Top Stories

  • 99 percent of Big Island has power after storm

    Updated: 35 min ago

    HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaii Electric Light Co. says 99 percent of the Big Island now has power after Tropical Storm Iselle hit nearly two weeks ago. The storm toppled trees and power lines, leaving thousands without electricity mostly in the Puna region. The utility says that as of Wednesday, about 1,100 customers are still without power in Nanawale Estates, Vactionland and Kapoho Beach Lots. It could be another two weeks or longer to restore power to areas with the most significant damage. Tree-trimmers and construction crews have had to clear roads and dig holes for poles so that electrical crews can work safely and efficiently.

  • Cleanup follows heavy storms in Phoenix area

    Updated: 46 min ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — Residents began cleaning up Wednesday from devastating flooding that slammed Arizona a day earlier, trapping people in vehicles and homes and destroying up to $2 million worth of inventory at a cactus nursery north of Phoenix. The National Weather Service said some areas received more rain Tuesday than they had all last summer, and many residents were faced with a long recovery. At Cox Cactus Farm, workers gathered and discarded flooded plants while tractors scooped up dirt at the nursery that caters to landscapers, resorts and golf courses. Co-owner Jessica Cox said the farm lost between $1.5 million and $2 million worth of inventory and estimated it will take two years to fully recover from the storm.

  • Detroit-area residents frustrated by flood debris

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    HUNTINGTON WOODS, Mich. (AP) — Some residents are unhappy that they are still are waiting for debris to be removed a week after floodwaters ravaged parts of the Detroit area. Sarah Mountain, 32, said she and her family are staying inside their Huntington Woods home "because it is so unhealthy outside." Bacteria and mold can grow in flood-damaged furniture and carpeting. "Trash is piled high in front (of) my house, rats are digging through my garbage, along with scrappers," Mountain told the Detroit Free Press for a story published Wednesday. Garbage haulers have struggled to keep up since the historic Aug. 11 rainstorm.

  • Hail, rain mean crop disasters for some counties

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — Officials in some Idaho counties are declaring a state of emergency after ill-timed hail storms and several days of rain-damaged crops. Clearwater County commissioners in northern Idaho declared a state of emergency earlier this week after farmers on the Weippe Prairie lost nearly a third of their spring wheat and 76 percent of the hard red winter wheat to a hailstorm. Nearby Lewis County commissioners are still assessing the damage in their region. In southern Idaho, Jerome County commissioners are also seeking emergency status after nine days of rain caused hay and wheat to mold and barley fields to sprout — limiting what the barley may be used for.

  • Levin, Stabenow: US giving $750,000 for flood aid

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow say the U.S. Department of Transportation is giving Michigan $750,000 in disaster aid to help pay for repairs and reconstruction of roads damaged in the severe flooding that hit the southeastern corner of the state. Stabenow said in a statement Wednesday that the funds are "an important first step in helping southeast Michigan rebuild from last week's serious flooding." Rain topping 6 inches in spots fell in metropolitan Detroit on Aug. 10, flooding tens of thousands of homes and shutting down much of the region's expressway system for days. Levin says he and Stabenow "will continue working with other agencies for additional assistance to help ev

  • Wildfire destroys homes, scorches 5 square miles

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    KERNVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire northeast of Bakersfield burning in steep terrain destroyed eight homes and was threatening more than a thousand others, authorities said Wednesday. The blaze near Lake Isabella was 15 percent contained after scorching about 5 square miles, Kern County Fire Capt. Derek Tisinger said. Firefighters working in drought conditions continued building containment lines after stopping the spread of the flames on Tuesday. "There's still huge potential here, especially with the dry weather," Tisinger said. "We're not out of the woods yet." Eight single-family homes have been destroyed since the fire broke out on Monday, he said. Ten other structures were damaged, but it wasn't immediately cle

  • Heat advisory issued in middle, east Georgia

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    MACON, Ga. (AP) — The National Weather Service is expecting a triple digit heat index in much of middle and east Georgia. Officials say a heat advisory is in effect from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday covering an area south of a line stretching from Columbus to Warrenton. Forecasters say the heat index is expected to be about 105, raising potential for heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Officials say residents in areas covered by the advisory should drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned areas and stay outside of direct sunshine. Forecasters say the elderly, the very young and people with heart conditions are most at risk in extreme heat. Forecasters say strenuous outdoor activities should be rescheduled t

  • Almanac predicts colder winter, hotter summer

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The Old Farmer's Almanac, the familiar, 223-year-old chronicler of climate, folksy advice and fun facts, is predicting a colder winter and warmer summer for much of the nation. Published Wednesday, the New Hampshire-based almanac predicts a "super-cold" winter in the eastern two-thirds of the country. The west will remain a little bit warmer than normal. "Colder is just almost too familiar a term," Editor Janice Stillman said. "Think of it as a refriger-nation." More bad news for those who can't stand snow: Most of the Northeast is expected to get more snowfall than normal, though it will be below normal in New England. Before unpacking the parka, however, remember that "colder than average"

  • Rain, storms keep ozone levels safe this summer

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A stormy, wet summer has helped keep harmful ozone at safe levels in the Salt Lake City area, state environmental officials said Wednesday. Ozone levels have surpassed the safe threshold established by the Environmental Protection Agency six times this summer — compared with 22 times last summer, said Bo Call, air monitoring section manager with the Utah Division of Air Quality. Ozone often creeps up to dangerous levels during the midafternoon heat, but this summer it was tamped down by frequent afternoon storms and showers, Call said. Ozone is an invisible gas produced by smog that can tax the lungs of even healthy people. It is worst in the summer when sunshine and hot weather cook ozone from

  • Heat advisory in effect for eastern Arkansas

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The much-delayed hot summer temperatures are finally hitting Arkansas. The northeastern and eastern parts of the state are under a heat advisory through 7 p.m. Wednesday. The National Weather Service predicts heat index values of 105 degrees to 108 degrees in that part of the state. Elsewhere in the state, afternoon temperatures are predicted to be in the mid- to upper 90s, with hot and humid temperatures in the forecast throughout the weekend. But the weather service says a cold front is expected to push into the area by Tuesday. The hot temperatures come after Arkansas logged its coldest July on record.

  • Image of Asia: Food and water during the monsoon

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    In this photo by Anupam Nath, a woman cooks inside her flooded house in Assam state in northeastern India. Heavy rains in recent days have flooded dozens of villages in Assam and displaced thousands of people. Monsoon season brings rains vital to growing crops in India, but floods and landslides each year kill thousands of people and submerge hundreds of villages. ___ AP photographers on Twitter: http://apne.

  • Rain floods homes, streets in Salt Lake Valley

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    WEST JORDAN, Utah (AP) — Heavy rains overnight flooded 17 homes and basements in West Jordan early Wednesday. West Jordan Deputy Chief Reed Scharman told KSL that the city received almost an inch of water in an hour, filling storm drains and backing up a canal. Residents started calling emergency crews for help around 4:30 a.m. Firefighters pumped water out of basements and driveways. Two feet of water had collected in one basement. The Salt Lake Tribune reports the overnight rain also flooded several low-lying streets in Sandy.

  • Oklahoma city closes 2 public storm shelters

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Updated: 9 hr ago

    SHAWNEE — A central Oklahoma city says it will no longer use its city hall and a fire station as public storm shelters. Shawnee’s emergency management director recommended the city commission vote to stop using the buildings, citing potential dangers and an increase in private shelters. A local newspaper reports the Shawnee city commission approved the measure 5-2 on Monday night. Lynch says he estimates up to 700 shelters have been registered in Shawnee. He says residents usually wait right before a storm hits to travel to a public storm shelter. He says that puts them in harm’s way. Lynch also noted Norman, Midwest City and Edmond have closed some of their public storm shelters.

  • Highways closed due to flooding are open again

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — Parts of a couple of state highways that were closed due to flooding Tuesday are open. The Arizona Department of Transportation says State Route 74 between Interstate 17 and Lake Pleasant Parkway and the Loop 303 freeway between I-17 and Lake Pleasant Parkway reopened overnight. Part of Interstate 17 north of Phoenix also was closed part of Tuesday but it reopened later in the day. The National Weather Service says thunderstorm activity Wednesday in central and southwestern Arizona might produce damaging wind but probably won't cause flash flooding. According to the forecasters, chances for storms will increase Thursday and continue Friday before declining over the weekend.

  • Souris River Valley flood control plan in limbo

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Plans for an $823 million flood control project for the Souris River Valley are in limbo due to federal policy changes and disagreements in Congress. Corps of Engineers officials are studying new rules that impact changes to existing flood levees and the type of environmental study needed for projects, according to the Minot Daily News and KXMC-TV. Bills in the U.S. House and Senate also differ on whether the corps can start new projects, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said it is doubtful a final bill will pass before the November election. "We're kind of holding and waiting to see what they say," Minot Public Works Director Dan Jonasson said. Regional corps officials said they don't influen

  • Hope, resentment in new charter school landscape

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The majority of public school students will attend charter schools established by a state-run school district created in the aftermath of the storm. Supporters hail it as a grand experiment and post-disaster deliverance of foundering schools. The charters, which still receive public money, can operate free from the politics and bureaucracy of the local school board and citywide union contracts. Principals have more authority to innovate. Schools that fail to improve — all public schools are held to the same standards — can lose their charter.

  • Floods force dramatic rescues in Phoenix area

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — Workers at a farm saw hundreds of cactuses sweep away in a flood. Drivers on Arizona's main north-south freeway watched in shock as muddy waters submerged the road. Rescuers across the state rushed to save people trapped in cars and homes. The Phoenix area was battered by torrential rain storms Tuesday that caused severe flooding across the desert region. The National Weather Service said some areas received more rain Tuesday than they had all last summer. "It looked absolutely devastating," said Gov. Jan Brewer, who was glued to the TV all day watching the rescues. "For the last 10, 15 years, we've never seen anything the likes of this.

  • New Briarwood Elementary opens after 2013 tornado leveled school in Moore district

    By Tim Willert, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    Emotions vary among parents and Briarwood Elementary School students who attended classes last year in a nearby church. The Moore school district school in southwest Oklahoma City was rebuilt after being leveled by the May 20, 2013, tornado.

  • Rebuilt elementary school in Moore reopens after 2013 deadly tornado

    By William Crum, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    The new Plaza Towers Elementary School opened Tuesday in Moore, Oklahoma, welcoming students back to the site where a tornado destroyed the former school and killed seven children in 2013.

  • Some evacuees of Yosemite-area fire can go home

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    OAKHURST, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters gained ground Tuesday on a blaze in the foothills near Yosemite National Park, allowing some of the 1,000 people who fled the flames to return to their homes. Nearly 1 square mile in Madera County had been scorched, revising earlier estimates that it had spanned about twice as much ground, state fire officials said. Flames erupted Monday near Oakhurst, a community of several thousand about 16 miles from a Yosemite entrance, forcing more than 1,000 people to evacuate and thousands more to prepare to leave their homes. Some residents were allowed to go home, but sheriff's spokeswoman Erica Stuart could not provide an estimate of how many. Crews contained 30 percent of the fire, aided