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Entries in East Coast (24)

Saturday
Mar232013

Meteor Lights Up East Coast

Chad Baker/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Security cameras and night owls noticed a bright flash in the sky on Friday night that experts believe was a meteor.

The flash was seen as far north as Maine and as far south as North Carolina. According to the American Meteor Society, over 600 sightings were reported, some as far inland as Ohio.

Just after the 8:00 p.m. event, photos and videos of the flash were widespread on Facebook and Twitter Friday night.

According to the American Meteor Society, nearly all meteors burn up between 10 and 20 miles above the Earth's surface. The flash was likely caused by one of those meteors turning into a fireball in the upper atmosphere.

Despite the fact that a large meteor crashed into the Siberia region of Russia last month, injuring over 1,000 residents, experts say there is no cause for alarm in this incident.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden urged lawmakers for additional funding to build telescopes that would be able to track dangerous meteors before they entered Earth’s atmosphere during a hearing on Capitol Hill last week.

When asked what NASA's plan would be if a meteor was determined to be imminently headed towards New York City, Bolden replied, “If it’s coming in three weeks, pray.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct292012

Hurricane Sandy to Put 50 Million People at Risk

EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty ImagesUPDATES: Hurricane Sandy has turned 30 degrees more to the West, and heading straight towards to East Coast. The storm is now 201 miles southeast from Atlantic City, where it is expected to make landfall tonight between 10 p.m. and midnight.

There are 35,000 people statewide without power in New Jersey, according to Gov. Chris Christie.

In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says city schools will be closed again Tuesday. NYC shelters have already accepted 3,000 residents affected by the hurricane as well 73 pets, according to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. At 2 p.m., New York City’s Holland Tunnel and Brooklyn Battery Tunnel will each close, announced Gov. Cuomo. NYC bridges, for now, will remain opened.

Early voting has been suspended in Washington, D.C. and Maryland.

President Obama will address the nation from the White House at 12:45 pm Eastern.

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(NEW YORK) -- Up and down the East Coast, residents are preparing for what forecasters predict could be the worst storm in two generations as Hurricane Sandy, now a 900-mile megastorm, churns towards land, putting 50 million people at risk.

The eye of Sandy is forecast to make landfall late Monday night in Atlantic City, N.J., bringing with it life-threatening storm surges, forceful winds and rainfall that could cripple transportation and leave millions without power.  But the force of the storm was already evident Sunday night, as powerful winds and high seas began lashing the coast.

Several systems will combine to wreak havok on a large section of the nation -- from North Carolina to New England and as far west as the Great Lakes.

[CLICK HERE TO TRACK HURRICANE SANDY]

On the East Coast, a storm surge is expected along a 600-mile stretch of the Atlantic along with rainfall of 6 to 10 inches and even more in some places. 

"We want to prepare people for the worst," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on Sunday, warning that some residents could be without power for more than a week.

Christie urged people in the path of Hurricane Sandy to "remain calm and listen to instructions."

Tens of thousands of people in coastal areas have been ordered to evacuate their homes before Hurricane Sandy pounds the eastern third of the United States.

States of emergency were declared from North Carolina to Connecticut.  Coastal communities in Delaware were ordered to evacuate by 8 p.m. Sunday night, and all non-emergency vehicles were ordered to stay off the state's roads beginning at 5 a.m. Monday.

"While the predicted track of Hurricane Sandy has shifted a number of times over the last 24 hours, it has become clear that the state will be affected by high winds, heavy rainfall, and flooding, especially along the coastline for a several day period," Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said.  "These factors, along with the potential for power outages, have convinced me that the prudent thing to do is have people leave most of our coastal communities."

Hurricane Sandy's maximum sustained winds increased to 85 mph overnight.  As of 5 a.m., the storm was centered about 385 miles southeast of New York City, and moving north at 15 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

It will meet up with a cold front coming from the northwest and a high pressure system from Greenland, fueling it with enough energy to make it more powerful than the so-called "Perfect Storm" in 1991, meteorologists say.

"The size of the storm is going to carve a pretty large swath of bad weather," said Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center.  "This is not just a coastal event."

The first rainfall from the megastorm already began to hit the coast of Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey Sunday night and forecasters warn it could bring inland flooding around Maryland and Pennsylvania.  A blizzard warning was issued for portions of West Virginia, where Sandy could bring up to two feet of snow.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator Craig Fugate urged people in Sandy's path to take the storm seriously and to heed any evacuation orders.

"The time for preparing and talking is about over.  People need to be acting now," Fugate said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct262012

Hurricane Sandy Heads North as East Coast Readies for 'Perfect Storm'

National Hurricane Center/NOAA(NEW YORK) -- Residents in the Northeast, specifically in New York City and northward, are quickly coming to terms with the realization that the biggest monster they face for Halloween next week may be a creation of Mother Nature.

Forecasters are now saying that there is a 90 percent chance that on Monday the East Coast will take a direct hit from a "perfect storm" of three different systems -- Hurricane Sandy, an arctic front and a jet stream.

"It won't be just the intensity of the storm but the enormous area that it could affect," said Dr. Louis Uccellini, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Prediction Center.  "From the mid-Atlantic to New England, it will park itself over parts of the East Coast for days."

Sandy, currently a category 1 storm, will cross the Bahamas on Friday as its western fringe scrapes eastern Florida, according to the National Weather Service.  The storm is expected to slow down and turn northwest overnight and during the day

Florida is expected to see stormy conditions on Friday, with 1-4 inches of rain in some areas.  Waves up to 15 feet along the coast are expected, as is a storm surge of 1-2 feet.

Warnings are in effect along Florida's east coast from Ocean Reef to Flagler Beach.  Storm watches are in effect from Flagler to Fernandina Beach and from the Savannah River north to Oregon Inlet, N.C., including Pamlico Sound.

By Saturday afternoon, Sandy is expected to increase its forward speed and become a hybrid storm, pushing a lot of rain into the Carolinas and southern Mid-Atlantic region, with some areas getting more than a half a foot of rain through Sunday.

Sandy's landfall is predicted to be somewhere in southern New Jersey on Tuesday around 8 a.m.

"I think it's fair to say we don't know when or if or where the storm's going to hit," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a press conference Thursday.  "The forecasters say it could be dangerous, but I think a word that they've been using most is it's unpredictable."

The entire system will weaken by the end of next week as is sits over the Northeast, but strong winds and rain will remain across the region through next Friday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul092012

Heat Wave Over Most of US Finally Breaks

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Relief from a record-breaking heat wave in the Midwest and East has finally arrived, and residents can expect more seasonal temperatures over the next five days.

The triple-digit temperatures are being blamed for at least 35 heat-related deaths, including 18 in Chicago’s Cook County.

Some 2,438 high-temperature records were set during an 11-day period that ended Saturday, according to AccuWeather.com, including in Raleigh, N.C., where the thermometer went over the 100-degree mark for six days straight.

In Washington D.C., the temperature went above 95 degrees for 11 straight days, including a one-day record of 105 on Saturday.

The intense heat has buckled roads, bent rails, derailed trains and even melted airport runway asphalt.  

US Airways reports one of its planes got stuck on Friday when its wheels sank into tarmac “soft spots” while pulling away from a gate at Ronald Reagan National Airport.  The passengers and luggage were removed while an airport tug towed the plane out of its sticky mess.  The flight was delayed for three hours.

Approximately 100,000 people in West Virginia and Ohio are still without power, more than a week after powerful thunderstorms tore through the region.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug302011

After Hurricane Irene, 3.3 Million Americans Still in the Dark

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- More than 3.3 million Americans in Hurricane Irene's wake are still in the dark, and power outages are spread out over 13 states and Washington, D.C.

The number of outages is down sharply, however, from the 8 million people who were knocked off the grid by Irene's weekend rampage. Power companies said Tuesday that electricity should be restored to most people by Wednesday or Thursday.

Zerline Hughes and her two children have been living without power in the nation's capital since early Sunday morning.

"We were prepared, we just weren't prepared for this long," Hughes said. "We knew something was coming and even though I personally didn't think it was going to hit D.C. hard, I knew to put everything in place so that it was in easy reach....We weren't one of the thousands of families rushing to the grocery stores and the Home Depots to stock up."

While Hughes was prepared with food, water and flashlights, Robert Richardson, owner of OffGridSurvival.com, says the majority of people are not.

"If you live anywhere on the East Coast you should have at least five to seven days of supplies in your house," Richardson told ABC News. "Bad things happen. I'm not trying to scare people or anything like that, but you should always be prepared for something like this."

Richardson advises that people prepare for an emergency in the same way they would get ready to go camping.

"If you have gone camping before try and think of the kind of things you would bring on a camping trip where you don't have any power or access to water," he said. "Basically, after this kind of disaster you're going to be pretty much camping out in your house for a number of days."

Power companies say their top priority is to get hospitals, police stations, emergency call centers and other vital services back online. Next up are schools, followed by neighborhoods and homes.

Hughes says she is fortunate that the biggest inconvenience for her has been trying to make sure her food does not spoil.

"In driving around the city there are trees down on people's houses and some people don't have roofs anymore, so we're not in an emergency situation like other people are," she said. "The biggest inconvenience for me has been getting rid of my food in the refrigerator....I've been going to my other neighbors who do have power and dropping off food. So about two different neighbors have food that was once in our refrigerator."

One of the key tools Hughes has been using to find out who has power is Facebook. She posted a message and immediately found family, friends and neighbors willing to help.

Richardson says it is important to have a way to charge your phone. He suggests having a car charger or purchasing a crank or solar radio that has an adapter to plug in a cellphone.

Hughes has taken to charging her phone, laptop and son's Nintendo DS at work, but admits once the batteries run dry, the time together and freedom from electronics has been a nice change of pace.

"We've spent the past few mornings reading and making use of the natural sunlight....We have also been doing a lot of cooking," she said. "It definitely brought families together I would say. My own family, we are doing more things together....The last time I can remember doing this much together was during the blizzard when we were snowed in. It's unfortunate, but sometimes we need those little reminders."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug302011

NRC Probes Nuclear Plant Near Virginia Earthquake

Scott Olson/Getty Images(LOUISA, Va.) -- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is sending more inspectors to a Virginia nuclear power plant to further review what -- if any -- damage last week's 5.8 magnitude earthquake may have caused.

The NRC is sending the inspectors to the North Anna station near Louisa, Va., about 40 miles northwest from plant operator's Dominion's Richmond headquarters. The plant is less than six miles from the Aug. 23 earthquake's epicenter in Mineral, Va.

The NRC stressed that the expanded investigation does not necessarily mean the plant is any less safe, but they have formed an Augmented Inspection Team to conduct the investigation.

According to the NRC, an AIT is formed by the NRC "to review more significant events or issues at NRC-licensed facilities." This is an additional investigation after the NRC initially sent a seismic expert and another structural expert, according to an NRC statement released Monday, to "assist the agency's resident inspectors on site."

The agency reported that "no significant damage to safety systems has been identified," but the plant's operator Dominion Power has reported to the NRC that "initial reviews determined the plant may have exceeded the ground motion for which it was designed."

The plant's two units were automatically shut down after the station lost offsite power following the earthquake, and emergency diesel generators were used to cool the reactors until offsite power was brought back. In the release, the NRC said the investigation will "determine the precise level of shaking that was experienced at key locations within the North Anna facility."

The NRC requires that the plant not re-start "until it can demonstrate that no functional damage occurred to those features needed for continued safe operation."

Members of the surrounding communities should not worry, and the plant remains in "cold shutdown," Roger Hannah, senior public affairs officer at the NRC, told ABC News.

"Based on all the information so far there doesn't appear to be any damage to major safety systems or systems that would prevent a radiological release," Hannah said. "What they are continuing to do is look at how severe the earthquake was and if it exceeded what the plant was designed for."

Hannah said that Dominion and NRC workers checked the safety of the plant "immediately after the earthquake" doing "a very careful walk down" where they found "no indication that any of the safety systems were damaged." A "walk down" is what members of the industry call the initial inspections.

Hannah added that the NRC will be doing further analyses to see if the plant can withstand a larger quake than the range it now can currently withstand.

Jim Norvelle, a spokesman for Dominion Power, explained that the range is roughly between a 5.9 to a 6. 2 on the Richter scale, but they actually measure earthquake damage via ground force acceleration, which measures the intensity of an earthquake at a specific geological location and it measures east, west, north, sound and vertical while a Richter scale measures the magnitude of an earthquake at the epicenter.

Norvelle told ABC News that the part of the nuclear plant that is built on rock is designed to withstand 0.12 g or about 5.9 on the Richter scale and the portion of the station built on soil can withstand 0.18 g or about 6.2 on the Richter scale. Norvelle added that there is always a "safety margin" in play that goes above those numbers.

Norvelle agreed with the NRC that there has been "no significant damage" from the earthquake including to any of the station's "pumps, valves, pipes, support structure, or safety equipment."

Norvelle said Dominion is "fully cooperating" with the NRC and the NRC's team will be onsite for one week and then will return for a second week, after which a public exit meeting will be held to tell the community about what inspectors found in their investigation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug292011

Irene Moves On: Rains, Floods Inundate New England

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Severe weather warnings for the East Coast of the United States are now over as Hurricane Irene has been downgraded again and is no longer a tropical system.

Irene was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm and spared New York City the devastation many predicted, but it has not been so kind to the towns and cities in its path as it moved inland Sunday.

The force of the storm's winds diminished Sunday, but the torrential rains did not let up, swelling rivers and streams until they burst their banks in upstate New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.

Downtown Windham, New York was "wiped out" by flooding, with four feet of water rushing through Main Street, said Michael Scarey, the town's fire chief.

Torrential rains that started Saturday night dumped more than 10 inches of water on the normally quiet community, forcing evacuations, submerging school buses and garages, and shutting off access to the rest of the mountaintop.

West of the town, a house was ripped from its foundation and swallowed by the fast moving creek, which slammed it into a bridge.

There were similar scenes in other river towns in the storm's path Sunday, and it is feared that things will only get worse as rivers peak.

In Vermont, Brattleboro, Bennington, Montpelier and other towns had flooding from swollen rivers.

Irene did not cause quite the level of destruction many feared as it churned up the East Coast this weekend, but it packed enough punch to leave at least 20 dead, millions without power and an estimated $7 billion to $13 billion in damages.

After roaring through coastal North Carolina on Saturday, Irene raked the coasts of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey before hitting New York Sunday morning as a tropical storm with 65 mph winds.  By 10 a.m. Sunday, patches of blue sky and sunshine began peeking through in lower Manhattan.

In New York City, the 370,000 residents who were ordered to evacuate their homes were allowed to return on Sunday beginning at 3 p.m.

Close to 2 million people lost power in the New York City area.  The National Grid reported that 19,000-plus homes in Rhode Island lost power, and 6,000-plus homes were without power in Massachusetts.

In lower Manhattan at Wall Street and South Street, water from New York's East River breached the seawall Sunday morning, but has since receded.

Some areas are still prone to tidal flooding and heavy rains will be the ongoing issue as the storm passes through New England Sunday to eastern Canada overnight, FEMA officials said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Aug282011

Hurricane Irene: Tornado Warnings Issued for New York City

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Tornado warnings have been issued in the New York City and southern New England regions as Hurricane Irene moves up the east coast of the United States leaving a path of debris and destruction that has claimed at least eight lives so far.

At least 3.1 million homes and businesses are without power while thousands have been evacuated from their homes and approximately 9,600 residents in New York City are currently in evacuation shelters as Irene moves north at maximum sustained winds reaching 80 miles per hour.

Over 270,000 in New York have lost power, while in New Jersey at least 460,000 statewide are without power. The National Grid is reporting that 19,000-plus homes in Rhode Island lost power while 6,000-plus homes are currently without power in Massachusetts.

In lower Manhattan at Wall Street and South Street water from New York's East River is already breaching the seawall. Work crews are swarming the area attempting to halt water from shoving down the streets, where it could affect transformers in lower Manhattan and flow into the subway system.

Irene made a landfall along the coast of New Jersey near Little Egg inlet, just north of Atlantic City, around 5:35 a.m. The estimated intensity of Irene at landfall was 75 mph.

It is the second time Irene made landfall since slamming into North Carolina Saturday.

The hurricane is expected to move near or over the mid-Atlantic coast this morning and on to southern New England by the afternoon. Forecasts indicate Irene will weaken after landfall in New England and become a post-tropical cyclone Sunday night or early Monday.

Irene has been traveling north right on schedule. If it continues as it has, the center of the storm will be 40 miles south of New York City at 7 a.m., still over the ocean, off the coast near Asbury Park, N.J.

By 9 a.m. the center of the storm will be just south of Queens, N.Y. and between 10 and 11 a.m. the landfall is expected to be somewhere east of Manhattan on the Queens-Nassau border.

The deaths reported so far included victims of car accidents and falling tree limbs. One man suffered a heart attack as he boarded up his house in North Carolina.

A Maryland woman was killed when a chimney fell on her house. The unnamed woman was not killed instantly and was transported to a hospital where she was later pronounced dead, according to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Aug272011

Hurricane Irene Makes Landfall in North Carolina 

ABC News(CAPE LOOKOUT, N.C.) -- The center of Hurricane Irene has now hit the coast of North Carolina near Cape Lookout with 85 mph-winds.

Hurricane warnings for the next 48 hours have been issued for North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

So far, eastern North Carolina has already seen three tornadoes in the past few days, and the majority of the state and areas of Maryland and Virginia are under tornado watches through Sunday.

Stacy township, on the coast of North Carolina, is seeing 93 mph wind gusts this morning.

Over 24,000 flights have been grounded across the nation. All airports in the New York area will stop accepting arrivals at noon today. The airports expected to be impacted the most are in New York (Newark, JFK and LaGuardia), Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C.

Evacuations began Friday in New York City with the sick and the elderly.

NYU Langone Medical Center and the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Manhattan, two campuses of Staten Island University Hospital, and Coney Island Hospital have moved hundreds of patients to higher ground.

Today, around 370,000 people in zones the city has labeled A (closest to the water) and B (at sea level). It is the first time New York has ever evacuated its residents because of a hurricane. "It is better to take precautions and get out of the storm. Mother nature is much stronger than all of us," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a press conference Friday.

The storm is expected to be strong enough to flood heavily populated areas of the city. The storm surge is expected to reach above 5 feet, which would put Battery Park in southern Manhattan underwater.

The rest of the city may not have to evacuate, but they will be virtually stranded. At noon today, all subways, buses and trains around New York City—the world's largest transit system—will shut down.

Once winds reach 60 miles per hour, the beaches, bridges in and out of Manhattan and major highways will be closed. In New Jersey, Atlantic City is closing its casinos, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie emphatically ordered everyone off the beach.

"Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park and get out. You're done. You've maximized your tan. Get off the beach," said Christie.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug262011

Hurricane Irene: Experts Warn 'Expect the Worst'

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The menace of Hurricane Irene has done what no one or nothing else has been able to do -- shut down the city that never sleeps.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Friday the first ever mandatory evacuation of low lying waterfront areas of the city. Those areas include parts of the financial district in lower Manhattan as well as sections along the Hudson and East rivers. The zone, which includes 250,000 people, was ordered emptied by 5 p.m. Saturday.

The mayor also ordered that its sprawling subway and bus system -- Gotham's lifeline -- be closed from Saturday afternoon until Monday. Shutting down the transit system will paralyze a city where most people don't drive cars. A spokesperson for the MTA said that in recent memory the entire subway system has only been shut down twice, on Sept. 11, 2001 and during a strike in 2005.

Bloomberg warned New Yorkers to not be fooled because "the sun is shining." He said Irene is a "dangerous storm", and "it's heading basically directly for us."

Irene's winds eased up a bit Friday, although still a ferocious category 2 storm with 100 mph winds. At its peak, Irene was blasting away with 115 mph winds.

The hurricane is expected to make landfall Saturday afternoon in the barrier islands of North Carolina and start churning its way north along the coast all the way beyond Boston through the weekend. At least 65 million people live in the path of Irene. Along with powerful winds will come monsoon like rains and heavy inland surges of water.

Like New York, Philadelphia is also stopping all mass transit operations. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will cease service beginning at 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

Even Atlantic City, N.J., isn't gambling on Irene's strength. Gov. Chris Christie suspended all gaming activity starting on Saturday at noon.

Irene is slowly lumbering towards the East Coast and although its wind velocity has diminished slightly, the National Hurricane Center said that it did not expect any other changes to Irene's strength.

"I don't see it falling apart. There's nothing in the atmosphere that would kill it altogether," said Bill Read of the National Hurricane Center. "I would prepare for the worst and hope for the best."

President Obama urged people to heed evacuation orders.

"I cannot stress this highly enough, if you are in the projected path of this hurricane you have to take precautions now. Don't wait, don't delay," said Obama. "All indications point to this being a historic hurricane."

Hurricane watches have been extended from North Carolina to New York City and even Boston. States of emergency have been declared in North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York.

Read said the Northeast corridor could expect up to 10 inches of rain, but since the area's ground is already saturated from heavy rains earlier this week, the ground will not be able to soak up the downpour, causing flash floods. The soggy ground will also make it more likely for trees to come down in high winds, possibly taking out power lines at the same time.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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