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Old 27-12-15, 19:10   #1
 
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Important No Christmas For Many >DEVASTATION in UK/Australia/US

UK Military Helps Combat Flooding as it Spreads to Cities

Daily Mail UK, 27 December 2015


LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister David Cameron sent hundreds more troops into northern England on Sunday to help exhausted residents and emergency workers fight back rising river waters that have inundated towns and cities after weeks of heavy rain.


Cameron said the flooding is "unprecedented" and vowed to do everything possible to protect people and their property as the damage spread to the major cities York, Leeds and Manchester. He said protective systems and contingency plans will be reviewed because the frequency of such extreme weather events seems to be on the rise.

Weeks of persistent rainfall has saturated the ground and swollen the rivers to record levels, leaving entire swathes of northern England, and smaller parts of Wales and Scotland, vulnerable. Several hundred flood warnings remain in effect.

There have been no fatalities or serious injuries reported, but hundreds of people have been evacuated from houses and apartments in York, 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of London, where 3,500 properties are judged to be at risk.

Emergency crews worked extra shifts to try to restore power to roughly 7,500 blacked out homes in the greater Manchester and Lancashire areas.
Environment Secretary Liz Truss said flood protection systems put in place in recent years were unable to cope with the record-high river levels.

"In Lancashire every single river was at a record-high," she said. "In Yorkshire we have seen some rivers a meter (yard) higher than they have ever been before. Clearly, in the light of that, we will be reviewing our flood defenses."

Several hundred peole had been evacuated the day before in the West Yorkshire and Lancashire regions and officials said thousands had lost power. The number of people affected continues to grow as flooding spreads and impacts cities as well as villages and towns.

A picturesque 200-year-old pub, The Waterside, in the greater Manchester area, collapsed and part of the structure was swept away by the River Irwell.

Rising river levels also threatened downtown Manchester and police dealt with a ruptured gas main and small fire believed to have been caused by the flooding.

The Environment Agency urged residents to remain vigilant because more "severe" flooding is expected overnight and Monday.
The agency used its Twitter feed to beg people to be cautious, tweeting that driving or walking in flowing flood waters could be life-threatening.

Rescue crews have been using boats to help remove people from their homes and in some cases from their nearly submerged vehicles.









Continued.....

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Old 27-12-15, 21:38   #2
 
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New Zealand re: No Christmas For Many >DEVASTATION in UK/Australia/US

Shocking Photos Show the Devastation Caused by Black Christmas Bushfires in Victoria
- As It's Revealed at Least 116 Homes Have Been Destroyed and the Blaze Could Continue Until FEBRUARY


  • 116 homes confirmed destroyed by the blaze near the Great Ocean Road
  • Almost 2,200 hectares of land burned in the fire, expected to continued
  • Insurance industry estimated so far, damages to cost almost $40million
  • No-one reported injured so far but the danger is not over yet, warnings say
  • People have been trying to discover the fate of their properties in the area
Daily Mail UK, 27 December 2015


The extent of the carnage wreaked upon popular Australian holiday towns caught in massive Black Christmas bushfires on Christmas day is starting to become clearer.


Grim photographs of the collapsed, ruined homes, blackened earth and scorched trees in Wye River and Separation Creek, along the Great Ocean Road on Victoria's surf coast, where the fire ripped through houses and forest alike, show just how complete the destruction of property was.
Late on Saturday, Victoria's Country Fire Authority increased the number of homes confirmed to have been destroyed to 116, as people began to tally up the cost of the horrific blaze.

Scroll Down for Videos





Blackened bush and wrecked homes make for a stark comparison against a house (top) that survived the raging fires





Destroyed homes in Separation Creek are seen on Sunday December 27. Eighteen homes were razed in Separation Creek during the fire





A still-standing home can be seen behind the ruins of a burned property in the foreground of this image, taken in Separation Creek





Deputy Group Officer from Camperdown Group Ray Place (centre) speaks with Crew Leader of Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning at Wye River, Alex Shilton, about inspecting the damage to homes at Separation Creek





Crew Leader of Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning at Wye River, Alex Shilton, and Deputy Group Officer from Camperdown Group, Ray Place, inspect the damage to homes at Separation Creek





All that is left of these buildings can be seen as piles of wreckage amongst the burned trees, blackened ground and smouldering ruins





A sight common in the Wye River and Separation Creek - what is left of a home lying charred on the ground, surrounded by burnt trees








Anna Cuttriss of Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning inspects a destroyed car in Wye River





An all too common scene from Wye River shows all that remains of this structure





All that remained of this building was a pile of burned debris lying on the scorched earth around it








Examples of the wreckage left behind by the destructive Black Christmas bushfires, which saw hundreds of firefighters tackling the huge blaze





A Wye River Fire Truck patrols a hillside on Sunday. Over 116 homes in the Wye River area along Victoria's Great Ocean Road were destroyed on Christmas Day





Twisted sheets of iron and a buckled roof, surrounded by burnt trees, show the extent of the damage the fire caused to some homes





The frame and roof are almost all that remain of this hillside house in Wye Creek, Victoria





A burnt out house on the hillside at Wye River is seen next to house that is still standing, showing how close the fire came in some places








Some of the first pictures of the destruction, including these left behind it a trail of destruction, including wrecked buildings such as this one






Only some of the frame and the roof of this building were left behind after the fire tore through it








Blackened trees and the debris left behind by razed homes appeared to be a common sight





In places, the fire jumped the Great Ocean Road and burned right down to the shoreline



People from Wye River were bussed into the two to inspect the damage on Sunday morning and on Saturday afternoon, those from Separation Creek were taken through the stricken community.

Mayor for the Coltac-Otway shire, Frank Buchanan said reality was starting to set in.

'We have 120-odd homes destroyed and a lot of people homeless, burnt their primary residences, which is a real concern for us.
'Their welfare is our first concern. They will be given as much support as we can give them and financial support beyond that. It is devastating,' the ABC quoted him as saying.


The massive fire, started by a lightning bolt, burned more than 2,000 hectares around the coastal towns of Wye River, which lost 98 homes and Separation Creek, which lost 18 homes. While the threat from the fire had eased, it was still burning on Sunday and was expected to continue until January or possibly even February.

Estimated losses are expected to reach at least $38million.

No lives were lost or injuries reported as caused by the fire.

As emergency warnings were downgraded with the rain and cooler temperatures that helped decrease the intensity of the inferno on Boxing Day, people took to social media to try and find any information about the homes they had to abandon.

Angela Agathangelou wrote: 'my heart breaks for my family's beautiful beach home in Wye River that was burnt in yesterday's xmas day fires'.

Liz Conor posted: 'still don't know if the house survived'.

Zoe Daniel posted: 'still struggling to know the fate of 19 Harrington #SeparationCreek if anyone can help #thankyou thinking of all there'.

An emergency warning for the area from the Country Fire Authority said power was out and fallen domestic solar power lines were a threat.
Damaged septic tanks and possible leaking sewerage were a threat to health, the report said.

Insurance Council of Australia chief executive Rob Whelan told ABC on Saturday that initial estimates of the damage, based on reported losses, was $25m.
That number has since been revised up to nearly $40m.

A 'catastrophe' had been declared, meaning the industry could fast-track its responses.

'Insurers are focused on assisting their customers as quickly as possible, and the catastrophe declaration means claims from this bushfire will be given priority,' he said.
'Staff at some companies have volunteered to return from their holidays to ensure inquiries and claims can be handled swiftly.'

The region's mayor, Cr Buchanan, also told the ABC the reduced number of tourists visiting the area as a result of the fires would hurt the area's economy.

A campaign is underway in the area to raise funds to aid those affected.
Meanwhile, the danger is not over yet.





A photo shows the size of some flames during a bushfire at Wye River near Lorne, south of in Melbourne





The raging fire lights up the night sky with a yellow and red glow overnight on Friday





The fire had spread to about 2,188 hectares by about 8am on Saturday after burning through the night


Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said despite the rain on Saturday, dry conditions would return and the fire could continue to burn into January or February.

'Our thoughts go out to the people who have lost homes in Separation Creek and Wye River and our personnel are working around the clock to bring this fire under control,'

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said emergency grants of $1300 were available for those who had to flee their homes, and for those who lost their primary place of residence, $32,500 grants were available.

A bushfire relief centre has been set up in Apollo Bay, south of the affected areas around Wye River, Separation Creek and Lorne.

The efforts of hundreds of firefighters tackling the blaze have been congratulated by politicians, authorities and the people whose homes they fought to save.

Victoria police recommended anyone wanting to know about property in the fire affected area to call 03 5232 9400.





The fire had reached within about 6-7km from the popular tourist town of Lorne - about 150 kilometres south-west of Melbourne





A massive plume of smoke billows from the huge bushfires on Christmas day as people watch from the beach





Emergency crews at Wye River near Lorne. Hundreds of firefighters have worked in shifts to battle the blaze








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Old 28-12-15, 00:28   #3
 
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United States of America re: No Christmas For Many >DEVASTATION in UK/Australia/US

DEVASTATION IN MANY US AREAS:

Freak Christmas Weather Claims 42 More Lives:
Tornado Death Toll Rises and 7 are Killed in Alabama and Illinois Flooding.

>Now as Balmy Temperatures Finally Plummet, Here Comes The Snow...

  • Flooding, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms 42 killed people in at seven states since Christmas
  • Eleven were killed in Texas, including eight in Garland, two in Copeville and one in Blue Ridge in Collin County
  • Another ten were killed in Mississippi, seven in Missouri six in Tennessee, five in Illinois, two in Alabama and one in Arkansas
  • New Mexico's governor declared a state of emergency because of impassable roads and heavy snow drifts
  • Unseasonably warm weather starting on Wednesday helped spawn torrential rain and deadly storms across the South
  • Whiteout conditions and snow drifts have already closed some highways in the Texas Panhandle, while historic snowfall totals are expected in nearby New Mexico
  • Parts of Interstate 40 west of Amarillo, Texas, and into Santa Rosa, New Mexico, were shut Sunday
Daily Mail UK, 27 December 2015


Freak weather has swept the Southern part of the United States this weekend, killing at least 42 people along the way.
Flooding, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms have killed people in seven states since Christmas.


Eleven were killed in Texas, ten in Mississippi, six in Tennessee, seven in Missouri, five in Illinois, two in Alabama and one in Arkansas.

Meteorologists say, however, that the worst of the storms has passed, and that snow is on its way, as temperatures are cooling down across the nation.

Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Paul Braun tells the Amarillo Globe-News that crews are doing what they can to plow the drifts, but that they 'go through and it blows it right back'.

Parts of Interstate 40 west of Amarillo, Texas, and into Santa Rosa, New Mexico, were shut Sunday.

Nearly 10,000 Excel Energy customers, most of them Amarillo, have been without power. High winds are blamed for knocking over utility poles and power lines.

The Texas Department of Public Safety in Amarillo is strongly discouraging all travel throughout the entire Texas Panhandle because blowing and drifting snow had made the roads impassable. That's a 26-county area covering nearly 26,000 square miles.


Trooper Cindy Barkley said more than 20 motorists have been stranded by eight- to ten-foot-high snow drifts along highways US 60 and US 70 in Parmer County. The county is about 80 miles southwest of Amarillo along the Texas-New Mexico state line.
She said crews are trying to plow the roads but the blowing snow is making the job difficult.

Authorities also say Interstate 40 west of Amarillo for about 50 miles to the New Mexico border will remain closed through the night.

New Mexico's governor declared a state of emergency because of impassable roads. Roswell received between 14 and 18 inches of snow since Saturday afternoon, and eight more inches were forecast.





An overhead view of the destruction that caused eleven deaths in Texas the day after Christmas when severe storms and tornadoes hit the state. Pictured above is a street in Garland, Texas





The remains and debris of storage units after Saturday's tornado were left scattered throughout the parking lot in Garland, Texas






Traffic backs up along I-30, right near a site of Saturday's tornado. Several motorists were stuck on the road during Saturday's tornado





Damage of home buildings is seen after Saturday's tornado in Garland, Texas, where about 600 structures were damaged, the majority of which were single-family homes





An apartment complex's roof was torn off and units were ripped apart during Sunday's horrific tornado and storms in Garland





People climb over boxes and debris as they assess the damage to a storage facility destroyed by Saturday's tornado in Garland, Texas, on Sunday





Debris piles up after an apartment complex next to Interstate 30 was damaged by a tornado last night in Garland, Texas after a tornado swept through the area





Cheryl Turek, of Nevada, Texas, right, hugs Evelyn Lindstrom in front of Lindstrom's destroyed home in Copeville, Texas, after heavy rain, high winds and tornados swept through North Texas





Evelyn Lindstrom looks for her cat that ran away as her home, seen behind her, was damaged by Saturday night's tornado in Copeville, Texas


Texas Gov Greg Abbott is warning that the number of victims from a deadly outbreak of storms and tornadoes in the Dallas area could still rise.

Abbott made disaster declarations for four counties on Sunday following the severe weather that killed at least 11 people. He said there have been reports of as many as a dozen tornadoes around North Texas, but meteorologists were still working to confirm how many touched down.

Abbott said the state was not yet committing to a total number of casualties because rescue crews were still searching through rubble and destroyed homes.

He declared disasters in Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and Ellis counties and warned that roads across Texas remain in 'perilous' condition because of plunging temperatures and continuing rainfall.


Eleven people were killed and another 38 were injured the day after Christmas when raging storms and tornadoes blew through the Dallas area, according to reports.
Eight of the fatalities came when a destructive tornado hit Garland, where 15 others were also injured.

Garland Police Lt Pedro Barineau said in a morning news conference that the death toll rose by three people since Saturday night, when a tornado struck.
Barineau said at least three people who died were found in vehicles, adding that some cars appeared to be thrown from Interstate 30 and George Bush Turnpike when the tornado hit about 6.45pm on Saturday. It wasn't known whether that was the case for the people found in the vehicles.

Witnesses say drivers appeared to abandon their cars along the Texas interstate, where authorities say a tornado thrashed an area of two square miles outside Dallas.

Zach Shirley said on Sunday that bumper-to-bumper traffic clogged Interstate 30 near an intersection where police say some cars appeared to be thrown from the road.
The 34-year-old said he spent nearly eight hours on the interstate, on which he got on after the tornado, and considered leaving his car and walking to his apartment. Shirley said he was humbled to find out that where he lived was spared.

About 600 structures were damaged, the majority of which were single-family homes. Barineau said that it's 'total devastation'





A Jeep Liberty sits destroyed on Shipman Street after Saturday's tornado in Rockwall, Texas on Sunday after a storm swept through the area





A house was crushed and its windows were blown out in Saturday's tornado in Rowlett, Texas. Debris was spread across the front lawn





Dusty Zachary, center, carries a photo away from her mother, Caprice Lioboe's, left, home on Shipman Street in Rowlett, Texas, on Sunday





A billboard and stripped trees are seen near an apartment complex next to Interstate 30 that was damaged by the tornado that hit Garland on Sunday





A man takes pictures of damage outside an apartment complex after Saturday's tornado in Garland that caused substantial damage and at least 11 people died either from the storm or related traffic accidents





Residents and emergency workers walk near stripped trees at an apartment complex damaged by Saturday's tornado in Garland





At least 11 people lost their lives as tornadoes tore through Texas, authorities said Sunday, as they searched home to home for possible more victims of the freak storms lashing the southern United States





A comfort chair is seen at the site of a residence whose wall was blown away by Saturday night's tornado in Copeville, Texas





Trees were uprooted during Saturday's horrific storms in the Dallas area. The rare December twisters flattened houses and caused chaos on highways


'It looks like a war zone,' Zach Thompson, Dallas County Health and Human Services Director said.

Garland Mayor Douglas Athas says on his official Facebook page that search teams are still looking through the rubble from an EF-4 tornado.
He said Sunday that search teams would work until they check every building and car. Utility crews were also working to restore power, and about 40 people remained in an emergency shelter.

Athas said he was proud of the city's 'preparedness' and its emergency personnel. He also thanked everyone who'd offered to volunteer and donate

Meanwhile, two people died in Copeville and one person in Blue Ridge, an unincorporated town in Collin County, next to Lake Levon.

In Rowlett, 23 people were injured and 'huge amounts of damage' from a tornado is widespread but concentrated in southern part of the city,

Rowlett City Manager Brian Funderburk said about 20 miles northeast of Dallas, has a 24-hour curfew in the affected areas, which Funderburk took a direct hit from the tornado. It isn't known the strength of the tornado's winds.

The extent of the injuries are not known, and officials said there are no reports of missing people.

Officials also say there were reports of looting overnight.


About 50,000 people are without power across the Dallas-Fort Worth area, mainly in the eastern cities, according to the outlet.
Forecasters said the two tornadoes that hit the Dallas area had winds up to more than 200 mph.

National Weather Service teams are still surveying damage and said that the tornado in the suburb of Garland has been rated an EF-4. That's the second-most powerful tornado on the damage scale used by meteorologists and is generally strong enough to level well-constructed homes and toss cars.


The weather service also said damage in nearby Rowlett indicated it was likely an EF-3 tornado, which has winds up to 165 mph.





In this photo provided by Kim Serrano, a pet German Shepherd walks in a neighborhood blanketed in snow in Edgewood, New Mexico, on Sunday





Albuquerque police officers respond to yet another rollover throughout the Albuquerque area after a snowstorm paralyzed the city with icy road conditions





A view of Interstate 40 looking eastbound along the Tijeras Canyon around 11pm on Saturday, just before officials decided to shut down the road from Albuquerque to the Texas border due to the snowstorm that paralyzed the city





An Albuquerque ambulance member responds to a rollover on the Western side the city along interstate I-40 on Saturday night





Stranded motorists comfort each other near the intersection of Paseo del Norte and Eagle Ranch Road on Saturday night after the latest snowstorm paralyzed the city due to icy conditions in Albuquerque, New Mexico





A man walks by a rollover on the Western side of Albuquerque, New Mexico, along interstate I-40 after snow hit on Saturday night





Emergency crews respond to a multi-vehicle accident in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after a flurry of snow began to blanket Albuquerque, Santa Fe and other cities





People stand by after a rollover accident along Interstate 25 northbound just south of Albuquerque after snow began to fall in the area





Snow covers roof tops in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Saturday as there are warnings of a record-setting blizzard being on the horizon





Debris lies on the ground near a home that was heavily damaged by a tornado in Rowlett, Texas, on Saturday after tornadoes swept through the Dallas area after dark





Downed trees and power lines litter the area as neighbors check a damaged pickup looking for the driver after reports of a tornado in Rowlett





Police car lights illuminate Debbie Spruell's heavily damaged car after a tornado hit in Rowlett on Saturday evening, causing significant damage to the area





Eleven people were killed in Garland, Texas, after fierce storms and tornadoes swept through the region Saturday (above)





Tornadoes raged across southern and eastern Texas on Saturday in the Dallas area - above, a tornado moves through Rowlett, Texas across Lake Ray Hubbard




MORE;

US Death Toll Hits 25 as Tornados/Storms Strike South

Daily Mail UK, 27 December 2015


Rare December tornados knocked cars off a highway and flattened homes in Texas, bringing the death toll to 25 in days of storms tearing across the southern United States.


The extreme weather, fueled by unseasonably warm air, is likely to continue for the next few days, the National Weather Service reported, snarling holiday travel across a large section of the country.
The late Saturday deaths in Texas came as millions of residents in the southern United States struggle to recover from fierce storms and heavy flooding, with more rain in the forecast.





At least eight people were killed as tornados struck parts of the densely populated Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, leaving much of the region in darkness, local officials and media reported late Saturday ©Tom Pennington (Getty/AFP/File)


At least 17 people were killed in storm-related incidents since Wednesday in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas, local officials said.

At least eight people were killed as tornados touched down in parts of the densely populated Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, local officials and media reported.
A twister struck around 6:45 pm (0045 GMT Sunday) in Garland, Texas, city officials said in a statement.

"Five deaths have been confirmed," the statement said. "Extensive damage has been reported to vehicles, homes, and apartments in the same area."

The deaths are "believed to be related to vehicles struck by the tornado," it said, adding that there was also an unconfirmed number of injuries and that teams of rescuers are arriving to help scour damaged areas.

The tornados snapped power cables and knocked over pylons, leaving some 30,000 Garland residents in the dark, the city said.

The Garland fatalities were apparently "blown off the highway by high winds," Garland police spokesman Mike Hatfield told the Dallas Morning News.

"We’re dealing with darkness out here," Hatfield said. "All of the street lights and highway lights are out."

Three other people were killed in weather-related incidents in Collin County, just north of the metroplex, the newspaper said, citing local police.
Local TV weather reporters said that 11 twisters touched down in the region, a figure the NWS was unable to immediatley confirm.

- 'Dangerous Flooding' -

In Alabama, heavy flooding continued Sunday following several days of heavy rain that began on Thursday.
Governor Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency to deal with the flooding just before Christmas Day tornados uprooted trees and tore off rooftops.

One even touched down in Birmingham, the state's most populous city. There were no fatalities, but the twister damaged three homes, Birmingham Fire Department Chief Charles Gordon told CNN.

The NWS said Saturday in a preliminary report that the Birmingham twister packed winds of up to 130 miles (209 kilometers) per hour.

Near the state capital Montgomery, 336 inmates at the minimum-security Red Eagle Community Work Center were forced to evacuate due to flooding, local media reported.

And residents of the town of Elba are nervously eying a levee that protects them from water from the Pea River. The river is forecast to crest and possibly overflow the barrier, the AL.com news site reported.

In Mississippi, where Governor Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency to deal with flooding, "severe storms" are forecast for late Sunday through Monday, the state Emergency Management Agency said.
"Tornadoes are possible and residents are asked to remain weather aware," the EMA said.

Early EMA damage reports showed 241 homes destroyed or with major damage, and more than 400 total homes affected.
The EMA earlier said that 10 people were confirmed dead.

Six fatalities were confirmed in Tennessee, and another person was killed in Arkansas.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal also declared states of emergency in counties affected by the weather.

"A variety of dangerous weather conditions will continue across the middle of the country through Sunday," the National Weather Service said.
It warned of "blizzard conditions" from west Texas into Kansas, and "hazardous ice accumulations" in Oklahoma.

"Dangerous flooding will extend from north Texas to central Illinois," it said.

Flood warnings and advisories also remained in effect in parts of Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and other areas in the southeast.

Separately, a southern California brush fire that forced the closure of part of two major highways was mostly under control.
As of early Sunday the fire was 60 percent contained and evacuation orders were lifted, the Ventura County Fire Department said.
The fire scorched 1,200 acres (486 hectares), but there were no fatalities, and no structures were reported damaged, officials said.






Feeding on unseasonably warm air, the storms and tornados have left a trail of destruction in rural communities from Alabama to Illinois ©Ethan Miller (Getty Images/AFP/File)


AND MORE TO COME >

Incredible Video of Supercell Forming over Texas



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