm Earthjustice, is that storm standards for pig lagoons currently date from the 1960s.

As part of a settlement for a lawsuit that Earthjustice levied against the state, “the storm standard will be tied to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration standard from 2006,” Ms. Andiman said. “But that’s still kind of old.”

The Department of Environmental Quality’s data is self-reported by farmers, many whom may have left their farms to avoid the storm surge and floodwaters. The number of spills reported could increase as more farmers make their way back to their farms. But luckily, in a region that has struggled with too much rain, the rest of the week’s forecast is mostly sunny.

For more news on climate and the environment, follow @NYTClimate on Twitter.
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Kendra Pierre-Louis is a reporter on the climate team. Before joining The Times in 2017, she covered science and the environment for Popular Science. @kendrawrites
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Offline Eddie

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Re: The Strafing Run of Mother Nature
« Reply #381 on: September 19, 2018, 06:24:55 AM »
I wonder how many pigs a farm that size raises at one time. That's a LOT of pig poop.
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Re: The Strafing Run of Mother Nature
« Reply #382 on: September 19, 2018, 08:56:53 AM »
I wonder how many pigs a farm that size raises at one time. That's a LOT of pig poop.

I'd bet at least 1000.  You can multiply up to figure how much shit that is.

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🌊 Florence is the worst flood in East Coast history. Here’s how locals
« Reply #383 on: September 19, 2018, 04:44:07 PM »
https://grist.org/article/florence-is-the-worst-flood-in-east-coast-history-heres-how-locals-describe-it/

apocalypse in progress
Florence is the worst flood in East Coast history. Here’s how locals describe it.
By Eric Holthaus   on Sep 18, 2018


Many of the dire predictions came true. In the past few days, Hurricane Florence has become the worst rainstorm in history for North Carolina, as well as the entire East Coast.

The images streaming in from the thousands of square miles of flooded cities and farmlands across the Carolinas are heartbreaking. From the washed-out beach homes of the Outer Banks to the raging mountain streams in the foothills of the Appalachians, nearly the entire region is underwater. All that rain means dozens of lives have been lost, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

Florence’s rainfall data is astonishing. The four-day accumulation of nearly 36 inches, which was measured in Elizabethtown, North Carolina, is far, far above the previous rain record for a hurricane anywhere on the East Coast. It broke the North Carolina record by nearly a foot. That much rain is more than what scientists estimate a 1,000-year level, 60-day rainstorm would drop in the region, given a stable climate: slightly more than 35 inches. Put another way, there’s a 0.1 percent chance every year that in a 60-day period the rainfall in Elizabethtown would be at least 35 inches. North Carolina took on all of that water in just four days.

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And as ocean waters warm and the atmosphere changes, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this storm is not just a fluke; there are more Florences in our future.

The region the storm hit hardest is one of the poorest parts of the state, where virtually no one has flood insurance. As bad as it is, the waters in rivers and streams statewide are still rising.

Grist corresponded with 10 Carolinians who grappled with Florence. Here are their stories, edited and condensed for clarity:

Erica Sharpe, Davidson County, North Carolina

There are two types of people here: The ones who panic and empty the grocery shelves, and the ones who don’t trust “the news”, and don’t prepare at all. It could have been a lot worse here, but that kind of split between people has been interesting to watch. Even the weather is dividing people now.

Daniel Hallock, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (evacuated to Georgia)

There were people who would not take the warnings seriously enough. Knowing you gotta leave people behind is an odd feeling.

“Frankie,” Greenville, North Carolina

We’re not allowed to talk to media. It’s against company policy. Many wanted to evacuate, but we deliver fuel. Management pushes gasoline drivers to fill gas stations. Roads are being washed over, sink holes created, towns flooded, but corporate wants the stations pumping.

Ralph Smith, Holly Ridge, North Carolina

I stayed. Where I was, near the landfall, was heavy rain and flooding. The highways were loaded with people trying to evacuate. Plus the gas stations were all full; the one in front of my house closed down early. The day before the storm, there was so much, I thought, “I might as well stay.” So, you just stay and hope for best. The flooding didn’t make it to my house directly, but the streets were extremely wet.

It’s still raining so I’m conflicted on when I’ll be able to drive again. Power has been out for about two or three days. A lot of people around here are worried about their safety while trying to make it out to work in the days after the storm. I know some people that are hesitant about going back to work. I’m just hoping midway through the week it clears up. They aren’t firing anyone for not showing up this week, I know for sure.

Luke Adair, Jacksonville, North Carolina

The thing that stands out the most to me is just how fast the water level in the river rose. We went to bed (around midnight) and there was hardly any water in the culvert [a water conduit under a road]. When we woke up the next morning, water was halfway up the foundation. Tons of homes in our neighborhood were flooded, and they flooded so quickly that the Coast Guard had to come in and rescue two families.

Evacuating was absolutely the right decision for my family. I wish more people would have evacuated as well. But I can tell you, I was glued to the TV and my phone for three days during Hurricane Florence. Not being able to check on your house is one thing, but not knowing [about] your loved ones that decided to stay was another thing.

It’s just so sad to see all of these people’s homes being damaged, people losing their lives, but the support that all of eastern North Carolina has shown has been amazing. People that I don’t know have offered help and even offered up their home for us to stay.

Cameron-Scott Smith, Wilmington, North Carolina

I never envisioned that a storm could hit Wilmington this hard. You see it on TV, but you don’t really expect it to happen to you.

The night the storm came, out power went out at around 1, while I was watching TV, and I decided to go to bed. I slept very well (which I usually don’t).

In the morning I looked out the window, but it was all fogged up. I go downstairs and hear the dog whining, so I got her leash and start walking to the door that leads to garage. I pressed the button to open the garage but I forgot the power was out so I exited through the door that leads into the garage.

The first thing I saw were three large fir trees toppled on each other like fallen dominos. Then I walked to the front yard and saw four trees that sat snapped in half. I looked out in the cul-de-sac which was blocked off by fallen trees. Everything was closed off by fallen trees.

We haven’t had power for three days, and my mom was called into work today. She has to stay there overnight for a week

Our house is so hot. My grandmother came to stay with us because her running water went out. Today we had a crew of guys who came to cut down the fallen trees. Their bulldozer ended up damaging our water line, so our water went out. So we’re left with no water or power.

Johnny Wilson, Chester, South Carolina

One small leak in my roof managed to drip four five-gallon buckets worth of water since yesterday evening. It was an absurd amount of rain.

The mood around town has seemed pretty relieved. Everyone was worried for another Hugo. But our town ended up actually sending supplies to a nearby town because we weren’t impacted nearly as bad as expected.

Alexander Zupancic, Wilmington, North Carolina (evacuated to Charlotte.)

Not being able to communicate with my dad and brother scares the hell out of me. Seeing pictures of my home being torn apart by a storm breaks my heart. Nobody thinks this kind of thing happens to their home until it does. I go to UNC-Wilmington, we have no clue when we can go back or if they’ll suspend the semester.

It’s hard to keep in touch, just saying goodbye to my dad was pretty hard. I did everything I could to try and make him leave, he refused, that was very stressful for me, people don’t understand the real effect a hurricane has and how scary it actually is.

Jeramy “Bud” Martin, Wilmington, North Carolina (evacuated to Arkansas)

I’m from Wilmington, work as an EMT, and can’t get back because of the flooding. My brothers and sisters are exhausted waiting for backup, and I’m in Arkansas with my wife’s family.

I’m trying my best to get back home. I have multiple people looking for a route into town for me. There is an organization ([led by] a friend of an Army buddy) that has helped me, as well as another friend that is a pilot that has a ticket for me in Memphis going to Raleigh as soon as I can get there. When I know for a fact the roads are clear, I’m flying out and driving down to my city. My family are here and safe in Arkansas, and that’s my number one priority. So now it’s time to get back to my city and help in any way I can.

Terre Logsdon, Rutherfordton, North Carolina

I arrived in Rutherfordton last week from Lakeport, California, after being evacuated from the Mendocino Complex [Fire] and watching my county burn. I served in the Emergency Operations Center for [this summer’s] Valley Fire, and I was done with fires.

My friends moved to North Carolina from Florida a few years earlier and [told] me to head East. After 10 days on the road, I arrived to hurricane prep. While Rutherfordton has so far only been minimally impacted, it does have me wondering if I made the right decision — or if there are any right decisions to make on where to live anymore.
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🌊 South Carolina Underwater ALSO!
« Reply #384 on: September 20, 2018, 12:13:34 AM »
I wonder how LD and GM are doing?

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<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/xjM8sW8LoXU" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/xjM8sW8LoXU</a>
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🐔 🐖 3.4 million poultry, 5,500 hogs drowned in Florence flooding
« Reply #385 on: September 21, 2018, 12:14:32 AM »
Those Pigs need to learn to swim better. Or maybe somebody will invent Life Jackets for Pigs?  It also seems like a good time to switch from raising Chickens to raising Ducks.

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3.4 million poultry, 5,500 hogs drowned in Florence flooding

By MICHAEL BIESECKER, Associated Press
Posted Sep 19, 2018 at 8:10 AM Updated Sep 19, 2018 at 8:19 AM


About 3.4 million chickens and turkeys and 5,500 hogs have been killed in flooding from Florence as rising North Carolina rivers swamped dozens of farm buildings where the animals were being raised for market, according to state officials.

The N.C. Department of Agriculture issued the livestock mortality totals Tuesday, as major flooding is continuing after the slow-moving storm’s drenching rains. Sixteen North Carolina rivers were at major flood stage Tuesday, with an additional three forecasted to peak by Thursday.

The Department of Environmental Quality said the earthen dam at one hog lagoon in Duplin County had breached, spilling its contents. Another 25 of the pits containing animal feces and urine have either suffered structural damage, had wastewater levels go over their tops from heavy rains or had been swamped by floodwaters. Large mounds of manure are also typically stored at poultry farms.

North Carolina is among the top states in the nation in producing pork and poultry, with about 9 million hogs at any given time and 819 million chickens and 34 million turkeys raised each year.

The N.C. Pork Council, an industry trade group, said the livestock losses from the storm should be taken in the context.

“Our farmers took extraordinary measures in advance of this storm, including moving thousands of animals out of harm’s way as the hurricane approached,” the group said in a statement issued Tuesday. “We believe deeply in our commitment to provide care for our animals amid these incredibly challenging circumstances.”

The industry lost about 2,800 hogs during flooding from Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Sanderson Farms, a major poultry producer in the state, said it lost about 1.7 million chickens after flooding at more than 60 of the independent farms that supply its poultry processing plants. The company said its facilities suffered no major damage, but supply disruptions and flooded roadways had caused shutdowns at some plants.

In addition, about 30 farms near Lumberton have been isolated by flood waters, hampering the delivery of feed to animals. The lack of food could cause additional birds to die if access isn’t restored quickly, the company said.

Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, said its plants also suffered no significant damage and are operating at limited capacity. The company said it would ramp up production as roads become passable.

An environmental threat is also posed by human waste as low-lying municipal sewage plants flood. On Sunday, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority reported that more than 5 million gallons of partially treated sewage had spilled into the Cape Fear River after power failed at its treatment plant.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that 16 community water treatment facilities in North Carolina are unable to supply drinking water and that seven publicly owned sewage treatment works are non-operational due to the flooding.

Duke Energy is continuing cleanup operations Tuesday following a weekend breach at a coal ash landfill at its L.V. Sutton Power Station near Wilmington.

Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said a full assessment of how much ash escaped from the waterlogged landfill is ongoing. The company initially estimated Saturday that about 2,000 cubic yards (1,530 cubic meters) of ash were displaced, enough to fill about 180 dump trucks.

The coal-fired Sutton plant was retired in 2013 and replaced with a new facility that burns natural gas. The company has been excavating millions of tons of leftover ash from old pits there and removing the waste to a new lined landfill constructed on the property. The gray ash left behind when coal is burned contains toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead and mercury.

Photos from the site provided to AP by Cape Fear River Watch, an environmental advocacy group, show cascades of gray-colored water spilling from at least two breaches at the landfill and flowing toward Sutton Lake, the plant’s former cooling pond which is now used for public recreation, including fishing and boating.

Sutton Lake drains into the Cape Fear River. Sheehan said Duke’s assessment is that there was minimal chance any contaminants from the spill had reached the river.

At a different power plant near Goldsboro, three old coal ash dumps capped with soil were inundated by the Neuse River. Duke said they had no indication those dumps at the H.F. Lee Power Plant were leaking ash into the river.

Duke’s handling of ash waste has faced intense scrutiny since a drainage pipe collapsed under a waste pit at an old plant in Eden in 2014, triggering a massive spill that coated 70 miles (110 kilometers) of the Dan River in gray sludge. The utility later agreed to plead guilty to nine Clean Water Act violations and pay $102 million in fines and restitution for illegally discharging pollution from ash dumps at five North Carolina power plants. It plans to close all its ash dumps by 2029.

In South Carolina, workers with electricity provider Santee Cooper erected a temporary dike in hopes of preventing flooding of an old coal ash dump at the demolished Grainger Generating Station near Conway. The dump is adjacent to the Waccamaw River, which is expected to crest at nearly 20 feet (6 meters) this weekend. That’s nine feet above flood stage and would set a new record height.
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🌊 It's not the Wind, it's the Water
« Reply #386 on: September 21, 2018, 12:19:10 AM »
Now UP on Global Economic Intersection!  :icon_sunny:

http://econintersect.com/pages/opinion/opinion.php?post=201809202352

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☣️ Toxic Spills Highlight Trump's Deregulation of Coal Plant Waste
« Reply #387 on: September 22, 2018, 03:10:10 AM »
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-21/toxic-spills-highlight-trump-s-deregulation-of-coal-plant-waste

Toxic Spills Highlight Trump's Deregulation of Coal Plant Waste
By Ari Natter
and Jennifer A Dlouhy
September 21, 2018, 11:59 AM AKDT Updated on September 21, 2018, 3:22 PM AKDT

    EPA relaxed Obama-era rule on coal ash from power plants
    Fears of environmental disasters at North Carolina sites

Coal byproduct is seen spilling over Sutton cooling lake into the Cape Fear River.

The breach of a pond used to store coal ash in North Carolina has revived criticism of the Trump administration’s efforts to loosen restrictions on how power plants dispose of the toxic waste.

The Environmental Protection Agency in July relaxed Obama administration requirements that forced companies to keep a closer watch on coal ash disposal sites and their potential groundwater contamination -- and signaled further revisions sought by industry are coming.

“The rollbacks by the Trump administration make these kinds of risks more likely and more dangerous,” said John Rumpler, clean water program director for advocacy group Environment America.

Duke Energy Corp. said Friday that floodwaters from Hurricane Florence had overwhelmed a coal ash basin at its Sutton power plant in Wilmington, North Carolina, raising the possibility the material had spilled into the Cape Fear River.

The Obama-era regulation, put in place after several spills including one in North Carolina, wouldn’t prevent coal ash from pouring into the river. But environmentalists say the Trump administration’s changes will prolong the lives of those toxic waste sites and increase the risk of spills.

The Latest: Duke Ash Basin Overflows, Spilling Coal Byproduct Into River

More than 100 million tons of coal ash are generated each year from about 400 power plants across the country. When stored in disposal ponds, such as the one compromised in North Carolina, it is a toxic slurry teeming with mercury, arsenic, lead and chromium -- substances that can cause irreversible brain damage, cancer and other diseases.

“We’ve had a coal ash issue for just as long as we’ve been burning coal, and we haven’t addressed it,” said Dalal Aboulhosn, deputy legislative director at the Sierra Club. “We went decades and decades just closing our eyes and ignoring this problem of what the byproduct of burning coal was doing to these communities living next to these sites.”

The Trump EPA’s July overhaul effectively added a year of usable life to some existing coal ash ponds, while also giving utilities and states more flexibility in deciding when they have to be cleaned up. Under the newly updated rule, state regulators can suspend groundwater monitoring requirements for some coal ash disposal sites and are empowered to certify whether the facilities are adequate.

“We continue to work on rule-making and these types of events will inform our work going forward,” the agency said in an email.

The EPA estimated the changes would spare power producers as much as $31 million a year.

And more changes are coming. The EPA, headed by an interim director who once lobbied for a coal company, has telegraphed that it is working on a second wave of rewrites to federal coal ash mandates. The agency has signaled its next move may be to give states more authority in regulating the substance, Rumpler said.

The administration faces legal pressure in its efforts. A federal appeals court in August ruled that the coal ash rule put in place by President Barack Obama’s EPA in 2015 -- and weakened by the Trump administration a month earlier -- wasn’t strong enough. The court rebuked the EPA for failing to require the closing of unlined coal ash disposal sites and exempting legacy landfills at shuttered power plants from the mandates.

EPA officials have not announced how they will respond to the court’s ruling.

As long as coal ash slurry is sitting in ponds exposed to the elements, there’s a risk from storms and floods, activists argue.

“There’s nothing to prevent these things from failing in a huge storm event, if they are exposed to the elements, which just underscores why they shouldn’t be there in the first place,” said Jennifer Peters, water programs director with the advocacy group Clean Water Action. “And we shouldn’t have to wait until there’s a disaster like Florence to be talking about it.”

In North Carolina, Duke said that a coal byproduct known as cenospheres, tiny hollow beads comprised of alumina and silica, are flowing into the Cape Fear River, but that coal ash at the site “remains in place.” The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality said it has yet to ascertain if coal ash has entered the river.

“Cenospheres are part of coal ash,” said Avner Vengosh, a Duke University professor who specializes in geochemistry and water quality. “If we see them in the water, it means they’re mixed with coal ash.”

Matthew Starr, who works in North Carolina for the Waterkeeper Alliance environmental organization, said that at Duke Energy’s H.F. Lee plant in Goldsboro, North Carolina, floodwaters had inundated earthen coal ash dams, causing ash to flow into the Neuse River.

“We observed many many different places where coal ash was floating by us -- it was re-suspending in the water, it was laying on top of berms,” Starr said in an interview. “Everywhere we looked we kind of saw an impact. You’ve got a pretty large ongoing spill.”

After inspecting the H.F. Lee site Thursday, Duke said "only a small amount of coal ash has been displaced, similar to the impact in the wake of Hurricane Matthew." Crews will continue to monitor the situation, the company said.

River flooding has affected one of two "inactive" ash basins at Duke’s Sutton facility, according to Bridget Munger, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

"While the state is currently in emergency response mode, a thorough investigation of events will soon follow to ensure that Duke Energy is held responsible for any environmental impacts caused at their coal ash facilities," Munger said in an email on Friday.

Other coal ash sites remain at risk. South Carolina’s state-owned utility, Santee Cooper, said it expects the Waccamaw River to overtop one of its coal ash ponds at its Grainger site, about 85 miles southwest in Conway, South Carolina. The company, which earlier installed an inflatable dam to protect the site, said it doesn’t anticipate any "significant environmental impact."

When coal ash spills, it can cause lasting damage.

The 2008 rupture of a dam at a Tennessee Valley Authority power plant in Harriman, Tennessee, unleashed more than 1 billion gallons of coal ash slurry, sending a wave of mud to smother nearby homes. Ten years later, testing is still being conducted in the region, and workers who helped clean up the disaster are suing, claiming they were sickened by cancer and other illnesses.

A similar scene played out in 2014, when some 39,000 tons of coal ash escaped from a burst drainage pipe at a Duke Energy pond in Eden, North Carolina, sending the slurry into the Dan River and causing visible gray water in a nearby reservoir within days.

The incidents prompted a call for federal regulation of coal ash disposal, resulting in the 2015 EPA rule. But even that Obama administration regulation fell far short of what activists and residents near coal ash ponds had wanted, including regulation of the material as a hazardous waste, which would limit storage options and could require it to be steered away from the nation’s waterways.

“We’ve known these coal ash pits are disasters waiting to happen for a long time,” said Drew Ball, director of the environmental group Environment North Carolina. “And now we have a flood of this magnitude forcing us to recognize the dangers of that.”

— With assistance by Jim Efstathiou Jr
(Updates with statement from North Carolina environmental agency, in 21st paragraph.)
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🌀 ruh roh...here comes Captain Kirk!
« Reply #388 on: September 22, 2018, 07:55:01 AM »
Captain Kirk On Target For the VI and Puerto Rico next week.  Too far out still for the models to predict overall strength.  I'll bet a Cat 2 by the time it makes Puerto Rico.


Not a good time to have a Seastead in the Caribbean.  ::)

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Re: 🌀 ruh roh...here comes Captain Kirk!
« Reply #389 on: September 22, 2018, 09:39:30 AM »
Captain Kirk On Target For the VI and Puerto Rico next week.  Too far out still for the models to predict overall strength.  I'll bet a Cat 2 by the time it makes Puerto Rico.


Not a good time to have a Seastead in the Caribbean.  ::)

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It's headed right for the area where sailors like to hole up during the hurricane season, too, down in the Leeward Islands, where it's considered safer. Early but worth watching.

So far I'd say the Pacific side is getting hammered worse this year. My new daughter-in-law's parents live in Manila. They got hit by Mangkhut, although their home wasn't affected.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

 

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