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  • 99 percent of Big Island has power after storm

    Updated: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    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: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    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: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    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: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    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: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    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

  • Heat advisory issued in middle, east Georgia

    Updated: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    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: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    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: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    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: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    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: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    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: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    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: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    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: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    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.

  • 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.

  • High temperature near 97 Tuesday in central Oklahoma

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Tue, Aug 19, 2014

    Temperatures will heat up Tuesday in central Oklahoma. The heat index will be over 100 degrees, the National Weather Service reports.

  • Showers, thunder storms roll into Oklahoma City metro area

    From Staff Reports | Published: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    Parts of the Oklahoma City metro area saw relief from the heat Monday evening as showers and thunder storms rolled into the area.

  • Signature-gathering campaign lags in Oklahoma school storm shelter bid

    By Rick M. Green, Capitol Bureau | Published: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    Backers of an Oklahoma school storm shelter bid hope county, state fairs will be helpful in gathering signatures to put the issue on the election ballot in November.

  • UPDATE: Thunderstorm moves northeast of Oklahoma City area Monday, high of 99 degrees ahead

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    A thunderstorm moved across central Oklahoma early Monday. A hot day is ahead for Oklahoma City, the National Weather Service reports.

  • Oklahoma cities consider water conservation options

    By Silas Allen, Staff Writer | Updated: Sun, Aug 17, 2014

    As demand for water grows, state and local officials in Oklahoma are looking at ways to make better use of the water the state has available. In many cases, communities are reusing water that flows down residents’ sinks, showers and, yes, toilets as a way to keep up with demand.