UPDATE: Black Forest Fire Destroys 379 Homes
At least 379 homes have been destroyed and 9 others damaged as of 1:10 a.m. Friday, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office reported.
At least 38,000 people have so far been evacuated, while residents of 2,000 more homes in Colorado Springs have been told to be ready to evacuate.
Black Forest could see a high of 90-95 degrees Friday.
Meantime, Colo. Gov. has signed an Executive Order declaring Disaster Emergency due to Black Forest Fire, following a verbal declaration on June 11, 2013.
Royal Gorge Fire
The Royal Gorge Fire in Canon City, 55 miles SW of Black Forest, has incinerated 48 of the Royal Gorge Park’s 52 buildings, damaged the park’s 955 feet suspension bridge above the Arkansas River, and destroyed an aerial tram, reports said.
Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events
Severe Weather Forecast: Central Plains, Upper Midwest, Northern Florida
The NWS Storm Prediction Center is forecasting a risk of severe thunderstorms Friday afternoon and evening for parts of the central Plains and Upper Midwest, from extreme eastern Colo. across northern Kan., eastern Neb. and extreme northwestern Mo., into western Iowa, southwestern Minn., eastern S.D. and extreme southeastern N.D. There is also a risk of severe weather across parts of northern Fla.
Meantime, a series of severe storms on Thursday cut electricity to about half a million homes and businesses in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic states. The worst affected areas were the Carolinas, said Duke Energy Corp, the largest power company in the U.S.
Duke has warned its customers to prepare for a ‘multi-day’ outage in the storm-hit areas, said a report.
The storms left at least 2 people dead, one in Rising Sun, Maryland and the other in Richmond, Virginia.
Chemical Plant Explosion and Fire
An explosion and fire at the Williams Olefins chemical plant in Geismar, Louisiana has killed at least one person and injured 77 others on Thursday.
Image of the Day: Sandstorm in W. India
A humongous sandstorm sweeps across Bikaner, Rajasthan, western India, June 13, 2013. (Xinhua/Stringer). More images…