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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:14 pm 
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Utilities warn that power could be out for days in Northeast US
By DAVE COLLINS
October 30, 2017

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- A severe storm packing hurricane-force wind gusts and soaking rain swept through the Northeast early Monday, knocking out power for nearly 1.5 million homes and businesses and forcing hundreds of schools to close in New England.

Falling trees knocked down power lines across the region, and some utility companies warned customers that power could be out for days. Trees also fell onto homes and vehicles, but no serious injuries were reported. New England got the brunt of the storm, which brought sustained winds of up to 50 mph in spots. A gust of 130 mph was reported at the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, while winds hit 82 mph in Mashpee on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

The storm left 450,000 New Hampshire residents without power at its peak and produced wind gusts of 78 mph, emergency officials said. Emergency Management Director Perry Plummer said the outage was the state's fourth largest.

Maine also was hit hard, with 492,000 homes and businesses losing electricity, surpassing the peak number from an infamous 1998 ice storm. The Portland International Jetport recorded a wind gust of 69 mph, and the Amtrak Downeaster service canceled a morning run due to down trees on the tracks. Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage issued a state of emergency proclamation, allowing drivers of electrical line repair vehicles to work more hours than federal law allows to speed up power restoration.

In Freeport, Maine, Rachel Graham, her husband and their 2-year-old daughter, Priya, endured the storm in a yurt, where they are staying while building a house on their property. They listened as 20 pine trees on their property snapped and wind lashed the yurt. "It was really terrifying. You could feel everything and hear everything," Graham said. "It was a lot of crashes and bangs."

The storm began making its way up the East Coast on Sunday, the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. That 2012 storm devastated the nation's most populous areas and was blamed for at least 182 deaths in the U.S. and the Caribbean and more than $71 billion in damage in this country alone.

Electricity was slowly being restored. As of late Monday afternoon, more than 1.2 million people were still without power in the Northeast, according to a tally of outages from utility companies in more than a half-dozen states. In the Boston suburb of Brookline, Helene Dunlap said her power went out after she heard a loud "kaboom" around 1:30 a.m. Monday. She went outside hours later to find a large tree had fallen on a neighboring home. "It really shook the whole place up," she said. "It was such a dark, stormy night that looking out the window we really couldn't determine what was going on."

A tree fell and sheared off the rear of a home in Methuen in northeastern Massachusetts, along the New Hampshire line. The tree crashed into Philip Cole's bedroom, where he would have been if he hadn't been called into work Sunday night. "You opened the door to my bedroom, and there's no bedroom," Cole told WBZ-TV. "There's no floor, there's no anything really, just a closet and that was it."

In Glastonbury, Connecticut, downed trees and wires forced schools to close. "Just high, high, high winds," said Glastonbury resident Kathleen Buccheri, who lost power. "I saw flashes of light and heard booms. I think it was the transformers." She said she stocked up on food and other supplies when she heard the storm was coming.

Some rivers in New Hampshire overflowed. For a brief period Monday, the Ammonoosuc River flooded, restricting access to the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods. In Plainfield, Vermont, the Maplefields convenience store had no power, so workers used a propane stove to make coffee. The storm system also caused problems Sunday in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. On the shoreline in Bayonne, New Jersey, a barge washed up after apparently breaking free from its moorings.

In New York, the rush hour got off to a rocky start as service on Metro-North's Danbury Branch in Connecticut was suspended due to a mudslide and signal power problems. Part of the Long Island Rail Road's Ronkonkoma Branch was halted because of power lines on the tracks. Unhappy commuters crowded a station.

Associated Press writers Mark Pratt and Alanna Durkin Richer in Boston; Kathy McCormack in Concord, New Hampshire; Patrick Whittle and David Sharp in Portland, Maine; Lisa Rathke in Montpelier, Vermont; and Shawn Marsh in Trenton, New Jersey, contributed to this report.
Source: AP

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:19 pm 
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Emergency declared after storm on Greek island of Symi
14 November 2017

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greek authorities have declared a state of emergency on the small Aegean Sea island of Symi after a torrential rainfall flooded homes and shops, swept vehicles into the sea and cut power to the island.

The head of the civil protection agency, Giannis Kapakis, announced the emergency on Tuesday after Monday's storm turned streets into torrents of mud, inundated the local power station and cut the electricity supply for hours. About 10 cars were swept into the island's main harbor. The coast guard brought firefighters with water pumping equipment to Symi from the nearby island of Rhodes, while the military sent 19 soldiers with earth-moving equipment and a generator to help cleanup efforts. The island is known for its beaches and its pretty harbor town.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:21 pm 
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Greece in mourning as floods kill at least 14 near Athens
By ELENA BECATOROS and PETROS GIANNAKOURIS
15 November 2017

MANDRA, Greece (AP) -- Greece declared a day of national mourning after floods on the outskirts of Athens left at least 14 dead Wednesday, flipping over cars, smashing into homes and cutting off highway traffic.

The flash floods turned roads into raging torrents of mud and debris inundated houses and businesses. Drivers scrambled out of their vehicles as cars were washed away. Rescue crews searched basement homes for residents who may have been trapped. More torrential rain is expected Thursday.

"This is a very difficult moment for our country. We mourn the deaths of 14 people in what is a great disaster. ... It is the wish of all of us that this number does not increase," Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a televised address, announcing a day of national mourning Thursday. Twelve of the people killed - four women and eight men - were found in or near Mandra, a small town on the western outskirts of Athens that was hardest-hit by the flood. The coast guard recovered the bodies of two more men believed to have been swept out to sea by the flood.

Floodwater carrying debris charged toward the coast, sinking fishing boats in a small harbor. Several people were being treated in a hospital for various injuries, including hypothermia. There were fears the death toll could rise further as rescue crews searched flooded homes and streets on the western outskirts of Athens.

The flooding came after a severe overnight storm brought driving rain to the area. Roads turned into muddy rivers that carried away vehicles, tossing them into piles on roadsides and against fences and buildings. Several walls from yards and low buildings collapsed, filling the streets with rubble.

The fire department said it had received more than 600 calls for help pumping water out of buildings and had rescued 86 people trapped in vehicles and homes. It said it had deployed 190 firefighters with 55 vehicles. All fire services across the wider Athens area had been put on alert as more bad weather was forecast. A section of the highway between Athens and Corinth was completely knocked out, with cars, trucks and buses trapped in an inundated underpass.

Judicial authorities ordered an immediate investigation into the deaths and material damage. Investigators would be looking into whether factors such as shoddy or illegal construction might have contributed to the severity of the flooding. Local authorities shut schools in the areas of Mandra, Nea Peramos and Megara, while the fire department appealed to the public to avoid the area unless absolutely necessary in an effort to reduce traffic.

More hazardous weather was predicted for large swaths of Greece later Wednesday and in coming days, with storms predicted for western Greece and for parts of the Greek capital. The deaths came a day after authorities declared a state of emergency on the small Aegean Sea island of Symi due to torrential rainfall there that flooded homes and shops, swept vehicles into the sea and cut power after the local power station was flooded.

Becatoros reported from Athens. Fanis Karabatsakis and Derek Gatopoulos in Athens contributed to this report.
Source: AP

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:27 am 
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Hundreds evacuated in Albania amid persistent rain, flooding
By LLAZAR SEMINI
2 December 2017

TIRANA, Albania (AP) -- Soldiers and police evacuated hundreds of residents in southern Albania on Saturday amid persistent rain in the country that has caused riverbanks to burst, flooding several villages and inundating thousands of homes.

Many roads in the region have been blocked by mudslides. More than 100 families in five villages near the Vjosa River, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) southwest of the capital, Tirana, were evacuated overnight, the Defense Ministry said. Police and soldiers have forcefully removed people from their homes in some cases, top emergency official Shemsi Prenci said.

About 2,300 troops have been deployed to the area along with six teams of emergency responders from neighboring Kosovo, he said. At least one person has died in the last three days of heavy rainfall that has flooded many parts of Albania, temporarily paralyzing its ports and suspending flights from its only international airport. But there haven't been any fatalities in the latest spell of downpours in southern Albania. "Fortunately there has been no loss of human lives, nor of cattle so far," said Prenci, adding that warnings about the bad weather earlier this week gave residents enough time to bring their livestock to safety, and personal belongings to upper floors.

Officials said Friday that 3,334 households were underwater and 3,016 hectares (7,500 acres) of agricultural land was flooded. On Saturday, authorities said that 45,000 residents were without power. Prime Minister Edi Rama has said that a total of 6,400 emergency responders, police and soldiers are dealing with "a very critical situation."

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:36 pm 
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Severe weather creates chaos across Europe
by Danny Kemp with Robin Millard in London
11 December 2017

BRUSSELS (AFP) - High winds and heavy snow in Europe on Monday stranded thousands of travellers, kept schoolchildren at home and even played havoc with international diplomacy.

It was the second day running of nasty weather across the continent, with Britain still digging out from its deepest snowfall in four years. The snowed-over runways in Brussels on Monday provoked about 90 flight cancellations and some 100 delays, including for the plane carrying Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu back home. A scheduled meeting between Netanyahu and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had to be called off because of the weather, officials said.

Brussels airport advised passengers to stay away, as staff were trying to de-ice planes and clear snow from the runways. "Heavy snowfall: do not come to the airport until further notice," the airport said on Twitter, adding that passengers should check the status of their flights.

Schiphol airport, just outside Amsterdam, was forced to cancel 430 flights already by early afternoon -- about a third of all flights in or out of one of Europe's top five busiest air hubs -- while many others faced long delays. Eindhoven airport, the Netherlands' second biggest, said just after midday that "due to wintry weather conditions, the runway is currently closed".

But it was not just knee-high snow that was causing trouble, with winds of up to 150 kilometres per hour (93 miles per hour) forecast along France's Atlantic Coast. Some 120,000 people were without power in France as storms that caused a ferry to run aground in Calais on Sunday continued to sweep the centre and west of the country. Brutal winds shut down ferry service between the southern Spanish port of Algeciras and Tangiers in Morocco, while also shuttering some schools in southern Spain.

At the same time, Britain was recovering after heavy snow brought freezing temperatures, shutting hundreds of schools and disrupting flights for a second day. Power was restored to more than 100,000 homes, while airports tried to recover their schedules following the winter's first major snowfall -- the biggest in four years. The last time Britain saw this much heavy snow nationwide was in March 2013.

Newspaper front pages were filled with pictures of people either enjoying the snow or stuck in gridlock on the roads. Some 32 centimetres (12.5 inches) of snow fell in Sennybridge in south Wales on Sunday. And temperatures overnight dropped to minus 11.6 degrees Celsius (11 degrees Fahrenheit) in Northumberland, northeast England. The Western Power Distribution network said it has restored power to more than 99,500 customers, while a further 7,000 were still without electricity, largely in west central England.

Meanwhile disruption continued on the roads and at airports. London Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport by passenger numbers, said it was still experiencing problems. "Some flights at Heathrow will be disrupted on Monday due to crew and aircraft being out of position following yesterday's weather," it said. "We're working with our airline partners to return aircraft to where they need to be, and full service recovery remains the focus."

Hundreds of schools were closed in western England and north Wales, while much of the kingdom was on a yellow weather warning for snow and ice. All local authority-run schools in the central city of Birmingham were also shut.

Source: AFP

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:58 pm 
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Severe storm batters western Europe, British Isles
By GREGORY KATZ
3 January 2018

LONDON (AP) -- A violent storm packing winds of up to 100 miles per hour battered many parts of western Europe Wednesday, wreaking havoc on transport and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes across France, Switzerland, Britain and Ireland without power.

In Switzerland, where gusts reached 200 km/h, the storm canceled flights at Zurich and Basel airports and toppled a truck on a Swiss highway. Thousands of households at Lake Zurich were left without power, and firefighters were called to help with toppled trees blocking streets and flooding due to heavy rains. A train derailed resulting in injuries - mostly slight - for eight people, police said. Winter sports enthusiasts were stranded in cable cars, while officials called off ski jumping training. The risk of avalanches in mountainous regions was "very critical" because of the winds.

In England, the storm brought hail and lightning and closed some bridges and roads. Extremely high tides caused the partial collapse of a harbor wall in Cornwall in southwestern England, bringing seawater flooding in. Overturned vehicles forced officials to close portions of three major highways in England. The country's main weather forecaster, the Met Office, says gusts reached 100 mph in Cumbria, 280 miles (450 kilometers) northwest of London, early Wednesday morning when the storm peaked.

The storm then crossed the English Channel to damage power systems in France and Germany. Forecasters said gusts of up to 80 mph are possible Wednesday. France's national electricity provider says it left some 200,000 households without electricity across the country, including 30,000 in the Paris region.

The windstorm battered northern France with winds surpassing 90 mph - some of the worst winds to hit France in years. Many posted photos of destroyed cars, collapsed scaffolding and uprooted trees on social media. In the Paris region a falling tree hit a car and seriously injured one person, while another resident was seriously hurt falling from a building. In total, the Interior Ministry said nine people in France were injured, with four said to be in serious condition following accidents caused by the winds. Strong winds also caused problems at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, with slight delays stemming from precautions being taken to safely get travelers into aircraft.

In Germany, zoos were closed, roads were flooded and a train derailed as the storm battered many regions. The German news agency dpa reported Wednesday that a train derailed near Luenen in western Germany when it crashed against a tree that had fallen on the tracks. No injuries were reported. Highways near Duisburg and Juelich in the west were also partially blocked because of toppled trees and flooding.

The zoos in Munich and Augsburg in Bavaria closed for the day and the rack railway leading up on Germany's tallest mountain, the Zugspitze, was also shut down because of the storm.

Irish state electricity company ESB said that by noon Wednesday, electricity had been restored to 134,000 customers, but 16,000 homes, farms and businesses remained without power. Another 20,000 properties had lost power in Northern Ireland, the Press Association reported.

About 200 planes had to be cancelled and trains were moving at reduced speeds in the Netherlands as the low-lying country prepared for the first major storm of the year. Dutch authorities and train service personnel reported that train service has been suspended in coastal areas. Car traffic has also been blocked on dykes and bridges near the sea in anticipation of the storm.

The Netherlands was forced to seal all five of its major storm surge barriers for the first time on Wednesday. The massive dams were deployed in order to avoid flood damage due to increased water levels, the country's Rijkswaterstaat water authority said on Twitter. The Oosterscheldekering, in south-western Zeeland province, is the Netherland's most famous and largest dam, spanning 9 metres and with the ability to protect from flooding above 3 metres. Before the latest storm, it was last used in late 2014. Flood barriers on the Ijssel and Maas rivers, as well as Ijsselmeer lake, were also put up. Roughly a third of the Netherlands is below sea level, and some 60 per cent of country faces the risk of flooding during storms. In response, the country has developed a sophisticated system of dykes, dams, canals and storm surge barriers.

International fast-train services from Belgium to the Netherlands and Germany suffered serious delays and at least one service to Paris had to be cancelled because of the bad weather, the train operator said. Belgian emergency services were called out hundreds of times, mostly because of downed trees. Roofs were also blown off in the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders, Belga news agency reported. The Belgian capital Brussels also experienced restricted train services.

Thomas Adamson in Paris and Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin contributed.
Source: AP

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:36 am 
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Massive winter storm bringing snow, cold to huge swath of US
By SUSAN HAIGH
January 4, 2018

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- A massive winter storm swept from the Carolinas to Maine on Thursday, dumping snow along the coast and bringing strong winds that will usher in possible record-breaking cold.

Up to 18 inches of snow was expected in eastern New England. Blizzard warnings and states of emergency were in effect, schools and government offices closed for the day and motorists were warned to be careful as conditions worsened.

People who take to the roads are in for an "ugly, long commute" New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Ankle deep snow and wind gusts approaching 50 mph (80 kph) covered Maryland's Ocean City Boardwalk, which was under a blizzard warning Thursday.

Eastern Massachusetts and most of Rhode Island were bracing for as much as 18 inches of snow, with snow falling at a rate of 3 inches per hour possible.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said more than 100 warming centers have been opened in 34 towns across the state. Connecticut has 634 state plow trucks and 250 contractors working to clear the highways.

The massive storm began two days ago in the Gulf of Mexico, first hitting the Florida Panhandle. It has prompted thousands of canceled flights, shuttered schools and businesses and sparked fears of coastal flooding and power outages.

Wind gusts of 50 mph to 60 mph, strong enough to cause downed trees and power lines, are predicted in places where the National Weather Service has issued blizzard warnings. They include the Delmarva Peninsula, which includes parts of Delaware, Virginia and Maryland; coastal New Jersey; eastern Long Island, New York; and coastal eastern New England.

The snowstorm shut down much of eastern Virginia, but some people were taking it in stride.

Mark Schoenenberger, 45, a NASA engineer who lives in Norfolk, Virginia, put on his cross country skis so he could make a half hour trip to the bagel shop for some breakfast for his family.

"It's like 'Yay, I get to go out," he said.

The only concern he seemed to have was telecommuting while his kids were home from school. But "it's just noise," he said.

The storm will then be followed by a wave of bracing cold.

"We think there are going to be scattered records broken for low temperatures," said Peterson, adding how the weather service expects 28 major cities across New England, eastern New York and the mid-Atlantic states will have record low temperatures by dawn on Sunday.

State and local officials urged residents to prepare for possible power losses and stay home so crews can clear streets and roads of what could be as much as foot or more of snow in some places. There were concerns in Boston and elsewhere that if roads aren't properly cleared, they could freeze into cement-like icy messes by Friday, given the expected low temperatures. In other areas, plummeting temperatures already have caused water mains to burst.

The storm has resulted in thousands of canceled flights at major airports such as Boston's Logan International Airport and New York's LaGuardia Airport and disrupted the schedules at regional airports.

Amtrak planned to operate a modified schedule between New York and Boston on Thursday. Northeast Regional Service between Washington, D.C., and Newport News/Norfolk, Virginia, was canceled for Thursday.

The coastal Southeast got a rare blast of snow and ice on Wednesday. Schools were shut down just months after hurricane threats. In Charleston, South Carolina, the weather service reported 5 inches of snow, enough for Chris Monoc's sons, ages 4 and 2, to go sledding outside their home.

"They probably will be teenagers the next time something like this happens, and that's kind of sad," Monoc said. "But we'll enjoy it while it's here."

Associated Press Writer Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia, contributed to this report.
Source: AP

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:38 am 
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Arctic blast chills US, Canada in JFK airport meltdown
by Jennie MATTHEW
January 6, 2018

NEW YORK (AFP) - The eastern United States and Canada froze Saturday under record-breaking low temperatures following a deadly winter storm as New York's flagship airport descended into chaos, battling to contain flight backlog.

In Canada, temperatures approaching minus 50 degrees Celsius (minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit) were forecast in northern Ontario and Quebec. Arctic blasts and dangerously cold wind chills could make it feel as low as minus 45 Fahrenheit across the eastern United States, with the risk of frostbite to exposed skin within 10 minutes, officials warned.

The deep freeze follows a storm, dubbed a "bomb cyclone" by forecasters, which has been blamed for at least 19 deaths in the United States, from Texas to Wisconsin, US media reported. Thursday's storm raked the East Coast with heavy snowfall, glacial temperatures and high winds, forcing the cancellation of flights. But on Saturday, more than 3,420 flights within, into or out of the United States were still delayed, with New York's John F. Kennedy airport and South Carolina's Charleston among the most affected.

The Port Authority, which runs New York-area airports, announced that flights were being limited into JFK, "including all flights scheduled to arrive into Terminal 1 for the rest of the evening." It said a surge in flights rescheduled after the storm, combined with severe storm damage to equipment, resulted in delays in getting planes and passengers to gates. Tracking site Flightradar24 said at least 12 international flights had been waiting, around two to four hours, for a gate to deplane.

Passengers complained of being stranded on the tarmac for hours and then facing lengthy delays in baggage claim that made traveling, particularly with babies or the elderly, a misery. "Losing patience," tweeted passenger James Allen, who said he travelled on Virgin Atlantic and had to wait three hours on the tarmac before reaching the gate, then two hours in baggage claim. "Two small children hungry, thirsty and tired with no facilities or help in baggage reclaim. Very poor," he tweeted.

Multiple trans-Atlantic flights simply gave up and went home, including an Aeroflot flight from Moscow that turned back over Iceland. A Norwegian Air flight from London diverted to Stewart International, 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of Manhattan, while Flightradar 24 said a Japan Airlines flight from Tokyo diverted to Boston.

Adding to the chaos, a China Southern Airlines and Kuwait Airways jet clipped each other's wings at JFK's Terminal 4 late Friday, causing damage to both aircraft but no injuries, officials said.

In New York, the National Weather Service chalked up record lowest high temperatures for the day at each of its climate sites except for Central Park, with temperatures about 25 degrees below normal. Forecasters says below-normal temperatures are likely to continue into early next week, forecasting freezing rain from Kansas to Tennessee, and that ice could complicate road transport.

Mount Washington, New Hampshire recorded the second-coldest temperature on earth early Saturday, minus 36 Fahrenheit. In eastern Canada, which has suffered through extreme cold for two weeks, there were further flight delays and cancellations at Toronto airport, and some communities along the Quebec coast faced flooding. "Frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with wind chill -- and keep emergency supplies in your vehicle," the Canadian weather service warned.

Source: AFP

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:40 am 
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100 million people affected by US East Coast's deep freeze
By VERENA DOBNIK
January 6, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) -- About 100 million people faced a new challenge after the whopping East Coast snowstorm: a gusty deep freeze, topped Saturday by a wind chill close to minus 100 on New Hampshire's Mount Washington that vied for world's coldest place.

Jaw-clenching temperatures to start the weekend throughout the Northeast hit Burlington, Vermont, at minus 1 and a wind chill of minus 30. Both Philadelphia and New York were shivering at 8 degrees. And in Hartford, Connecticut, a brutal cold of 10 degrees yielded a wind chill of minus 20. On Saturday, winds of more than 90 mph swirled Mount Washington, the Northeast's highest peak, at a temperature of minus 37 degrees and a wind chill of minus 93. It tied for second place with Armstrong, Ontario, as the coldest spot in the world.

Boston, at a relatively balmy 11 degrees, was wrangling with a different kind of challenge: a shortage of plumbers as the weather wreaked havoc on pipes that froze and cracked, Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh reported.

A 3-foot tidal surge brought on by the nor'easter along the Massachusetts coast was the highest recorded in nearly a century. Residents of Boston and its suburbs were cleaning up Saturday after the tide that came in Thursday, flooding streets and forcing some residents to be evacuated as the water started to freeze.

In New Jersey, many people stayed home instead of dealing with single-digit temperatures. Others were cleaning up from the storm that dropped more than a foot of snow in some spots earlier in the week. "My car felt like an icebox this morning, even though I had the heat on full blast," Julie Williams said as she sipped coffee inside a Jackson Township convenience store. She was headed to work at a local supermarket, and was expecting it to be packed. "People think it's nuts before a storm happens, with everyone getting milk, bread, etc." she said, adding with a laugh, "but it's even worse in the days afterward, because they do the same thing but they're a little crazy from cabin fever."

The operators of New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport were struggling to recoup from Thursday's storm. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airport, said it was working with airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration to limit flights into Kennedy on Saturday "until there are adequate gates available to handle the backlog of flights due to recovery of flight schedules in the wake of Thursday's storm."

In Rhode Island, hospitals were treating dozens of storm-related injuries as the region grits through a deep freeze that followed a powerful blizzard. In Providence and Newport, at least 40 people were treated for various weather-related conditions, from heart attacks, snowblower or shoveling injuries, frostbite and more, according to The Providence Journal. The storm dropped more than 14 inches of snow on Providence.

Monday is expected to be the first day above freezing since last month. In New York City, temperatures should reach 40 degrees next week. Even more southern locations didn't escape the cold; the mercury dipped into the single digits in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., during the weekend, about 20 degrees below normal for this time of year.

The high winds and frigid temperatures prompted several ski resorts to close some of their lifts. Bolton Valley in Vermont said there was a general "lack of demand and enthusiasm from skiers and riders." With a temperature of minus 14 at the summit and minus 11 at the base, the resort cancelled evening skiing due to a frostbite warning. In Vermont's capital city of Montpelier, with the temperature at minus 5 Saturday, business was slow at La Brioche Bakery but soups were a big seller, said bakery clerk Caroline Cunningham. "Nobody wants to be outside," she said.

The key strategy for most East Coast residents was to wear layered clothing. Brooklyn resident Zelani Miah, who was walking home from running errands Saturday morning, said he wore lots of them. "Right now, the only thing I put on was just some gloves, a couple sweaters of course, like five or six of them, and two pants basically and boots," Miah said. "Keep warm, make sure you wear hats."

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:06 am 
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Spanish soldiers work to rescue drivers trapped by snow
7 January 2018

MADRID (AP) -- Emergency response units of the Spanish army say they have been deployed to rescue drivers trapped in their cars by heavy snows falling across large parts of Spain.

Spanish media outlets report that hundreds of cars were stuck as snowfall in the north and central areas of the country disrupts travel on a holiday weekend, when families are returning from Epiphany celebrations on Friday and Saturday. Over 150 soldiers supported by snowplows from the army's emergency response units worked overnight to free an unknown number of vehicles on a highway northwest of Madrid Sunday. Emergency services for the region of Castilla and Leon say that 80 people were taken in at a temporary shelter in the nearby town of San Rafael.

Source: [url=http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_SPAIN_WINTRY_WEATHER?SITE=MYPSP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2018-01-07-07-36-43]AP[url]

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:00 pm 
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Big freeze: Russia's Yakutia sees near-record cold spell
16 January 2018

MOSCOW (AP) -- People living in some of the coldest places on earth are hunkering down as temperatures fall to near-record lows that are even defeating thermometers.

Temperatures in the remote, diamond-rich Russian region of Yakutia on Tuesday plunged to minus 67 degrees Celsius (minus 88.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in some areas. In Yakutia - about 3,300 miles (5,300 kilometers) east of Moscow - where students routinely go to school in minus 40 degrees, school was canceled throughout the region. Local police also ordered parents to keep their children at home.

Over the weekend, two men froze to death when they tried to walk to a nearby farm after their car broke down. Three other men who were with them survived because they were wearing warmer clothes, local investigators reported on Monday. The press office of Yakutia's governor said Tuesday all households and businesses in the region have working central heating and access to backup power generators.

In the village of Oymyakon, one of the coldest inhabited places on earth, state-owned television showed mercury falling to the bottom of a thermometer that was only set up to measure down to minus 50. In 2013, Oymyakon recorded an all-time low of minus 71 degrees Celsius (minus 98 Fahrenheit).

Residents of Yakutia, home to nearly 1 million people, are no strangers to cold weather, and this week's cold spell was not even dominating headlines in local media on Tuesday. Some media outlets, however, ran stories of selfies and stunts in the extreme cold. Women posted pictures of their frozen eyelashes, while YakutiaMedia published a picture of Chinese students who got undressed to take a plunge in a thermal spring.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:48 pm 
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Floodwaters threaten Paris, closing roads, tunnels, cellars
By SAMUEL PETREQUIN
26 January 2017

PARIS (AP) -- Parisians remained largely unfazed Friday as the Seine River continued to rise and approach peak levels.

The Paris region has been deeply affected by the floods that hit the country over the past week, but in the capital city, it was business as usual for the most part. The Seine will hit its peak soon, but without surpassing record levels, according to Vigicrues, the body in charge of monitoring flood levels.

The Seine reached 5.60 meters (more than 18 feet) Friday morning at the Austerlitz bridge in eastern Paris. It was expected to keep rising, reaching a peak of six meters (20 feet) over the weekend. That's under the 6.2 meters the Seine reached two years ago, and far below the levels reached during the 1910 Great Flood, when the Seine water rose to 8.62 meters (more than 28 feet). While the 2016 floods led to the death of two people and left several injured in the Paris area, no victims have been recorded during the current episode of flooding.

Paris authorities have closed several tunnels, parks, and the bottom floor of the Louvre Museum as precautionary measures. Roads on the river banks have been closed, as well as seven train stations alongside the river, but the moves didn't cause major disruption in the City of Lights. On a cold Friday morning, a small group of bystanders gathered at the Pont de l'Alma to admire and take pictures of the Seine's muddy waters. Just in front of the bridge close to the tunnel where Princess Diana was killed in a car crash stands the Zouave. It's a statue representing a soldier from the Crimean War, which is used by Parisians as a reference point to measure the Seine's level.

By midday Friday, the Zouave had water up to its thighs. "I'm here to take pictures and souvenirs," said Marc Bernard, a 59-year-old man who was born in Paris and witnessed several other floods. "I wouldn't say it's spectacular, but it's a special atmosphere. It's nice to watch the waters running faster."

Only a few Paris residents have been forced to leave their homes on the Seine riverbanks. The manager of a building on the right bank in the west of the French capital said he had the ground-floor windows boarded up after residents lost most of their belonging in the 2016 floods. "The first residents left three days ago and yesterday or the day before. Everybody was gone here," said Joao De Macedo. "They put everything up on concrete blocks." De Macedo said he had noticed the water was also making its way into the building through the cellar's floor and was penetrating the walls.

The situation is far more difficult outside Paris. Exceptionally heavy rains have caused power outages and forced about 400 evacuations from homes elsewhere on the Seine after it and other French rivers burst their banks. The floods caused significant damage in the suburbs. They will also have an economic impact on the businesses operating boats on the Seine, since all river traffic has been banned until further notice. Anthony Huard, who organizes floating parties on a boat moored in the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, said much of his activity has been halted. "Since the start of the year I have only been able to host just two events, instead of 10 normally," he said.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said the 2016 floods in the Seine and Loire basins had a negative impact on the economy worth 1.42 billion euros ($1.8 billion). According to projections, a flood comparable to the 1910 Great Flood could cost damage costing between 3 billion euros ($3.7 billion) and 30 billion euros ($37 billion).

Oleg Cetinic and Alex Turnbull contributed to this report.
Source: AP

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:00 pm 
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French towns swimming in floodwaters, now rising in on Paris
28 January 2018

PARIS (AP) -- More than 200 French towns are struggling against floodwaters that have halted boat traffic in Paris, closed roads and schools and prompted the evacuation of hospitals.

Swollen by weeks of heavy rains, the Seine River is expected to reach its peak in the French capital late Sunday or early Monday. Paris regional authorities say the floods have already caused damage in 240 towns. In Villennes-sur-Seine west of Paris, the ground floor of some buildings has disappeared underwater and residents are using boats instead of cars.

In Paris, cruise boat companies are suffering losses because all river traffic has been banned for days. Police fined people who took a canoe Saturday into the Seine in central Paris, and sternly ordered others in a tweet against such actions, calling them "totally irresponsible."

Source: AP

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