9-1-108 - Hurricane Ike  61 killed in Haiti
7 confirmed in Cuba - more missing
47 confirmed in the U.S.

Hurricane Hannah kills over 500 in Haiti

Bihar, India  - 2 million displaced by flood
the river has changed course

Tropical Storm Fay - kills 9
over 24 inches of rain in some places

Over 1,000 people killed by floods in Bangladesh

70 killed by floods in India

3 dead in Chad floods

8 dead in Ghana floods

130 killed by floods in Vietnam

4 dead in Laos

6 dead in Sudan

 7 dead in Bihar

40 killed in China

35 dead in Pakistan

9 killed in Togo, Africa

32 dead - Eastern Europe

22 killed in Ukraine

1 dead in New Zealand

compiled by Dee Finney



The surge before the storm swamps Galveston Island, Texas, and a fire destroys homes along the beach as Hurricane Ike approaches Friday, Sept. 12, 2008. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) This is the before shot.

A single home is left standing among debris from Hurricane Ike September 14, 2008 in Gilchrist, Texas. Floodwaters from Hurricane Ike were reportedly as high as eight feet in some areas causing widespread damage across the coast of Texas. (David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images. This image is 'after' the hurricane passed.

Flooding over access road 523 to Surfside beach, caused by Hurricane Ike forming in the Gulf of Mexico, is seen near Surfside Beach, Texas September 12, 2008. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria.



A horse grazes beside a house, surrounded by floodwater, near Winnie, Texas after Hurricane Ike, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008. Ike was the first major storm to directly hit a major U.S. metro area since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005.
(AP Photo/Pool, Smiley N. Pool)

September 15, 2008

The short - but eventful - life of Hurricane Ike

In its brief lifespan of only 13 days, Hurricane Ike wreaked great deal of havoc. Affecting several countries including Cuba, Haiti, and the United States, Ike is blamed for approximately 114 deaths (74 in Haiti alone), and damages  that are still being tallied, with estimates topping $10 billion. Many shoreline communities of Galveston, Texas  were wiped from the map by the winds, storm surge and the walls of debris pushed along by Ike - though Galveston was spared the level of disaster it suffered in 1900.

This image from September 8, 2008 was provided by the U.S. Navy. Homes seen in Port De Paix, Haiti remain flooded after four storms in one month have devastated the area and killed more than 800 people. The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) has been diverted from the scheduled Continuing Promise 2008 humanitarian assistance deployment in the western Caribbean to conduct hurricane relief operations in Haiti. (Emmitt Hawks/U.S. Navy via Getty Images) #



Record-setting rains isolate thousands in Chile

The Associated Press Published: September 2, 2008 SANTIAGO, Chile: Southern Chile's heaviest rains in four decades have damaged hundreds of houses and left thousands of people isolated.

Rain ceased early Tuesday after more than 40 hours.

Emergency Bureau director Carmen Fernandez says one woman is dead due to a collapsed wall, 2,000 have evacuated their homes and more than 12,000 are isolated by flooding in rural areas.

The emergency Bureau says the rains are the heaviest in about 40 years.

The weather bureau says rainfall topped 5.5 inches (140 millimeters) in some areas.


India: Floods ravage Bihar; 2 million displaced

Government failed to evacuate isolated villages whose residents have fled in the worst flooding in 50 years as the Kosi River overflows. Desperate villagers are eating uncooked rice and cornmeal.
From Reuters, From Reuters
August 30, 2008
PATRAGHAT, INDIA -- A boat carrying dozens of flood victims overturned in eastern India, killing at least 20 people and raising to 85 the death toll while hunger and disease stalked the worst-ever floods in 50 years.

Authorities said the overcrowded army boat capsized in strong river current and that 10 more villagers were still missing.

The Kosi River burst a dam in neighboring Nepal this month and surged into the Indian state of Bihar, swamping village after village as authorities failed to evacuate millions in time.

Villagers were eating uncooked rice and flour mixed with polluted water, officials said Friday as the rising river waters smashed embankments and flooded vast areas in the state.

More than 2 million people in isolated villages in Bihar, India's poorest and second-most populous state, have been displaced and about a quarter of a million houses have been destroyed. Many, who usually rely on kindling or kerosene stoves, have no means of cooking food.

Floods have killed more than 1,000 people in South Asia since the monsoon season began in June, mainly in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where 785 people lost their lives, while other deaths were reported from Nepal and Bangladesh.

Thousands of people, carrying their belongings on their heads, walked away from their flooded homes through narrow and submerged roads. Many children rode on their cows and buffalos.

"We've lost our homes, we've lost our clothes, we've lost everything . . . ," said Bijender, a villager walking along a road with his child.

"We are taking our children and leaving and we don't even know where we are going."

Water levels continued to rise amid heavy rains. The water could stay for about three months, increasing the risk of water-borne diseases.

"My hungry children are crying and we are eating raw rice without boiling it," said Amit Kumar from Supaul district, the worst-hit by floods this year.

Some were eating cornmeal mixed with water to survive.

"I know how villagers are somehow managing to keep themselves alive by eating whatever food is available to them," Nitish Mishra, the state disaster management minister, told Reuters.

"It is not easy to distribute food to over 2 million displaced villagers, I know their condition."

Officials said bad weather and strong currents were preventing them from providing aid to remote areas.

Surging waters have swamped 247,000 acres of farmland, destroying wheat and paddy crops worth millions of rupees, officials said.

Helpless villagers have grabbed boats, planks or have taken refuge on rooftops to save themselves from floods.

Some set their cattle loose before fleeing as the animals had gone without food for days.

Diseases like diarrhea were reported from many government-run camps in the state.

"The camps are not organized yet and we are receiving reports of diseases," said Mukesh Puri of UNICEF.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, head of the ruling Congress party, flew over devastated areas Thursday and announced $228 million in aid.


Tropical Storm Fay floods hundreds of Florida homes

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Emergency crews launched airboats into submerged streets Wednesday to rescue central Florida residents trapped by rising floodwaters from a stalled Tropical Storm Fay, which soaked the state for a third consecutive day.

Calling the flooding "catastrophic," Gov. Charlie Crist requested an emergency disaster declaration from the federal government to defray rising debris and response costs. The White House said the Federal Emergency Management Agency was reviewing the request.

Flooding was reported in hundreds of homes in Brevard and St. Lucie counties, some by up to 5 feet of standing water. In three towns, rising waters backed up sewage systems. It wasn't immediately clear how many residents had been displaced or were stranded, but county officials reported making dozens of rescues.

"We can't even get out of our house," said Billie Dayton of Port St. Lucie, as waters lapped at her porch. "We're just hoping that it doesn't rain anymore."

The storm could dump 30 inches of rain in some areas of Florida and the National Hurricane Center said up to 22 inches had already fallen near Melbourne, just south of Cape Canaveral on the state's central Atlantic coast.

By Wednesday evening, the storm's center had moved over the Atlantic Ocean, and its winds had picked up speed.

Forecasters expected the storm to strengthen slightly before turning back toward the mainland Thursday and hitting Florida for the third time this week. But National Hurricane Center meteorologist Corey Walton said it was unlikely the storm would gain enough energy over the water to become a hurricane.

The erratic storm first struck Monday in the Florida Keys, then veered out to sea before traversing east across the state, briefly strengthening, then stalling. For much of Wednesday, the storm barely moved, dumping inches and inches of rain over coastal central Florida.

If Fay strikes Florida again as expected, it would be just the fourth storm in recorded history to hit the peninsula with tropical storm intensity three separate times. The most recent was Hurricane Donna in 1960, said Daniel Brown, hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center.

At 11 p.m. Wednesday, the storm was just off Florida's east coast, about 35 miles southeast of Daytona Beach. Its maximum sustained winds were 60 mph, and it was expected to move slowly toward the northwest overnight.

In St. Lucie County an estimated 150 residents have been assisted in evacuating by boat or high-clearance vehicle, and water was 3 to 5 feet in some people's homes, Erick Gill, a county spokesman, said.

The Florida National Guard mobilized about a dozen guardsmen and some high-water vehicles to assist with damage assessment and help with evacuations.

Billy Johnson, 45, and his girlfriend walked four blocks through waist-high water to reach rescue vehicles after his Melbourne apartment was flooded with knee-high water.

"Everything I had is all underwater," he said. "You can't grab your food. You can't grab your TV... Grab what you can and go."

For many, however, it was just a major inconvenience.

Steve Grenon, 40, was sitting in the bed of his truck in front of his house. He said he'd been holed up there for two days, unable to leave with water was up to six feet deep in the street in front of him. A dodge sedan was partly submerged in front of him.

"I had no idea what it looked like out there until today," Grenon said.

Gill said hundreds of homes had been flooded, though a count was incomplete. Homes also were flooded in Brevard County, and county officials said 118 people were in shelters Wednesday night. Floodwaters also had caused sewage to back up, affecting another 40,000 to 50,000 people in three towns.

Fay formed over the weekend in the Atlantic and was blamed for 20 deaths in the Caribbean before hitting Florida's southwest coast, where it first fell short of predictions it could be a Category 1 hurricane when it came ashore.

Though no one in Florida had been killed, some were close. Joe McMannis, 27, said he jumped into floodwaters to help three people in a submerged truck in Jensen Beach. McMannis said the driver accidentally drove into a retention pond, confusing it for a driveway.

"It pretty much came up to my ears and chin," he said. "I saw this little kid coming toward me so I grabbed him and swam him back to the shore line and went back for the other two guys."

The rain was welcome in dry Florida and Georgia cropland, but could also hurt farmers' production. Forecasters predicted parts of northern Florida could get 10 to 15 inches of rain, while southern Georgia could receive 3 to 6 inches.

"They're probably areas of the state that found the rains very beneficial," said Terence McElroy, spokesman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

But McElroy said the rain could pool around and damage citrus trees and flood pastures and hay fields. He couldn't yet quantify damage.

Before moving east, the storm flooded streets in Naples, downed trees and cut power to some 95,000 homes and businesses. Tornadoes spawned by the storm damaged 51 homes in Brevard County, southeast of Orlando, including nine homes that were totaled. In the Keys, officials estimated 25,000 tourists evacuated.

In Florida communities north of the flooding and in southeast Georgia, storm preparations included canceling school, clearing storm drains and ditches and encouraging mobile home residents to find sturdier shelter.

Associated Press Writer Russ Bynum reported from Savannah, Ga.; Kelli Kennedy, Matt Sedensky, Lisa Orkin Emmanuel, Curt Anderson and Travis Reed reported from Miami; Christine Armario reported in Tampa, Bill Kaczor and Brent Kallestad reported from Tallahassee; and Ron Word in Jacksonville.


Food riots, anger as floods swamp South Asia

Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:16am EDT


* Almost 1,000 people die in three months of monsoon rains

* India, Bangladesh and Nepal badly hit

* Hungry villagers attack officials in eastern India

By Sharat Pradhan

LUCKNOW, India, August 22 (Reuters) - Flood victims demanding food and shelter beat up government officials in India on Friday as monsoon rains spread misery among millions of people across South Asia and forced thousands from their homes.

Rising rivers have crumpled embankments, swamped farmlands and destroyed homes, killing almost 1,000 people since the monsoon rains began in June. In India's eastern Bihar state, hungry villagers rioted for food, chasing and beating up officials and local politicians with iron rods. They damaged government vehicles.

"We do not understand their anger because the government is rushing relief and doing everything to save them," said R.K. Singh, a senior government official in Patna, the state capital.

Most deaths have been reported in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, home to 170 million people.

Indian officials on Friday reported 50 more deaths, raising the toll there to 710 this season.

Monsoon rains have killed at least another 130 people in other parts of India this year, while Nepal has reported some 65 deaths and Bangladesh another 30 so far.

The monsoon is key to irrigating farmland in South Asia and driving economic growth in a region heavily reliant on agriculture. But it leaves massive destruction in its wake, killing hundreds of people every year.


Officials in Uttar Pradesh have moved more than 10,000 people into temporary shelters after their houses were destroyed in floods.

Rescue workers used boats to ferry food packets, medicines and clothes to those marooned, Balwinder Kumar, a senior government official said on Friday. More than 7,000 flood victims were being treated for water-borne diseases.

In neighbouring Bangladesh, more than 300,000 people have fled their homes and thousands have been marooned as heavy rains over the past week triggered fresh floods in southeastern Cox's Bazar district, officials said.

Several overflowing rivers in Cox's Bazar and nearby hill districts have flooded roads and damaged crops.

In Nepal, 40,000 flood victims were housed in relief camps.

"We have collected enough food grains to feed them for two weeks but need tents, medical kits and other relief materials urgently," said government official Suman Ghimire. (Additional reporting by Ruma Paul in Dhaka and Gopal Sharma in Kathmandu; Writing by Bappa Majumdar; Editing by Krittivas Mukherjee and Paul Tait)

19 dead in Punjab, Haryana floods
Times of India, India - Aug 18, 2008
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal visited the flood-hit areas and reviewed the rescue and relief operations. In Moga, the river Sutlej has started


Monika Nautiyal Delhi

Dearth of rainfall in the ‘wet’ Northeast and unprecedented floods in ‘barren’ Rajasthan have left people perplexed over nature’s solemn twist. However, some experts are attributing this uncanny phenomenon to the variables in the weather patterns known to occur globally and not necessarily due to global warming and change in the climate. But the fact is there has been a 0.6 degree Celsius increase in mean average temperature of 15 degree Celsius in recent times.

There have been instances in the past when some parts of Rajasthan witnessed flash floods. In 2003, several areas in the state were swamped after years of drought. Local residents attribute the inundation this time to the breach of series of dams built in the upper areas of Barmer and Jaisalmer. The death toll in Barmer touched over 104 and bodies are being recovered daily in the district. Many people are still missing.

Barmer, over 600 km from the state capital, is a part of Thar desert bordering Pakistan. This sparsely populated area normally receives an average low of 277 mm rainfall annually, but this year (August 19-21), 678 mm of rainfall has been recorded, which has turned this area of sand-dunes into a huge and artificial lake. More than 800 villages and 800,000 out of the district’s two-million population have been affected due to unexpected rains and once-in-a-century floods. Massive damage has been reported to houses, property and livestock. About 47,000 head of cattle and crops worth Rs 300 million have reportedly been perished.

Twelve districts of the desert state were affected by the monsoons. These include Udaipur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Dungarpur, Rajsamand, Jhalawar, Kota, Barmer, Jalore, Pali, Sirohi and Jaisalmer. The highly affected areas in the Barmer district are Kavas and Malwa where the water is not receding as fast as in other areas. The water level is still over 10 feet as a thick belt of gypsum beneath the surface area is preventing the water from percolating. Some villages are still submerged in 20-25-ft-deep water. In fact, Kavas had experienced floods in 1989 and 1994 and received about 608mm of downpour. The NGOs say that there have been 36 deaths and three children are missing.

The disposal of floodwaters is now a big headache for the authorities. The NGOs have warned against draining out of the water which will lead to vast amount of wastage in a state thirsty for water for agriculture and drinking purposes. They have suggested that the government should install pumps in the range of 2-3 km and use the water for agricultural purposes by creating reservoirs, anicuts, check dams in the manner the ‘water experiment’ has succeeded in other parts of Rajasthan, including rainwater harvesting. This will help villagers to grow Rabi crops and horticulture crops and improve the groundwater table.

However, the uncanny question remains. Floods in a desert, is it a freak event, or climate change?


Floods hit 7 lakh in border districts
- Prachanda protection for techies

Floods in Bihar

Patna, Aug. 21: Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters today dropped food packets and relief materials in areas on the Indo-Nepal border even as Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kumar Dahal Prachanda responded to the state government’s plea to provide security to country’s engineers working at Kusaha in Saptari district of his country.

Two days have passed since two breaches were formed on the Saptakosi barrage at Kusaha near Birput — that flooded Indo-Nepal border districts, including Supaul, Madehpura, Araria, Purnea and Farbesganj, besides parts of northern Nepal.

Till today, water has ravaged 500-odd homes in the Amaur block of Purnea.

Hundreds have taken shelter on the embankments, highways and railway tracks along the border and in border towns, while water has flooded the track along the Saharsa-Farbesganj section of the East Central Railway — halting traffic.

Yesterday, country’s engineers, who are engaged in checking erosion and repairing the Saptkosi barrage at Kusaha, have complained of trouble being created by Nepalese residents and some “mischief makers”.

Keeping in mind the safety of the country’s engineers, the Bihar chief minister today sought the help of the Nepal Prime Minister.

Prachanda, on his part, has assured of special security around the country’s engineers, sources in the home department said.

Also, the Nepalese Prime Minister carried out an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of his country, officials of the Indian embassy at Kathmandu reported.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar, too, carried out an aerial survey of the areas, under the Indian side, and conducted two emergency meetings with senior officers regarding the flood problem.

He also called in the Indian Army and Air Force’s help, besides called a team of the national disaster management force.

The state government, for now, has deployed two IAS officers, two officials in the rank of additional district magistrate and two deputy superintendents of police to oversee the relief work.

Today was the first day of the operations.

Sources in the state disaster management department said that nearly 60 personnel from the national disaster management force reached Bihar in the evening to join the special auxiliary force — already engaged in relief operations in Supaul, Saharsa, Nadehpura and Araria.

Water resources department officials estimated that the flood has, so far, affected over 850 villages in Muzaffarapur, Supaul, Saharsa, Madhepura, Katihar, Araria, West Champaran, Khagaria, Sitamarhi, Patna and Nalanda though the enormity of the deluge is relatively less in districts far from the Indo-Nepal border.

Over 7lakh people are said to be battling with the flood fury, as major rivers, such as the Ganga, Punpun, Ghaghra, Burhigandak, Bagmati, Kosi and Mahananda, are flowing above the danger mark.  


At least 70 dead in north India floods

08/ 2008 NEW DELHI,

August 21, 2008

 (RIA Novosti) - At least 70 people have died since Wednesday in floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains in various parts of northern India, national radio reports said on Thursday.

The floods caused severe damage in the states of Punjab, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and local authorities have asked the army for assistance in relief operations.

India's monsoon season, which usually occurs from early July to September, is vital for harvesting but regularly inflicts major destruction.

In early August floods swept along the coast of the Bay of Bengal in the south of the country, affecting around 50 neighborhoods in Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, and killing over 70 people.


Chad floods force 10,000 from homes, kill 3 - U.N.

Sat 23 Aug 2008, 12:26 GMT

By Moumine Ngarmbassa

N'DJAMENA, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Floods in southern Chad have forced 10,000 people from their homes and killed three, the United Nations said on Saturday, adding to the toll from seasonal rains spreading destruction and disease across Africa's Sahel region.

The United Nations said last week floods had uprooted an estimated 200,000 people across West Africa.

Kingsley Amaning, U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Chad, said in a statement on Saturday that 10,000 had lost their homes due to flooding in and around the southern town of Sahr.

"Torrential rains have been hitting Sahr since late July, and have continued up to the present time," Amaning's office said in a statement.

"Three people, caught under their collapsing homes, have been reported dead, and eight seriously injured," it said.

Seasonal rains fall generally between June and October across Africa's Sahel band, which runs across the continent south of the Sahara. Heavy or prolonged downpours can cause flash flooding and cause mud-built houses to collapse.

School teacher Rock Ndotam was one of the lucky ones: part of his house collapsed, but some of it was still standing at the weekend despite waterlogged streets and alleyways in the Mangara district where he lives on the outskirts of Sahr.

"We are crammed into two rooms along with all the children," the father of seven told Reuters by telephone from Sahr.

"We haven't received any help yet -- we have been registered, but we are still waiting. ... These are really difficult conditions," he said.

U.N. aid workers are concentrating on getting sheeting for shelter, chlorine to purify drinking water, health supplies and nutritional supplements such as high energy biscuits for children and nursing mothers.

They are particularly worried about hygiene and spreading disease as flooding had destroyed some 122 latrines and showers.

"The spread of malaria, diarrhoeal and respiratory diseases, could affect up to 30,000 people," World Health Organisation doctor Dah ould-Cheik said in the U.N. statement.

Water-borne diseases are a threat during seasonal rains, which have been particularly heavy in some parts of West Africa this year.

Flooding in July forced an estimated 150,000 people from their homes in Benin alone. In neighbouring Togo, France sent troops to help rebuild bridges swept away by rains that killed at least nine people.

Further round Africa's Atlantic coast, tiny Guinea-Bissau is struggling to control an outbreak of cholera that has killed at least 59 people since May. (Writing by Alistair Thomson, editing by Mary Gabriel)




Tamale, Ghana - Floods that have hit northern Ghana following heavy rains have claimed eight lives two districts, Alhaji Mustapha Idris, Northern Regional Minister said on Friday. Three deaths were recorded at Sug-Tampia and Yoggu in the Savelugu/Nanton District, one in the Tolon/Kumbungu District while four were recorded at Janga in the West Mamprusi District, he said.

Alhaji Mustapha told a meeting of key players to avert disaster that several are as of the Savelugu/Nanton District along the Nasia and White Volta had been cut off from the rest of the district.

He expressed fears that more communities would be cut off if its northern neighbour, Burkina Faso, spilled water from Bagre dam.

Idris said he had reports Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo and Chereponi districts that communities along the Oti and Gbugbari rivers were flooded with several houses washed away and farmlands inundated.

The White Volta in Tolon/Kumbungu and West and Central Gonja districts, he said, had broken its banks and could only be reached by boat.

The Regional Minister told the meeting that Saboba, the capital of the Saboba District, was virtually an island because all roads leading to the area were flooded.

Personnel from the National Disaster Management Organisaion, Volta River Authority and Information Services Department are on the ground warning the communities along the river banks to relocate to safer places.

Tamale - 22/08/2008

China damned over floods
By Brian McCartan


CHIANG MAI - As Mekong River floodwaters in Laos and Thailand recede, indignation with China for its lack of transparency on upstream dam developments is on the rise. China has recently pursued a friendly policy of economic integration with Southeast Asian neighbors but in relation to Mekong River development it has taken what many see as a covetous and less than neighborly approach.

Flood waters in recent days inundated parts of Luang Prabang and Vientiane provinces in Laos and at least seven northern provinces in Thailand. The flooding was widely reportedly the worst in a century for some areas, with river levels reaching a high of 13.7 meters on August 14. Previous record high floods occurred in 1966, when river levels reached 12.4 meters.

Thailand has estimated damages at around 220 million baht (US$6.48 million), while the Vientiane Times, a state-controlled Lao newspaper, cited an unofficial government report that the floods would cost Luang Prabang province alone some 100 billion kip (US$11.6 million). Those figures may only be provisional, as flood waters in the Mekong Delta have already reached critical levels and Vietnamese forecasters have predicted more flooding before the end of the rainy season.

The larger cost has been diplomatic, as downstream neighbors suspect rightly or wrongly that Chinese dams were primarily responsible for the flooding. From the hard-hit Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong districts of Thailand's northern Chiang Rai province to its eastern Mukdahan province, many Thais believe waters released from the reservoirs of three upstream Chinese dams swelled the runoff from heavy rainfalls. They also blame China's recent blasting and dredging of upstream river rapids to make the river navigable for large cargo vessels for rising water levels.

That may or may not be the case, but China's lack of transparency is fueling suspicions. The Mekong River Commission (MRC), a multinational grouping made up of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam responsible for sustainable development and water resource management of the Mekong, said in a statement that the high water levels were the result of above average rainfall and not the result of upstream Chinese dams opening sluice gates. The situation was compounded by tropical storm Kammuri, which hit the region between August 8 and 10, the statement said.

The MRC also noted that just half of the flood waters in Vientiane originated in China with the rest from Mekong tributaries, namely the Nam Ou and Nam Khan rivers. It concluded, "The current water levels are entirely the result of the meteorological and hydrological conditions and were not caused by water release from presently operating Chinese dams which have storage areas far too small to affect the flood hydrology of the Mekong," the statement said.

That view was supported by Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and the Thai Water Resources Department, which oversees Mekong water flows and Lao government officials also said Chinese dams are not at fault. Heavy rains had lashed Myanmar and Vietnam - lending credence to the nation's views - resulting in severe flooding that killed at least 130 in northern Vietnam and forced thousands from their homes in both countries.
But the Thai People's Network on the Mekong, a grouping of several Thai environmental organizations, openly rejected the MRC's reasoning for the floods in an August 16 statement, calling for China to free up information on its dams. There also appears to be lingering doubts among some top government officials.

Thai Deputy Interior Minister Prasong Kositanond said on Wednesday that officials were studying the floods and that China may be asked to provide future warnings on the timings and volumes of water released by the dams. He noted that without the cooperation of China, Thailand's northeastern regions could face more severe flooding. Even the MRC in Thailand, in contradiction to the statement from the organization's headquarters, has said it will ask the Thai Foreign Ministry for help in requesting more information from China about its dams.

No dam evidence
China has remained reluctant to reveal information about its dams, including its own environmental and hydrological studies of their impact. This lack of transparency has continued despite heavy criticism from environmental groups and official pleas from Southeast Asian neighbors seeking more information.

Thai Water Resource Department deputy head, Thanade Dawasuwan, recently told the Bangkok Post that his department actually has scant information on the Chinese dams. Thailand's MRC coordinator, Burachat Buasuwan, told the same newspaper that Chinese officials only provide information on water discharges in the rainy season. The MRC, he claimed, had made requests for information from Chinese officials in the past, but had yet to receive replies.

China has so far completed three dams across the upper Mekong - the Manwan in 1993, the Dachaoshan in 2002 and the Jinghong in June of this year. The three dams have respective storage capacities of 920 million, 890 million and 1.2 billion cubic meters, meaning a total of over 3 billion cubic meters of reservoir. This is enough, environmentalists say, to significantly influence water flows on the upper Mekong. Chinese officials have countered that since only 18% of the Mekong's flow originates in its areas, the dams will not have an effect on the volume of water flowing downstream.

China's grand vision for the Mekong is to build up to fifteen power-generating dams on its upper reaches to fuel economic growth in its laggard southwestern territories. The Xiaowan dam, the world's tallest at 292 meters, is slated for completion on the upper Mekong in 2013. Scheduled to generate over 4,000 megawatts of electricity, that particular hydropower dam has downstream Southeast Asia concerned about the massive reservoir the dam is expected to create and its anticipated impact on river water levels. Chinese officials have said the 190 square kilometer reservoir will reduce the amount of water flowing downward by 17% during flood seasons and increase the flow by 40% in dry seasons.

What is certain is that there have been ecological and hydrological changes in the Mekong River since the construction of the Chinese dams, and more recently with the dynamiting of river rapids. Locals in Chiang Khong, Thailand, the closest major town of the MRC member countries to China, say that there is a noticeable rise in the river level when the water gates are opened on China's dams. Environmentalists say the dams have also affected the river's seasonal flows and caused the destruction of river islets. They also blame water blockages due to dam construction for unexpected and dangerous rapid rises and falls in downstream flows.

Until recently the main concern about the dams centered more on the lack of water flowing down the river. For example, the dams were criticized for exacerbating a drought in 2004 that left ships stranded mid-river and damaged crops and fishing in downstream nations. Halts in river flows for up to five days at a time due to Chinese dam construction inhibited trade, with angry cargo ship owners claiming journeys that used to take days instead took weeks.

China-first policy
The MRC said in 2004 that the Chinese dams had exacerbated the drought and sent an official letter to Beijing demanding information on the Chinese dams. In a seeming about turn, then-MRC chief executive officer Oliver Cogels wrote a letter to the Bangkok Post on January 9, 2007, claiming the impact of the Chinese dams was exaggerated in public opinion and not a factor in the drought affecting downstream countries.

He also noted, echoing Beijing's line, that because the Chinese dams are for power generation and not for irrigation, they do not hold water, but instead regulate flows, increasing them in the dry season and reducing them in the rainy season. Indeed China's dams may not be directly culpable for either the flooding or drought, but the lack of transparency has stoked downstream fears and anger among its southern neighbors and environmental groups.

China's unwillingness to allow independent scientific studies on its dams' impacts makes it difficult to conclusively determine what impact they have had on water levels. Even within China there is very little public discourse on the dams, in part because the issue is treated as a matter of national security.

Beijing has made clear its stance that since it is developing the Mekong on Chinese soil, it is not responsible for downstream impacts. Appeals to China by non-governmental organizations to compensate people living downstream whose farming or fishing livelihoods have allegedly been impacted by the recent changes in the river have been scornfully rebuffed.

China's lack of cooperation and responsibility is seemingly at odds with its broader soft power policy of forging greater economic integration with Southeast Asia, including through preferential free trade agreements and generous infrastructure loans. Seen from Beijing's point of view, its participation in the Greater Mekong Subregion is less about an altruistic desire to see its southern neighbors develop and more about gaining access to export markets for its industrial and agricultural goods and securing a strategic, alternative passage for fuel and other imports for its inland industries.

China is not a member of the MRC and critics say that without Beijing's participation the grouping is powerless to accomplish organizational goals related to sustainable development on the Mekong. If China were to join, it would have to conform to various mandatory standards and come under pressure to accept water management norms that are less harmful to downstream communities, a prospect it clearly wants to avoid.

The MRC has however recently incorporated China and Myanmar to some extent, as non-member, dialogue partners. While the MRC's most northerly monitoring station is in Chiang Saen, Thailand, in 2002 it convinced China to commit to exchanging some information from two of its monitoring stations, including the Jinghong station located below its three standing dams. Flood forecasting first became an issue after floods in 2000 killed some 800 people in the Mekong Delta. In 2005, China agreed to hold technical discussions with the MRC, including flood management and alleviation.

Last year, Beijing also agreed to begin supplying the MRC with 24-hour water level and 12-hour rainfall data for flood forecasts in return for monthly flow data from MRC stations on the lower Mekong. However the incentives for China to become a full-fledged member of the MRC are still few and far between. As the Mekong's most upstream nation, it is geographically in a position of power. And with its growing hunger for new and alternative energy sources to imported oil, it will likely remain loathe to enter into a multilateral mechanism which may attempt to put a brake on its ambitious dam building program.

For China, the Mekong is now viewed more as a potential source of energy rather than a trade artery, as the river has been quickly supplanted by a more efficient network of roads leading south from China's Yunnan province into Southeast Asia. The newly completed Route 3 in Laos that connects Yunnan with northern Thailand through Laos means trucks can complete a trade journey in hours which used to take days by river.

Once a bridge is completed across the Mekong between the northern Thai town of Chiang Khong and Laos' Huay Xai, where Route 3 currently terminates, Yunnan's goods will have direct access to Southeast Asian markets, and perhaps more importantly, to seaports on the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. Close relations with military-ruled Myanmar have already provided China with another southern trade route, with a soon to be upgraded port at Sittwe on the Indian Ocean.

Of course cross-border river issues pose diplomatic problems and challenges in many regions of the world. Although a Law of the Sea treaty exists to govern disputes on the world's oceans, there is no comparable global law for rivers to mediate disputes over water resources. Until such a mechanism exists, and more importantly until China agrees to a more multilateral approach to managing the Mekong, the issue will remain a contentious one with its Southeast Asian neighbors while life for people living along the river's shifting banks will remain highly uncertain.

Brian McCartan is a Chiang Mai-based freelance journalist. He may be reached at brianpm@comcast.net

(Copyright 2008 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved.


Cigar Lake floods again

 22 August 2008

Cameco has temporarily suspended remediation work at the No.1 shaft at its Cigar Lake uranium project, after an increase in the rate of water inflow to the mine. The underground working areas of the mine were flooded in October 2006.

Tim Gitzel, Cameco’s chief operating officer, said: “Remediation and dewatering of the No. 1 shaft had been progressing smoothly up to this point.” He added: “An inflow at this rate is disappointing but our remediation plan, as approved by our joint venture partners, recognised the risk and included specific actions to be taken at various levels of inflow.”

The No. 1 Shaft had been pumped down to 430m below surface when the increase was reported early on the morning of 12 August. The inflow rate increased steadily during to the day, to approximately 600m3/h, which Cameco said “is beyond the range that can be managed while sustaining work in the shaft.”

Jerry Grandey, Cameco’s president & CEO, confirmed that the company intends to “prepare for and execute shaft 2 remediation.” Shaft No. 2 has been successfully plugged off, and Cameco has approval to begin rehabilitation.

The remediation budget for Cigar Lake was estimated at C$46 million ($43 million). However Kim Goheen, chief financial officer, said: “Much of that has been spent already.”

Production at Cigar Lake was originally planned to begin in 2008. In June, Cameco said that production is anticipated to start up in 2011 at the earliest.

Rail services resume after floods in Scotland


A deluge of heavy rain brought floods to parts of Dundee
Colin McQuillen

The line between Dundee and Aberdeen has reopened after Network Rail successfully completed works to clear a landslip and flooding.

Network Rail engineers pumped flood waters of up to 5ft in depth from the track at Inverkeilor, near Montrose.

Debris was also taken from the line at Carmont, near Stonehaven.

Services had been suspended on Thursday night, but resumed later on Friday with a full timetable running again from 1800 BST.

A landslip near Stonehaven and flooding in Angus had been blamed for the disruption.

The landslip was later cleared but fire fighters were called in to pump water from the rail line at Inverkeilor.

A clear-up was also under way in Dundee after heavy rain caused damage to about 100 properties in the city centre.

Tayside Fire and Rescue incident commander, Stewart Edgar, said the rains in Dundee brought the worst flooding he had seen in the city for many years.

He added: "There was a deluge of rain and that, incorporated with the high tide, produced severe flooding.

"There was about two to three feet of water affecting many residential and commercial properties."

The town centre was closed off during the rush hour on Thursday evening as water flooded into shops in the city's commercial hub.

The worst affected streets were Trades Lane, Dock Street, and Candle Lane, with eight fire engines and up to 50 firefighters dealing with flood damage around the city centre.

The water began receding in the late evening but shopkeepers said the downpour had caused thousands of pounds of damage to their businesses.

Hairdresser Karen Smith said the water started to flood over the toilets like a river in her salon on Commercial Street.

"My stock's ruined - it's just been an absolute nightmare," she said.


Flash flooding leaves trail of devastation
15:07' 21/08/2008 (GMT+7)

The rocky area where the hamlet stood just a few days ago. Local villagers are trying their best to discover bodies in Tung Chin Village in the northern mountain province of Lao Cai, where rains from the storm Kammuri led to a flash flood that covered the entire hamlet.

VietNamNet Bridge - When flash flooding last weekend hit an unexpecting hamlet, it took 19 lives with it and wiped out 20 households. Reports from Lao Cai Province and Ha Giang Province.

A flash flood in the aftermath of storm Kammuri has taken an entire hamlet in the northern mountain province of Lao Cai off the map, and 19 lives with it.

Leaving behind a gaping hole of debris, many are left homeless and panicking over missing family members and neighbours. Twenty households with more than 100 people in the hamlet living near a stream in Bat Xat District were affected. Hundreds of people from neighbouring hamlets have spent the past few days walking along the stream, searching for bodies, but only two have since been recovered.

A section of National Highway 4E from Bao Thang District to Lao Cai Province’s centre has been damaged and flooded. It’s reported that the flood had swept away dozens more people and devastated rice crops in the province.

Ly Kin Nung, one of the survivors, said his family narrowly escaped death thanks to a large rock by his house which diverted the raging waters away from his home. While the flood may be over, his house is still filled with water, and dozens of rice and corn sacks continue to rot.

"We will move to a new hamlet in the next few days along with other flood survivors," he said

Cooking dinner in the yard while listening to the sounds of crashing rocks caught up in the stream’s current, Nung’s wife, Tan Mui Den, is still scared.

"I don’t want to live here anymore. I need to live together with others," she said.

Nung recalled the Saturday night when he was sleeping in the paddy fields. The heavy rain and thunder reminded him of mortar fire.

Prolonged rain and floods have collapsed and flooded more than 1,500 houses in Lang Son Province. Many people have had to travel by boat to buy food and necessities for their family members. Loss on properties has not yet been reported.

"I ran to the top of the hill and saw the whole hamlet underwater. My mind reeled at the sight and I fainted," recalled Nung.

Nung lost both his mother and aunt to the flood. When it hit, his mother was sleeping with his three nephews and his niece in the house. The three children fled, but their old grandmother couldn’t make it out in time.

After hearing the children’s cries for help, Nung’s aunt went in to rescue his mother. Neither was seen again, as the house collapsed and killed both of them. Their bodies have yet to be found.

A child’s tale

Fourteen year-old Tan U May, a student at Trinh Tuong Junior Secondary School, does not live in the hamlet, but is here to find her closest friend who has the same name.

Her friend, Phan Ta May, was likely swept away by the flash floods last Saturday.

"My friend was pretty and always did great in her studies," said a tearful May, adding that the new school year was about to begin. The classroom will now have 11 empty seats because of the floods.

Vang Kim Tin, deputy head of the hamlet, said that after the flash flood passed, local border-guard soldiers rushed

Many soldiers have helped people re-build dyke sections which have been damaged by floods in Song Thao Town in Phu Tho Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung

immediately to help the victims. They found some taking shelter on the hillsides and brought them to the border-guard post.

While shaking his head, Tin recalled that the hamlet had been one of the richer ones in Trinh Tuong Commune before the disaster.

It was midnight. Fourteen-year-old Giang Seo Chu had just come back home to Tung Cum Village in Ha Giang Province after watching the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics live on television.

When he came to where his house had been, all that he found was the floor under water. The flood had taken his house, along with his parents and four brothers.

Chairman of Na Khuong Commune People’s Committee Ly Van Hao said that the heavy rain and flooding has swept away ten people from two families in Tung Cum and Lung Vi villages, including six children. Two of those children are reported as missing, as their bodies have yet to be found.

Hao said that five children are now orphaned and homeless.

Back on track

Luckily, the rain has finally stopped. Relevant sectors have jointly opened a new road and are building a new hamlet. Everyone available is searching for the bodies of those who died. The victims now need financial and emotional support to ease the pain and help them overcome this tragedy.

According to the deputy director of the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting Nguyen Lan Chau, the ground of northern mountain provinces has been soaked. This means that flash flooding will continue to threaten northern mountain provinces from now to the end of October when the rainy season ends.

The flash floods will not only hit northern areas, but also the Central region, if hit with another wave of heavy rain.

It’s reported that the number of flash floods has been steadily increasing. In the 15 years from 1990 to 2005, there were nearly 300 flash floods in Viet Nam, 10 of which caused extensive losses of both property and lives.

Director of the Hydro-meteorology and Water Research Centre La Thanh Ha said that climate change was causing an increasing number of storms and rain anomalies.

"The people’s destruction of the forest is partly causing the flash floods," said Ha.

Although it’s difficult to forecast flash flooding, many experts believe that if people knew how to take the initiative to deal with them, losses could be reduced.

Doctor Vu Cao Minh from the Viet Nam Technology Science Institute, said people could not live with regular flash flooding like they do with normal flooding in the Cuu Long Mekong Delta.

"We need to remember that it’s very difficult to forecast flash flooding because it is sudden and quick and always takes place at night. With its devastating effects, we’d be deluding ourselves to think that we can fight it," said Minh.

People living in flash flood-prone areas need to take the initiative to minimise damages. People should not build houses along rivers and streams and need to pay attention to strange phenomena during periods of heavy rain.


Doctor Ha said that northern mountain provinces were building resettlement areas. However, they were facing some difficulties due to a lack of land in mountain areas.

Another problem with relocation is that when people move to higher land resettlement areas to reduce the danger of flash floods, they then face difficulties in agricultural production.

Experts said that when flash flood warnings are given, people must be moved to safe areas. If people refuse, local authorities should force them to move.

It’s reported that the Meteorology and Hydrology Institute is working on a map of flash flood-prone areas which can help authorities forecast floods and send out timely warnings, according to the institute’s director Tran Thuc. The project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

(Source: VNS)



Raw sewage floods homes

 Thursday, 21 August 2008 floods1.jpgNORTHSIDE residents were left literally picking up the pieces when a stream of raw sewage flooded through their new homes in Ballymun last week.

According to residents of Whiteacre Place, excrement, dirty nappies and sanitary towels floated through their streets, homes and gardens following last week’s torrential rain.

Lone parent Linda Darcy moved into her new ground floor apartment just six months ago. It was completed flooded out in the heavy downpour.

She claims the “council has a lot to answer for”.

“The rain was enough to have to deal with without the burst sewage pipe as well,” she told Northside People.

“I wouldn’t mind but that sewage pipe, which is on the road outside our houses, burst just four weeks ago.”

Linda’s home was one of the worst affected in the recent floods.

“Nearly everything was destroyed and the smell in my house was unbearable,” she said.

“I did everything I could to stop the water coming in but we hadn’t a hope.”

She added: “You borrow a lot of money to buy new furniture when you move into a new house but now I’ve lost everything and I’m just left with debt. I can’t even afford to buy a brush and a mop to clean my house at this stage.”

Linda’s neighbour Susan Dowdall said the raw sewage created a health and safety risk for all residents.

“We had to pick up used sanitary towels, nappies and other waste from our garden,” she told Northside People.

“The gardens and streets were washed down afterwards, but should disinfectant not be used? Is it safe to let our children play in the garden now?”

Fellow Whiteacre Place resident, Marion Donnelly, claimed the city council and Ballymun Regeneration Limited (BRL) should have prepared better for the floods.

“After the very big flood on the Saturday night (August 10), we were given two sandbags each in case it happened again,” she explained.

“Sure what good would that do?”

She added: “It’s an absolute disgrace to see our new houses gutted like this.”

Another local, Nicola Heffernan, was treated in hospital after the recent flood.

“I got loads of bites from whatever was in the water and my legs completely swelled up,” she said.

“I had to go to hospital and was put on medication to get rid of the infections from the bites.”

According to Nicola, residents have been left in the dark about what damage they will be covered for.

“The council are saying it’s not their fault,” she claimed.

“A welfare officer came out to us last week to assess the damage but we don’t really know what the council is willing to reimburse us for.

“We are struggling to cope financially as it is. My family and I still have to sit on a damp suite of furniture.”

A spokesperson for BRL commented on the heavy flooding in the Ballymun area.

“The events of last weekend (August 10/11) represented extreme, unpredicted and unprecedented weather, characterised by heavy monsoon-like rainfall,” it was stated.

“As a result, several areas of the city experienced flooding, including the Shanliss Grove/Drive water main that experienced high pressure flow from torrential rainfall which lifted a manhole cover to the north of Whiteacre Place, discharging onto the road and some houses.
Dozens left homeless for six months as floods strike
Edinburgh Evening News, UK - Aug 21, 2008
By SCOTT McANGUS DOZENS of people will be left homeless for six months or more after severe floods swept through a West Lothian town. ...
Worst floods in 60 years ravage county
Kilkenny People, Ireland - Aug 20, 2008
By Laura Keys & Mary Cody AS County Kilkenny struggles to clean up after the most damaging flooding in more than 60 years, the focus has turned to helping ...
Families rescued from flash floods Kilkenny People




Thousands rendered homeless by floods in Bihar

Patna, Aug 20 (IANS) Thousands of people were rendered homeless in Bihar by floods triggered by heavy rains and breaches in barrages and embankments, official sources said Wednesday.

A day after a breach developed in the Kosi barrage upstream in neighbouring Nepal, the flood situation worsened Wednesday in some bordering districts of Bihar. The state government had already sounded red alert in districts that are considered to be flood prone.

‘Floodwaters entered several villages in Forbesganj in Araria, Purnea and Supaul districts Wednesday,’ official sources said.

A breach developed Tuesday in the Khairpur embankment in Bhagalpur that forced hundreds of people to flee, they added.

Taking serious note of the flood situation, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Wednesday reviewed the flood situation with top officials.

Nitish Kumar directed the officials to step up relief and rescue efforts in affected districts.

According to official sources in the state’s Disaster Management Department, flood situation is grim in 802 villages in 11 districts - Muzaffarapur, Supaul, Saharsa, Madhepura, Katihar, Araria, West Champaran, Khagaria, Sitamarhi, Patna and Nalanda.

Major rivers, including the Ganga, Punpun, Ghaghra, Burhigandak, Bagmati, Kosi and Mahananda, were flowing above the danger mark at several places.


Landslides and floods hit Antioquia and Córdoba, Columbia

August 20th, 2008


At least a thousand people were forced out of their homes after heavy rains caused landslides and floods in the towns of Caldas, Antioquia and Ceret, Córdoba.

The situation in Ceret seems to be most critical, Canal Caracol reports. More than a thousand people were forced to leave their homes after the town’s drainage system flooded.

“The children have colds and the mosquito bites are causing infections, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea,” a victim told the television station.

The local goverment says it has begun emergency aid, but blames the community for dumping waste in the town’s sours, decreasing their capacity to process water.

In Caldas, Antioquia eight houses collapsed when the rain caused a landslide. Dozens of families were evacuated after other landslides threatened to destroy their homes.

  Rains, floods affect lives of almost 420,000 in E China


HEFEI, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Torrential rains and flooding that left one person dead affected the livelihoods of 419,300 people in east China at the weekend, the Anhui provincial civil affairs bureau said on Tuesday.

    More than 1,200 people were evacuated in the three days of rain from Friday to Sunday.

    Initial estimates showed 1,200 homes and more than 21,600 hectares of crops were destroyed, with losses totaling 108 million Yuan (15.4 million US dollars), according to the bureau.

    The flood crest of the Huaihe River, China's sixth longest and one of its most flood prone rivers, surpassed the danger mark on Monday at Wangjiaba, a hydrological station in Anhui. 

Editor: Bi Mingxin


Flash Floods Roar Through Grand Canyon

San Francisco - Rescuers in Arizona were searching on Monday for 11 people who went missing after flash floods roared through Grand Canyon National Park, a police spokesperson said.

The search took on added urgency on Monday afternoon as weather forecasts predicted another round of the thunderstorms that sparked the flash floods on Saturday, said Kathleen Levinson of the Coconino County Sheriff's Office.

Levinson said that the 11 missing people may have simply left the area without informing anyone. But they could have been swept away by flood waters that roared through the steep canyons, or have been left clinging to rock ledges above the water level.

Rescuers evacuated 170 people by helicopter on Sunday and a further 85 people on Monday, said Levinson. Most of the evacuees were residents and visitors of the Supai Village, a community of about 400 Havasupai Indians in the canyon.

Visitors to Havasupai Canyon must register with the tribe at the entrance and pay a fee before the 15 kilometre trip into the canyon, Blair said.

"There are a number of people who are registered," said Levinson.

"There's a remote possibility they left the canyon without us knowing, but there's a strong possibility they are still there." - Sapa-dpa

Grand Canyon floods breach dam, force evacuations

"We were basically stuck up the canyon without or rafts," he said. "We had no supplies, no food and very little water, we lost everything."

Hemmings and his group were airlifted out of the scenic gorge by helicopter Sunday, as were about 170 other people who were endangered by floodwaters created by days of heavy rains which at one point breached an earthen dam.

No injuries were reported, but dozens of people were spending the night at an American Red Cross evacuation center set up in the Hualapai Tribal Gymnasium in Peach Springs, Ariz..

Rescuers worked throughout Sunday to locate campers and Supai Village residents and safely transport them to the top of the canyon. About 400 Havasupai tribe members live in the village.

Rescuers will evaluate weather conditions and the level of floodwaters Monday morning to decide whether they can safely resume air evacuations, said Grand Canyon National Park spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge.

Some individuals who were believed to be in the canyon at the time of the flooding are unaccounted for, according to a park service news release.

There were no confirmed reports of damage in Supai, which is on high ground, said Gerry Blair, a spokesman for the Coconino County Sheriff's Department. Many residents and campers chose to stay there, he said.

"We're not as concerned about it as we initially were," he said.

Still, a flash flood warning remained in effect, and search and rescue teams planned to stay in the village overnight as a precaution.

Some hiking trails and footbridges were washed out after the dam breach about 45 miles from Supai, park officials said. Some trees were uprooted, the National Weather Service said.

The Redlands Earthen Dam broke about 6 a.m. Sunday, park officials said. The dam breaching was only one factor in the flooding, Blair said. The dam isn't a "huge, significant" structure, he said.

The area got 3 to 6 inches of rain Friday and Saturday and about 2 inches more on Sunday, said Daryl Onton, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Flagstaff.

"That's all it took — just a few days of very heavy thunderstorms," he said.

Supai is about 75 miles west of the Grand Canyon Village, a popular tourist area on the South Rim.

The flooding came on a weekend during the busy summer tourist season, when thousands of visitors a day flock to the canyon.

In 2001, flooding near Supai swept a 2-year-old boy and his parents to their deaths while they were hiking.

Associated Press Writer Mark Carlson contributed to this report.



Joel Robison and AJ Stecker started out with just a simple camping trip to the Grand Canyon, but that trip quickly turned into a trip of a lifetime.

That's because the pair was there when a summer storm caused one of the canyon's dams to breach.

They say the storm started out as a typical one, but quickly escalated. 

AJ said, "We started seeing some rain and hail.  So we decided to start hiking back to the campgrounds."

The pair settled in for the night in their tents, but their night was anything but settling. 

AJ tells ABC15.com, "Our tent was in 6 inches of water. We had to drag that out and throw all that stuff in our bag."

The problem was that the water was rising so fast they didn't have a lot of time to grab all their things. 

"You didn't have time it was grab what you can put it in your pack and you're moving whether or not people are able to come with you or not," said Joel.

The pair was quickly ushered to higher ground where they were airlifted to safety.  It was then that they got a better idea of how much danger they had faced.

Joel says, "You saw trees floating down and getting snapped like toothpicks and they had their entire root systems and they were just getting thrown over Havasu falls like nothing."

AJ commented on the unusual color of everything.  What was once beautiful and green was now a muddy mess. "It looked like chocolate.  It was incredible I mean there were a lot of people making jokes about Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory."

But these men know that this was no movie.  It was reality.

They were lucky to have escaped. 

"Mother nature really came through and slapped you in the face there," said Joel. 

AJ adds, "It was a great trip in that we're all here safe.  We all made it back it was incredibly impressive to see what water is able to do."




Heavy rain floods homes, forces rescues in Texas

ESCOBARES, Texas (AP) — Torrential rains flooded nearly 800 homes in southern Texas on Monday, forcing frantic rescues by boat and sending families scrambling for high ground before they returned to salvage belongings from swamped homes.

More than 13 inches of rain fell in some parts of Starr County. The worst of the flooding was north of the Rio Grande Valley's main highway, where a "lake" 3 miles long and a mile wide ran through neighborhoods in Escobares and Los Saenz, small communities east of Roma.

"It's really in a bad situation now," said Gene Falcon, Starr County emergency management coordinator. Emergency workers were using any boat available to remove people from their homes. Two shelters were opened in the county at one point.

Jose Garcia, fire and police chief in Roma, said floodwaters had started to recede in the city Monday afternoon, but he was not sure they had seen the last of the rain.

Roma received about 8 inches of rain in three hours early Monday, and water pooled at depths of 6 inches to 4 feet, he said. About 60 people were rescued from flooded homes and taken to a local community center.

The water was as much as 3 or 4 feet deep in some neighborhoods at dusk. Authorities said an estimated 750 homes were flooded.

Javier Gonzalez and Nilsa Avila slogged through murky water back to a highway with black garbage bags on their shoulders. Their house is built on a high foundation, but Avila showed the distance between the water and her front door with a spread of her thumb and forefinger.

"It's risen in the last three hours," Avila said in Spanish.

The disaster had already arrived for Noelia Lopez, who marched out of the floodwaters empty handed.

"I can't even get clothes," Lopez said in Spanish. "It's up to the mattresses."

It rained hard through the night in Starr County and continued through the morning, but people said that when they left for work there was no flooding.

Lopez said she watched the water start to pool in the yard around noon, then saw that after 1 p.m. the house was suddenly surrounded.

"It came in through all three doors that I have," she said.

Her most pressing concern was her husband, who refused to leave, certain that whatever remained would be stolen overnight. She asked Danny Escamillia, a county official guarding the taped-off entrance to her street, to call her husband and tell him he had to leave.

At 8:30 p.m. there were 38 people in a shelter at Roma as the rain began to fall again.

U.S. Highway 83 was closed all afternoon after Arroyo Quiote topped its banks, running as much as a foot and a half above the guardrails. Motorists trying to reach Roma from the east were sent on a long traffic-clogged detour to the north.

About 10,000 people live in Roma, about 210 miles south of San Antonio.

The impact of so much rain was compounded because the ground was still saturated from Hurricane Dolly in late July, Falcon, of Starr County emergency management.

Downpour floods nearly 800 homes

Torrential rains flooded nearly 800 homes in southern Texas on Monday, forcing frantic rescues by boat and sending families scrambling for...

Escobares, Texas

Torrential rains flooded nearly 800 homes in southern Texas on Monday, forcing frantic rescues by boat and sending families scrambling for high ground before they returned to salvage belongings from swamped homes.

More than 13 inches of rain fell in some parts of Starr County. The worst of the flooding was north of the Rio Grande Valley's main highway, where a new lake 3 miles long and a mile wide ran through neighborhoods in Escobares and Los Saenz, small communities east of Roma.

The water was as much as 3 or 4 feet deep in some neighborhoods at dusk.


Six die in Sudan floods, Khartoum says ready

Mon 18 Aug 2008, 12:20 GMT

HARTOUM, Aug 18 (Reuters) - At least six people have died due to heavy rains in Sudan where the Nile was approaching record levels, but the head of the country's civil defence authority said officials were prepared for floods this year.

Hamadallah Adam Ali told Reuters on Monday five people have died in Khartoum and one in the remote western Darfur region because of floods. He said he had no information yet on south Sudan where rainfall has been heaviest.

Last year Sudan experienced the worst floods in living memory. At least 150 people died, hundreds of thousands were left homeless and damages in the mostly desert nation were estimated at $300 million.

"Now the levels of the Nile are approaching the levels of last year," Ali said, adding the river had reached 16.85 metres (55 ft) deep, just 10 centimetres short of last year's 16.95 metres.

But Ali said officials do not expect the disastrous effect of last year's floods because this year's rainy season started later, less rainfall is expected, and "We have lots of pumps ready and we are prepared."

In the mostly desert Sudanese climate most of the population live along the banks of rivers and in mud houses which easily wash away during floods.

Floods in war-torn Darfur, where more than 2 million people fled their homes to makeshift camps to escape fighting, can lead to epidemics of cholera and other water-borne diseases. Many of the camps lie in flood plains.

In Khartoum the few tarmac roads have flooded during rains this week and the dusty tracks in even the nicest areas of the capital became pools of mud. (Reporting by Opheera McDoom, editing by Mary Gabriel)

Two die as floods sweep away truck in India

NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- A truck carrying 21 people washed away in flash floods Sunday in southern India, where at least 40 people have died over the past two days due to monsoons, a state official said.

The truck was attempting to cross a flooded bridge in the Guntur district of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh when it was washed away, Relief Commissioner Ratna Prabha told CNN.

Of the passengers, two are dead, eight have been rescued and 11 are missing, Prabha said. The search is ongoing for those 11, she said.

She said the death toll over the past 16 days from the heavy rains now stands at 55, and more rain is forecast for the coastal areas of the state. On Saturday, Prabha told CNN that more than 3,500 homes had been heavily damaged.

She said the state had opened relief camps all over the state. There, "food is provided to the affected people," she said. Officials are monitoring the situation and trying to obtain more information on loss of life and property, she added




Rain runoff floods ABQ homes

Residents used sandbags to stem water flow to their homes

A retaining wall gave way to about three feet of rushing water in Albuquerque Saturday, flooding several homes near 98th and Gibson.

Crews worked into the evening clearing out water and mud caused by the torrent, which damaged four homes. Commander Joe Zamora of the Albuquerque Fire Department said those homeowners might be displaced for the night as PNM tries to restore electricity.

"There is significant damage. We've got Red Cross coming out here," he said.

Zamora said the Red Cross will be able to provide temporary shelter to those displaced by the flooding.

Authorities say a vacant lot behind the homes allowed water to accumulate. When a retaining wall between the lot and homes broke, knee-deep water spilled into the nearby homes.


LAOS Floods claim four lives in Laos

BANGKOK -- At least four people have died in Laos as a result of flooding caused by record-high water levels in the Mekong River.

Foreign ministry spokesman Yong Chanthalansy said Friday the four died in the capital province of Vientiane after being injured in landslides triggered by the flooding. The state news agency said one of the dead was a child.

The flooding cut electricity in parts of the old royal capital of Luang Prabang, a popular tourist destination. The main road between Vientiane and Luang Prabang was cut off by a landslide.

Flooding has affected parts of Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand where heavy rain and the river inundated villages and farmland.



Local government: Floods, landslides in southwest China kill 40


www.chinaview.cn 2008-08-13

    KUNMING, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from disasters caused by heavy rain has risen to 40 with six missing in southwest China's Yunnan Province, the provincial government said on Wednesday.

    From Thursday to Monday, downpours caused by the remnants of tropical storm Kammuri struck 11 prefectures or cities in the province, triggering landslides, floods and mud-rock flows.

    As of 6 p.m. on Tuesday, the disasters had left 40 dead, six missing and 42 injured with 1.25 million people affected, the Yunnan Civil Affairs Department said.

    More than 10,000 rooms of housing were destroyed and 18,000 damaged. About 16,000 people were evacuated.

    The direct economic losses reached 746 million yuan (108 million U.S. dollars).

    The provincial and local governments had allocated 10 million yuan in relief, both in funds and materials like tents, quilts and clothing. Editor: Bi Mingxi


By Wilson Ring


Associated Press Writer / August 6, 2008
RIPTON, Vt.—When Marguerite Searle left her home overlooking the East Middlebury River on Vermont 125 at 3:30 Wednesday morning to go to work at Middlebury College, it wasn't raining.

But when she got home at about 1 p.m. the river had covered the roadway and gone back down, the eastbound lane was completely destroyed, a car had been washed into a ditch below her house and she had been forced to follow a 16-mile detour home to get around the closed highway.

"I've lived here for 30 years and I've never seen anything like this," said Searle, who had to park and walk the final several hundred yards to her home, which did not appear to be damaged.

The flash floods that hit parts of southeastern Addison County Wednesday morning followed at least 3 to 4 inches of rain that fell onto already saturated soil in about two hours on Wednesday morning.

"We had some unconfirmed reports of 6 to 7 inches of rain," said Andy Nash, the meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service office at the Burlington International Airport.

No injuries have been reported.

A number of East Middlebury residents were evacuated from their homes for several hours Wednesday morning as a precaution. At mid-afternoon, officials were evacuating 60 campers and a 30 staff members from the Silver Towers Camp in Ripton. Later Wednesday, Branbury State Park on Lake Dunmore in Salisbury was evacuated as well, officials said.

Vermont Emergency Management reported that roads were closed in the Addison County towns of Goshen, Ripton, Leicester and Hancock. In Caledonia County, a number of roads were closed in Danville.

There's was no damage estimate or any idea when the closed roads will be reopened.

And the flooding danger isn't over, officials said. For parts of Vermont July was the wettest on record and this year will be among the 10 wettest on record, Nash said.

Nash said that afternoon and evening thunderstorms were being predicated through the end of the week. The thunderstorms aren't likely to move much.

"If a thunderstorm pops up and it's over you there's going to be a lot of rain that's going to fall. We've got a few more days with risk of flooding," Nash said.

On Wednesday, Vermont's congressional delegation asked President Bush to declare the state a disaster area because of flooding over the last month. Such a declaration would make the state eligible for special disaster relief funds.

While the flooding wasn't as extreme in New Hampshire, the heavy rains prompted the National Forest Service to urge visitors to use extreme caution near streams.

New Hampshire Transportation Department officials said a 150-yard mudslide took down at least trees in Bath, N.H. The mudslide took place about 5:30 p.m. on state highway 112, closing the road.

There were no reports of injuries.

Earlier Wednesday, State Geologist David Wunsch put out an advisory about watching for possible landslides.

"Residents should look for warning signs that the ground beneath their home is becoming unstable, or structural changes are occurring" Wunsch said. "The movements can be quite subtle at first, but can accelerate and lead to significant damage and safety issues," he added.

Wunsch said prolonged precipitation can cause soils to loose their cohesive strength, and the earth may move in the form of mud and rock slides, slumps, debris flows, and other types of landslides.

In Vermont, the storm and flooding was at its most severe midmorning. Nash said the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning at about 8:20 a.m. Reports of flooding started about 45 minutes later.

By midday, the East Middlebury River, while still swollen and brown, was largely back within its banks.

A bridge over that river was closed after the waters washed away supports leading to the bridge on one side. It caused the pavement to buckle on one end.

Middlebury Police Sgt. Ed Cyr, standing at the damaged bridge on Lower Plains Road in East Middlebury at about noon, said the river had gone down eight feet in two hours.

Emergency Management stationed swift water rescue teams in Stowe and St. Johnsbury as a precaution. By late Wednesday afternoon their services hadn't been needed.

The flooding made it hard to reach Ripton from the outside. Route 125 was closed in both directions from the village. The only way in and out was through a series of back roads through Lincoln.



'Thirty-five dead' in Pakistan floods

More than 35 people have died in torrential rain and floods in north-west Pakistan, officials say.

The rains have also destroyed more than 1,000 houses, a number of bridges and at least one girls school in the area.

Officials said hundreds more houses had been damaged across the province after four days of rainfall. Some of the dead were killed when their roofs collapsed.

South-westerly winds bring heavy rains throughout South Asia in the June to September monsoon season.

Officials at a flood monitoring centre set up by the government of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) told the BBC Urdu service that at least 12 people had been killed in areas close to Peshawar, the provincial capital.

It said that the Kabul and Swat rivers that flow near the capital had both broken their banks.

At least six people, including two children, were reported killed in flash floods that hit NWFP's Bannu district overnight on Tuesday.

A girls school and several bridges in the mountainous Swat district had been washed away, correspondents said.

NWFP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told the BBC the floods in Peshawar area were ebbing away.

But weather experts have forecast more rain in the region over the next 24 hours.

Meanwhile at least six people were reported killed in the flood planes of the Indus river in Punjab province on Monday.

Officials said the flood was caused by heavy rains in the northern mountain region.

They said more than 110 villages along the river in southern parts of the province were still underwater.


Rain, Flash Floods Kill 35, Displace 200,000 In Pakistan

Siddique Islam - AHN South Asia Correspondent

Islamabad, Pakistan (AHN) - At least 35 people were killed and more than 200,000 people displaced by heavy rains and flash floods in different parts of Pakistan, reports said on Monday.

Fourteen people died in lower Punjab and interior Sindh and hundreds of villages were inundated at the Sindh-Punjab border, local reports said, adding that thousands of people have been displaced.

Peshawar and Kohat districts and the Khyber Agency were the worst affected areas, where 12 people lost their lives, while 11 others sustained injuries.

In addition, nine people died in Bara and Jamrud tehsils of Khyber Agency when the devastating floods hit their houses. Besides damaging hundreds of houses, the floodwaters also damaged standing crops.

Meanwhile, North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti paid a visit to the flood-hit areas in district Peshawar and reviewed the rescue and relief activities.

The provincial government also called in the army after severe flooding and rains throughout the province.

The government quickly responded to the disaster and launched rescue operation in the affected areas, Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told a press conference.

He also said 11 relief camps, eight mobile teams and four medical teams had been constituted to provide relief to the affected people.

The minister said according to official figure sevens people were killed and 11 injured.


Eastern Europe floods kill 42 people: UN

GENEVA (AFP) — Floods have killed 42 people in central and eastern Europe since last month and forced around 40,000 others to flee their homes, the United Nations said Tuesday.

Heavy rains and storms have led to some of the worst floods in 40 years in parts of Ukraine, Moldova and Romania since July 22, causing great damage to homes, infrastructure and farmland, said Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In Ukraine, 34 people have been killed in the west of the country along the Dnestr and Prut rivers while over 25,000 others have been evacuated.

A total of 24,000 hectares of farmland is still flooded, and a significant part of the potato, root crops and vegetable harvest in local farms has been damaged, Byrs warned.

Some parts of western Ukraine have been cut off by road due to the flooding so food and water have to be delivered by helicopter, she added.

In Moldova, three people are reported to have drowned in the capital Chisinau while 4,251 people have been evacuated and 836 houses flooded.

Romania meanwhile has seen some of the worst flooding for four decades with five people killed, 10,520 evacuated and 8,941 houses damaged, Byrs said.


Flash floods damage bridges, roads in New Brunswick, Canada

Updated Mon. Aug. 4 2008

CTV.ca News Staff

A state of emergency is still in effect in northwestern New Brunswick where torrential rains and flash floods severely damaged roads over the weekend.

John Foran, the New Brunswick Public Safety Minister, told CTV Newsnet the most affected area was around St-Francois, N.B.

Transportation officials are working on a plan to repair the heavily damaged areas along Highway 205 and are expected to be in the region Tuesday.

Foran declared the state of emergency in the area while he toured there. He said one road he saw had a length of about 100 metres washed out.

He also said at least one bridge was washed away near St-Francois, which is near the borders of Quebec and Maine.

Residents described the flood's devastation to CTV Atlantic.

"These two kids went running past and they both said, 'Call 911, the bridge is leaving,'" area resident Rana Gagnon said. "You can't cross . . . there's a 30-foot gap in the road."

Gagnon said it's the worst summer flooding he's ever seen, adding "and I've been here for 29 years."

Many New Brunswickers are still recovering from the spring's devastating floods.

Another bridge was wiped out near Harcourt, N.B., which is north of Moncton.

Doris Blanchard, regional co-ordinator for emergency measures, said it was too early to quantify the financial cost of the damage.

Near the village of Connors, N.B, a 200-metre stretch of road washed into the Saint

John River, stranding cottagers.

On Sunday, a Department of National Defence helicopter was used to help evacuate that community. Seventy-four people left their cottages via the helicopter and were able to return to their primary homes.

Foran said the people weren't in any immediate danger but were transported out of the region because they were isolated from emergency services.

Foran said that water levels were still rising in New Brunswick and the inclement weather may not yet be over. He called on citizens to be ever vigilant about flooding in their communities.

Rainfall warnings are still in effect for northern New Brunswick Monday and there are thunderstorm warnings in Nova Scotia.

In Quebec, a mother and son were killed Saturday when their car plunged into a lake after flash flooding washed out part of a road.

With a report from CTV's Andy Campbell and files from The Canadian Press


Highlights of the park geography are the Penny Ice Cap, the highest mountains of the Canadian Shield including Mt. Thor and Asgard and Akshayuk Pass where visitors hike, ski and mountain climb. (Matt Nak / Parks Canada / Handout)

The park is 85 per cent rock and ice so has low densities of land wildlife but marine mammals thrive in the fiords. (Matt Nak / Parks Canada / Handout)

Record heat, flooding force Arctic park closure

Updated Sat. Aug. 2 2008 12:57 PM ET

Parminder Parmar, CTV.ca News

Global climate change may be driving the factors behind the partial closure of one of Canada's Arctic parks, says Parks Canada.

Much of Auyuittuq National Park on Baffin Island was cut off to visitors this week after flash flooding in the region.

Parks officials continue to worry that erosion linked to warming weather may erode the walls of earth forming some of the park's lakes. That could flood large portions of the park.

The park and surrounding communities have been dealing with record high temperatures, Parks Canada spokesperson Pauline Scott told CTV.ca on Friday.

"We're quite concerned," she said.  "This is a very dynamic park. There have been melting glaciers for the last three years ... but we've never seen anything like this in the 40 years the park has been in existence."

Scott said a long stretch of warm weather began in June and continued throughout July. The first signs of trouble for visitors and residents began when the nearby town of Pangnirtung experienced flash flooding earlier in the summer.

Warm weather also melted some of the region's permafrost and loosened ground support for a bridge in the town.

"What happened in Pangnirtung is what appears to be happening in the park," said Scott.

Flooding due to the warm weather sent waves of water through the park, destroying much of the main path used by hikers.

"We've lost huge chunks of our trails ... there were established foot trails that are completely gone now," Scott said.

This week, parks officials had to use a helicopter to airlift 22 visitors out of the park.

Scott said that scientists from around the world have pointed out the dramatic toll global warming is taking on northern regions.

"This may be the beginning of something much larger," she said. "We're getting more rain. We're getting earlier ice melting (and) later freeze-ups."

The weather problems have closed off more than half of the park -- which covers about 19,000 square kilometres -- to visitors.

Scott said experts will now try to determine the extent of the damage and see when the park may once again be safe for visitors.


Death toll rises to 30 in south China coal mine flood

Updated: 2008-08-02 NANNING -- Rescuers had found 23 bodies of the 29 miners trapped at a coal mine in the southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region after a flood, bringing the death toll to 30.

The flood occurred at 1:15 pm on July 21 at the Nadu coal mine in Bose City, trapping 57 miners. A total of 21 miners escaped or were rescued.

Rescuers said the 23 bodies were buried in cinders and silt when they were found.
Despite the high gas density in the pit, rescuers were still searching for the six trapped miners.

The mine has an estimated reserve of 2.98 million tonnes of coal and can produce 190,000 tonnes annually. It is fully certified.


At least 9 killed in torrential Togo, Africa floods

LOME, Togo (AP) — At least nine people have been killed as torrential floods have submerged entire villages in Togo, the country's Minister for Transport and Highways said Saturday in a televised address.

Nine major bridges have been wiped out, stranding villagers in flooded hamlets, Ekpao Talaki said. As many as 5,000 people have been rendered homeless, according to the government's web site, but aid workers say the number could be much higher.

Ghana, Togo's neighbor, sent in helicopters to rescue villagers trapped in their flooded homes. France sent a disaster crew Friday from its peacekeeping mission in nearby Ivory Coast.

But Togo's main opposition party criticized the government for not doing enough and called for an emergency session of Parliament to address the disaster.

President Faure Gnassingbe is holding an emergency Cabinet meeting Saturday — the third this week — to come up with ways to combat the floods. The flooding, which shows no sign of abating, was brought on by heavy monsoon rains.

  Heavy storm hits New Zealand


2008-07-31 19:26:13

    WELLINGTON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The latest storm to hit New Zealand has left at least one person dead and more destruction in its wake. Civil Defence teams were on alert in Canterbury and eastern Otago as the storm moves through the lower half of the South Island.

    Major highways and rail lines in the South Island were closed on Thursday night, and people have been forced to evacuate their homes due to serious flooding and slips, Radio New Zealand reported.

    The storm is not expected to ease until Friday, with MetService forecasting a series of smaller fronts to follow in its wake for the north and western parts of the North Island.

    MetService has also issued a heavy rainfall warning for south Canterbury and eastern Otago until Friday morning and residents have been told to prepare for flooding.

    Residents in Torbay on Auckland's North Shore and at Amberley Beach near Christchurch have had to be evacuated because of slips and floods caused by the storm.

    Residents of eastern parts of Otago have been warned to prepare for potential flooding before nightfall on Thursday, following a heavy rain warning.

    The Otago Regional Council was monitoring the situation closely and has activated first alarms for the Kakanui and Shag rivers.

    In Canterbury, rivers rose rapidly throughout Thursday, as rain continued to fall across the region.

    Police were advising people who do not need to travel to stay off the roads throughout Canterbury.

    A state of emergency was lifted in Marlborough on Thursday afternoon.

    Thirty-five people in Picton were evacuated on Wednesday night from a camping ground and from houses near a flooded creek.

    Marlborough's Mayor Alistair Sowman said volunteers and police did a superb job of saving many homes from flood damage and all but three families should be back in their homes on Thursday night.

    In Nelson, people were being advised to conserve water supplies due to damage to the city's main water pipe on Thursday.

    Horowhenua customers of power company Electra could be without power until Saturday after strong winds brought down power lines on Wednesday.

    Residents in central Hawke's Bay have been told to boil their drinking water until further notice. On Wednesday, the district council increased the chlorine level in the water supply to Waipukurau and Waipawa because of concern that flooding may have contaminated supplies.

    Main roads were closed. Transit said State Highway 1 from Kaikoura to Cheviot is closed on Thursday night due to a landslip, and will not reopen until Friday morning.

    South Island rail lines were also closed. In the South Island, slips, washouts, rocks on the line, and blocked culverts have closed rail lines or disrupted some services. 


JULY 28, 2008

Death toll in Ukrainian floods rises to 22


2008-07-29 03:02:59

KIEV, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The death toll in severe floods in western Ukraine has reached 22 people, including six children, and forced around 20,000 people to leave their homes, officials said on Monday.

    Fifteen people were killed in the Ivano-Frankivsk region in southwestern Ukraine while seven people were killed in the Chernivtsy region, spokesman for the Emergency Situation Ministry Ihor Krol told a news conference.

    "Water levels after five days of uninterrupted rain remained dangerously high on the Prut and Dnestr rivers. More than 40,000 homes were flooded, over 900 bridges were damaged by floods," Krol said.

    Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko declared Monday a three-month state of emergency in western Ukraine.

    The Ukrainian government proposed at an emergency session Monday allocating about 296 million U.S. dollars for clean-up operations.

    "We will submit all these amendments to the Ukrainian state budget to parliament later Monday," Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said, adding that damages are estimated at more than 600 million U.S. dollars.

    Speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Ukraine's parliament, which is on its summer recess, could hold an extraordinary session to discuss the allocation of budget funds for dealing with the aftermath of the floods.

    First Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchinov at the weekend described the flooding as the worst in a century.

Editor: Yan Liang

  July 28, 2008
Floods from hurricane Dolly


This photo provided by Ruidoso News shows flood waters destroying yards and fences of homes at River Ranch RV Park, along Highway 70 between Glencoe and Ruidoso Downs, N.M. on July 27, 2007. About 300 people _ both residents and tourists _ were evacuated from homes, campgrounds and a recreational vehicle park as flooding hit around the resort town of Ruidoso after the remnants of Hurricane Dolly dumped an estimated six inches on the mountainous area. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Marty Racine, Ruidoso News)

Ex-Hurricane Dolly floods parts of NM, Texas

Jul 28, 2008

RUIDOSO, N.M. (AP) — Flooding caused by torrential rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Dolly kept hundreds of evacuees away from their homes and campgrounds Monday, authorities said. Two people were listed as missing.

The National Weather Service posted flash flood watches Monday across much of eastern New Mexico. The sun broke through Monday morning, but isolated thunderstorms were forecast throughout the week.

The state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said up to 9 inches of rain had fallen since Friday in the mountainous area around Ruidoso, in south-central New Mexico.

The Rio Ruidoso was still running high and muddy Monday, with water flowing over roads in low-lying areas. A main thoroughfare in the center of Ruidoso, Paradise Canyon Road, was partially washed away, and two mud-covered mobile homes sat askew, washed off their foundations.

Public officials said 300 to 500 people were evacuated from homes, a campground and a recreational vehicle park after the Rio Ruidoso went over its banks early Sunday, and they were still unable to return early Monday.

"If Noah'd been around, it would have been good to build an ark," said state Department of Public Safety spokesman Peter Olson.

Some 200 other residents of the area were not flooded but were isolated by high water and closed bridges, said Tom Schafer, Ruidoso's emergency management coordinator.

State officials estimated more than 60 homes had been damaged. Nine bridges were reported under water and several roads were closed, but U.S. 70, the area's main highway, was reopened Monday, authorities said.

Schafer said there were 25 water rescues Sunday, mostly from vehicles but a few from homes. "A lot of people were trying to get through in deep water areas and they got stuck," he said.

National Guard helicopter crews rescued about two dozen campers stranded by high water, Schafer said.

However, some campers remained stranded. "They had to hunker down last night" to await rescue Monday, he said.

The race track at Ruidoso Downs was flooded, canceling Sunday's entire race card.

"The race track is a river. I've never seen it like this here," said horse trainer Joel Marr.

Ruidoso police said they received reports of two people being swept away in separate incidents after apparently losing their footing near the river, said Schafer. He didn't have details.

In Texas, the weather service said some areas of El Paso got as much as 3 inches of rain during the weekend and city officials said they received 17 reports of flooding in homes.

  Floods leave two miners missing, two others trapped in NW China

2008-07-29 00:34:42


July 28 (Xinhua) -- Persistent rainfall triggered floods in northwest China's Qinghai Province, leaving two miners trapped, two others missing and more than 1,300 households of farmers and herdsmen affected by Monday afternoon, said local authorities on Monday.

    Two people had been trapped in a gold mine since late Sunday in Dulan County, Mongolian and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Haixi, and two others were missing.

    "The mud flood blocked the mine exit where there were two workers underground," said Zou Hanbin, an official of the county government.

    "Rescue work began immediately and still continues now."

    Contact has not been established with the trapped yet.

    The flood also made more than 200 households of herdsmen homeless and forced an evacuation of more than 1,100 households in Dulan, according to the prefecture government.

    Some people in Dulan and Tianjun counties had difficulty in finding drinking water.

    Another two counties, Wulan and Tianjun, as well as the two cities of Golmud and Delhi also suffered the floods. More than 1,000 heads of sheep were washed away.

    Several bridges, sections of dams and highways were damaged as farmlands and pasture submerged by the floods in the prefecture.

    The floods also disrupted three sections of National Highway No.109, which is known as the Qinghai-Tibet Highway for its part in Qinghai and Tibet.

    One of the damaged sections was severely dangerous because its roadbed had been almost hollowed out. The transport authority said it could not be fixed until Wednesday.

    The government had sent tents, beddings, bottled water and food to affected residents.

Editor: Yan Liang Thousands hit by flash floods in Assam , India
Indo-Asian News Service

Sunday, July 27, 2008, (Guwahati)

 Flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains in Assam have displaced more than 225,000 people, besides destroying a large number mud homes, officials said on Sunday.

The eastern districts of Lakhimpur and Jorhat have been the worst hit, with an estimated 200 villages affected by the third wave of flooding that began on Thursday, a government spokesman said.

"The situation is critical with many areas under water and severe erosion caused by the Brahmaputra is compounding the woes," Lakhim
pur police chief S A Karim said.

A government statement said 175,000 people were displaced in Lakhimpur, about 400 km east of Assam's main city Guwahati.

A Central Water Commission bulletin said the Brahmaputra and its tributaries were flowing above the danger mark in at least six places. Thousands have been displaced overnight with the Brahmaputra breaching a vital embankment along Majuli, Asia's
largest river island.

A water resources department official said at least a quarter of the 421 sq km island in Jorhat district, 320 km east of Guwahati, was submerged after a breach in a mud embankment.

"Close to 50,000 people have been displaced after floodwaters entered 100 villages in Majuli. The villagers are sheltered in some highlands," a government spokesman said.

"Thousands of people are taking shelter in makeshift camps and on embankments and other raised platforms. The authorities are providing them food and other essentials," Karim said.

The first two waves of floods in Assam in May and June killed more than 30 people and displaced about 600,000, mostly in Lakhimpur district.

The floodwaters of the Brahmaputra have cut a treacherous swathe across Jorhat and Lakhimpur districts breaching more than a dozen vital embankments, besides sweeping away road bridges and stretches of highways.

The 2,906-km river - one of the longest in Asia - flows through Tibet, India and Bangladesh before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. Every year the monsoon causes the river to flood in Assam, a state of 26 million. In 2004, at least 200 people died and millions were displaced.


Over 1000 houses flooded across Nepal


2008-07-25 12:35:37

    KATHMANDU, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Incessant rainfall for the past couple of days in various parts of Nepal has inundated over 1,000 houses, The Kathmandu Post reported on Friday.

    According to the daily, a dozen villages of Udaypur district in eastern Nepal, some 170 km east of Kathmandu, are completely filled with flood water from local Triyuga and Sapta Koshi rivers due to non-stop rainfall since the past four days.

    Around 500 houses in the district are submerged with flood water from the Sapta Koshi River. Similarly, flood at Triyuga River has affected over 60 families of Sundarpur village in the district.

    Also, over six dozen villages in Sunsari district, some 220 km east of Kathmandu, in eastern Nepal, have been submerged due to continuous rainfall. After the rain water inundated over 400 houses at the villages have been taking shelter at local school buildings and government quarters.

    At least 100 houses in Rautahat district in central Nepal, some110 km south of Kathmandu, have been inundated due to the flood atlocal Lalbakaiya River. Flood hit villagers have abandoned their houses and properties and shifted elsewhere in search of shelter, said village development committee chairperson Surendra Yadav.

    Meanwhile, more than two dozen households in some villages in Nawalparasi district in western Nepal, some 160 km west of Kathmandu, have been displaced due to flood in their villages. Displaced villagers are facing water and food crisis. In some villages, locals are using boats to move around village as flood has immersed the villages.

    Of late, flood victims in the district are suffering from gastroenteritis, typhoid, cold and fever. However, due to lack of medicines at the local sub-health posts, sick people have been left in a lurch.

    At least 19 households have been displaced while more than a dozen houses have been inundated due to flood in Jhapa district in eastern Nepal, some 320 km east of Kathmandu. A lot of houses are facing the risk of flood, while hundreds of hectares of farmland have turned into river banks due to flood.

  Two weeks ago, this was Lake Delton:   Today there is no lake- its just a mud hole. See below:

Floodwaters wash away a home in Lake Delton, Wis.
A handful of other homes in the town suffered a similar fate after
heavy rainfall drenched the state.

Steve Johnson:  Tribune Internet critic
June 19, 2008

LAKE DELTON, Wis. — In the second week after the emptying of Lake Delton, the Wisconsin Dells region finds itself with yet another new tourist attraction, this one unexpected, unusual and unwelcome.

At one of the public boat landings, tourists and area residents alike walk down onto the near-dry lakebed to marvel. "It's an odd scene, almost out of a science-fiction movie, where you wake up one morning and your lake is gone," said Mike Kovacs, 49, a corrections worker from St. Paul.

The Original Wisconsin Ducks boat tours, which used to put into Lake Delton, now augment the cornball jokes and engine noise with views of the massive breach where the 270-acre lake crossed about 800 feet of land and poured downhill in a 300-foot-wide spillway into the Wisconsin River the morning of June 9.

Warning to gawkers

The Ravina Bay restaurant has had to post a sign warning would-be gawkers that the giant decks overlooking the lake are for customers only. "Business has been up, but that is basically because everybody likes to see a tragedy," said general manager Jenny Mattison.

And across the sandy lakebed from the restaurant, at the Tommy Bartlett Show, Aqua the Clown stands on an Astroturf-covered "island," right by the jumps that used to launch water-skiers. He holds up a giant drain plug as if he's just pulled it.

The crowd's laughter seems to have an edge to it, like the signs around the lake that suddenly seem ironic: "30-Minute Docking," "Protect Our Water Resources," "Vacancy."

The vast expanse of sand, mud, and exposed docks where Lake Delton used to be is a fluke and a freak show, to be sure. But there are consequences well beyond the five houses that were ruined when a sandy bank of Lake Delton, overburdened by weeks of rains, gave way, opening a new path to the river and surprising the people shoring up a dam just to the south.

"I saw the ski show go right down the Wisconsin River," said Tom Diehl, the robust 63-year-old owner of the Bartlett attraction, member of the Lake Delton village board, regional visitors' bureau official and early-morning sandbagger.

Now, in the Bartlett offices and elsewhere in the area, the hard business of the aftermath goes on in earnest.

The owners of the 700 hotel rooms on the lake—out of 8,000 in the region—scramble to persuade customers not to cancel their reservations. The battles are beginning with the insurance companies over what loss-of-business insurance covers. The town is working with a Madison engineering firm and state agencies to figure out how to rebuild the lake banks securely, but also quickly enough to secure next summer's business.

And then there's the public relations war to get word out that the Dells region—the towns of Lake Delton and Wisconsin Dells, and all the fudge shops, water parks and Wisconsin River boat rides in between—isn't even close to closed down.

Interstate 90-94 north of Madison, the main gateway for tourists from the south, is open again.

Closed-road damage

But smaller roads around and more than 20 miles of Interstate 94 between Milwaukee and Madison remained closed Wednesday due to flooding. The state Department of Transportation expected that by the weekend at least one lane of I-94 in each direction would reopen, a spokesman said, good news to business owners who said that the closed highways have done more to dampen tourism than the empty lake.

Even last weekend, media coverage pointed out that more than 90 percent of Dells businesses were unaffected by the Lake Delton voiding. But the rest were expecting a long, hard summer.

At the Bartlett operation, the shows go on with extra stage acts replacing the water-skiing, and with a lot of crossed fingers in the front offices. "There's very little cushion," said Diehl. "If we can't get the customers to come to this show, we're going to have a difficult time to get a ski show for next season."

But businesses are pitching in to help each other, just as volunteer townspeople, each day, have been venturing onto the lakebed to clean it up. The lake smells a little dank, like a damp basement, when you're right down in it or downwind, but nothing like the stench you might expect.

One lakefront hotel guest who did keep her reservation this week was Joan Banse, 52, a teacher from Vinton, Iowa, to whom the absence of water didn't seem so bad.

Reading a beach novel in a quiet spot at Baker's Sunset Bay Resort, she explained that as she and her sister thought about it, they reasoned that coming to the Dells "was better than being in Iowa, with no electricity because of the flood."


  Mississippi River breaks through Illinois levee

Jun 17, 6:25 PM (ET)


(AP) Iowa National Guard Staff Sgt. Chris Hartl looks over the edge of a sandbag levee at the overflow...

GULFPORT, Ill. (AP) - The rising Mississippi River broke through a levee Tuesday, forcing authorities to rescue about a half-dozen people by helicopter, boat and four-wheeler as floodwaters moved south into Illinois and Missouri.

But even as the water jeopardized scores of additional homes and businesses, officials said the damage could have been worse if the federal government had not taken steps to clear flood-prone land after historic floods in 1993.

On Tuesday, the flooding halted car travel over two bridges linking Illinois and Iowa and threatened to cover areas near tiny Gulfport with 10 feet of water.

"I'm not going back after this one," 83-year-old Lois Russell said as she watched water surround her house near Gulfport. It was the third time she had fled her home because of flooding since 1965.


"It was a good place to raise my seven kids," she said, crying. "I know I haven't lost anything that feels important because I have a big family."

The area was inundated after a levee broke near Gulfport. The details of the rescues were unar because of discrepancies in the numbers of people involved and the circumstances described by state and local officials. But authorities agreed that boats, helicopters and an all-terrain vehicle were involved in the efforts.

Preliminary estimates were that the flooding has caused more than $1.5 billion in damage in Iowa, and that figure will undoubtedly rise as the high water moves downstream.

Still, officials said the cost would have been even higher if the federal government had not purchased low-lying land after the 1993 deluge, which caused $12 billion in damage.

Since then, the government bought out more than 9,000 homeowners, turning much of the land into parks and undeveloped areas that can be allowed to flood with less risk. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has moved or flood-proofed about 30,000 properties.


The effort required whole communities to be moved, such as Rhineland, Mo., and Valmeyer, Ill.

In Iowa, FEMA spent $1.6 million to buy out residents of Elkport, population 80, and then knock down the village's remaining buildings. Some residents moved to Garber, Elkport's twin city across the Turkey River, but others abandoned the area.

"There's nothing there in Elkport anymore," said Helen Jennings of Garber. "They built new houses in different places."

Some of those who stayed are paying a price.

The federal government bought about a quarter of the homes in Chelsea, Iowa, after the 1993 floods, but most of the 300 residents stayed. At least 10 homes are now inundated by the Iowa River to their first floors.

Residents take it in stride, said Mayor Roger Ochs.

"For the most part, it's another flood," he said. "For Chelsea, it's more of an inconvenience."

On Tuesday, flooding remained far more serious in parts of southeast Iowa, where the Mississippi River had yet to crest.

People were urged to evacuate an area near Gulfport as floodwaters threatened about 12 square miles of farmland. Henderson County Deputy Sheriff Donald Seitz said a major highway could be under 10 feet of water by midday Wednesday.

On the Iowa side of the river, a sandbagging operation was moved south to the outskirts of Burlington after floodwaters streamed across state Highway 99.

Oakville Apostolic Church "is now an island," said Carly Wagenbach, who was taking food to levee workers.

Officials were also concerned about the integrity of a levee that protects a drainage area south of Oakville.

"It's outrageous," said Steve Poggemiller. "We're hanging on by a thread - or a sandbag."

Jeff Campbell, a farmer carrying sandbags on his four-wheeler, said he spotted pigs swimming away from a flooded hog farm near Oakville. They were climbing a levee, poking holes in the plastic that covered it, he said.

One tired pig was lying at the bottom of the levee "like a pink sandbag," Campbell said.

Reports of raw sewage and farm runoff in floodwaters raised concerns about public health. But experts said most people are smart enough to avoid the tainted water. "Typically we don't see the outbreaks of diseases that people fear," said Mike Allred of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The rising water forced the closure of the Mississippi bridge in Burlington and stopped car traffic on the bridge in Fort Madison. The bridge's railroad tracks remained open. A bridge downriver in Keokuk also remained open.

To the north in Cedar Rapids, floodwaters had dropped enough that officials let hundreds of people return to their damaged homes and businesses.

"It's obviously much more shocking when you walk in the door for the first time and see what happened," said Amy Wyss, watching sullenly as a giant blower was used to dry out her upscale wine bar, Zins. "I don't think you can be prepared for this, even if you think you are."

The National Weather Service expects crests this week along some Mississippi River communities near St. Louis to come close to those of 1993. The river at Canton, Mo., could reach 27.5 feet on Thursday, just shy of the 27.88 mark of 1993 and more than 13 feet above flood stage.

Crests at Quincy, Ill., and Hannibal, Mo., are expected to climb to about 15 feet above flood stage, still narrowly short of the high water from 15 years ago.

In St. Louis, the Mississippi is projected to crest Saturday at 39.8 feet, about 10 feet above flood stage but still a foot lower than in 1993.


Associated Press writers Allen G. Breed in Burlington, Iowa, Jim Suhr in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Amy Lorentzen in Des Moines, Iowa, contributed to this report.


On the Net:

U.S. Geological Survey's 1993 flood page, http://mo.water.usgs.gov/Reports/1993-Flood


State Of Emergency In Waukesha

WTMJ-TV and JSOnline.com
updated 1:42 p.m. PT, Mon., June. 9, 2008

Mayor Larry Nelson has declared a state of emergency in the City of Waukesha due to flooding from the Fox River.

WAUKESHA - Mayor Larry Nelson has declared a state of emergency in the City of Waukesha due to flooding from the Fox River. Three bridges are shutdown and many streets have been closed. The river is running fast and dangerous high. Water is lapping against the bottom of the Barstow Street Bridge and appears to be rising. The water encroached on apartment and condominium homes near the river. The closed bridges are the Barstow Bridge, the Wisconsin Ave Bridge at W. St. Paul Ave. and the bridge at W. Sunset Dr. and the Fox River Parkway. Waukesha police say all traffic should avoid downtown Waukesha. "It's crazy," said Becky Kinjerski, who came to see the river. "I hope it doesn't get any higher." "We've been out here for 12 years and this is the highest we've ever seen it," said Waukesha resident Jenny Gawronski. "It's bad out here. It's bad." Waukesha has established a phone hot line for city residents to report damage caused by flooding. Residents should call (262) 524-6669. The water level measured at 8.71 feet, according to a reading taken by the National Weather Service at 9:30 Sunday night. Flood stage is 6 feet. The NWS considers the Fox River to be at major flood stage when the water level reaches 10 feet. An insurance company just a block from the Fox River on Main Street is bracing for flooding. Front doors to the business were blocked with sand bags and plastic sheets. In addition to the bridges, many roads downtown are also closed: ● Barstow from Corrina to Bank closed ● Corrina from Buckley to Barstow closed ● Main St at West blocked to Wisconsin ● Madison from St Paul to Bank st closed (Bank St. also barricaded) ● St Paul from Maria to Albert closed ● Silvernail between Grandview and Bluemound barricaded ● Northview between Emslie and N University barricaded ● Sunset at Fox River Pkwy barricaded (Sunset and Fox River Pkwy both impassable) ● Fox River Pkwy at Davis- standing water ● Fox River Pkwy at Lambeth- standing water ● Fox River Pkwy blocked from Hwy 59 to Foxwood Trl. ● Fox River at Haymarket- standing water ● W. St.Paul Ave is closed at S. Moreland Blvd for all northbound traffic. ● Fox River Parkway is closed between W Sunset Dr and STH 59. Police also say truck traffic off of the Interstate should not exit on Hwy F to proceed through the downtown. Exit Hwy 18 to the by-pass (Hwy 59-164) to get to the south side of the city.


Cedar Rapids flood recedes; Des Moines levee fails
Jun 14, 6:44 PM (ET)


(AP) Floodwaters rush over Second Avenue near North High School on Saturday, June 14, 2008, in Des Moines, Iowa

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - The dark, filthy water that flooded Iowa's second-largest city finally started to recede Saturday after forcing 24,000 people to flee, but those who remained were urged to cut back on showering and flushing to save the last of their unspoiled drinking water.

A sandbagging siege saved the last of the city's four collection wells from contamination by the record flood. But officials warned that if people didn't cut back the water will run out within three to four days.

"Water is still our primary concern," said Pat Ball, the city's utilities director. "We're still using water at a greater rate than we're producing."

More than 400 city blocks and 3,900 homes were flooded in Cedar Rapids, where early estimates put property damage at $736 million, according fire department spokesman Dave Koch.

Map shows flooded river status in Iowa; includes current flood stages with select rivers.

While the Cedar River ebbed in hard-hit Cedar Rapids, a levee breach in the state capital of Des Moines flooded a neighborhood of more than 200 homes, a high school and about three dozen businesses.

In Iowa City, more than 200 homes were evacuated because of the flooded Iowa River, expected to crest Monday or Tuesday. People filled thousands of sandbags at the University of Iowa but officials were conceding some buildings to the expected flooding.

"We've pretty much just abandoned any effort to try and protect the Arts Campus because we are just overwhelmed by the amount of water," university spokesman Steve Parrott said. "It's just too unsafe." Valuable paintings have been removed from the art museum, he added.

At least three deaths in Iowa have been attributed to the storms and subsequent flooding, and 12 more have died in two recent tornadoes. The storms have prompted the governor to issue disaster proclamations for 83 of the state's 99 counties.

President Bush was briefed on the flooding in Iowa and other parts of the Midwest while he was in Paris, and was assured that federal agencies are making plans to help people affected by the high water, White House press secretary Dana Perino said.

"He expressed his concern for people who may still be in danger and for those who are hurting from the impact of the storms," Perino said.

Elsewhere, Illinois emergency authorities said a levee along the Mississippi River in far western Illinois burst Saturday morning and voluntary evacuations were under way in Keithsburg, a town of about 700 residents.

"The levee broke in two places," said Keithsburg Alderman George Askew, 76. "We're getting under water."

Farther south, rising water prompted officials to close a bridge over the Mississippi connecting Quincy, Ill., to Missouri. Authorities were sandbagging an area around a water treatment facility and other nearby businesses as a precaution.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama toured Quincy and helped fill sandbags Saturday.

"Since I've been involved in public office we've not seen this kind of devastation," Obama said of the Midwest flooding. He vowed to push the federal and state governments to provide needed aid to the stricken areas.

Parts of southern Wisconsin have been dealing with flooding for days, and Bush declared disasters in five counties there Saturday.

Iowa's worst damage so far was in Cedar Rapids, a city of more than 120,000. The Cedar River crested there Friday night at nearly 32 feet, 12 feet higher than the old record set in 1929. City Engineer Dave Elgin said the Cedar River was dropping at a rate of about 2 inches an hour Saturday.

Murky, petroleum- and garbage-choked water inundated three collection wells and threatened the fourth before several hundred volunteers staged a last-ditch sandbagging operation.

Water lapped to within 3 feet of the improvised, 4-foot-high wall surrounding the brick pumping station before it began to recede. Two portable generators, one as big as a semitrailer, roared around the clock to keep the three pumps inside running.

"It's the little engine that could," said Ron Holtzman, one of several people who came to watch the operation Saturday from a nearby foot bridge.

Residents not forced to leave their homes took the warnings to conserve seriously.

Kathy Wickham, 65, was collecting water from the dehumidifier in her basement and has been bathing from the 6-inch-deep enamel washbasin she used as a child on the farm.

"I grew up without any running water, so I'm going back to my childhood," she said.

Raejean White posted bright yellow signs at all six entrances to the Preston Terrace Condominiums that read: "If it's yellow let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down."

In Catherine Holt's household, there are nine children ranging in age from 2 to 17 - including four teenage girls. She said they're making do with baby wipes and water stored earlier in the week in milk jugs and soda bottles.

"So what if it stinks?" said Holt, who closed off one of the family's two bathrooms and forbade the children from using any faucets. "This is so minor compared to what other people are going through."

ow high the level would go. Not enough time. We lost ground."

Authorities knew the aging levee near Birdland, a working-class, racially diverse neighborhood, was the weakest link among the city's levees. A 2003 Corps report called for nearly $10 million in improvements across Des Moines, but there wderal money to do all the work.

"This was the first to fail, and we felt it was the one likely to fail," said Bill Stowe, the city's public works director.

Some residents were upset that other areas of city have received more flood-control improvements than Birdland since massive floods hit the area in 1993.

"In the short term they did a great job with the buildup of the sandbags. But they should have known this was coming," Chris Lucas said at a shelter.

In southeast Iowa, authorities told all the roughly 250 people in Fredonia to leave their homes ordered more evacuations in two other small towns, Columbus Junction and Columbus City. The communities are clustered near the junction of the Iowa and Cedar rivers.

Iowa has had a wet spring and at least 8 inches of rain since June 6. More thunderstorms are possible in the Cedar Rapids area during the weekend, but next week is expected to be sunny and dry.

Associated Press National Writer Allen G. Breed and AP Writers Melanie S. Welte in Des Moines and Jim Salter in Iowa City, Charles Babington in Quincy, Ill., contributed to this report.


Water from the swollen Cedar River rushes past downtown buildings Thursday, June 12, 2008, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Officials estimated that 100 blocks in Cedar Rapids were under water forcing the evacuation of nearly 4,000 homes and leaving cars underwater on downtown streets. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Cedar Rapids could be flooded 10 more days

BY TOM BARTON • tbarton@dmreg.com • June 13, 2008

Cedar Rapids city officials said water levels will not reach below flood level until June 24, and will not reach below the previous record of 20 feet until June 18.

The Cedar River was at 31 feet at 1 p.m. – nine feet above the city’s 100-year flood level.

Flood stage is 12 feet.

Dave Koch, spokesman for the Cedar Rapids Fire Department, said it would take a 660-foot-wide channel that is 35 to 40 feet deep to channel flood waters out of Cedar Rapids.

As a comparison, he said floodwater along the Cedar River would reach two feet above flood stage along the Mississippi River in Dubuque.

He said damage done by the flood was estimated at more than $730 million, about $376 million of which was damage done to residential property.

The city was also in the process of moving City Hall, the Cedar Rapids fire station, Cedar Rapids police station and public works, all of which have flooded,.

“We are trying to find alternative spots, as well as for our ground transportation center,” Koch said during a 3 p.m. press conference at the Kirkwood Continuing Education Building. “We will continue to operate and we will do our best to continue city services.”

City officials asked residents to conserve water to help maintain the city’s water pressure, by only using water for drinking purposes.

Lee Clancey, president of the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, called on city businesses to cooperate and restrict water use.

“We are asking business with high commercial water usage to immediately restrict their use,” Clancey said. “This applies to restaurants, who we are asking to use disposable plates, cups and utensils. We are asking laundries and car washes to shut down. We are asking people to stop all plant and lawn watering, including greenhouses.”

Hotels and motels, as well, were asked to suspend cleaning.

“There are a few of us in this room who didn’t take showers this morning,” Clancey said.

Scott Drzycimski, spokesman with Alliant Energy, said 15,700 customers in the Cedar Rapids metro are without power – most in flooded areas or within a few blocks of flooded areas.

“This is a long-term recovery process. It will be weeks. We are already staring to look at a process to evaluate damage,” Drzycimski. “We are ordering equipment we think we may need so we can be ready to go.”

We said the utility’s call center is working in a limited capacity and urged only customers with an emergency situation to place calls.

“We appreciate the support of so many organizations and agencies. It’s a long process, but we’re in it for the long haul,” he said

Karen Vander Sanden, spokeswoman for Mercy Medical Center, said 176 patients were evacuated from the hospital at midnight. By 8 a.m. Friday, she said all hospital patients will have been moved to hospitals in Des Moines, Davenport, Waterloo and Dubuque.

“We were in danger of losing our secondary power source, which would not have been safe,” she said. “All non-essential employees were sent home and have been asked to come back to work on Monday.”

Vander Sanden said Mercy Care North and South are offering free tetanus shots.

Linn County Sheriff Don Zeller said 363 inmates from the Linn County Correctional facility were moved to locations in Washington County, Mitchelville, Anamosa and Oakdale.

Zeller said 43 inmates were released to immigration and corrections officials.

The city of Palo, he said, “is still pretty much all under water.”

“Palo is abandoned, but secured between sheriff and National Guard personnel,” said Lu Barron, Linn County Supervisor.

About 200 Iowa National Guard Troops, along with U.S. Navy and U.S, Coast Guard members were in Cedar Rapids on Friday helping manage floodwaters and supporting Cedar Rapids police and fire with shallow-water rescues.

Cedar Rapids Police Chief Greg Graham said emergency personnel have been spending “an inordinate” amount of time with delays due to traffic jams caused by gawkers and sightseers.

“It’s prohibiting travel of emergency vehicles, including boaters using private boats,” Graham said.

Cedar Rapids Mayor Pro-tem Brian Fagan said “the devastation is just block upon block upon block.”

Fagan said Cedar Rapids, known as the city of five seasons, has taken on different definitions over the years, but on Friday called the fifth season the season of “determination.”

“There’s a lot of different adjectives that can be used, but right now the fifth season is determination,” he said at the press conference. “Patience will be tried, but we ask for continued patience from the public. The devastation is widespread. But this determination is exemplified by the heroic efforts of citizens to save the well last night. Those efforts are heroic.”

Councilman Chuck Wieneke, said the flooding is catastrophic.

“There will be some very trying times coming up in the very near future. There’s no way around it,” he said. “We experienced a catastrophe here.”

He urged residents who were evacuated to stay away from their homes.

“Please, please stay away. It’s going to take another four days to get back to your homes. Stay away,” he said. “Those who have suffered losses and those who have not, we’re all affected and we all need to help each other.”

City Councilwoman Monica Vernon called the situation a “tsunami of the prairie,” a characterization she borrowed from her father.

“I think that’s true. We have a huge disaster on our hands and we all need to pull together,” she said at the conference.


Upper Midwest flooding forces evacuations, floods roads

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Rising water from the Cedar River forced the evacuation of a downtown hospital Friday after residents of more than 3,000 homes fled for higher ground. A railroad bridge collapsed, and 400 city blocks were under water.

In Des Moines, 100 miles to the southwest, officials issued a voluntary evacuation order for much of downtown and other areas bordering the Des Moines River. Mayor Frank Cownie said the evacuations were an attempt "to err on the side of citizens and residents."

Des Moines is Iowa's capital and largest city, with about 190,000 residents. But the hardest-hit was Cedar Rapids, a city of 124,000 people.

Gov. Chet Culver declared 83 of the state's 99 counties to be state disaster areas, and nine rivers were at or above historic flood levels. Elsewhere in the upper Midwest, rivers and streams tipping their banks forced evacuations, closed roads, and even threatened drinking water.

The hospital's 176 patients, including about 30 patients in a nursing home facility at the hospital, were being evacuated to other hospitals in the region. The evacuation started late Thursday night and continued Friday morning in the city of 124,000 residents.

"Some are frail and so it's a very delicate process with them," said Karen Vander Sanden, a hospital spokeswoman.

Water was seeping into the hospital's lower levels, where the emergency generator is located, said Dustin Hinrichs of the Linn County emergency operations center.

"They proactively and preventatively started evacuation basically guessing on the fact they were going to lose power," he said.

Dave Koch, a spokesman for the Cedar Rapids fire department, said the river will crest Friday at about 31.8 feet. It was at 30.9 feet early in the morning. In a 1993 flood, considered the worst flood in recent history, it was at 19.27 feet.

At least 438 city blocks in downtown were under water, Koch said. There was more flooding outside of downtown, but authorities don't know what widespread it is.

Flooding also closed Interstate 80 from east of Iowa City to Davenport. The flooded Cedar River crosses the interstate in Cedar County, about 20 miles east of Iowa City.

No deaths or serious injuries were reported in Iowa, but one man was killed in southern Minnesota after his car plunged from a washed-out road into floodwaters. Another person was rescued from a nearby vehicle in the town of Albert Lea.

Just southeast of Grand Rapids, Mich., crews pulled the body of a motorist from a car found drifting in the swollen Thornapple River. State police said they believe the 57-year-old man called on his cell phone but didn't say what happened or where he was; they found him using global positioning equipment.

Violent thunderstorms Thursday and Friday brought widespread flooding to Michigan's Lower Peninsula that authorities say left some roads and bridges unstable or impassable. Utilities said about 28,000 new power outages were reported Friday morning, in addition to about 36,000 customers who lost power in earlier storms.

In Wisconsin, amphibious vehicles that carry tourists on the Wisconsin River were used to evacuate homes and businesses in Baraboo, north of Madison. Hundreds of people lost power in Avoca, west of Madison, and were "strongly encouraged" to evacuate because of flooding of the Wisconsin River and other streams, said Chief Deputy Jon Pepper of the Iowa County Sheriff's Department.

The rising Fond du Lac River forced hundreds from homes in Fond du Lac.

People in several northern Missouri communities, meanwhile, were piling up sandbags to prepare for flooding in the Missouri River, expected to crest over the weekend, and a more significant rise in the Mississippi River expected Wednesday.

Des Moines officials recommended people leave parts of downtown on either side of the Des Moines River by 6 p.m. Friday. Included are all areas in Des Moines' 500-year floodplain.

The alert was prompted by rising river levels expected to peak at 8 p.m. Friday.

About 300 volunteers and members of the Iowa Army National Guard worked late Thursday into Friday to shore up a levee showing some soft spots north of downtown. The levee protects a neighborhood along the river.

Amtrak's California Zephyr line was suspended across Iowa because of flooding along the BNSF Railway.

Despite all the water in Cedar Rapids, there was precious little for toilets, cleaning, or drinking.

Koch said the city is at critical levels and only one well was operating. It was in a flood area protected by sandbags, and generators were pumping water away. Normally, the city has six or more functioning wells, he said.

"If we lost that one we would be in serious trouble. Basically we are using more water than we are producing," he said. "We really need to reduce the amount of water we are using ... even using paper plates, hand sanitizer."

Area hotels issued water warnings, including the Marriott Hotel, which issued a statement imploring guests to cut their usage and use water only for drinking.

"Any flushing of the toilet, running the sink, or showering should be kept to a minimum. We understand this is asking a lot, but anyway you may be able to assist us in this time of crisis would go a long way to avoid an even greater disaster."

Other Midwestern cities faced similar shortages: Lawrenceville, Ill., a town of 4,600 people near the Indiana line, grappled for a second day Thursday with a broken water system that left businesses with no usable tap water, forcing them to close.

(This version CORRECTS that Des Moines is southwest, not southeast, of Cedar Rapids.)


Parts of the Midwest battled severe new flooding on Tuesday as rivers and lakes overflowed their banks and broke through dams. Here, a levee break along the Embarras River saturates an area in southern Illinois. Severe weather has claimed the lives of 15 people in five states since Saturday

The White River rises near Petersburg, Ind., Tuesday.
Floods have displaced thousands of residents in the state

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle said he would request a federal disaster declaration
after teams assess the flood damage there on Wednesday.
Above, the swollen Kickapoo River engulfs Viola, Wis., Monday

Two people delivering newspapers drowned in Saugatuck Township, Mich.,
after their car became submerged in a creek.
 Above, people grieve at the site of the accident Sunday.

The wreckage of the victims' car lies at the bottom of the creek near Lake Michigan. Police said the driver, Clarissa Jean Green, 51, and her nephew,
Dean Alan Taylor, 17, were delivering newspapers for
The Grand Rapids Press when they drove off the washed-out road.


Midwest Braces for More Flooding




Posted: 2008-06-10 21:41:25

DES MOINES, Iowa (June 10) --

Rising rivers wiped out an Iowa railroad bridge Tuesday, flooded Illinois farmland and forced residents along the Mississippi River to prepare for what could be the worst flooding in 15 years.


In Cedar Falls, Iowa, officials were readying residents and downtown business owners to evacuate as the Cedar River threatened to spill over a levee. The river was expected to top the levee early Wednesday, prompting a mandatory evacuation of downtown, Mayor Jon Crews said.

"I've been downtown for 37 years and I have never seen anything like this," said Steve Schomaker, a partner in a local insurance company.

In nearby Waterloo, fast-moving water swept away a railroad bridge used to transport tractors from a John Deere factory to Cedar Rapids. It also prompted the city to shut its downtown and close five bridges.

Levee breaks Tuesday in southeastern Illinois flooded 50 to 75 square miles of farmland along the Embarras (EM'-brah) River, forcing the evacuations homes northeast of Lawrenceville, said Lawrence County Sheriff Russell Adams. He said water was up to the roofs of some rural homes.

In Elnora, Ind., about 100 miles southwest of Indianapolis, berms of white sandbags and concrete barriers held back the White River, leaving residents little choice but to wait and watch. Most residents left after voluntary evacuation orders came late Monday, two days after the area got up to 10 inches of rain.

"We have a very touch-and-go situation there, but everything that can be done has been done," Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said.


Along the Mississippi River, the National Weather Service on Tuesday predicted crests of 10 feet above flood stage and higher over the next two weeks. Most of the towns are protected by levees, but outlying areas could be flooded.

"This is major flooding," weather service hydrologist Karl Sieczynski said of the Mississippi. He urged people in unprotected flood plain areas to seek higher ground.

Canton, Mo., about 150 miles north of St. Louis, could get the worst of the Mississippi River's flooding. The town of 2,500 is expected to see a crest on June 18 that is nearly 12 feet above flood stage.

Mayor Joe Clark said the levee is high enough to protect the community, but a sandbagging operation is planned to make sure it holds.

"I would say we're taking it in stride at this point," Clark said. "We live with this all the time."

Downtown Hannibal, Mo., which includes Mark Twain's boyhood home, is protected by a flood levee that was completed just months before devastating floods in 1993. Still, a few homes would be flooded if the crest prediction is accurate.

In Wisconsin on Tuesday, engineers and contractors began repairing damage done when 267-acre Lake Delton overflowed and drained, washing away three houses. The rushing water had ripped apart underground sewer lines, and on Tuesday morning raw sewage was pouring out of the pipes and running down the Wisconsin River.

A dozen workers stretched a temporary sewer line across the 200-yard breach.

Gov. Jim Doyle said his office said he would seek a federal disaster declaration.


Wisconsin officials also decided to close the westbound lanes of Interstate 94 because water from the rising Rock River was just inches away from the road.

In Michigan, utility companies said it would take several days to fully restore service to nearly a quarter million homes and businesses without power after several days of severe storms.

In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in two counties hit by flooding in the state's southeast corner.

In northeastern Iowa, the tiny town of New Hartford was still cleaning up from its second disaster in two weeks. Water poured over a dike and swamped much of the south side of town late Sunday, inundating residents who were just starting to recover from a May 25 tornado that killed two people. More than 150 of the town's 650 residents had to be rescued from their homes.

"We're just discouraged, and a little angry," said Corey Woods, a metal spinner and security guard.

Elsewhere, the East Coast baked in a heat wave with temperatures in the upper 90s from Georgia all the way to northern New England, where the weather service reported a Tuesday afternoon high of 99 at Portsmouth, N.H.

Thunderstorms promising relief from the heat for parts of the Northeast knocked out power Tuesday to more than 50,000 homes and businesses.

The heat forced some schools to close early, and public school teachers in New York City filed a complaint with the state over having to hold classes in sweltering classrooms.

Philadelphia officials blamed the deaths of two women on the four-day heat wave.

Associated Press writers Todd Richmond in Lake Delton, Wis., Amy Lorentzen in New Hartford, Iowa, and Jim Salter in Hannibal, Mo., and AP Video Journalist Mark Carlson in Lawrenceville, Ill. contributed to this report.


Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

2008-06-07 17:15:43


US Midwest sees more floods, Wisconsin dam breaks

Mon Jun 9, 2008 3:30pm EDT

MADISON, Wis., June 9 (Reuters) - A dam near the Wisconsin Dells resort area broke on Monday, sweeping away some homes, as torrential rains caused more flooding across parts of the U.S. Midwest, authorities said.

No deaths or injuries were reported, though residents living beside a few rain-swollen rivers in central Wisconsin were urged to evacuate, the Columbia County Sheriff's office said.

The failure of the Delton Dam on Lake Delton caused mudslides that swept away a few homes. The water rushed to form a new tributary to the Wisconsin River, which eventually empties into the Mississippi River.

Police issued a warning about debris swept into rivers from collapsed buildings and roads.

Other dams in the Wisconsin Dells region, which is famous for its scenic lakes and resorts, were also threatened by a series of drenching storms in recent weeks, authorities said.

Gov. Jim Doyle declared a state of emergency in 30 counties in the southern half of Wisconsin. Similar declarations have been made in recent days in Iowa and Indiana, with flooding also affecting parts of Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.

"This is an area that's been bombarded with rain over the weekend, anywhere from 5 to 10 inches, and you're dealing with saturated soils. So any rain that falls becomes run-off," the National Weather Service's Pat Slattery said.

Nearly one-third of Iowa's 99 counties were experiencing flooding, according to Gov. Chet Culver.

Flood damage estimated in the tens of millions of dollars were being added to recent storm damage in Iowa, including a tornado that flattened
the town of Parkersburg two weeks ago.

The water treatment plant Mason City, Iowa, was swamped this weekend by the Winnebago River, three of four bridges in the town of Charles City were swept away by flooding of the Cedar River, and the town of New Hartford was evacuated.

Many corn and soybean acres were under water in Midwestern states, hurting farmers' prospects after a wet spring that had already delayed planting in many places.

Iowa and Illinois alone produce one-third of U.S. corn and soybeans, usually the world's biggest harvests of those crops.

National Guard troops were called out in Indiana, where flooding forced hundreds of people to evacuate homes across the central and western parts of the state. (Reporting by Jeff Mayers in Wisconsin, Kay Henderson in Iowa; Writing by Andrew Stern; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)


Flooding breaks records set in 1913 flood

Associated Press - June 9, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The flooding across central and southern Indiana already is breaking records set almost 100 years ago.

The floods in 1913 inundated dozens of Indiana communities along the state's major rivers, causing widespread destruction. Floodwaters even swamped parts of Indianapolis, destroying bridges over the White River and homes in some neighborhoods.

Scott Morlock is a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Indiana. He says the latest wave of flooding has already set eight new flood depth or water volume records. Even where the water hasn't eclipsed records set in 1913, the current flooding ranks along with other flood years in 1937, 1982, 1991 and 2005.

The Geological Survey monitors the state's rivers with 175 solar-powered water gauges that transmit data in real-time to give forecasters the latest changes in the rivers. Morlock says those readings are made every 15 minutes and transmitted once an hour to help National Weather Service forecasters decide where and when to issue flood warnings.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Storms kill 8 in U.S. Midwest

Last Updated: Monday, June 9, 2008 | 7:18 AM ET

Large swaths of three states in the U.S Midwest have been declared disaster areas, as days of vicious storms and flooding forced residents to flee flooded communities.

The death toll stood at eight, and more rain was forecast Monday.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle sought emergency aid for 29 counties on Sunday, while President George W. Bush declared a major disaster in 29 Indiana counties.

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, meanwhile, said nearly a third of his state's 99 counties need federal help.

Flooding was expected to be a problem Monday and later in the week across the region as up to 250 millimetres of rain drains into already swollen rivers.

"This thing came on fast with such a radical deluge of water that people were describing going from a feeling of security to waist-deep water in a matter or 15 or 20 minutes," said Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.

While the Midwest tried to handle the onrushing water, the Northeast baked. Heat advisories were posted early Monday in New Jersey and temperatures around New York City were expected to pass the 38 C mark.

Eastern Canada is also experiencing a heat wave.

'It looked like a river in front of my house'

In Indiana, about 1,500 people were asked to leave the towns of Elnora and Plainville, southwest of Indianapolis, because of flooding along the White River. In Morgan County, southwest of Indianapolis, about 150 residents were taken out of a flooded nursing home.

Jack Elkins, 67, said his condominium was inundated with water in a matter of minutes Saturday night.

"It looked like a river in front of my house," he said as he took a break from ripping up carpeting and flooring.

Soldiers in Wisconsin were deployed Sunday evening to assist with the evacuation of 24 people in the community of Ontario in rural Vernon County. Evacuations also occurred in Racine and Juneau counties and elsewhere across a 240-kilometre stretch of the state from Milwaukee to the Mississippi River.

On Sunday, blinding sheets of rain transformed the state's Kickapoo River into a rush of raging water, and officials warned it could crest two metres over flood stage sometime Monday.

Gravel driveways and dirt roads became avalanches, while muddy floods covered farm fields. Communities like Viola, Soldiers Grove and Gays Mills were unreachable because of flooding, officials said.

"It's exhausting," said Barb Edge, 50, who lives next to the Kickapoo in Soldiers Grove.

2 die delivering newspapers
Photos above

The weekend death toll included a person killed when lightning struck a pavilion at a state park in Connecticut and a man who drowned in his vehicle about 80 kilometres south of Indianapolis.

Michigan's toll stood at six, including two people who drowned while delivering newspapers early Sunday for the Grand Rapids Press. The road beneath their car collapsed and the vehicle plunged into a ravine.

Two other people in Michigan were killed by falling trees, while a man drowned while tending to a dam and a woman was killed when high winds blew a recreational vehicle on top of her, authorities said.

The storms popped up in central Kansas on Saturday and moved northeast toward Missouri, producing winds up to 130 km/h, and golf-ball sized hail in some areas, according to National Weather Service spotters. At least seven tornadoes were spotted in the Chicago area, tearing roofs off homes, toppling power lines and overturning trucks.


Published - Monday, June 09, 2008


Floods spur warnings, evacuations in southeastern Minnesota



Heavy rains in southeastern Minnesota on Sunday forced flood evacuations in areas of Houston County and raised concerns of additional floods Monday.

Houston County Emergency Management and the National Weather Service asked residents in the Winnebago Valley Area southeast of Caledonia, Minn., and Brownsville, Minn., to evacuate because of rising water around 5 p.m. Sunday. The Houston County Sheriff’s office released a no-travel advisory Sunday night, recommending that no one travel in the county unless it is an emergency.

A flash flood watch was issued by the National Weather Service for Dodge, Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmstead, Wabasha and Winona counties around 3 p.m. Sunday until approximately midnight.

Campers staying at DunRomin’ Park Campground, located about four and a half miles south of Caledonia, Minn., were evacuated to the Caledonia City Auditorium around 5 p.m. after the park began to flood. Rising water damaged several vehicles, with park visitors worried their vehicles had been washed away.

A bridge at the entrance to the park on DunRomin’ Drive washed out, and approximately 62 campers were evacuated by the Caledonia Fire Department from a former dry river bed that flooded up to 15 feet, according to the Caledonia Fire Department.

Residents walked up a bluff and through muddy farm fields, with several losing their shoes. Firefighters were forced to pull some residents out of the mud and carry some small children.

“I was lucky, because I tied my shoes tight enough,” said Colleen Taft, of St. Paul Park, Minn.

Members of the Red Cross provided campers with water and supplies while they waited for friends and family to arrive. Residents in Brownsville were also
urged to evacuate to the Brownsville Community Center.

The National Weather Service released a flood warning Sunday for the Root River near Houston, Minn., stating it forecasted the river to rise above flood stage by Monday evening. The river is expected to fall below flood stage by late Tuesday afternoon.

Flooding affected other areas in Minnesota, along with many parts of Northern Iowa. Parts of Fillmore County were flooded, and a small number of residents in Preston were evacuated, according to the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office. Roads in downtown Spring Valley were flooded, and Highway 63 was closed.

Governor Tim Pawlenty will tour damage caused by flooding in Houston County on Monday morning.


Severe storms bring floods, tornadoes to Midwest

FRANKLIN, Ind. (AP) — Severe storms crippled central Indiana with as much as 10 inches of rain Saturday and spawned tornadoes that ripped up roofs and flipped tractor-trailers in Wisconsin and the Chicago suburbs.

The floods in Indiana threatened dams, inundated highways and forced the Coast Guard to rescue residents from swamped homes. Rising waters forced the evacuation of more than 100 patients and doctors from a hospital south of Indianapolis.

To the northwest, Chicago-area residents ran for cover as tornadoes touched down throughout the region. About 25,000 customers in Chicago's southern suburbs were without power late Saturday, said ComEd spokeswoman Judy Rader.

Wisconsin had a few tornado injuries, and at least one injury was reported near Chicago. Indiana had been spared any reported deaths or injuries due to flooding.

"At this point, mercifully, we believe all Hoosiers are secure," Gov. Mitch Daniels said at a news conference. "We hope that will continue."

Daniels declared an emergency in 17 counties as the Coast Guard was called in from the Great Lakes to help with flooding that has forced hundreds of people from their homes.

Ninety percent of the small town of Paragon, southwest of Indianapolis, was underwater, State Homeland Security Director Joe Wainscott said.

Water reached the first floor of Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin, but no patients had to be moved, county Commissioner Tom Kite said, and cars were submerged up to their windshields in the county government building parking lot.

"We have dams failing in the Prince's Lakes area," threatening the town of Nineveh, about 30 miles south of Indianapolis, Kite said.

Nearby, officials evacuated patients and staff from Columbus Hospital, about 40 miles south of Indianapolis, when roads around the site were submerged.

Indiana State Police reported evacuations in the Lake Lemon area about 10 miles northeast of Bloomington. Dams near Gold Point were close to collapse, police said.

Near Martinsville, southwest of Indianapolis, Ben Pace watched motorboats rescuing neighbors. The rain didn't appear that bad when he woke up, Pace said, but he then watched water rise 6 to 8 inches in his backyard shed.

"Then I realized that it's worse than it's ever been," he said.

A rescuer came by boat to his front door to get him. He managed to grab some clothes and his dog, leaving the home with knee-deep water in his bedroom.

Interstate 70 was closed in Clay County in west-central Indiana, and Interstate 65 and another major route, U.S. 31, both were closed near Franklin.

Residents of Helmsburg, a town of about 6,000 just 40 miles south of Indianapolis, were taken by bus to a YMCA in Nashville, said Wayne Freeman, Brown County Red Cross chairman.

In western Indiana, water more than a foot deep surrounded homes on Terre Haute's east side. U.S. 41 was the only route open into Terre Haute, and it was down to one lane by mid-afternoon.

J.D. Kesler, deputy director of the Vigo County Emergency Management Agency, said more than 200 people had to be rescued from their homes, vehicles and nursing homes there.

Peter Perdoue, 35, a mortgage broker from Terre Haute, heard a trickle Saturday morning and checked his daughter's basement room. The water had risen above the window.

"It was almost like I was standing inside an aquarium," he said.

Within a few hours, sewage started backing into his basement, and it wasn't long before the waters had filled his basement up to the 10-foot ceiling.

More than 30,000 electricity customers lost power, the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission said.

Near Chicago, Will County Sheriff's Department spokesman Pat Barry said a tornado damaged several homes in the Wilmington area and toppled trees and power lines.

A person was injured on Interstate 57 in the southern suburbs, and a swath of the major highway closed as authorities worked to clear overturned trucks, said state Trooper Mark Dorencz.

Tornadoes were also reported in Lake County, north of the city, and in Livingston County, to the southwest.

Central and southeastern Wisconsin were pelted with baseball-size hail in a storm that blew roofs off homes, toppled trees and power lines, and injured at least six people. Heavy rains also pelted the area, causing flash flooding.

Flooding built up around Milwaukee, where water as deep as 2 feet in roads caused parked cars to drift and closed parts of an interstate highway.

On the south side of town, two vacant buildings partially collapsed because of the heavy rains, authorities said. No injuries were reported there.

Associated Press writers Ken Kusmer in Indianapolis, Ryan Lenz in Terre Haute and Karen Hawkins in Chicago contributed to this report.


Floods Ravage New Hartford Weeks After Deadly Tornado

By Josh Hinkle, Anchor/Reporter

By Becky Ogann

NEW HARTFORD - Flooding has already hit some eastern Iowa towns. One of those communities is New Hartford, where just two weeks after a killer tornado hit, a levee has broken forcing an evacuation.

Emergency officials urge everyone in New Hartford to get out by 6:00 p.m. Monday night. That's when they're closing off the town.

The water from Beaver Creek is flowing over the road and into homes. The current is so strong people that have already evacuated are afraid to go back into town to try and save anything. One couple TV9 spoke with say they didn't listen to the warning to get out until they noticed the first floor of their house going under.

"Actually came out in waist deep water and had to get on a boat and then ride a bus into Cedar Falls," said Georgia Bennett of Parkersburg.

"I think when I stepped in the current to the one road, I knew that was really bad," said Mike Bennett of Parkersburg.

In addition to closing New Hartford, Butler County also shut down two of its largest roads. Highway 3 from the Geneva turnoff to 218 and Highway 14 south of Allison to Parkersburg.

Crews have also closed so many secondary roads, they run out of these road closed signs. Now they're urging people to use caution and never drive into flood waters.  

Sri Lanka Floods Leave 400,000 Homeless; GFA Calls for Prayer, Emergency Aid

Contact: Taun Cortado, Gospel for Asia, 800-946-2742


CARROLLTON, Texas, June 9, 2008  /Christian Newswire/ -- More than 400,000 people have been driven from their homes by unusually heavy monsoon floods on the island of Sri Lanka. The continuous, torrential rains have killed at least 20 people, left hundreds of homes destroyed and rendered thousands of others unlivable.

Photo: Many have lost their crops and have no other way to feed their families. They are looking for help from our missionaries, too. These desperate people are grateful for this simple act of kindness shown to them in their time of great need.

In response, Gospel for Asia's Compassion Services teams are moving to bring relief and hope to the battered survivors of the floodwaters.

The deluge flooded large areas of Sri Lanka. Some 83,000 families have been left homeless in seven districts.

GFA rushed emergency funds to the island to begin relief operations, but GFA President K.P. Yohannan said the suffering of the people is so great that much more will be quickly needed.

Despite restrictive laws that have made it harder for GFA missionaries to move around on the island, the GFA relief teams immediately mobilized to bring help and hope to the hard-hit people of their country.

"We are moving quickly to distribute rice, coconuts and other essential food items to the flood victims," a GFA field correspondent wrote, "and we will bring medical assistance soon."

The teams currently have supplies for 150 families, and they hope to be able to reach many more of the thousands who are living in heavy downpours without shelter because of the floods.

To add even more pain to their plight, fighting in Sri Lanka's ongoing ethnic conflict is again on the rise, with some 7,000 people forced into refugee camps in the eastern part of the country. For those who survive the dual assault of nature and human conflict, staying alive is almost as difficult a task as burying their loved ones.

Not only have fields been flooded and are now useless, there is an ever-present danger of stray bullets, mines and suicide bombings in the heightening conflict between Sri Lanka's government and the ethnic Tamil rebels.

Yohannan encouraged Christians around the world to pray for the people of Sri Lanka and to send immediate help for the relief ministry on the island.

"Through these tragedies, God always works in people's hearts in an amazing way," he noted. "As Christians, we not only are called upon to bring food, clothing and shelter in the name of Jesus—which we are doing—but we also have the Word that points the way to abundant life now and forever. Our GFA Compassion Services teams are sharing both.

"Just think of the impact of sharing the love and hope found in Jesus Christ with those who have lost everything in this monsoon flooding," Yohannan said. "It is a tremendous opportunity in the midst of this terrible tragedy."

Gospel for Asia is an evangelical mission organization based in Carrollton involved in sharing the love of Jesus across South Asia.

Rain brings high water, floods to Owasso

OWASSO - Heavy rains and thunderstorms have drenched Owasso and added travel  headaches for drivers.


In a span of less than 24 hours, the National Weather Service said that Owasso has received three inches of rain.
The rains started around 10:30 p.m. Sunday and contiuned into Monday afternoon.

Many of the usual trouble spots in Owasso that typically takes on water have been effected with the heavy rains.

The rains may taper off Monday night and give way to sunny skies and highs in the upper 80's on Tuesday.




Monday June 9, 2008

20 houses hit by floods


ALMOST 20 houses in Kampung Tengah, Batu 13, Puchong, were affected by floods caused by a poor drainage system during the rainy season, Kampung Tengah PAS Youth chief Mohamad Jais said.

“The drains and rivers should be cleaned regularly to prevent clog-ging,” he said.

He added that the villagers had long suffered floods and the situation had worsened 10 years ago when neighbouring residential areas were developed, as the water from those areas flowed into Kampung Tengah.

“With the water from higher ground flowing into Kampung Tengah, the rivers and drains are unable to cope with the extra load.

Poor drainage system: Kok meeting Kampung Tengah residents to inspect the problem of clogged drains and rivers causing floods in Kampung Tengah.

“The water level can rise up to 0.6 metres during flash floods,” he said. Villagers added that the water would remain stagnant for two days before it subsided.

Senior state executive councillor and Kinrara assemblyman Teresa Kok visited the site to inspect the severity of the flood recently.

“I’ll see the MPSJ president Datuk Adnan Md Ikhsan to discuss this matter and ask him to visit the site,” she said.

According to Kok, when she visited the neighbouring villages during the election period, she had compiled a list of the residents’ grouses and put forward the problems to the local council.

“I will request for more funds to be allocated to resolve this problem,” she promised after seeing the predicament of the Kampung Tengah residents.