2008 - WEATHER DEATHS
compiled by Dee Finney
Relentless Calif. Storms Kill 2; 2 Missing; 11,000 Without Power After Week of
Snow and Rain
January 26, 2008
LOS ANGELES — Swaths of California braced for another bout of heavy weather
Saturday as a fresh series of storms swirled toward the state.
City workers retrieve debris from around a couple of partially submerged cars
abandoned by their drivers in the Hancock Park section of Los Angeles. (AP)
Wintry conditions over the past week have already claimed at least two lives,
when two died in an avalanche, and authorities were on full alert for
mudslides and flash floods in areas denuded by last year's wildfires.
National Weather Service meteorologist Richard Thompson said up to 8 inches of
rain would fall in the hills outside Los Angeles starting Saturday evening and
area ski resorts could be pounded by as much as 3 feet of powder.
"There's going to be very significant impacts," Thompson said. "Debris and
mudflows will be a great concern."
Several storms have been squeezing rain onto Southern California since Monday.
Some areas have received more moisture in that time than during the entire
rainy season last year.
One man was killed, another critically injured and two were missing after
three avalanches swept backcountry slopes in the San Gabriel Mountains outside
Los Angeles on Friday, authorities said.
Heavy snow is piled on the side of the road in the community of Mount Baldy,
Calif., north of Claremont. (AP)
Michael McKay, 23, of Wrightwood, was an off-duty ski patroller from the
Mountain High resort. He was killed in the first of the three slides.
Searchers found another skier, Darren Coffee, in a second avalanche late
Friday officials said.
He was declared dead at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center early Saturday, a
few hours after rescuers pulled him from a slide in the San Gabriel Mountains,
Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy Cory Kennedy said. The cause of death was not
immediately known, nor were Coffee's age and hometown.
A snowboarder was found safe Saturday morning in the San Gabriel Mountains,
but the search continued for a second person who went missing in the
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says the snowboarder walked out of
the avalanche area after spending the night in the Wrightwood area.
Angeles National Forest spokesman Stanton Florea said an avalanche advisory
was issued for the ski area at nearby Mount Baldy, a 10,000-foot peak about 40
miles east of Los Angeles, and the lifts were closed.
Photo: Los Angeles County Fire
Department Urban Search and Rescue team members prepare to head out to search
for missing snowboarders at Mountain Hight East Resort after an avalanche
occurred between Mountain High East and West in Wrightwood, Calif. (AP)
Elsewhere, residents of four Orange County canyons were urged to follow a
voluntary evacuation order.
County officials said the order would take effect noon Saturday for residents
of Modjeska, Harding, Silverado and Williams canyons, scarred by wildfires
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for Orange County
between midnight Saturday through Sunday morning.
In Los Angeles, two cars were submerged almost to the door handles on a
flooded street in Hancock Park on Friday and a Metrolink train on a morning
commute into the city hit a slide of mud and rocks on the tracks. The stranded
train was pulled free by another train and 2,000 passengers were delayed by 2
1/2 hours, Metrolink spokeswoman Denise Tyrrell said.
Steady rain soaked much of Northern California as well.
Rain caused delays of up to two hours Friday morning at San Francisco
International Airport, and officials expected such delays to continue
throughout the day.
Residents in the Marin County towns of San Anselmo and Fairfax are were asked
to leave their homes and businesses because of flooding from a nearby creek.
9 dead, 4 missing in central US storm
By BETSY TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer
PIEDMONT, Mo. - Flooding forced hundreds of
people to flee their homes and closed scores of roads Wednesday
across the nation's midsection as a storm system linked to nine
deaths poured as much as a foot of rain on the region.
National Weather Service posted flood and
flash flood warnings from
Pennsylvania on Wednesday, and evacuations were under way in
parts of Missouri, Arkansas and
Heavy rain began falling Monday and just kept
coming. Just over a foot had fallen at
Mountain Home, Ark., and about 10 inches had fallen by
Wednesday morning in southeast Missouri's Cape Girardeau County,
where officials said street flooding marooned some residents in
their homes. The weather service said 6.2 inches had fallen at
Scott and Marilyne Peterson and their son,
Scott Jr., scurried out of their home near
Piedmont after seeing water rise 3 feet in five minutes. They
had just enough time to grab essentials and their dog.
"You didn't have time to worry," Scott Peterson
Sr. said. "You just grab what you can and go and you're glad the
people are OK."
The rain in
Missouri was expected to finally come to an end Wednesday as
the weather system crawled toward the northeast.
Four deaths were linked to the flooding in
Missouri, and five people were killed in a highway wreck in heavy
Kentucky. Searches were under way in Texas for a teenager
washed down a drainage pipe and in Missouri for a man missing in a
creek, and two people were missing in
Arkansas after their vehicles were swept away by rushing
An estimated 300 houses and businesses were
flooded in Piedmont, a town of 2,000 residents on McKenzie Creek.
Dozens of people were rescued by boat.
St. Louis, the Meramec River was expected to crest 10 to 15
feet above flood stage at some spots, threatening towns like Eureka
and Valley Park.
Flooding was widespread in Arkansas, washing
out some highways and leading to evacuations of residents in parts
of Baxter, Madison, Sharp counties, said Tommy Jackson, a spokesman
Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. The Highway and
Transportation Department reported state roads blocked in 16
In northeast Arkansas, the Spring River was
rising at a rate of 6 inches per hour and carrying debris that
included full-size trees.
Two motorists were missing in Arkansas after
their vehicles were washed away by high water, authorities said.
Authorities in southwest Missouri were
searching for another man reported swept away by rushing water. "He
was going down the creek screaming and hollering,"
Lawrence County emergency management chief Mike Rowe said.
Emergency officials in
Mesquite, Texas, searched for a 14-year-old boy apparently
swept away as he and a friend played in a creek. The friend swam to
safety, authorities said.
Up the Ohio Valley, widespread flooding was
reported in parts of southwest Indiana and parts of
"We've got water rising everywhere," said Jeff
Korb, president of the Vanderbugh County, Ind., commissioners.
"We've got more than 70 roads under water."
Rescuers in southern Indiana plucked a man from
a tree in the
Ohio River after his truck was swept away. Knight Township
Fire Chief Chris Wathen said the man was conscious but showing signs
"It's hard for anybody to say how long he could
have survived there," Wathen said. "But I do think it was fair to
say he was within minutes of losing his life."
South Lebanon, Ohio — a town of about 2,800 people — were
urged to get out as the
Little Miami River was expected to crest at 28 feet, 11 feet
above flood stage and the third highest level since measurements
began in 1889, said Frank Young, emergency management director in
"That would put half of South Lebanon under
water," Young said.
Key roads were closed in the Cincinnati area,
where water 4 feet deep was reported in businesses in the suburb of
Sharonwille, police said. Police contacted at least nine businesses
and warned them not to open Wednesday. Northeast of
Cincinnati, two members of a cross-country team had to be
rescued from a rain-swollen creek after falling in.
The Ohio River at Cincinnati was expected to
rise about 2 feet above flood stage by Friday, flooding some
neighborhoods outside the city.
Missouri state officials said three people died
there, including one man whose car was swept 600 feet down a flooded
stream. The Southeast Missourian newspaper in
Cape Girardeau reported a fourth death.
Kentucky State Police said five people died in heavy rain
Wednesday on Interstate 65 in
south-central Kentucky when a tractor-trailer, a pickup truck
and a van crashed.
Associated Press writers
Terry Kinney in Cincinnati, Paul Weber in
Dallas, and Chuck Bartels in
Little Rock, Ark., contributed to this report.
13 Deaths Caused by Floods in Central US, Including
Submitted by Julie on March 20, 2008 -
Widespreading flooding throughout the states of Missouri,
Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio this week has led to
a total of 13 deaths, with hundreds of more displaced from their
Already dealing with the melting snow from heavy
storms just over a week ago, heavy rains pushed rivers and waterways
over their banks, flooding towns and forcing residents to flee their
Missouri has been declared a disaster area by President Bush,
which makes the state eligible for emergency funding.
In Ohio, although the skies cleared and rain stopped on
Thursday, rivers throughout the state were flooding and two major
highways in Columbus were closed due to high water. State
authorities have warned that many rivers would crest well above
flood stages. In Ohio, several days of rain which followed the
melting of up to 20 inches of snow is what caused the flooding.
Rainfalls, floods cause 42 deaths in Ecuador
QUITO, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The two-month
long heavy rainfalls and consequent floods in Ecuador have killed
42 people while eight others were missing, said the Civil Defense
Some 12,372 families abandoned their houses due to the
floods and 3,168 were lodged in temporary shelters throughout 13
provinces, said the Civil Defense, noting the floods have caused
losses of over 82 million U.S. dollars in the agricultural sector.
Ecuadoran Interior Minister Gustavo Larrea said the
heavy rainfalls have affected some 3.5 million Ecuadorans, almost
one third of the country's total population.
Regions hit most by the disaster are such coastal
provinces as Los Rios, Guayas, Manabi and El Oro as well as those
Andean provinces of Cotopaxi, Canar, Chimborazo, Loja, Bolivar and
The Ecuadoran government announced on Thursday that it
has allocated some 124 million dollars for repairing the
infrastructure damaged in the disaster-hit regions.