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News 96.5 WDBO - 2017 Hurricane Guide

Local and nationwide hurricane news, tracking maps, photos, video, satellite, radar, alerts, blogs and storm preparation guide


News 96.5 WDBO Live Radar

The Latest Hurricane Headlines

  • Forecasters say Gert, the second hurricane of the season in the Atlantic Ocean, has begun its turn toward the northeast. The National Hurricane Center says Gert was about 420 miles (675 kilometers) west of Bermuda mid-day Monday and had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph). The storm was moving north-northeast at 10 mph (17 kph). No coastal watches or warnings are in effect. The weather advisory says a gradual turn toward the northeast with an increase in forward speed is expected through the next couple of days. Swells generated by Gert will spread northward along the East coast of the United States from North Carolina northward to New York. Swells also are expected to affect Bermuda. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
  • Forecasters say Gert has strengthened to become the second hurricane of the season in the Atlantic Ocean. The National Hurricane Center says Gert was about 445 miles (720 kilometers) west of Bermuda late Monday and had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph). The storm was moving north at 8 mph (13 kph). Gert is expected to strengthen in the next 48 hours. The forecast calls for it to turn toward the northeast and increase its forward speed Tuesday night. Swells generated by Gert will begin to affect portions of Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast — from North Carolina to New York — over the next couple of days. No coastal watches or warnings are in effect, but the hurricane center says these swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
  • With debris from last weekend's flash flood still piled up on sidewalks and their city under a state of emergency, New Orleans residents looked ahead warily on Friday to the prospect of more rain to tax the city's malfunctioning pump system. The city scrambled to repair fire-damaged equipment at a power plant and shore up its drainage system less than a week after a flash flood from torrential rain overwhelmed the city's pumping system and inundated many neighborhoods. Annie Hutchins says she's 'traumatized' every time she sees clouds in the sky since an Aug. 5 flood. She had to walk through knee-high water to get to her house in the Treme neighborhood. 'It's a little bit unnerving that we were told everything was working, and the next day the story was a little bit different, and then the next day the story was a lot different,' she said. 'I'm the kind of person that trusts anyone until they prove otherwise. So, I don't feel like I have a lot of reason to trust what I'm being told anymore.' A control panel on one of two working turbines had been fixed by Friday morning, but the system remains well below full power, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said at a morning news conference. The turbine powers some of the city's pumps. 'We remain at risk until additional turbines are back up,' Landrieu said, adding that he hopes that will happen by the end of the month. Still, he said, 'Panic is not where we need to be right now.' He said the latest to go offline will be powered up over 24 hours. Meanwhile, Landrieu said, 26 generators have been ordered and will remain through hurricane season. He also said a location was being set up Friday for residents to get sandbags should they want to take the extra precaution of sandbagging their homes. Schools closed for the week, and the mayor urged residents to park their cars on high ground. Gov. John Bel Edwards described his emergency declaration Thursday as a precautionary measure. The National Weather Service forecast a 60 percent chance of rain Friday, primarily during the late morning and afternoon, with a chance that heavy rainfall could lead to more flooding. The city's infrastructure had been crumbling for years before the devastation unleashed in 2005 by levee breaches in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. The federal government earmarked billions of dollars for repairs and upgrades after the hurricane, but the problems have persisted. Streets are pockmarked with potholes and sinkholes. The city's water system has been plagued by leaks from broken pipes and power outages leading to boil water advisories. New Orleans' municipal pumping system is supposed to move water out of the low-lying city. Having the system crippled in August, the middle of hurricane season, could not come at a worse time for New Orleans. But officials feared that even a common thunderstorm would test the system's reduced capacity. 'With great prayer and a lot of hard work, hopefully we'll be OK,' the mayor said. Earlier this week, city officials and spokespeople had said repeatedly that all 24 pumping stations were working at full capacity. But the system failed to keep up with a storm that dropped 9.4 inches (24 centimeters) of rain in three hours. While that was considerably more than the system is designed for, even when everything is working, it turned out the system was malfunctioning. City Council members were then told that pumping stations in two of the hardest-hit areas went down to half to two-thirds capacity Saturday, news outlets reported. 'It is unacceptable that the public was not only uninformed, but misinformed as to our drainage system functionality during the flood,' Council Member LaToya Cantrell said in a statement. Cedric Grant, one of the mayor's top deputies and head of the Sewerage & Water Board, told the City Council on Tuesday that he would retire at the end of hurricane season, which lasts through November. Public Works Director Mark Jernigan submitted his resignation shortly after the council meeting, when he was asked whether his agency had done enough to clean the catch basins that feed the drainage system. ___ Associated Press writer Michael Kunzelman reported from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  • Louisiana's governor declared a state of emergency in New Orleans on Thursday as the city's malfunctioning water-pumping system and the threat of more rain left some neighborhoods at greater risk of flooding. The city scrambled to repair fire-damaged equipment at a power plant and shore up its drainage system, less than a week after a flash flood from torrential rain overwhelmed the city's pumping system and inundated many neighborhoods. Gov. John Bel Edwards described his emergency declaration as a precautionary measure. He and Mayor Mitch Landrieu tried to calm the jangled nerves of residents still angry about the city's response to last weekend's flooding. 'Obviously this is a serious situation, but it's not something to be panicked about,' Edwards said at a City Hall news conference. Landrieu urged residents of some waterlogged neighborhoods to prepare for another possible round of flooding by moving vehicles to higher ground. All of the city's public schools were closed Thursday and were scheduled to be closed again on Friday. Jamie Hill, a resident of the Mid-City neighborhood that has flooded twice in the past month, was clearing mud, sand, grass and other debris from the storm drain near her home. Her car flooded in an earlier downpour a few weeks ago. She said she's learned her lesson and now moves her car anytime it rains. 'I'm doing what I can, not that it will really matter if the pumps aren't working,' she said. The city's infrastructure was crumbling for years before the devastation unleashed in 2005 by levee breaches in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. The federal government earmarked billions of dollars for repairs and upgrades after the hurricane, but the problems have persisted. Streets are pockmarked with potholes and sinkholes. The city's water system has been plagued by leaks from broken pipes and power outages leading to boil water advisories. New Orleans' municipal pumping system is supposed to move water out of the low-lying city. Having the system crippled in August could not come at a worse time for New Orleans, since the Gulf Coast is in the middle of hurricane season. But officials feared that even a common thunderstorm would test the system's reduced capacity. 'With great prayer and a lot of hard work, hopefully we'll be OK,' the mayor said. Landrieu's office said in a news release early Thursday the city has lost service from one of its turbines, which powers most of the pumping stations that serve the East Bank of New Orleans. Landrieu said that means the system's capacity to drain storm water from the streets has been diminished. 'It was an internal fire within the turbine itself, and it was a critical part,' Landrieu said The mayor said the city is bringing in generators to back up the system and hoped to have them installed within 48 hours. Earlier, Landrieu said the power available early Thursday wouldn't be adequate to protect the city from another massive rainfall. National Weather Service meteorologist Phil Grigsby said scattered thunderstorms and showers were in the daily forecast for the region through the weekend and into next week. But he called that a 'fairly normal (weather) pattern' for south Louisiana in August. 'We can get a quick band of 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) of rain in an hour. Normally (the pumps) can handle that,' Grigsby said. 'But with the reduced capacity, it's something we have to keep an eye on.' Earlier this week, city officials and spokespeople had said repeatedly that all 24 pumping stations were working at full capacity. But after the system failed to keep up with a storm that dropped 9.4 inches (24 centimeters) of rain in three hours, the truth about the state of the water pumps began to emerge. Despite what the public had been led to believe, city council members were then told that pumping stations in two of the hardest-hit areas went down to half- to two-thirds capacity on Saturday, news outlets reported. 'It is unacceptable that the public was not only uninformed, but misinformed as to our drainage system functionality during the flood,' Council Member LaToya Cantrell said in a statement Wednesday. Cedric Grant, one of the mayor's top deputies and head of the Sewerage & Water Board, told the city council Tuesday that he would retire at the end of hurricane season, which lasts through November. Public Works Director Mark Jernigan submitted his resignation shortly after the council meeting, when he was asked whether his agency had done enough to clean the catch basins that feed the drainage system. Landrieu said he also wanted the board to fire Joseph Becker, the Sewerage & Water Board's general superintendent. ___ Kunzelman reported from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  • The remnants of Hurricane Franklin soaked central Mexico Thursday, threatening mudslides and flash floods after the storm hit the country's Gulf coast overnight. The U.S. National Hurricane Center downgraded the storm to a tropical depression as it broke up over the mountains of central Mexico. Franklin was centered about 20 miles (35 kilometers) north-northwest of Mexico City Thursday morning, with sustained winds of 30 mph (45 kph), with a steady rain falling in the nation's capital and winds picking up. It was moving westward at 20 mph (31 kph). Franklin became the first hurricane of the Atlantic season on Wednesday and hit north of Veracruz city as a Category 1 storm. Earlier, as a tropical storm, Franklin made a relatively mild run across the Yucatan Peninsula. Authorities in Veracruz state cancelled public schools as a precautionary measure. Schools are frequently used as storm shelters in Mexico. There were no initial reports of deaths, but authorities in a number of states were closely monitoring the rains. Mexican officials said the storm did less damage than feared as it rolled across the Yucatan early in the week, but there was concern it could bring flooding to the mountainous territory east of Mexico City. Forecasters said Franklin could drop four to eight inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of rain, with localized amounts of up to 15 inches (38 centimeters).

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Florida prisons were placed on lockdown Thursday following reports of security threats.  >> Read more trending news The Florida Department of Corrections announced that it canceled weekend visitation at all institutions for Saturday and Sunday because of a possible security threat. Correction officials said they received information that indicated small groups of inmates at several institutions would try to disrupt prison operations. The lockdown affects more than 97,000 inmates in Florida’s 151 correctional facilities, including major institutions, work camps and annex facilities. The move affects recreational and educational programs, but inmates are not confined to their cells, officials said. The cancellation does not apply to work release centers, department officials said.  
  • A group of storms east of the Caribbean has developed into Tropical Storm Harvey.   Harvey is approaching the Lesser Antilles and it is forecast to continue traveling west, officially arriving in the Caribbean Friday afternoon. It has been given a 100 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next two days.   It’s also expected to become a hurricane by Monday morning. At this point it is no threat to Florida.   “We have entered the peak of Hurricane season, which is mid-August through late October,” said Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center.
  • A Cleveland father is upset after he says his son was left on the school bus for hours on his first day of classes. WJW reported that Trevelle Hargrove’s 6-year-old son, Trevelle Jr.,  has special needs. Hargrove said his son fell asleep on the bus. >> Read more trending news Trevelle Jr.  said he was found after he honked the horn of the bus and jumped up and down. A spokesperson for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District said Trevelle Jr. fell asleep on the bus Monday and was there for less than an hour. His father says otherwise. “After an hour and they couldn't tell me what was going on I started to get extremely worried,” Hargrove told WJW. 'I couldn't understand why no one could tell me where my son was.” Hargrove said his son was back four hours later, at 6:30 p.m. “You can’t just forget to do things,” he said. “This isn’t like a normal job where you forget to put the straw in the bag or you forget to clock in or whatever it is you do at a normal job. You can’t do that when it comes to kids.” Hargrove said his son won’t be riding the bus again any time soon. The district is is investigating. Cleveland Metropolitan Schools Chief Communications Officer Roseann Canfora issued the following statement to WJW: “Drivers are trained to follow strict protocols for inspecting every seat at the beginning and end of their routes, and CMSD has a zero tolerance for any violation of these safety guidelines.” The bus driver has resigned. WJW reported they may be terminated pending the outcome of the district’s investigation.
  • Authorities said a terror attack in Barcelona claimed at least 13 lives on Thursday and left 80 others injured after a van slammed into pedestrians on Barcelona's popular La Rambla street. >> Read more trending news Mossos d'Esquadra, the Catalonia police force, confirmed the attack in a Twitter post around 5:10 p.m. local time.
  • Many scientists and groups across the U.S. aren’t taking Monday’s eclipse for granted - they want to learn things! There will be lots of experiments happening during the 90-minute event.  Here are just a few: 1. The eclipse movie - Volunteers from national labs and education groups will track the sun along its path using identical telescopes, which will take continuous digital pictures.  The pictures will be later spliced together to make a 90-minute movie.  So don’t fret if you can’t watch on Monday! 2. Sounds - college students at Tennessee’s Austin Peay State University, along with NASA< will measure the sound of the eclipse by setting up low-frequency radio experiments in bean fields.  They’ll capture the noise the eclipse creates and figure out how its different from normal conditions. 3. Animal behavior - Also at Austin Peay State University, scientists will be watching how crickets and cows act when the Moon covers the sun and darkens the sky.  During a solar eclipse in 1991, spiders were seen taking down their webs.  4. Solar flares - We know solar flares happen when the sun’s magnetic field causes a brief burst of intense radiation, but we don’t know enough to protect our technology from them.  During the eclipse, a group of scientists in Wyoming will attempt to take some measurements of the sun’s outer atmosphere.  Usually the sun is too bright to do this, but the eclipse should provide a good view. Want to watch the eclipse?  CLICK HERE to see where you can get free glasses.