Eastern KY U.S.A. BABYLON

       Heavy rains in eastern Kentucky are flooding roads and forced a handful of residents to be rescued from their homes because of rising water. Harlan and Owsley counties have declared a state of emergency. In Harlan County, some mudslides and flooded roads have been reported, state officials said. Some residents in the Bride Shade Community in Clay County had to be moved out of their homes Wednesday afternoon when they became stranded by high water. Clay County Emergency Management Director David Watson said six or seven residents were rescued from their homes as the water level was rising. Watson said no one was hurt. The county is setting up a shelter for residents who can’t get to their homes because of flooded roads. Kentucky Emergency Management officials in Frankfort are monitoring the high water in Clay, Knox, Laurel, Harlan, Leslie and Owsley counties, as more rain is expected later in the week. The National Weather Service says showers and thunderstorms are likely in the area Thursday night, extending into Friday morning. Watson said he expected the high waters in Clay County to recede by Thursday when the fresh round of storms is expected.

     Ontario CANADA

     Some schools are closed as flood waters continue to rise and wash out roads in parts of central Ontario. Seven cottage country communities have declared emergencies, including Bancroft, Kawartha Lakes, South Algonquin Township, Minden Hills, Markstay-Warren, Hunstville and Bracebridge. Last week, warm weather combined with more than 50 mm of rain caused waterways to rise rapidly. In Bancroft, three schools and a children’s centre were shuttered Monday, the town’s website said. Officials warned the closures could continue for several more days. Officials from South Algonquin Township are continuing to closely monitor the Galeairy Lake Dam and bridges. On Friday, crews were dispatched to do emergency repairs on the dam as flooding surpassed historical levels. Water levels are expected to continue to rise. Flooding is slowing in some areas, including Hunstville and the Kawarthas, but residents are asked to use caution on roadways and stay away from rivers and streams. The province has offered its support to the areas impacted by rising waters.


     Nelson residents face a major clean up after a sudden deluge flooded properties and closed roads last night. Civil Defence said more than 90 homes had been evacuated in both Nelson and the neighbouring Tasman District as a result of the downpour. Business in the regions now face with mopping up the mess before being able to reopen shop. Carolyn Norgate, who owns a business in the suburb of Richmond, said she would not be able to reopen until she got the “all clear” from her insurance company. “Who knows, the floors might have to be taken up and redone.” The Insurance Council of New Zealand said 1500 house and contents claims had been made for both regions so far. Nelson residents are being warned not to swim at Tahunanui Beach and the Waimea estuary due to the discharge of effluent following the heavy rain. The council has also issued a boil water notice to Motueka residents on the reticulated system, and advises all bore owners to boil water. “Any resident who has had mud and silt inundation on their property should take care when cleaning up because of the possibility of sewage contamination,” the council said. While rain is expected to continue in the regions overnight, the weather is expected to clear from tomorrow. However, MetService said heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms were still possible in the western ranges of Nelson.


     Heavy rain and thundershowers flooded wadis (valleys) in Ibri, about 200km south-west of Muscat early Tuesday. In the central region strong winds whipped up a dust storm on Monday evening and the country’s meteorological department has forecast more dust storms in the central and southern regions in the next 24 hours. “A huge cloud of sand was created on the road from Adam to Salalah,” said Bader Ali Al Baddaei, one of the administrators on, a local web-based forum to discuss weather trends in Oman. A spokesperson for the meteorological department also confirmed that strong winds whipped up sand in the central region. “We expect more sandstorms in the next 24 hours,” the spokesperson said. He also forecast that strong winds could whip up sand, especially in the desert areas. The meteorological department spokesperson said that most of the south Batinah region and Muscat received light to moderate rain on Tuesday morning. “The early morning rain was accompanied by thundershowers, which we expect to continue for the next 24 hours,” he added. Ibri received the maximum rainfall of 22.6mm followed by Bidiya (16.8mm), Jebel Shams (3.4mm), Adam (3.2mm), Muscat (2.2mm), Buraimi (1.6mm), Yanqul (1.2mm) and Sayq (1mm). The meteorological department spokesperson has urged people not to cross wadis, especially in the Ibri area. He also advised fisherman to be careful at sea, which is expected to be rough for the next 24 hours. The rain brought the mercury down by five degrees to 32 degrees Celsius.

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      Livestock producers are urged to check their cattle for signs of botulism following confirmed cases near Longreach, Winton and Aramac. Biosecurity Queensland Animal Biosecurity and Welfare Inspector Nicole Restelli said climatic conditions were contributing to the recent cases. “Recent confirmed cases of botulism have been found in areas where it doesn’t usually occur. All producers should monitor their herds for symptoms and take appropriate preventative measures. “Prompt diagnosis and control measures can help bring the situation under control,” Ms Restelli said. “If livestock owners suspect botulism is the cause of disease in stock, it is important they seek immediate assistance from a veterinarian as the disease can result in significant losses over a short period of time. Ms Restelli said producers were urged to take preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of outbreaks in their herds. “Botulism is caused by livestock ingesting a toxin that is produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria which can be found in decaying animal and vegetable matter,” Ms Restelli said. “Animals are likely to eat decaying matter when there is a deficiency of phosphorus and protein in the feed that is available and when feed quality and quantity declines. “Producers can deter botulism outbreaks in their herds by preventing stock having access to animal carcasses, controlling vermin and pest animals, and providing nutritional supplements of protein and phosphorus to reduce bone chewing. “Taking care with harvest and storage of feeds to reduce the possibility of small animals contaminating feeds and checking water sources regularly are also recommended. “Vaccination programs are essential in endemic areas and are the best form of protection for livestock,” she said.


    The Central Veterinary Lab, Tripureshwar has confirmed that chicken at a poultry farm in Dharke, Naubise in Dhading district died due to bird flu. Samples were taken for test from local Laxmi Pokhrel’s poultry farm after the chicken started dying all of a sudden at the poultry farm since December 13. A meeting of the District Livestock Office, Dhading, chaired by Chief District Officer and Chairman of Bird Flu Technical Committee, Dhading district, Bed Prasad Kharel, held today, declared the area around the farm as bird flu infected area and decided to cull the fowls here to prevent the disease from spreading to other areas. The District Administration has appealed to local representatives of the political parties, poultry farmers, media workers, civil society members, and local people, including other stakeholders to provide the necessary cooperation in the task carried out by District Livestock Office, Dhading. All the 3,000 dead fowls at Pokhrel’s farm have been securely buried, said Member Secretary and Senior Livestock Development Officer, Devendra Bhagat.




    Torrential rains have killed at least 13 people, injured 29 and displaced hundreds in districts south of Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, say officials. The heavy rains came on 8-9 December. “After the rains, we sent rescue services, who were able to recover nine bodies. The Congolese Red Cross recovered four bodies of people who had drowned,” said Maurel Kihounzou, the mayor of the first district of Makwlwkwle, south of the capital. The seventh district of Mfilou was also affected, according to a 10 December report from the government, which noted that houses collapsed under the pressure of the flood waters, killing several people as they slept. Some 564 families had also been left without shelter, according to Clement Essieke, the minister of humanitarian action. “We are in negotiations with the national army to get tents for the affected,” he said. At least 600 people had sought shelter temporarily in a police camp before being asked to return to their homes. “The order came from the police command. We were not given more explanation. Our camp is intended for military training,” said a police officer. The River Mfilou, which traverses parts of Makelekele, breached its banks, bringing flood waters towards houses there. Military personnel are searching for those still missing in the flood waters.


   The State Emergency Service has answered more than 100 calls for help after a severe thunderstorm hit Rockingham and Mandurah overnight. Mandurah received more than 70mm of rain. About 4600 homes were without power this morning. And more wild weather is on its way today with heavy rain and damaging winds expected to hit the metropolitan area. Reported damage mainly involved flooding and roof damage. SES volunteers have been working in the Rockingham area, making repairs to homes, fixing minor roof damage, removing fallen trees from homes, cars and fences, sandbagging areas in danger of flooding and pumping out flood water.



  Several streets along the Southern California coastline were flooded Thursday after a rainstorm moving through the Southland combined with high tides. KCAL9′s Michelle Gile reports there was a record tide of 8.4 feet this morning in Newport Harbor after the National Weather Service (NWS) had forecast a so-called “King Tide” with rip currents for local beaches and all along the West Coast. Tides were forecast to reach levels of 7.3 feet – which would be the highest since 2008 – due to gravitational forces maximized by an alignment of the earth, moon, and sun. There was at least one report of flooding for about a mile along the 16000 block of Pacific Coast Highway and Broadway in Huntington Beach, according to Huntington Beach Fire Department spokesman Bob Culhane. In Newport Beach, flooding slowed down drivers at the intersection of 26th and Balboa, but there were no immediate reports of damage.






    Indonesian authorities have stepped up bird flu monitoring after thousands of poultry have died on Java island in recent months, officials said Wednesday. A strain of the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus was believed to have caused the deaths among poultry in Jakarta and other areas, said Emil Agustiono, the head of the National Zoonosis Committee. “We are investigating whether the source of the outbreak were imported poultry,” he said. “If it came from one source, it will be easier to contain.” “We must remain vigilant and step up biosecurity to prevent its spread.” No humans had been infected by the latest strain detected on Java, said the Health Ministry’s director for disease control, Tjandra Yoga Aditama. He said the same mutation had also been found in Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.


   Marine biologists are working to uncover what caused several thousand Humboldt squid to wash ashore along the Santa Cruz County shoreline on Sunday. Thousands of squid carcasses are littering the 12 mile stretch of coastline from Aptos to Watsonville, where the high tide may have had something do to with the sea creatures essentially committing mass suicide. The general public is advised by scientists not to touch or eat the squid, as they may contain dangerous toxins. Hanna Rosen, a graduate student at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, told San Francisco’s CBS affiliate that she saw people trying to put the squid back in the sea, only to watch them return to the beach. ‘They don’t see the shore very often,’ Rosen said. ‘So it might just be that they don’t understand what’s going on around them, and they’re just trying to get away and don’t realize that if they swim towards the shore, they’re going to run out of water eventually.’ Scientists from Stanford said the squid were predominantly juveniles as adult Humboldt squid can grow up to six-feet long and 100 pounds. They added that the squid were probably conceived and born in Monterey Bay, but were unable to navigate their way out to open waters.

Tests have shown that the stranded squid were well-fed from feasting on smaller market squid and cannibalizing each other, which is normal behavior for the creatures. Sunday’s phenomenon marks the third squid stranding in the past six weeks, from Santa Cruz to Pacific Grove. Marine biologists are currently analyzing the contents of the animals’ stomachs to see if they ingested something that might have disoriented them. One theory under consideration is that the squid were disorientated after consuming toxic algae.Scientists have found traces of domoic acid, a toxin produced by algae, in some of the beached squid, but the findings are so far inconclusive. Humboldt squid have not been observed in the Monterey Bay waters for a few years, making recent events all the more suspicious. Some scientists attribute the phenomenon to this year’s El Nino weather patterns, which could have attracted them to the cooler climates of Northern and Central California’s coast. Conservation of the Humboldt squid off the coast of California is not a major concern because the squid can reproduce in mass numbers.



   It could be some time before Fisheries authorities know what killed hundreds of fish and crabs in Safety Bay this week but early indications point to low oxygen levels. Hundreds of fish including herring and flounder, blue manner crabs and eels were found dead over several days on the beach near Tern Island and the Bent Street boat ramp. Many concerned readers contacted the Courier over the weekend after spotting the dead marine life. Department of Fisheries spokesman on fish health Paul Hillier said the department had visited the site several times this week, but had been unable to find suitable samples of fish to test – with most too decayed. Mr Hillier said it was too early to confirm what had caused the deaths with water samples also being tested. “From the reports received and observations of the Fisheries officers, it appears that excess weed in the water system has probably depleted the dissolved oxygen, which may have caused the fish kill,” he said. “But the fish health researchers can’t confirm that conclusively until the appropriate testing is completed.”



      A previously unknown disease which has claimed more than 30 lives in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region this month has been identified as yellow fever, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. Preparations for a mass vaccination campaign are now underway. The outbreak was first detected early this month when a number of people in the central and southern regions of Darfur became ill and eventually died. Sudanese media said the victims suffered from a number of symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding from both the mouth and nose. Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the World Health Organization (WHO), on Tuesday said it had been informed by Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) that the outbreak is being caused by yellow fever. Since the first week of October, a total of 84 suspected cases, including 32 deaths, have been reported in the districts of Azoom, Kass, Mershing, Nertiti, Nyala, Wadi Salih and Zalingei. “FMoH said that the immediate priority is to control the vector, reinforcing the disease surveillance system and raising public awareness on the prevention and control of this disease,” Jasarevic said. “Preparations for a mass vaccination campaign are underway to vaccinate the at risk population in Darfur.”

     According to Darfur radio station Dabanga, however, at least 37 people are believed to have died as a result of the disease while 125 others have been infected. The radio station quoted a resident as saying that local authorities were slow to react and did not immediately take necessary action to contain the outbreak. “FMoH, WHO, as well as health partners are working on ground to ensure timely containment of the outbreak,” Jasarevic added. There is no cure for yellow fever, which is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Treatment is aimed at reducing the symptoms for the comfort of patients, and measures often taken include supportive care to treat dehydration and fever and blood transfusion if needed. “It is a preventable disease with symptoms and severity varying from case to case,” Jasarevic explained. “Protective measures like the use of bed nets, insect repellent and long clothing are considered the best methods to contain an outbreak. Vaccination is the single most important measure for preventing yellow fever.”


    Reduced egg production with irregular shape and sized eggs was noticed in a commercial layer farm. High mortality was recorded in the affected farm. All remaining birds and poultry product, poultry production materials were destroyed and the infected premises was cleaned and disinfected. Post-operative surveillance activities are continuing throughout the country. No further outbreaks have been recorded.


     Six people have reportedly died as a result of the cholera outbreak in Ejura in the Ashanti Region within seven days. According to a local journalist in the area, Musah Inuwa, the Ejura Government Hospital has recorded more than twenty-six cholera cases during the week. An eighteen year old second year student of Ejura T.I. Ahmadiya Junior High School, Musah Dauda, was among the dead. The rest of the deceased are females. Musah Inuwa reports that the situation is getting out as many of the district assemblies are facing challenges with sanitation. He indicated that the senior medical doctor at the hospital is blaming the situation on the collapse of the operations of Zoomlion in the area.


     High tides have flooded Venice, leading Venetians and tourists to don high boots and use wooden walkways to cross St. Mark’s Square and other areas under water. Flooding is common this time of year and Thursday’s level that reached a peak of 55 inches (140 centimeters) was below the 63 inches (160 centimeters) recorded four years ago in the worst flooding in decades. Still some shops and ground-floor apartments were flooded. Moveable barriers that would rise from the sea bed to protect Venice from high tides have been in the works for years but will not be operational before 2014.



     Heavy downpour hit various parts of Singapore on Wednesday and Thursday, causing flash floods in Serangoon, Bukit Timah, Toa Payoh and Orchard Road. Despite the sudden heavy rainfall, water levels dropped quickly and traffic was not severely affected, PUB said on Wednesday. Yesterday, a driver lost control of his car while travelling in heavy rain and crashed into a canal after colliding with another car. Strong currents carried the car down the canal for more than 50m. Weather forecasts on the PUB website predicted heavy rainfall for the rest of Thursday in the northern, eastern and western parts on Singapore. Torrential rain is expected over the next few weeks as a result of the inter-monsoon season which usually lasts till late November. Singapore is expected to receive more rainfall during the north-east monsoon season which is expected to last from December to March. To monitor the capacity of drains during this period, the PUB plans to install 56 more closed- circuit television (CCTV) cameras around the island in addition to the 66 already in place.


     A tropical storm slammed into southern India, bringing heavy rain and a storm surge flooding low-lying areas and displacing more than 100,000 people. Just before the storm made landfall Wednesday, an oil tanker with 37 crew ran aground off Chennai. One of its lifeboats capsized in the choppy waters, and one crewmember drowned, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Coast guard officers were searching for the lifeboat’s six other occupants. Andhra Pradesh state said two people died there when their homes collapsed due to heavy rain Wednesday night in Nellore and Chittoor districts, and PTI reported another death in Tamil Nadu state, a 46-year old man who slipped into the rough sea from a pier and drowned. Sri Lanka reported two deaths earlier from the cyclone. The storm from the Bay of Bengal had maximum winds of 75 kilometers (45 miles) per hour after landfall but was weakening. A storm surge of up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) was expected to flood low-lying coastal areas, the India Meteorological Department said. Heavy to very heavy rain was forecast for Thursday, and fishermen were asked to stay at shore. State authorities turned 282 schools into relief centers in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu. The city’s port halted cargo operations, officials said. Twenty-three ships were moved to safer areas. About 150,000 people were moved to shelters in Nellore, district official B. Sridhar said.


      In Sri Lanka, thousands have been displaced due to heavy rain and strong winds. The nation’s Disaster Management Center said 4,627 people were displaced by flooding and 56 fled because of a landslide threat in the island’s central region. One woman died Tuesday after a tree branch fell on her, while another person was killed in flooding, the agency said. Floods also damaged about 1,000 houses, it said.


    City workers in Langley, B.C., are cleaning up after two mudslides stuck on Wednesday morning, forcing the evacuation of one home and the closure of 264th Street between 72nd and 84th avenues. Just after 5 a.m. PT, mud rushed down the side of a steep slope and crossed a rural stretch of the 7700 block of 264th Street, moving a cement barrier. The slide also covered the side of a home below the road. No one was injured and there was only minor damage to the house. About 100 metres of 264th Street has been closed for much of the morning. It’s not clear when the road might reopen. While officials were cleaning up the first slide, officials confirmed they were responding to reports of a second landslide in the municipality, this time at 252A Street and 72nd Avenue. The second slide was much smaller and did not affect any roads or homes, city officials said. City officials say small mudslides on the hills into Glen Valley are common this time of year. A rainfall warning is in effect in the area with between 10 and 20 millimetres expected to fall throughout the day.



Members of a First Nation community in northern Ontario that was partly evacuated after floods destroyed the only road out may be able to start returning home soon. Wawa Mayor Linda Nowicki says dump trucks are scheduled to arrive by Sunday afternoon to finish repairs to the Michipicoten First Nation road. Provincial police say 20 vulnerable members of the community were airlifted to Wawa after the community’s connection to the Trans-Canada Highway was cut off. The highway is partly reopened after it was damaged in sections both north and south of Wawa by a heavy rainstorm Thursday. Nowicki says it’s now expected the highway will be fully open by Wednesday. She says the town, which remains in a state of emergency, is preparing to apply for disaster relief funds from the province. The total damage to the town and its roads could bring a hefty pricetag, noting that parts of some local roadways in the town of 2,800 people have been washed away by rising water levels.


Heavy rains in Argentina’s capital are causing damage and one reported death. More than a thousand people have evacuated their homes. Nearly 5 inches (130 millimeters) of rain fell in just a few hours Monday morning, causing power outages, flooding subways and train lines and turning streets into rivers. The prolonged storm front also forced dozens of flights to turn away from Buenos Aires. Especially hard-hit are the city’s teeming slums, where open sewage runs over dirt passageways even when it’s dry. Many of those slums are built alongside the Matanza River, which overran its banks during the storm. Argentina’s state-run news agency Telam reports one fatality: an elderly man whose children found his body inside his flooded home next to the river.


Police in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai yesterday warned motorists to exercise caution while driving amid worsening weather conditions as sandstorms and rain lashed the country. There was reduced visibility on roads and air traffic was reportedly disrupted at Abu Dhabi Airport. Heavy rain hit UAE islands in the Arabian Gulf and coastal areas saw moderately heavy showers along with strong winds that uprooted trees in Abu Dhabi and other emirates. The bad weather system developed over the sea yesterday afternoon and gradually headed towards the entire western coastline of the UAE. Heavy lightning and hail storms were also reported from some of the UAE islands in the Arabian Gulf. The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) reported 9.4mm rain in Abu Al Bakhush Island. Residents of Delma Island also reported similar conditions, saying thunderstorms struck the area along with heavy rain and strong winds. The conditions were also cloudy and windy in Abu Dhabi.

The NCMS rain radar showed a huge weather system centred close to Abu Dhabi and stretching all along the coastline. It made fall at around 5pm near Ghantoot and lost its intensity, but sent clouds, rain and winds to most parts of the country. Motorists reported poor visibility and windy conditions around Al Maqta Bridge. Strong winds also uprooted trees in Al Bateen district and blew away car parking sheds in the capital. The weather system also affected parts of Dubai and northern and eastern emirates. Some 1.8mm rain and hailstorms were reported from Hatta at around 3:30pm. Heavy rain was also reported from the mountainous areas of Sharjah.Some areas in Fujairah also received light rain. Conditions were partly cloudy to cloudy and windy in Dubai. The winds also reached as far as Al Ain and kicked up sand and dust. Conditions were tough on roads stretching all along the western coastline and some internal areas. Abu Dhabi police issued a warning for motorists, stating: “Motorists should drive carefully in the affected areas and be aware of distances between vehicles.” Air traffic at Abu Dhabi International Airport was reportedly affected for some time. Police in the capital and Dubai reported reduced visibility on the outer roads due to the sand filled winds. Dust clouds hit Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, while rain affected Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah. A Sharjah police official said: “These conditions can be dangerous for drivers, motorists should leave enough space between other cars on the road and reduce speeds.”

They were also advised to turn on headlights to increase visibility and pay attention while changing lanes. Forecasters said the unstable weather is an extension of a system that has affected the upper Arabian Gulf for the past several days. Thunderstorms and heavy rain have been reported from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain. It has now started affecting the UAE and parts of Oman. According to the NCMS, the weather will continue to be partly cloudy in general at least for the next two days with chances of rain at times. The amount of cloud will increase over some northern, eastern, and islands gradually. The conditions will also affect the temperature as it is likely to decrease gradually. Winds will initially be moderately rough but could become stronger and rough at times, especially over the sea. The sea will also be rough. The relative humidity is likely to increase over some coasts and interior areas with a chance of mist.


Main streets in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia have been flooded after torrential rains drenched the city on Monday morning. The high level of collected water brought traffic along major arteries to a standstill, Civil Defence service reported. The reason for the floods is the clogging of shafts. Strong winds that blew in the town the previous night broke branches, damaging draining facilities and clogging shafts. Meanwhile heavy rains, coupled with thunderstorms, are continuing to lash the whole of Bulgaria. The regions of Blagoevgrad, Western Bulgaria, Haskovo, Southern Bulgaria, and Burgas on the Black Sea coast are the hardest-hit.


Phillips Road, where he lives in Poquoson, has flooded many times over the years. Before Hurricane Sandy bore down on Hampton Roads this weekend he stocked up on food and water, but one thing was missing. So he got out his kayak Sunday and, along with his father, paddled the roughly one-mile down deluged Browns Neck Road to get to the convenience store and buy a case of beer. “Just getting the necessary items to ride out the storm,” Ballingall said, a smile on his face while the rain poured down. Hurricane Sandy brought heavy rains and coastal flooding to much of the Peninsula Sunday, but few areas saw as much flooding as Poquoson. As high tide hit in the morning, many streets were rendered impassable for short periods of time. But with winds and surge keeping the tide higher than usual, some residents were worried Monday would be far worse. “Because of the strong winds, the low tides aren’t going to be as low as they normally would. The strong northeast winds that are going on now keep the water from flowing out,” said Mike Rusnak, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wakefield. Rusnak said tides in Hampton Roads on Monday could average 3.5 to 4 feet above normal levels. Monday’s high tides for much of the region will be around 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., with variations of an hour or more depending on location. At the end of Rens Road in Whitecove Marina Sunday, Dennis White spent the late morning clearing a few items from his boat and salvaging his refrigerator at the marina. He said the flooding was an inconvenience, but not uncommon.