Giant South Dakota hailstone breaks US records

© AP Photo/National Weather ServiceThis photo taken July 24, 2010 provided by the NOAA National Weather Service shows a hailstone that was found by a ranch hand in Vivian, S.D., on June 23, 2010. The hailstone has set U.S records. It measured 8 inches in diameter and weighed 1 pound, 15 ounces. The previous record for diameter was 7 inches for a hailstone found in Aurora, Neb., in 2003. The previous record for weight was 1.67 pounds for a stone in Coffeyville, Kan., in 1970.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says a giant hailstone that fell in central South Dakota has broken U.S. records, even though the man who found it says it melted somewhat while waiting to be evaluated.

The NOAA's National Climate Extremes Committee says the hailstone found in the town of Vivian on July 23 measures 8 inches in diameter and weighs 1 pound, 15 ounces. The committee says the South Dakota ice chunk breaks records set by hailstones discovered in Nebraska and Kansas.

Ranch hand Leslie Scott says the hailstone was about 3 inches larger when he found it. Scott says he put it in the freezer but that he couldn't prevent some melting because of an hours-long power outage that followed the storm.

Bizarro Earth

More than 30,000 trapped by floods in China's northeast

© Unknown
More than 30,000 people are thought to be trapped by floodwaters in a town in northeast China, state media said Wednesday, as torrential rain that has killed over 300 in two weeks continues.

China is struggling with its worst flooding in a decade tat has left 1,405 dead or missing since the beginning of the year and caused at least 26 billion dollars in damage, and authorities have warned of more to come.

In the central city of Wuhan, tens of thousands of people have been evacuated as authorities brace for flood crests from the Yangtze River and one of its tributaries to converge there.

More than 200 rescue workers have been sent to northeastern Jilin province's Kouqian town to reach 30,000 residents thought to be trapped after a nearby reservoir overflowed, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The local train station was also surrounded by water with over 80 people trapped inside, it said.

Cloud Lightning

China landslide leaves 21 missing amid floods

china landslide
© ReutersResidents examine the site of a rain-triggered landslide in Shuanghe, China, on Tuesday.
Worst rainy season in a decade has already killed hundreds

A landslide caused by rains in southern China left 21 people missing Tuesday, adding to a growing death toll from China's worst flood season in a decade, which is expected to worsen with heavy rains forecast across the country.

Rescuers searched for 21 people missing after a landslide in Hanyuan County in China's southern province of Sichuan on Tuesday morning, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Rocks and mud buried 58 homes and about 4,000 villagers were evacuated from their homes.

Bizarro Earth

US: Heat Wave, Storms Continue Amid Flood Cleanup

© Jonathan Ernst/ReutersA tourist mops the sweat from his brow as he stands in the heat outside the White House in Washington, July 24, 2010.
Large parts of the United States faced another day of extreme weather on Sunday, with temperatures in the capital and on the Southeast coast forecast to be near or above 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) and more storms likely in the mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley regions.

"It's going to be another steamy day in the Southeast with thunderstorms to the north," AccuWeather said on its website.

Powerful thunderstorms will stretch from the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia region on the Atlantic Coast into Kentucky, Accuweather said.

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where heavy rains shut the city's main airport on Thursday, local media reported the body of a 19-year-old man who disappeared as floodwaters peaked had been recovered from a creek.

Arrow Down

Miraculous escape for driver as car falls 20ft into sinkhole at traffic lights during storm

© APGaping hole: A Cadillac Escalade sits at the bottom of a sinkhole in Milwaukee after a section of road collapsed during torrential rain yesterday
He's thanking his lucky stars that he was pulled out alive.

Yet, miraculously, the driver of this SUV only suffered minor cuts and bruises when his vehicle plummeted 20ft into a sinkhole as he approached traffic lights.

Lance Treankler was driving his black Cadillac Escalade during torrential rains in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, yesterday, when the road opened up beneath him.

'The road just went out from under me,' Mr Treankler said.

'When I landed, my head snapped back. I went unconscious for a few seconds.

'When I looked up, I saw water run over me.'

Mr Treankler was rescued by a passer-by, 46-year-old Mark Pawlik, who was walking along when he saw the vehicle disappear and a traffic light land on its roof.

Mr Pawlik said: 'The Escalade just went "wham". Everything went down.

Comment: Tropical storm leaves more than 115 dead and a huge sinkhole in Central America

July: Florida Sinkhole Swallows Car, Endangers Condominium

Cloud Lightning

Heavy Wisconsin Rains Close Milwaukee Airport

© Mike ThielA SUV sits in a sink hole Friday, July 23, 2010, in Milwaukee. Powerful thunderstorms caused widespread flooding in southern Wisconsin, closing down Milwaukee's airport and opening up a giant sink hole, and two people were hospitalized after being struck by lightning, authorities said.
Stranded travelers weary from an overnight stay in a Milwaukee airport were hoping to be allowed to fly out Friday after powerful overnight storms pounded southeastern Wisconsin, halting flights and causing widespread flooding.

Storm water flooded the runways at Mitchell International Airport during the Thursday night storm. Airport officials said they hoped to clear away leftover debris and reopen the runways on Friday, but further disruptions were possible because of a new round of showers and thunderstorms that was expected to pass though the region.

Brian Kulpin, a spokesman for Reno-Tahoe International Airport, said he doesn't expect that the Milwaukee closure will affect air traffic in Reno.


Floods Close Chicago Highways, Damage Dam

Standing water on Chicago-area expressways turned what should have been an easy Saturday morning drive into a soggy, snarled mess after heavy rains across the Midwest closed roads, stranded residents and punched a hole through an Iowa dam.

In Chicago, officials say more than 7 inches of rain fell early Saturday, inundating the sewer system and overwhelming waterways. Water covered portions of several Chicago interstates and the commuter train tracks that run along them, leading crews to divert traffic and call in bus shuttles. Portions of Interstate 290 west of downtown were closed for several hours.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and other officials urged residents to call for help if they need it.

Bizarro Earth

Typhoon Lashes Southern China, Killing 3

© XinhuaA street lamp is partially emerged by the flooded Yangtze River in southwest China's Chongqing city.
Typhoon Chanthu killed three people before weakening into a tropical storm Friday after making landfall in southern China's Guangdong province.

Winds of up to 78 miles per hour (126 kilometers per hour) knocked over a wall in Guangdong's Wuchuan city, killing two people, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Heavy flooding swept away a 50-year-old man in a village in Hong Kong late Thursday. Marine police said they found his body in open water Friday morning.

Chanthu has moved north to Nanning, the capital of the Guangxi region, and been downgraded to a tropical storm, the China Meteorological Administration said in a statement on its website.

The storm comes as China grapples with severe flooding that has left at least 742 people dead and 367 missing so far this year, the flood prevention agency said Friday. The death toll jumped by more than 40 Friday, but it was not clear if the increase was from new deaths this week.

Arrow Down

Floods and Landslides Kill 10 in Vietnam

Flooding and landslides caused by heavy rain have killed at least 10 people in Vietnam's northern mountainous provinces near China, the government said on Sunday.

The biggest death toll of five came in Ha Giang province, where people were buried in their homes or swept away in floods, the Hanoi-based national flood and storm control department said in an online statement.

Of the victims, four were children aged between two and 15 years old, the agency said.

Hundreds of houses in five northern provinces have been inundated while roads and crops were severely damaged in up to 300 millimetres (12 inches) of rain, which began falling on Thursday, it said.

At least 10 communes in Bac Giang province have been cut off.

Life Preserver

Iowa's Lake Delhi Dam Bursts Due to Flooding

© AP Photo/The Gazette, Julie KoehnMaquoketa River water gushes out of the Delhi Dam as areas surrounding the Maquoketa River continue to flood on Saturday, July 24, 2010 in Delhi, Iowa.
Residents Flee as Rising Floodwater Eats 30-Foot-Wide Hole in the Earthen Dam

The Lake Delhi dam in eastern Iowa failed Saturday as rising floodwater from the Maquoketa River ate a 30-foot-wide hole in the earthen dam, causing water to drop 45 feet to the river below and threatening the small town of Hopkinton.

Northeast Iowa has been inundated with torrential rain in recent days with as much as 9 inches being reported in some locations. The heavy rain has pushed the Maquoketa River to 23.92 feet - more than 2 feet above its previous record of 21.66 feet in 2004.

Jack Klaus, a spokesman with the Delaware County emergency management office, said warning sirens were sounding in Hopkinton as water began to surround homes there Saturday afternoon. Areas below and above the dam had been evacuated, including numerous cabins and homes - as many as 700 - above the dam because of high water.

"There's going to be significant losses of property there," Klaus said.