Weather

Beshear: FEMA has to 'get it right' in response to flooding

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says he'll be relentless in pushing for federal assistance in flood-ravaged eastern parts of the state. He says the Federal Emergency Management Agency has “to get it right” by broadly supporting residents trying to rebuild their lives. Beshear's comments Tuesday came a day after President Joe Biden visited the stricken Appalachian region. Biden said the nation has an obligation to help all its people. Beshear says the devastation in eastern Kentucky is so extensive that it will be one of the most difficult rebuilding efforts the country has ever seen.

Former coal town comes together in face of Kentucky floods

The town of Fleming-Neon was trying to move beyond an economic disaster when a natural one knocked it back down. The former coal town was devastated by flooding that killed more than 30 in Kentucky. Fleming was founded as a company town; neighboring Neon thrived off the industry. As coal waned and people left, the towns merged. Just 500 residents remain. They're determined to build a life after coal. A new multipurpose center was set to open soon when the storm hit. Residents vow to finish it; for now, the building is a relief-distribution center. Barely a week after the storms, the barbershop has reopened. Nearby, the florist says he will soon, too. Neighbors and volunteers are coming together to help.

More storms forecasted for flood-ravaged eastern Kentucky

The National Weather Service has extended a flood watch for areas of eastern Kentucky ravaged by high water more than a week ago and said there’s a threat of thunderstorms in the region for much of the coming week. The weather service in Jackson said Sunday that a “persistent threat of thunderstorms” through Thursday could produce heavy rain and cause flash flooding. The forecast includes Monday, when President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are scheduled to visit eastern Kentucky to survey the damage and meet with those affected. Meanwhile, more federal aid has been promised to the region.

Tribe: California wildfire near Oregon causes fish deaths

The Karuk Tribe says a massive wildfire burning in a remote area just south of Oregon appears to have caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Klamath River fish. Tribal fisheries biologists believe a flash flood caused by heavy rains over the burn area caused a massive debris flow that entered the river and sent oxygen levels plummeting to zero. The Karuk are working with the Yurok, another Northern California tribe, and state and federal agencies to fully to understand what happened. They say the damage is likely limited to 10 or 20 miles of river.

In wake of floods, typical barbs at Kentucky political event

While Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear was consoling families displaced by historic flooding in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, Republicans at the state’s premier political event on the other side of the state were campaigning to oust him from office in 2023. They bashed Beshear’s pandemic restrictions but offered support for recovery efforts that the Democratic governor is leading in the wake of historic flooding and tornadoes. While his challengers aimed zingers at him, Beshear spent Saturday consoling families displaced by the flash flooding that swamped the Appalachian region more than a week ago. He visited two state parks where some of the suddenly homeless took refuge.

Tourists find safety after floods close Death Valley roads

Hundreds of hotel guests trapped by flash flooding at Death Valley National Park were able to drive out after crews cleared a path for them. But roads choked with rocks and mud or damaged by floodwaters remained closed. The National Park Service says its conducting aerial searches in remote areas for stranded vehicles, but had found none. No injuries are reported from the torrential rains Friday. The park near the California-Nevada state line weathered 1.46 inches of rain. That’s about 75% of what the area typically gets in a year. About 500 visitors had been stuck inside the park. Officials say park employees also stranded by the closed roads were continuing to shelter in place, except for emergencies.

Firefighters keep wildfire out of evacuated Washington town

Evacuations have been lifted for a small town in Washington state after a fast-moving fire that burned a half-dozen homes was contained. Crews in California have made progress against the state’s deadliest and largest wildfire of the year. In Washington the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook Thursday that residents of Lind needed to flee due to the encroaching flames. Sheriff Dale Wagner said six homes had burned as well as eight other structures. On Friday, he said the fire was contained with local fire crews watching over hot spots.

Record floods strand 1K people in Death Valley National Park

Record rainfall triggered flash flooding at Death Valley National Park that buried cars, forced officials to close all roads in and out the park and stranded about 1,000 people. Park officials say about three-quarters as much rain typically is recorded in an entire year fell in a single day on Friday. About 60 vehicles were buried in debris and about 500 visitors and 500 park workers were stranded. There were no immediate reports of injuries. California transportation officials estimated it would take into the night to open a road that would allow park visitors to leave. The park service says 1.46 inches of rain fell Friday. The annual average is 1.9 inches.

Storms ground US air travelers as airlines cancel flights

Thunderstorms on the East Coast are causing travel headaches for tens of thousands of airline passengers. Airlines canceled more than 1,100 flights in the U.S. by midafternoon Friday. The highest numbers of canceled flights were at the three major airports in the New York City area — JFK, LaGuardia and Newark — and at Reagan National Airport outside Washington, D.C. American Airlines is canceling more than 200 flights — 6% of its schedule. That's according to tracking service FlightAware. The Federal Aviation Administration says there were also long delays at many airports — more than 90 minutes at LaGuardia and Newark.

More storms bring renewed flood threat in hard-hit Kentucky

Thunderstorms have returned to parts of Kentucky already reeling from devastating floods. The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch Friday for areas that were hit hard a week ago. As residents continued cleaning up from the floods that killed at least 37 people, rain started falling on already saturated ground in eastern Kentucky late Friday morning. The National Weather Service says some areas could receive up to 3 inches of rain by Friday night. The weather service also posted flood watches for much of West Virginia and portions of southern Ohio and southwestern Virginia. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden plan to tour Kentucky on Monday.

Kentucky flood survivors turn to grim task: Burying the dead

Angel Campbell should have been looking through photo albums and eating soup beans in her grandmother's living room this week. Now the living room is gone and so is her grandmother. At least 37 people died as massive floods roared through Appalachian communities of eastern Kentucky last week. Funeral homes have settled into a steady cadence of visitations and memorials, one after another. They press on with the grim work of recovering and burying the dead even as more rain falls. One survivor says they may not have much money, but they're rich in friendship and family, and that's what's important.

California crews make fire gains; Washington town evacuated

An eastern Washington town was evacuated because of a wildfire that was burning homes. The Adams County Sheriff’s Office says six homes and eight other structures have burned in Lind, but the fire was starting to calm down and late Thursday all evacuations were lifted. Lind is a community of about 500 people approximately 75 miles southwest of Spokane. In California, firefighters made gains against the state’s deadliest and largest wildfire of the year, but forecasters warned Thursday that spiking temperatures and plunging humidity levels could create conditions for further wildfire growth. Scientists say climate change has made the West warmer and drier over the last three decades and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.

Water becomes needed commodity in flood-ravaged Kentucky

National Guard soldiers rushed to distribute bottled water to flood-ravaged eastern Kentucky as forecasters warned of more rain coming to the region. In the days since historic flooding swamped the Appalachian region, the availability of water surfaced as a concern for victims after the floodwaters damaged water systems. As donations pour into the region, water is a top priority, along with cleaning supplies. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says water is being distributed as fast as possible. National Guard soldiers distributed more than 11,000 cases of water. It comes as intense heat and humidity add to the misery as people shovel out from the wreckage.

Forecasters trim hurricane season outlook a bit, still busy

Federal meteorologists say this hurricane season may not be quite as busy as they initially thought, but it should still be more active than normal. Thursday's updated hurricane outlook by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration trims a storm off some of the high end of predictions. It says there's a 60% chance of a busier than normal season. In May, NOAA was saying that was 65%. Colorado State University also is cutting back a tad on its hurricane forecast. But experts say that they still expect it to be a busy and potentially dangerous year.