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Several towns in Eastern Oklahoma were evacuated Wednesday after two barges broke loose, floated down the swollen Arkansas River, and threatened to hit a dam, authorities said.

The emergency was the latest consequence of severe storms and torrential rains that have ravaged large swaths of the Midwest. Town officials ordered a mandatory evacuation Wednesday afternoon because of the Arkansas River’s rising level.

Webbers Falls, one of the potentially threatened towns in Oklahoma, warned its 600 residents to evacuate “immediately.”

“The barges are loose and has the potential to hit the lock and dam 16. If the dam breaks, it will be catastrophic!! Leave now!!” the post read.

A church in neighboring Warner had opened an emergency evacuation shelter, KFOR-TV reported.

There was no update by midnight Wednesday where the barges were on the river. Local television stations were showing live video of the river and the lock and dam said they had not yet arrived. Webbers Falls officials said they are working Muskogee County Emergency Management and will notify the public with updates, 5News reported.

For the third consecutive day, dangerous storms prompted numerous tornado warnings and reports of twisters touching down, most in Missouri and Oklahoma.

In Jefferson City, the mayor issued a mandatory evacuation for an area involving a handful of homes. The city’s airport also has been evacuated.

ANOTHER DAY OF TORNADOES SLAM MIDWEST AS FLOODWATERS RISE; AT LEAST 2 DEAD

The Arkansas River was approaching historic highs, while the already high Missouri and Mississippi Rivers were again rising after a multi-day stretch of storms that produced dozens of tornadoes. Forecasters predicted parts of Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas could see more severe weather Wednesday night into Thursday.

The deluge inundated roadways, closing highways in 22 Oklahoma counties and 17 Kansas counties, along with more than 330 Missouri roads. Amtrak suspended train service Wednesday and Thursday along a route between St. Louis and Kansas City because of congestion and flood-related delays.

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The Arkansas River, which was just above 37 feet, or 9 feet above flood stage, at Muskogee, Oklahoma, was expected to eventually reach 43.5 feet. Officials encouraged residents in several communities along the river to leave their homes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

A dangerous and potentially “violent” day of weather is developing across the Southern Plains on Monday, as forecasters warn a tornado outbreak and severe thunderstorms could lead to life-threatening conditions — prompting schools across the region to close.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center issued a “high risk” assessment for the area from northwest Texas into western and central Oklahoma, a huge swath of land with the greatest risk of “potentially long-track and violent” tornadoes developing during the day.

“They have issued a rare high-risk area today, and that means all of the conditions are favorable for tornadoes,” Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said on “FOX & friends.” “Long-track, potentially damaging and deadly tornadoes.”

TORNADOES DESTROY HOMES ACROSS SOUTHERN PLAINS AHEAD OF ‘SIGNIFICANT SEVERE WEATHER EVENT’

Some of the tornadoes may reach EF-4 or EF-5 strength, with winds between 166 and 200 mph and could cause anywhere from “extreme” to “incredible” damage on what Dean warned could be a “potentially deadly day.”

A high risk of tornadoes and severe weather is expected Monday across northwest Texas into western and central Oklahoma.

A high risk of tornadoes and severe weather is expected Monday across northwest Texas into western and central Oklahoma. (Fox News)

Besides potentially spawning powerful tornadoes, the severe thunderstorms are expected to lead to large hail, damaging wind gusts and flash flooding. The punishing wind gusts could reach hurricane-force and the hail may be the size of baseballs, according to the NWS.

For residents in the Texas cities of Lubbock and Wichita Falls, and into Oklahoma City, a “moderate” risk remains through the day Monday. The NWS said more-isolated but still potentially dangerous severe weather, including tornadoes, is possible in surrounding parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas.

Tornadoes on Monday could reach between EF-4 and EF-5 strength, according to Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean

Tornadoes on Monday could reach between EF-4 and EF-5 strength, according to Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean (Fox News)

“These dangerous storms will continue after sunset and into the overnight hours,” Dean said.

The severe weather outbreak is happening on the sixth anniversary of the tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma. The 2013 EF-5 twister killed 24 people as it ravaged the Oklahoma City-suburb with brutal winds estimated at 210 mph.

CENTRAL US BRACES FOR SEVERE STORMS, FLASH FLOODING AS SOME PARTS SEE TORNADO WARNINGS

Schools throughout the Oklahoma City area closed Monday due to the anticipated severe weather.

“We believe this is the best decision for our students, staff and families as their health and safety are priority,” Moore Public Schools said in a statement posted to Twitter. “Please ensure safety plans are in place for your family in case needed for severe weather.”

Moore school officials added that all safe rooms will be completed by the end of July 2019. The district currently has four safe rooms that are near completion and has 31 completed.

Oklahoma City Public Schools also wrote on Facebook they decided to cancel all classes and activities have been canceled for Monday due to the risk of severe weather.

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The NWS is telling residents in the affected areas to review severe weather safety procedures for the possibility and stay alert for watches and warnings throughout the day.

Steps you can take to prepare for severe weather in your area.

Steps you can take to prepare for severe weather in your area. (Fox News)

“A tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form during the next several hours,” the NWS said. “If a tornado warning is issued for your area, move to a place of safety, ideally in a basement or interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building.”

After the threat on Monday, the risk for severe storms shifts toward the eastern Plains and Mississippi River Valley by Tuesday, according to Dean.

There have been numerous severe weather reports over weekend across the Southern Plains.

There have been numerous severe weather reports over weekend across the Southern Plains. (Fox News)

Summer-like temperatures across the Northeast may also spark some action.

“Fueled by above-average temperatures, a few thunderstorms across the Northeast and New England may also reach severe limits this afternoon and evening, with the primary threats there being damaging winds and hail,” Dean said.

Source: Fox News National

One person is dead and two more were injured after an explosion decimated a home in Jeffersonville, Indiana, early on Sunday morning.

Just before 5 a.m., a blast destroyed the home and sent debris flying across the Capitol Hills neighborhood, setting a car on fire and damaging about 20 surrounding homes, the Courier-Journal reports.

Neighbors said that they knew a man and woman lived at the home, but were not clear on who the third victim might be. All three injured people were taken to the University of Louisville Hospital, where one individual was pronounced dead and the other two are still being treated. The names have not yet been released and their conditions are not known, according to Sgt. Jason Ames, a Jeffersonville Fire Department spokesman.

Neighbor William Short said he was awakened by the sound of the explosion, and saw what looked like fireworks coming from the house.

PULASKI SKYWAY REMAINS SHUT DOWN AFTER CHEMICAL PLANT FIRE NEAR NEW YORK CITY

TEXAS CHEMICAL FIRE KILLS 1 WORKER, INJURES 2 AT HOUSTON-AREA CHEMICAL PLANT

After the first blast, he reported hearing a second boom, which shattered his windows.

“You don’t never think you’re going to wake up and see your neighbor’s house completely gone,” he said.

At least five of the houses affected by the blast are considered to be unlivable now, according to local reports.

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Authorities are now working to determine what may have caused the blast.

Source: Fox News National

California authorities said Wednesday that power lines owned and operated by the Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. (PG&E) caused the state’s most destructive wildfire ever – it killed 85 and nearly destroyed an entire city.

Lines owned by the San Francisco-based utility sparked the deadly, fast-moving Camp Fire on Nov. 8 in the Pulga area of Butte County, the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said in a news release. In total, the blaze burned 153,336 acres and destroyed in excess of 18,000 structures.

“The tinder dry vegetation and Red Flag conditions consisting of strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures promoted this fire and caused extreme rates of spread, rapidly burning into Pulga to the east and west into Concow, Paradise, Magalia and the outskirts of east Chico,” the agency said.

CALIFORNIA’S 5 DEADLIEST WILDFIRES ON RECORD

The city of Paradise – population 27,000 — was nearly wiped out as residents evacuated and their homes and vehicles were engulfed in flames. Investigators also found a second nearby ignition site involving power lines owned by PG&E and vegetation that sparked another fire.

“This fire was consumed by the original fire which started earlier near Pulga,” Cal Fire said.

Paradise Mayor Jody Jones told The Associated Press she was not surprised that PG&E lines had sparked the blaze.

“It’s nice to have a definite answer,” Jones said, adding that she hopes the conclusion will help her city’s legal case against the utility.

WHAT MAKES A CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE THE WORST? DEATHS AND SIZE

This Dec. 3 photo shows homes leveled by the Camp Fire line the Ridgewood Mobile Home Park retirement community in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

This Dec. 3 photo shows homes leveled by the Camp Fire line the Ridgewood Mobile Home Park retirement community in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

PG&E did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on  Wednesday.

The utility filed for bankruptcy protection in January, facing lawsuits in the billions of dollars related to wildfires in 2017 and 2018. It estimated its total liability for the Paradise fire and 2017 wildfires could top $30 billion.

The company has requested a November extension to continue its reorganization plan.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a Wednesday filing that the extension should not be granted. The request signals a lack of urgent focus on improving safety, he said.

This Nov. 8 photo shows Nurse Cassie Lerossignol hugging a co-worker as the Feather River Hospital burns, victim of the Camp Fire raging in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

This Nov. 8 photo shows Nurse Cassie Lerossignol hugging a co-worker as the Feather River Hospital burns, victim of the Camp Fire raging in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

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Paradise officials sued PG&E in January, alleging it halted a plan to de-energize its power lines as a precaution against starting a fire despite windy conditions.

The utility was cleared in the 2017 Tubbs wildfire in Northern California wine country that killed 22 and destroyed thousands of homes. A private electrical system was determined to have started that blaze.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Source: Fox News National

Six people killed in a two-plane collision in Alaska Monday have been identified by Alaska police.

Ten others were injured in the crash involving two floatplanes carrying Princess Cruise passengers taking part in shore excursions near Ketchikan, in southeast Alaska.

INJURED SNOWBOARDER, CLIMBING PARTNER RESCUED AFTER FOUR-DAY ORDEAL ON DENALI

One of the victims was initially reported missing.

The victims were identified as:

  • Pilot Randy Sullivan, 46, from Ketchikan, Alaska;
  • Simon Bodie, 56, from Tempe, New South Wales, Australia;
  • Cassandra Webb, 62, from Saint Louis, Missouri;
  • Ryan Wilk, 39, from Utah;
  • Louis Botha, 46, from San Diego, California;
  • Elsa Wilk, 37, from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

“We are deeply saddened to report this news and our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives and the families of those impacted by today’s accident,” Princess Cruises said in a statement Monday. “Princess Cruises is extending its full support to traveling companions of the guests involved.”

The pilot and all four passengers in a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver were killed while one passenger was killed and 10 injured in a de Havilland Otter DHC-3.

The Princess Cruise is continuing on its scheduled tour, KTUU in Anchorage reported.

Passenger Jan Franks told KTUU she planned to do a scheduled helicopter tour even though some passengers had canceled their plans. “It’s just a group of 3,200 people being so grateful they weren’t involved [in the crash],” she said, “and feeling so sad for those people and their families and friends.”

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The NTSB and FAA are investigating the cause of the crash.

Source: Fox News National

Heavy rains from a storm system sparked flash flooding that turned deadly across portions of the Southeast on Sunday and may have also contributed to a freight train derailment.

Flash flood warnings were posted in New Orleans and surrounding areas until 1 p.m. on Sunday as strong storms moved through the area. The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said there was still the risk of “excessive rainfall from parts of the Central Gulf Coast to the Central Appalachians/Mid-Atlantic.”

“Showers and thunderstorms will linger along the Eastern Gulf Coast and parts of Florida through Tuesday morning,” the NWS said. “Rain will also develop over parts of the Lower Great Lakes/Ohio Valley into the Northern mid-Atlantic and parts of the Northeast.”

STORMS DAMAGE ARKANSAS APARTMENTS, LEAVE DAMAGE IN SOUTH

Heavy rain over the past couple of the days has contributed to rising river levels in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Torrential rains in Louisiana brought such a rapid rise on the river that the Army Corps of Engineers is opening the Bonnet Carre Spillway four days earlier than planned. Spokesman Ricky Boyett says the river rose six inches in 24 hours.

Torrential rains in Louisiana brought such a rapid rise on the river that the Army Corps of Engineers is opening the Bonnet Carre Spillway four days earlier than planned. Spokesman Ricky Boyett says the river rose six inches in 24 hours. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

“We’ve had so much rain this week, especially areas of Kansas, parts of Oklahoma, and then right here across areas of the Southeast, Texas, much of Louisiana, Mississippi; it’s caused incredible flooding,” Fox News Chief Meteorologist Rick Reichmuth said on “FOX & friends.”

In Pearl River County, Miss., emergency officials told FOX8 that heavy rains washed out roads and caused the deaths of two people in separate traffic accidents.

Workers open bays of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, to divert rising water from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain, upriver from New Orleans, in Norco, La., Friday, May 10, 2019.

Workers open bays of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, to divert rising water from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain, upriver from New Orleans, in Norco, La., Friday, May 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The floodwaters also caused at least two bridges to wash out in the county, according to officials.

“It’s been a mess today,” Dudley Russ with the Pearl River County road department told FOX8.

HOUSTON RAIN, FLOODWATERS PROMPT RESCUES AS HUNDREDS LEFT STRANDED

Flooding caused the Mississippi Highway Patrol to close part of Highway 49 in Stone County Sunday morning. The flooding may also have contributed to the derailment of a freight train near Lumberton a little after 7 a.m. Saturday.

The derailment, in Pearl River County, happened as the train traveled from Birmingham, Ala., to New Orleans, Norfolk Southern spokeswoman Rachel McDonnell Bradshaw told the Associated Press. Three of the cars were carrying steel and 25 were empty, Bradshaw said. She said no hazardous materials were involved and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the derailment is under investigation, but WLOX-TV quoted authorities as saying the roads near the derailment were flooded over.

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Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said Sunday on Twitter that he had signed a state of emergency declaration for all areas affected by the storms.

The storms also caused power outages. As of about 9:40 a.m., several thousand Entergy customers were without power across Orleans, Jefferson, St. Charles and East Baton Rouge parishes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

Emergency responders in Maryland say they have recovered the bodies of two men who were aboard a helicopter that plunged into the Chesapeake Bay on Saturday evening, according to a report.

The dead men were identified as pilot Charles Knight, 38, of Mount Airy, Md., and passenger Matt Clark, 36, of Pasadena, Md.

Wreckage of the helicopter was found about 6 p.m. “in about 55 feet of water,” Capt. Brian Albert of the Maryland Natural Resources Police said in a statement, ABC News reported.

VENEZUELAN MILITARY HELICOPTER CRASHES, 7 OFFICERS KILLED

The U.S. Coast Guard said it received a call about the crash about 12:30 p.m. and began searching for the aircraft, FOX 5 of Washington, D.C., reported.

Authorities told FOX 5 that the Guinbal Cabri G2GL helicopter had taken off from Tipton Airport near Fort Meade and crashed southeast of Bloody Point, about 1 mile south of Kent Island.

County Emergency Services Department Assistant Chief Scott Wheatley said debris from the wreck dotted the water.

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Trevor Hardman was fishing for rockfish with his 15-year-old son and his friend when he heard another boater report the crash over marine VHF radio. When he arrived at the site about a mile away, “there was nothing but pieces everywhere and jet fuel,” Hardman, a Prince George’s County firefighter, told the Baltimore Sun.

Hardman said he pulled a bag out of the water that contained a flight log and a maintenance record for the Cabri G2 helicopter, made by the French company Guimbal. He said he gave the records to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Source: Fox News National

One of the four employees hospitalized after Friday night’s plant explosion in northern Illinois has died, authorities said Saturday.

That brought the death toll to two in the blast at the AB Specialty Silicones plant in Waukegan, north of Chicago, with two other employees feared dead, according to reports.

Three other employees were injured in the explosion, the cause of which remains under investigation.

The employee who died in a hospital at 11:50 a.m. Saturday was identified as Allen Stevens, 29, of Salem, Wis., the Lake County News-Sun reported, citing information from the Cook County, Ill., medical examiner’s office.

WORKER FOUND DEAD AFTER ILLINOIS PLANT EXPLOSION; 2 OTHERS BELIEVED DEAD AS RESCUERS SUSPEND SEARCH

None of the other employees has been identified.

Emergency personnel work at the scene of an explosion at AB Specialty Silicones on Sunset Ave. and Northwestern Ave. on the border between Gurnee, Ill., and Waukegan on Saturday, May 4, 2019. The explosion happened Friday night. (Associated Press)

Emergency personnel work at the scene of an explosion at AB Specialty Silicones on Sunset Ave. and Northwestern Ave. on the border between Gurnee, Ill., and Waukegan on Saturday, May 4, 2019. The explosion happened Friday night. (Associated Press)

On Saturday, plant general manager Mac Penman issued a statement: “We are shocked and heartbroken by the tragedy that occurred in our plant last night.”

The remains of the plant “looked like a wreckage scene from an apocalyptic movie,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported, adding that debris had scattered far from the site.

More than 100 emergency responders were working at the site, where the explosion had damaged at least five other buildings, the Sun-Times reported.

Nearby residents told local media outlets they were startled by the blast.

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“The feeling was kind of indescribable,” resident Josette Jones told the Sun-Times. “The house was moving and the windows were rattling and all of a sudden the lights were going off and on.”

Lake County Coroner Howard Cooper said investigators halted their search for the missing employees because of concerns about the stability of the plant, which was heavily damaged, the newspaper reported.

Investigators were expected to continue their search Sunday, the report said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Source: Fox News National

A massive, ground-shaking explosion took place in north of Chicago on Friday night, prompting emergency response personnel to advise the public to stay away from the area.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries following the blast, which occurred around 9 p.m. local time in the Gurnee and Waukegan area, roughly 45 miles north of Chicago, near an intersection where an emissions testing facility is located.

A witness told Chicago’s WLS-TV that she “heard a large boom” and saw “debris and sparks flying everywhere.” As she drove closer, she saw a building “engulfed in flames” and heard another “large boom.”

BUILDING FIRE, EXPLOSION KILLS AT LEAST ONE AND INJURES MORE THAN A DOZEN IN NORTH CAROLINA

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office urged everyone to stay out of the area to allow first-responders to conduct operations.

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“We are aware of a very loud explosion sound and ground shaking in the Gurnee area. We are working to determine the cause,” the sheriff’s office tweeted.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Source: Fox News National

A Boeing 737 jet arriving from Guantanamo Bay reportedly carrying 142 passengers and crew members went off the runway into the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday evening.

Fire crews respond to an emergency involving a commercial jet in Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday night. (WFOX-TV Jacksonville)

Fire crews respond to an emergency involving a commercial jet in Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday night. (WFOX-TV Jacksonville)

A “massive rescue response” was underway at the scene but there were no reported fatalities, Jacksonville’s WJXT-TV reported.

“Every person is alive and accounted for,” the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Twitter message.

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Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry confirmed the initial details and said fire and rescue crews were at the scene.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Source: Fox News National


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