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Posts Tagged ‘El Paso County’

Disaster Emergency Declared for El Paso County, CO

Posted by feww on August 13, 2013

Hickenlooper declares disaster emergency due to flooding in El Paso County

Gov. John Hickenlooper has declared a disaster emergency related to devastating floods in El Paso County, said a statement posted on his website.

El Paso County and the City of Manitou Springs on Aug. 10 requested the state assistance. The governor gave verbal approval on the same day.

  • The governor also activated the State Emergency Operations Plan to address the flooding.
  • The governor further authorized the Colorado National Guard to assist with search and rescue missions in the area, if necessary, as more rain continues to fall.

Destructive floods have devastated areas near the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest burn scars,  said a report.

“Rain has pounded the county throughout the last several weeks, taking a deadly turn Friday after rain and mud spilled onto Highway 24 and into Manitou Springs. One man was killed, three were initially unaccounted for, and multiple people reported nearly being swept away.”

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Major Disaster Declared in El Paso County, CO

Posted by feww on August 1, 2013

WH Declares Colorado a Federal Disaster Area

The White House has  declared a major disaster exists in the State of Colorado in the areas affected by the Black Forest Fire during the period of June 11-21, 2013.

Black Forest Fire near Colorado Springs in the El Paso County burned 14,280 acres, destroying at least 511 homes and damaging 28 others. The fire started on June 11 and was declared 100 percent contained on June 20.

An aerial view of a destroyed house and vehicles in the aftermath of the Black Forest Fire in Black Forest, Colorado
An aerial view of a destroyed house and vehicles in the aftermath of the Black Forest Fire in Black Forest, Colorado June 13, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

Federal funding has been made available for Crisis Counseling , Disaster Unemployment Assistance for affected individuals, as well as emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the Black Forest Fire in El Paso County, said the WH.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments, said the official statement.

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Monsanto Chemical Found in Euro Urine

Posted by feww on June 15, 2013

“Quantifiable levels” of Monsanto herbicide found in urine samples from 18 Euro countries

In a recent study by Medical Laboratory Bremen in Germany humane urine samples from 18 European countries showed residues of Glyphosate and the metabolite AMPA.

“On average 44 % and 36 % of the urine samples analyzed were found to contain quantifiable levels of Glyphosate and AMPA, respectively,” said the report.

  • The frequency of detection ranged from 10% to 90%.  The highest Glyphosate concentration was 1,8 μg/L  in Latvia, followed by Malta, UK and Germany, while the highest AMPA concentration was 2,6 μg/L  found in Croatia.
  • A total of 6.6% of  samples showed residues that “significantly exceeded the tentative reference value of 0,8 μg/L forGlyphosate,” the report said.

The report concludes; “The results give a first idea to which extent adults in 18 European countries are exposed to Glyphosate. The regional and individual variations are large. Diet seems to be the main sources of exposure. However, more scientific work is needed to distinguish between different exposure situations.”

Glyphosate was discovered to be a herbicide by a Monsanto chemist and was marketed in the 1970s under the trade name Roundup.

Aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), an organic acid, is one of the primary degradation products of the herbicide glyphosate.

Both Glyphosate and AMPA are said to have low toxicity, with glyphosate being an EPA Toxicity Class III chemical (on a scale of I to IV, Class I is most toxic) for oral and inhalation exposure.

In 2007, Glyphosate was the most used herbicide in the United States, with about 100,000 tons applied  by the agricultural sector, government and home and garden users.


Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Black Forest Fire: Initial Home Assessment

Updated: June 15, 2013 at approximately 12:00 a.m. (DST) – El Paso County Sheriff’s office

The extent of damage caused by the Black Forest Fire to homes in the region is as follows:

  • Total Loss: 473
  • Partial Damage: 17

Note: This is a preliminary home assessment. Due to continuous and dynamic fire activity the information could change.

The blaze was reportedly 30 percent contained, as of posting.

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Another Toxic Weekend in Beijing

beijing air pollution
Beijing Air Pollution: Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI). Source: AQICN

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – June 14, 2013

Posted by feww on June 14, 2013

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

sandstorm  india
A humongous sandstorm sweeps across Bikaner, Rajasthan, western India, June 13, 2013. (Xinhua/Stringer). More images…

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Storms and floods Cause Chaos in the UK‎

Posted by feww on June 30, 2012

Fierce storms, lightning, ‘giant’ hail stones, torrential rains, and flash floods in parts of the UK  prompt evacuations and power cuts

Flash floods have inundated thousands of homes and businesses and forced evacuations in Northern England, the Midlands, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Lightning storms have cut power to tens of thousands of people in the North East, derailed a train and closed the railway between Scotland and England.

Torrential downpours and flash floods have caused major travel disruption across a wide region.

“There was also widespread disruption on rail services and roads, with many routes under several inches of water. A number were closed,” said a report.

“Flooding and landslips are causing heavy delays on routes between Northern England and Scotland, with very limited travel options,” the railway operators reported.

Since the begging of June, heavy rain and flash floods have brought havoc to communities in west Wales, and across northern England flooding thousands of homes and businesses.

Extreme rain events have dumped more than a month’s rain in less than 24 hours in some places.

There are also reports of damage from squalls and tornadoes in the region.

Record Number of Lightning Strikes

More than 110,000 lightning bolts struck the UK, with more than 200 strikes recorded every minute during peak activity, the UK Met Office reported.

“Experts said this was 40 times higher than an average lightning storm and was the equivalent of four months’ worth of strikes in one day,” said a report.

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

United States.

  • The record-setting heat wave continues to expand. “Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories will be in effect throughout the Plains, the Midwest, the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic. Critical fire weather conditions will continue for the central Great Basin and the Plains with several large wildfires burning in Colorado, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and New Mexico,” NWS reported.

US Weather Hazards Map, June 30, 2012

  • Record high temperatures are expected to continue, while excessive heat also continues to worsen the air quality in various areas. “One of the worst areas is the lower end of Lake Michigan from the Wisconsin-Illinois state line to Montague, Mich,” NWS said.

NESDIS Map of Analyzed Fires from Satellite Data

Current Hazard Mapping System Fire and Smoke Analysis – NOAA/NESDIS – June 29, 2012 – Time: See inset.

  • “Excessive Heat Warnings cover the eastern half of Kansas, the western fourth of Missouri and parts of southwest Missouri, southern Illinois, southwest Indiana and western Kentucky. Heat Advisories cover parts of 16 states, including:  Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Washington, D.C. An Excessive Heat Watch is in effect today for most of the Atlantic Coast,” NWS reported.

U.S. Wildfires

  • Waldo Canyon Fire in Pike and San Isabel National Forests, El Paso County, CO. State of Disaster has been declared by the President. Size revised down to 17,073 acres; the deadly fire has caused at least two fatalities, destroyed at least 346 homes and damaged two dozens more. The blaze is reportedly 25% contained.
  • Pine Ridge Fire. The town of De Beque remains under evacuation as the explosive blaze grows to 12,047 acres with an estimated 10% contained. Lightning ignited the blaze on Wednesday June 27th, 2012. Fire conditions are said to be extreme with high temperatures, high winds, low humidities, and extremely dry fuels.
  • Wyoming.  Arapaho Fire in Medicine Bow National Forest & Thunder Basin National grassland is one of three fires believed to have been ignited by lightning in the Laramie Peak area.
    • “Due to the fast-moving nature of this fire, evacuations were initiated in the Cottonwood Park, Friend Park, North Laramie Trailhead and Harris Park areas. At this time it is unknown if structures were burned. Residents in and south of Esterbrook were notified of possible evacuations, but have not been evacuated at this time,” USFS reported.
    • The 2-day old blaze has consumed an estimated 5,000 acres and is said to have extreme growth potential, with plume dominated behavior, rapid rate of spread (1 – 1.5 miles/hour), and long range spotting.

Arapaho Fire Map.  Medicine Bow National Forest & Thunder Basin National Grassland, Wyoming.  “The fire has been creating its own weather.”

  • Utah.Clay Springs Fire, Fishlake National Forest, Clay Springs, East of Oak City, Utah.
    • A super explosive blaze has consumed 68,309 acres in two days.
    • Fire Behavior: Today the fire made extreme runs with spotting to 1/2 a mile and growing from 50000 acres to 68000 acres, with potential for similar rates of spread tonight. … running crown fire and intense ground fire with nearly complete combustion occurring in all fuel types. Extreme resistance to control and high probability of ignition …
    • Significant Events: Fire spread down Wide Canyon to the east as well as running down the back of Canyon Mountains towards I-15 and the towns of Scipio and Mills.
    • Current Weather:  SW winds of 17-25 mph; 98 degrees heat; 11% humidity.
  • Utah.  Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon has declared a state of emergency due to the Rose Crest Fire in Herriman. The blaze has destroyed or damaged 5 houses and forced mandatory evacuation of some 948 houses in an area, a report said.
    • The fire started mid afternoon when “a car with a hot exhaust parked on top of some dry weeds” and and set them on fire. The temperature in Herriman was 92 degrees and the relative humidity just 11 percent when the blaze ignited.

Dozens of active wildfires across the country are burning about 1 million acres in a dozen states. For details of some of the other fires see

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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