Archive | August 8, 2014

Severe flash flooding traps drivers, cuts off power in Cambridgeshire, UK

Cars trapped in flooding near the Bar Hill roundabout

Torrential rain in Cambridgeshire caused a riverbank to collapse, left 856 homes without power, trapped drivers and closed two supermarkets.

The weather also hit Norfolk and Lincolnshire, where homes were evacuated and an air display cancelled.

BBC Weather said 50mm of rain fell in Cambridgeshire in an hour, damaging the banks of the River Nene in March.

A Tesco shopper said water was “pouring through the ceiling near the fresh fish counter”.

‘Engines cutting out’

Richard Mayer, 32, became trapped in his car at Bar Hill while he was visiting to buy a home in the area.

Speaking from the vehicle he said: “Water is lapping over the kerb now. People can walk through it, but it’s far more than you’d want to drive through.

“I’m sitting in my car on the pavement in order to maintain some height just down from the Bar Hill roundabout near Tesco.

“There are cars everywhere and the flooding is getting worse as people are trying to drive through it, but their engines are cutting out which is causing them to block the road.”

A428 closed at Hardwick flyover
Drivers were being advised to avoid the A428 westbound between Hardwick and Dry Drayton, which is blocked due to flooding
Radar map
More than 50mm of rain fell in Cambridgeshire in an hour confirmed BBC Weather

Fire service group commander Ryan Stacey said: “We have seven crews currently in the March, Doddington and Wisbech St Mary areas, assisting with evacuating residents, salvaging and pumping water out of homes.

“The exact number of properties affected cannot be confirmed, but we understand that we are assisting currently at least 60 properties.”

He warned: “Don’t try to drive through standing water – as well as the water damaging your car, there may be hazards under the water you can’t see.”

A rest centre was opened in St John the Evangelist Parish Hall in Queens Street, March.

There have also been reports of flash flooding in west Norfolk.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said officers have been dealing with about 40 flood-related calls with ongoing incidents in Swaffham, Necton, Outwell and Downham Market.

Subsidence along the bank of the River Nene in March
The heavy rain caused subsidence on parts of the riverbank in March and flooding in The Ship Inn cellar

Police in Cambridgeshire urged people to avoid driving on the county’s roads unless absolutely necessary due to the “deluge of rain currently being experienced”.

Ch Insp Nick Night said: “We are assisting partner agencies including the Highways Agency, Fire and Rescue Service, Fenland District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council with road closures, evacuating residents and pulling vehicles out of flood water.

“We do not have a stock of sandbags, so please do not call 999 requesting any.”

The UK Power Network said it had been working to restore power to homes and about 400 homes were still without power at about 21:00 BST on Friday.

Flooding at Poplar Close in March
Bungalows in Poplar Close in March in Cambridgeshire were flooded

Severe snow storm brings chaos to parts of New Zealand

Severe Weather Alert

Widespread snow to low levels in the south, on top of copious rain, is making conditions miserable for farmers and stock, especially dairy farmers who have started calving.
Snow and southerly winds buffeted Otago and Southland through Thursday night and Friday, causing schools to close as driving conditions on some roads became horrendous.

After the worst of the southern snow storm had passed, about 75 households were still without electricity, though PowerNet said 1000 households and businesses in Southland and much of eastern Otago had experienced power cuts during the two days of the storm.

It said they were caused by lightning, gale force winds and air-borne debris, as well as snow bringing down lines.

Another power company Delta, which runs lines in Dunedin and Central Otago, said 100 customers lost power in Roxburgh on Thursday night, but the fault was fixed by 10 o’clock on Friday morning.

Federated Farmers’s Southland branch president, Russell MacPherson, said dairy farmers were moving calves indoors to keep them warm and dry.

Mr MacPherson said most sheep farmers were escaping the worst impact, as lambing season had not started.

And Federated Farmers Otago president, Stephen Korteweg, who’s in South Otago, said that with lambing still to get underway, the sleety snow which fell there on Friday was a nuisance for farmers at this time of year.

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“Getting around on the roads would be one of the bigger problems if they’ve got properties spread out a bit, or maybe getting vets in,” said Mr Korteweg.

“It’s very wet under foot at the moment and finding dry places to put stock without too much damage to paddocks … it’s that time of the year again.”

He said the snow and cold conditions put more stress on cows when they had just calved and had started milking.

“You tend to get more metabolic problems when animals are under stress, so it will be a busier time than it needed to be now with the impact of the weather.”

Mr Korteweg said lambing for most farmers in lowland Otago was still a fortnight away.

Mr McPherson, said the problems were similar in Southland – he woke up to several centimetres of snow in the Winton area on Friday morning and it snowed through the day.

“The sheep farmers are not lambing, so ewes are still on their winter rotation,” he said. “There might be the odd lamb born, some farmers might be lambing early”.

Cows were calving and there had been some miserable days and nights for calves and cows.

“There will probably be the odd cow that’s gone down because of milk fever and metabolic issues this morning, because of the cold, but farmers have that in hand and they can deal with that quite easily,” Mr McPherson said.

It had been quite a wet month, with 70 millilitres falling in just seven days, so farmers were probably getting sick of the wetness and would love to see some sunshine, he said.

Snow and ice is hindering livestock transport.

Plane makes a terrifying emergency landing as plane’s engine fails over the Atlantic Sea

Plane Emergency Landing

Passengers have told how their flight on a Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” plane ended up turning into a nightmare.

There were 288 travelers on board the Thomson Airways flight from the Dominican Republic to Manchester, UK, when it suffered an engine problem over the Atlantic.

British holiday-makers Gary Barton and his wife, Caroline, who were traveling with their daughter, said they noticed a change in the engine noise about an hour-and-a-half into the trip. They claim the plane then began to drop.

“We could see on our screens that our altitude was dropping about 500 feet (152 meters) every minute,” Mrs. Barton told the Manchester Evening News. “The captain said he had to fly lower because he only had one engine. It looked like we were just dropping into the Atlantic.”

The captain had been forced to shut the engine down, and needed to make an emergency landing.

The plane then flew for four hours at a low altitude before landing at a remote military airport in the Azores, Portugal.

“It was a really frightening landing. Everyone was on edge — we were told to expect a bumpy landing because they had to use double thrust on one engine and we could see all the fire engines on the ground.

“It was extremely tense on that plane. Our daughter was shaking — she was saying, ‘What if we don’t make it?’”

They were then surrounded by armed guards and the plane sat on the runway for five hours before they were allowed out.

They were delayed for a total of more than 11 hours as they waited for a replacement plane.

The family said they will never step on a 787 Dreamliner again.

“They call it the Dreamliner but it was more like a nightmare,” Mr. Barton said.

A Thomson Airways spokeswoman told the UK’s Mirror that the plane experienced a technical issue and was diverted as a precaution.

The passengers will be given $181 to cover costs incurred because of the delay.

“The safety of our customers and crew is of paramount importance and we would like to apologize for the delay experienced,” the spokeswoman said. has contacted the airline for further comment.

The much-anticipated, high-tech Dreamliner, which made its first test flight in 2009, has been plagued with problems including electrical issues on United Airlines and Qatar Airways planes in 2012 and a battery fire on a Japan Airlines jet in 2013. ANA Airlines was then hit with two problems — a cracked window on one plane and a smoke alert on another, which forced the temporary grounding of the global Dreamliner fleet in 2013. That was followed by the discovery of hairline cracks in the wings of the aircraft this year, due to a manufacturing defect.

Plane Crashes After Landing at Wyoming Area Airport, USA

Plane Crashes After Landing at Wyoming Area Airport

Delaware State Police are investigating a single engine plane that crashed after landing at Jenkins Airport west of Wyoming Friday morning.

Troopers say the crash happened at about 7:10 a.m., when a 62-year-old male pilot from New Jersey made a planned landing on the grassy runway, but the plane continued across Westville Road, stopping in an empty yard.  The pilot and his 43-year-old male passenger were uninjured.

State Police and the FAA are investigating to determine the cause of the crash.


Subject To Change

Depth: 66 km

Distances: 49km (30mi) NW of Port-Olry, Vanuatu
97km (60mi) NNW of Luganville, Vanuatu
369km (229mi) NNW of Port-Vila, Vanuatu
680km (423mi) N of We, New Caledonia
812km (505mi) N of Paita, New Caledonia

Global view


Subject To Change

Depth: 128 km

Distances: 312 km SE of Davao, Philippines / pop: 1,212,504 / local time: 22:03:48.3 2014-08-08
261 km SE of Mati, Philippines / pop: 105,908 / local time: 22:03:48.3 2014-08-08
212 km SE of Pondaguitan, Philippines / pop: 2,143 / local time: 22:03:48.3 2014-08-08

Global viewRegional view


Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 389 km S of Athens, Greece / pop: 729,137 / local time: 11:20:45.6 2014-08-08
89 km S of Irákleion, Greece / pop: 137,154 / local time: 11:20:45.6 2014-08-08
54 km S of Tympáki, Greece / pop: 4,923 / local time: 11:20:45.6 2014-08-08

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Severe flash flooding devastates Douglas County, USA

Severe Weather Alert

Families in Douglas County are digging out again after a flash flood Wednesday night left a wake of damage and debris. “It sounded like a freight train was coming down the middle of the canyon,” explains Matt Beaty, who lives along Pine Nut Creek. “I came outside, or I attempted to come outside, and as I got into the front room we were standing in 4 to 6 inches of mud.”

The Beaty family worked furiously to keep the mud from coming in but it was a losing battle. It saturated their carpet and left marks on the walls. Kristina Beaty called for help, but flood waters cut off roads to their home and they were forced to shelter in place.

Families in Douglas County are digging out again after a flash flood Wednesday night left behind a wake of damage and debris.

This morning the family was shocked to see the result of the flash flood. Their truck had been pushed 50 feet coming to rest against a building. Flood waters even ripped the bumper off their car. Several chickens were washed downstream, and their pens were piled up with the debris wrapped around nearby trees. Despite the damage, the Beaty family say they are grateful everyone is safe.

The Douglas County Sherrif’s Office is asking the public to avoid the Fish Springs area while clean-up continues. Residents in the flood zone reminded to keep an eye out for dangerous items, like propane tanks that may have been picked up and moved by the rushing water. For a complete list of road closures and restrictions, as well as information on well safety, please click on the link to the right.

MASSIVE DIP SPIKES ON THE MAGNETOSPHERE @ APPROX 00:45, 01:00, 01:45, 02:30, 03:00 hrs UTC


***BE ALERT***

Magnetogram 08.08.14  06.58 hrs UTC


Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 142 km W of Santiago, Chile / pop: 4,837,295 / local time: 00:10:14.9 2014-08-08
87 km SW of Valparaíso, Chile / pop: 282,448 / local time: 00:10:14.9 2014-08-08
50 km W of San Antonio, Chile / pop: 85,651 / local time: 00:10:14.9 2014-08-08

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