• State agrees to pay $7.6M to firm that handled Sandy program

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration has reached a deal to pay $7.6 million to a firm the state contracted to help handle applications for its Superstorm Sandy housing recovery program. The state Department of Community Affairs reached the agreement on Thursday with Hammerman and Gainer Inc., also called HGI, department spokeswoman Lisa Ryan said. The firm and its dismissal have been a source of anger for some storm victims and their advocates, who say the state mishandled parts of its Sandy recovery efforts and has not been transparent about details. The state and HGI ended their contract in January 2014 after agreeing in 2013 to a three-year deal that was capped at $67.7 million. The

  • Long-lasting drought is all but over in Oklahoma, climate scientists say

    By Silas Allen, Staff Writer | Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    More than four years after it began, the drought that has played havoc across Oklahoma and Texas is all but over, federal climate scientists said Thursday. Heavy rains across the southern Great Plains have refilled reservoirs and replenished soil moisture over the past month.

  • Disaster assistance available for some Arkansas storm damage

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management says disaster assistance is available for some state residents who had uninsured losses because of storms and flooding on May 8. Homeowners and renters in Hempstead, Howard and Pike counties whose primary residence was destroyed or severely damaged and have eligible uninsured losses could qualify for the assistance. Categories of assistance include home repair, personal property and primary transportation repair or replacement. Information needed when applying includes the address where the damage occurred, phone number, email address, Social Security number and a detailed description of the damage. Applications will be taken May 27-June 9 and a

  • Threat of storms means early 3-somes Saturday at Colonial

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The leaders at Colonial won't get to sleep late Saturday. Due to the expectation of inclement weather, including the possibility of severe storms Saturday afternoon, the PGA Tour said Friday that players in the third round will be grouped in threesomes instead of the normal twosomes and go off both tees Nos. 1 and 10. The last group Saturday is expected to start around 9 a.m., more than 3 1-2 hours earlier than usual for a weekend round for the leader at Hogan's Alley. Thursday's first round started three hours late after more than an inch of rain fell overnight. There were periodic showers for the second round Friday, though there were no delays through mid-afternoon. Heavy rain i

  • Flood warnings in northeast, southern Colorado

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    DENVER (AP) — High rivers due to recent rains and water releases are again causing some minor flooding around Colorado. In northeastern Colorado, the Poudre and South Platte River are at or near flood stage in Weld and Morgan counties. In southern Colorado, flood warnings are in effect for the Arkansas River in Pueblo County and the Purgatoire (per-gah-TWAHR') River in southeastern Colorado, which is finally starting to emerge from a severe drought. Releases from the Pueblo Reservoir are adding to the flows in the Arkansas. Water is also being released from Chatfield Reservoir south of Denver to help control flows on the South Platte. More rain later Friday and over weekend could make matters worse.

  • Meteorologists issue freeze warning for eastern Vermont

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Gardeners be forewarned: the National Weather Service has issued freeze warnings and frost advisories for Vermont. They are in effect from midnight to 8 a.m. Saturday, when temperatures could dip into the low 30s and upper 20s in some areas. The freeze warning was issued for eastern Vermont, with frost warnings issued for the rest of the state. The National Weather Service says the cold temperatures could damage or kill some crops and other sensitive vegetation.

  • Forecaster warns of flooding during Memorial Day weekend

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — There is a chance for severe weather including heavy rainfall during the Memorial Day weekend that seems likely to cause flash flooding in parts of Texas, Arkansas and the southern Plains, the National Weather Service said Friday. Meteorologist John Hart at the weather service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, said the risk Friday is mostly confined to southwestern Texas and eastern New Mexico, where hail, thunderstorms and even a tornado could be possible overnight. Hart warned of flash flooding during the holiday weekend in North Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, which are still soaked from recent storms. A forecaster in Norman said about 0.

  • Oklahoma weather: Storm updates

    FROM LOCAL REPORTS | Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    Follow live updates below as storms move across central Oklahoma Friday afternoon.

  • LIVE: Oklahoma weather updates

    FROM LOCAL REPORTS | Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    Follow live updates below as storms move across central Oklahoma Saturday and Sunday.

  • Nepal assesses if quake-hit villages are at risk before rain

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Geologists were sent to earthquake-damaged mountain villages in Nepal this week to assess landslide risks before the rainy season begins next month, an official said Friday. Many of them walking to their destinations, the geologists will check the soil in the remote villages in the districts hit worst by the quakes, Home Ministry official Laxmi Prasad Dhakal said. They are scheduled to report their findings in Kathmandu next week, and the government would then decide which villages are in danger of landslides and need to be relocated. Dhakal said only few weeks are left to get people to safer areas and it was going to a big challenge.

  • Forecaster warns of flooding during Memorial Day weekend

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Fri, May 22, 2015

    NORMAN — The National Weather Service says there’s a slight chance for severe weather along the Texas-New Mexico border and rainfall over the Memorial Day weekend will likely cause flash flooding across the southern Plains. Meteorologist John Hart of the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says the risk Friday is mostly confined to southwest Texas and eastern New Mexico, where hail, thunderstorms and even a tornado could be possible overnight. Hart warned of flash flooding over the holiday weekend in North Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, which are still soaked from recent storms. A forecaster in Norman says about 0.6 inches of rain in May will break Oklahoma City’s record for the wettest month ever

  • Swollen Red River could rise if more rain falls upstream

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Residents in northwest and central Louisiana are carefully watching the Red River, which continues to rise after heavy rains upstream. Thursday, the National Weather Service predicted moderate flooding around Shreveport, but said that more rain is possible in northeast Texas and southern Oklahoma, which could push the river higher. Heavy rains Sunday and Monday caused flash flooding and road and school closures across northwest Louisiana. Bossier Parish officials said they were worried about the low-lying parts of the parish and will distribute sandbags Friday and Saturday to residents who want to make preparations.

  • Weather officials in Arkansas warn of more rain on holiday

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Lakes and rivers around Arkansas remain flooded from recent rainfall and forecasters expect more downpours across the state on Memorial Day. Portions of west-central Arkansas have received more than 25 inches of rain since March 1, causing flash floods and an ongoing boating ban on the Arkansas River. Meteorologist Emilie Nipper with the National Weather Service in North Little Rock says there's a small chance of rain Saturday, but there's an 80 percent chance Sunday night and Monday morning when up to 5 more inches could fall in western Arkansas. Recreational boats and watercraft have been banned on the Arkansas River since the Army Corps of Engineers issued a small craft advisory on May 8.

  • Closing birdie for Spieth to share Colonial 1st-round lead

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Masters champion Jordan Spieth got his homecoming off to a leading start with a birdie before dark. Spieth made a 20-foot putt from just off the fringe on the final hole for a 6-under 64 and a share of the first-round lead Thursday in the rain-delayed Colonial. "I had a few of those on the back nine, a few good looks where I knew what the putt was doing, I just didn't match the line and speed right," Spieth said. "I was getting a little frustrated through 17 there. I was like just one more look. ... I didn't really count (18) as a look, but maybe more like luck, and we'll take it." The closing birdie, just after 8 p.m., tied Spieth with Kevin Na, Boo Weekley and Ryo Ishikawa. There was a

  • Damaged buildings, homes being taken down in Delmont

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    DELMONT, S.D. (AP) — Damaged buildings and homes in the town of Delmont are being taken down as cleanup continues in the town hit earlier this month by a tornado. Officials say citizens and volunteers are clearing away debris caused by the May 10 tornado. Debris is still being to be hauled to a rubble site in Douglas County. The tornado damaged or destroyed 84 structures in and around Delmont and also injured nine people. State Public Safety officials say volunteers are still needed for the cleanup. Earlier this week, state and federal officials were assessing tornado damage to homes and businesses.

  • Warm Montana spring enhances drought by depleting snowmelt

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A warm spring has nearly depleted what little snowpack Montana saw this year, draining the state of water necessary to combat worsening drought conditions, officials said Thursday. State and federal officials who monitor water supplies said at a monthly meeting that reservoirs now at capacity could easily come up short for agricultural use and wildfire fighting this summer. The Governor's Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee emphasized that the snowpack this year in Montana was less than half of average and most of it has disappeared. "It all melted too quickly," said Lucas Zukiewicz, a U.S. Department of Agriculture water supply specialist. "I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but everybo

  • Alaska wildfire responders keeping eye on dry conditions

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Green leaves have popped out on trees throughout interior Alaska, but the dry vegetation below is putting wildfire responders on edge. Grasses still brown from a lack of spring rain, combined with high temperatures and low humidity, have made the region a tinderbox. The Yukon Flats, the Tanana River Valley and the Copper River Basin remain under "red flag" alerts and burn bans because of the high danger of fire. "We still have a lot of dead, dry grass that could burn," said Tim Mowry, information officer at the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center in Fairbanks. A meteorologist described the conditions as "an insanely dry air mass sitting on top of us," Mowry said.

  • Weather delays opening of 9 public swimming pools in Lincoln

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nine public swimming pools in Lincoln will open two days later than planned because recent rain and cool temperatures have made pool water too cold for safe swimming. The Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department made the announcement Thursday. The pools are now scheduled to open Monday for swimming. They typically open days earlier. Officials say while the facilities will not allow swimming until then, they'll open Saturday for registrations, sales and other requests. The pools will be available for use through August.

  • Jersey shore still recovering as 3rd post-Sandy summer nears

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — In the months after Superstorm Sandy devastated the Jersey shore, Gov. Chris Christie warned residents the damage would not be quickly undone. Things would only look moderately better in the first summer after the storm, he said, and would be closer to normal in the second one. But with the third summer after Sandy nearly here, the Jersey shore is still recovering despite the substantial progress that has been made in the 2 1/2 years since the October 2012 storm. Beaches have been restored, roads rebuilt, infrastructure hardened and many homes have been repaired.

  • WSU researcher says drought could get worse

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The drought conditions in Washington that prompted Gov. Jay Inslee last week to declare an emergency are likely to grow worse because of a strengthening El Nino tropical weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean, a weather researcher for Washington State University said Thursday. El Nino, an ocean-warming phenomenon, may bring some relief in drought-stricken California, but it's more likely to bring more heat and dryness to the Northwest, researcher Gerrit Hoogenboom said. El Nino typically brings rainfall to central and southern California, but leads to warmer weather and less precipitation in the Pacific Northwest.




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