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Archive for July 2nd, 2015

Thousands Evacuated in Tennessee after Train Crash Releases Toxic Fumes

Posted by feww on July 2, 2015

Train derailment, toxic fire prompts mass evacuation in Tennessee

More than 5,000 people near Knoxville, Tennessee, have been evacuated after a freight train carrying extremely “flammable and toxic gas” derailed and caught fire early Thursday.

A section of a 60-car CSX train derailed near Maryville in Blount County, and at least one derailed car then caught fire, releasing plumes of toxic fumes.

The train was carrying liquefied petroleum gas and acrylonitrile,  a substance used in the manufacture of plastics, said the train operator.

At least seven deputies were exposed to the fumes and had to be hospitalized, said the Blount County sheriff’s spokeswoman.

An evacuation zone is in place within a two-mile radius of the derailment, which could last up to 48 hours, according to Blount County sheriff.

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Drought Destroys Crops in Six U.S. States

Posted by feww on July 2, 2015

Crop disasters declared for 38 counties across six states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated a total of 38 counties in six states:  Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming—as crop disaster areas due to losses caused by drought.

Disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought (Designation #1)

  • Idaho: Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Clark, Elmore, Fremont, Gooding, Jefferson, Jerome, Madison, Minidoka, Lincoln,  and Teton counties.
  • Montana:  Beaverhead, Gallatin and Madison counties.
  • Wyoming: Teton County.

Disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought (Designation #2)

  • Utah: Daggett, Duchesne, Morgan, Rich, Salt Lake, Summit and Wasatch counties.
  • Wyoming: Sweetwater and Uinta counties.

Disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought (Designation #3)

  • Washington: Asotin, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Garfield, Grant, King, Kittitas, Pierce, Whitman and Yakima counties.
  • Oregon: Wallowa County.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 1,367 counties across 22 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

About 99 percent of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on July 1, 2015 .

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