Cloud Lightning

Tropical storm in Philippines kills 11, forces 40,000 out of homes

Children pedal their bicycle down a flooded street after heavy rains in Valenzuela City, north of Manila on June 23, 2011.
Heavy rains and high winds from Tropical Storm Meari lashed the Philippines Friday, killing at least 11 people and displacing 40,000 people, an emergency management agency said.

The storm has been menacing the Philippines since Tuesday, when 11 fishermen went missing along the coast of Luzon, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The storm was forecasted to move Saturday toward Basco, Batanes, the smallest of the Philippine provinces, the council said. By Sunday, the storm was expected to be 370 kilometers (229.9 miles) west northwest of Okinawa, Japan, the agency said.

Flash floods were reported in a number of Philippine communities, including Ligao City where one woman was reportedly washed away by floodwaters, the council said in a statement posted on its website.

Bizarro Earth

7 killed, 3 missing as bad weather hits Vietnam

Officials and state media say flash floods and whirlwinds have killed seven people, left three others missing and injured 60 in northern Vietnam.

Disaster official Tran Van Nham of Yen Bai province said Friday that authorities have recovered the body of a 20-year-old man and are searching for three people who were swept away by flash flooding while walking across a stream Thursday.

In the northern port city of Hai Phong, a woman was killed Thursday by a falling tree, another person died when a house collapsed and four others were killed when they were struck by lightning, according to a statement from the Hai Phong Department for Flood and Storm Control.

It said the whirlwinds injured 60 people, and high winds destroyed or damaged more than 900 homes.

Cloud Lightning

Connecticut, US: Heavy Rains Cause West Haven Flooding Issues

Afternoon thundershowers caused heavy rain, resulting in several streets, backyards, and businesses to have flooding problems.
Heavy rain on Thursday afternoon caused flash flooding in many spots around Connecticut.

Several streets in the City of West Haven were washed out and some homes and businesses suffered minor flooding.

Richard Booth's backyard was under several feet of water.

"This is twice this year so far," Booth said. "It drowned out the garden and took over the whole backyard."

Thursday was not the first time his yard has flooded. A berm the city installed several years ago causes the water to collect there, he said.

West Spring Street was one of the hardest hit streets. There was at least a foot and half of water in the road as cars and buses tried to drive through and neighbors tried to clear out storm drains as the rain continued to fall.

Cloud Lightning

Alaska, US: Heavy rains close parts of Taylor, Steese highways

7:55 a.m. update: The Steese Highway has been reopened between 152-158 miles, but travel is not advised. Many areas are one lane; the road is rough with many soft spots. If travel is necessary, please use extreme caution and be prepared for delays, crews are working on repairing the road.

Mudslides and washouts caused by heavy rain closed parts of the Steese and Taylor highways on Thursday, cutting off access to Yukon River communities at the end of each road.

Multiple mudslides blocked the 160-mile Taylor Highway from Tok to Eagle between miles 114 and 116, according to the Department of Transportation.

Washouts on the 161-mile Steese Highway from Fairbanks to Circle City closed the road at 152 Mile. Several areas of the road between miles 152 and 158 that were washed out, according to DOT.

Cloud Lightning

New York, US: Heavy rain, flash flooding hit Tier

National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for northern Broome County and southern Chenango County until 2:45 a.m. Friday.

According to the NWS, a rainstorm dumped about 1 inch of rain in the immediate Binghamton area by 9:30 p.m. Thursday, with localized rainfall amounts of up to 4 inches in parts of northeastern Broome County.

Serious flash flooding as a result of the heavy rains caused the closures of several state, county and town roads Thursday night, according to the Broome County Emergency Services Office.

Cloud Lightning

Wisconsin, US: Heavy rains cause flood concerns on Wolf River

Recent heavy rain have been wreaking havoc on summer plans and that has residents keeping an eye on the rising Wolf River, but it's going to take a lot more to wash out some people in Outagamie County.

Tom Dix has had his fair share of close calls.

"We've had all the steps underwater a couple of times actually," Dix said.

Cloud Lightning

US New York: Heavy Rains Floods, Disrupt Power in Westchester, Putnam

© Vincent DiSalvio / The Journal NewsVehicles were trapped in a municipal parking lot entirely flooded along with Memorial Park in Spring Valley June 23, 2011.
Rockland County took the brunt of Thursday's fierce thunderstorms, but the rest of the region had to withstand waves of rain that washed out local roads and rail lines, popped manhole covers and pushed high school graduations indoors.

Scattered power outages, mostly in northern Westchester and Putnam counties, caused some schools to send students home early.

With a chance of showers and thunderstorms again today after 10 a.m., the weather service has issued a flash flood watch through tonight for the entire tri-state area. Full forecast for today and the weekend.

Downtown Nyack looked like a small version of the Mississippi Delta, with a river running down Broadway faster than cars and trucks usually travel.

"We've been hit pretty hard," Rockland Fire and Emergency Services Coordinator Gordon Wren Jr. said of the downpour that started just before 11:30 a.m. Thursday. "The ground being saturated makes matters worse. We're getting pounded."

The rain that fell so ferociously and the flooding that followed was likely the worst since Hurricane Floyd in 1999, leading Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef to declare a state of emergency.


US: Churchill Downs Horse Racing Canceled After Tornado

© Reuters / John Sommers IIPeople survey the damage to barns at Churchill Downs after an apparent tornado struck the track in Louisville, Kentucky, June 23, 2011.
Racing and training were canceled on Thursday at Churchill Downs, a day after a tornado hit the thoroughbred racetrack famed as home of the Kentucky Derby, according to track officials.

"Considering the damage, which is extensive, it is amazing -- borderline miraculous -- that there were no injuries to either humans or horses," said John Asher, Churchill Downs spokesman.

There was no damage to the grandstand or the track's iconic twin spires.

Churchill Downs is most famous for hosting the annual Kentucky Derby, the first leg in U.S. thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown of events, which also includes the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.

Asher said crews on Thursday were inspecting the surface of the race track for storm debris, including nails, that might have been tossed onto the usually carefully manicured racing surface from the passing twister.

Six barns and a portion of a seventh were damaged severely enough they cannot be used, Asher said. Two others that had damage from the storm had been restored to service Thursday. As a result, 30 horses would be transported to Lexington where Keeneland raceway had offered temporary shelter.


More than 53,000 Flee Storm in Philippines

© Noel Celis/Agence France-PressePedicabs pedal customers down a flooded street after heavy rains in Valenzuela City, north of Manila.
More than 53,000 people were in evacuation centres in the Philippines on Friday after fleeing their homes following days of torrential rains caused by Tropical Storm Meari, officials said.

More than 7,000 people fled their homes overnight in the capital Manila alone as the storm added to seasonal monsoon rains, bringing massive flooding to city streets, the civil defence agency said.

The swift evacuation of Manila residents as the waters rose overnight prevented any deaths, said Benito Ramos, executive director of the official National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

"It is a good thing we pre-positioned rubber boats. Thankfully, people reacted well. When we told them to evacuate, they evacuated," Ramos said.

However 11 people were still missing in or near the less-developed Bicol peninsula southeast of Manila, which bore the brunt of Meari as it brushed past the eastern side of the country, the council added.

Arrow Down

16 Dead in Landslides in Northeast India

Sixteen people in northeast India have been killed by landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rains, a senior police official said today.

The deaths occurred overnight in villages perched on steep mountain sides near the town of Pelling in the scenic Himalayan state of Sikkim.

"Fourteen people were buried alive when rolling debris piled on their houses," senior police officer Jasbir Singh said by phone from Gangtok, capital city of Sikkim.

Singh said a second landslide in the same town claimed two lives, damaged property and disrupted communications.

Source: Australian Associated Press