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The WOKV Hurricane Guide

Talking The Tropics with Mike

The Latest Hurricane Headlines

  • Forecasters say Gert, the second hurricane of the season in the Atlantic Ocean, has begun its turn toward the northeast. The National Hurricane Center says Gert was about 420 miles (675 kilometers) west of Bermuda mid-day Monday and had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph). The storm was moving north-northeast at 10 mph (17 kph). No coastal watches or warnings are in effect. The weather advisory says a gradual turn toward the northeast with an increase in forward speed is expected through the next couple of days. Swells generated by Gert will spread northward along the East coast of the United States from North Carolina northward to New York. Swells also are expected to affect Bermuda. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
  • Forecasters say Gert has strengthened to become the second hurricane of the season in the Atlantic Ocean. The National Hurricane Center says Gert was about 445 miles (720 kilometers) west of Bermuda late Monday and had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph). The storm was moving north at 8 mph (13 kph). Gert is expected to strengthen in the next 48 hours. The forecast calls for it to turn toward the northeast and increase its forward speed Tuesday night. Swells generated by Gert will begin to affect portions of Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast — from North Carolina to New York — over the next couple of days. No coastal watches or warnings are in effect, but the hurricane center says these swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
  • With debris from last weekend's flash flood still piled up on sidewalks and their city under a state of emergency, New Orleans residents looked ahead warily on Friday to the prospect of more rain to tax the city's malfunctioning pump system. The city scrambled to repair fire-damaged equipment at a power plant and shore up its drainage system less than a week after a flash flood from torrential rain overwhelmed the city's pumping system and inundated many neighborhoods. Annie Hutchins says she's 'traumatized' every time she sees clouds in the sky since an Aug. 5 flood. She had to walk through knee-high water to get to her house in the Treme neighborhood. 'It's a little bit unnerving that we were told everything was working, and the next day the story was a little bit different, and then the next day the story was a lot different,' she said. 'I'm the kind of person that trusts anyone until they prove otherwise. So, I don't feel like I have a lot of reason to trust what I'm being told anymore.' A control panel on one of two working turbines had been fixed by Friday morning, but the system remains well below full power, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said at a morning news conference. The turbine powers some of the city's pumps. 'We remain at risk until additional turbines are back up,' Landrieu said, adding that he hopes that will happen by the end of the month. Still, he said, 'Panic is not where we need to be right now.' He said the latest to go offline will be powered up over 24 hours. Meanwhile, Landrieu said, 26 generators have been ordered and will remain through hurricane season. He also said a location was being set up Friday for residents to get sandbags should they want to take the extra precaution of sandbagging their homes. Schools closed for the week, and the mayor urged residents to park their cars on high ground. Gov. John Bel Edwards described his emergency declaration Thursday as a precautionary measure. The National Weather Service forecast a 60 percent chance of rain Friday, primarily during the late morning and afternoon, with a chance that heavy rainfall could lead to more flooding. The city's infrastructure had been crumbling for years before the devastation unleashed in 2005 by levee breaches in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. The federal government earmarked billions of dollars for repairs and upgrades after the hurricane, but the problems have persisted. Streets are pockmarked with potholes and sinkholes. The city's water system has been plagued by leaks from broken pipes and power outages leading to boil water advisories. New Orleans' municipal pumping system is supposed to move water out of the low-lying city. Having the system crippled in August, the middle of hurricane season, could not come at a worse time for New Orleans. But officials feared that even a common thunderstorm would test the system's reduced capacity. 'With great prayer and a lot of hard work, hopefully we'll be OK,' the mayor said. Earlier this week, city officials and spokespeople had said repeatedly that all 24 pumping stations were working at full capacity. But the system failed to keep up with a storm that dropped 9.4 inches (24 centimeters) of rain in three hours. While that was considerably more than the system is designed for, even when everything is working, it turned out the system was malfunctioning. City Council members were then told that pumping stations in two of the hardest-hit areas went down to half to two-thirds capacity Saturday, news outlets reported. 'It is unacceptable that the public was not only uninformed, but misinformed as to our drainage system functionality during the flood,' Council Member LaToya Cantrell said in a statement. Cedric Grant, one of the mayor's top deputies and head of the Sewerage & Water Board, told the City Council on Tuesday that he would retire at the end of hurricane season, which lasts through November. Public Works Director Mark Jernigan submitted his resignation shortly after the council meeting, when he was asked whether his agency had done enough to clean the catch basins that feed the drainage system. ___ Associated Press writer Michael Kunzelman reported from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Know Your Options

Knowledge can be key to limiting the damage to your personal belongings, or the harm to you and your family when facing tropical weather events.  Here are links separated by county to help you plan for the best possible outcome. DUVAL COUNTY  Flood Map/Flood Zones Evacuation Zones Shelters EOC Info CLAY COUNTY Flood Map/Flood Zones Evacuation Zones Shelters EOC Info ST. JOHNS COUNTY Flood Map/Flood Zones Evacuation Zones Shelters EOC Info NASSAU COUNTY Flood Map/Flood Zones Evacuation Zones Shelters EOC Info BAKER COUNTY Flood Map/Flood Zones Evacuation Zones Shelters EOC Info

The Latest News Headlines

  • Ten sailors are missing and five are injured after a U.S. Navy destroyer collided with an oil and chemical tanker early Monday. >> Read more trending news The USS John S. McCain collided with the 'Alnic MC' at 6:24 a.m. in the Strait of Malacca off the coast of Singapore in the Pacific Ocean, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet. The USS John S. McCain sustained damage to its left rear side. The Navy said the ship has significant hull damage, and the crew berths, machinery and communications rooms were flooded, according to The Associated Press. Osprey aircraft and Seahawk helicopters from the USS America are helping with search and rescue efforts, officials said. Tug boats and coast guard vessels are also helping. The ship is named for both McCain Sr. and Jr. who served in the Navy. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Benjamin Whitten, 33, and his live-in girlfriend Jeryn Johnson, 25, are charged with torture and child abuse after authorities said Whitten’s 5-year-old son was discovered with severe injuries and living in filth among 15 animals, reports KGTV. >> Watch the news report here The police and fire departments in Murrieta, California, reportedly discovered the boy when they responded to a call for medical aid. The boy was airlifted to a San Diego County hospital, where he currently remains in “grave condition.” The injuries, which police said were caused by Whitten and Johnson, were unspecified beyond this. >> On Rare.us: YouTube parent-pranksters who lost custody of their children are now facing jail time KGTV reported that the home was said to be in “extremely unsanitary” conditions. Animal control removed “11 dogs, four cats and two fish.” “I didn’t even know there was a child who lived in the house,” neighbor Kristine Hendrickson told KCAL. “Did not know. We’ve lived here for 21 years.” >> Read more trending news The boy reportedly hadn’t been seen since Christmas of last year.
  • If you have not gotten a pair of glasses to view Monday’s solar eclipse, you are not alone.Retail stores and online outlets across the country have reported that supplies are low or nonexistent in the hours before the 2017 solar eclipse.If you haven’t secured a pair, there are a few things you can do to safely watch the eclipse.Here are some tips. Is there any way to still get glasses?Some vendors may have a few pairs left, but they are going fast. Click here to find the American Astronomical Society’s list of approved glasses sellers. Many libraries are hosting events. Click here to see an updated list from NASA. The libraries will have glasses for the event. Scientific societies are holding viewing events as well, and they will likely have some glasses to give out.What if I don’t have glasses?You do not have to have glasses to watch an eclipse. Read what NASA says about it:“The safest and most inexpensive method of viewing an eclipse is by projection, in which a pinhole or small opening is used to cast the image of the sun on a screen placed a half-meter or more beyond the opening. Projected images of the sun may even be seen on the ground in the small openings created by interlacing fingers, or in the dappled sunlight beneath a leafy tree. Binoculars can also be used to project a magnified image of the sun on a white card, but you must avoid the temptation of using these instruments for direct viewing.”For those who missed school the day astrophysics was taught, here’s what that means:You can take something as common as a shoe box to make a device that will let you watch the eclipse without looking directly at the sun; you can actually use your fingers to view the eclipse; you can stand underneath a tree and see a cool display that reflects through the leaves; you can use binoculars to project the sun’s image on a white card, but do not look at the sun with them. Don’t ever.So what if you can’t get a pair of glasses?If you can’t get glasses for the cosmic block party, start gathering some common supplies.From NASA, here’s how to make a pinhole viewer. You can also make a pinhole camera. Click here to see how to make the device that lets light pass through a hole and project an image of the sun onto a light surface. Can I look at the sun at any time during the eclipse?You can look at the sun during the eclipse while wearing certified eclipse glasses, welding glass (level 14) or other filters. You can look at the sun without the protection ONLY during the two minutes or so when the moon completely blocks out the sun. Only look at the sun without glasses if you live in the area of totality – a narrow strip of the country where the sun will be completely blocked out.For the rest in the area where the sun is only partially blocked out, keep the glasses on. Do not look at the partially blocked sun without them.So what if I do look at the sun without protection?You could, and likely will, damage your retina, leading to vision damage.What if I want to see it, but not go out to look at it?No problem, all the major networks, and cable channels will be carrying the eclipse live. ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, Fox and other cable outlets have plans to broadcast the progress of the eclipse across the country.NASA will livestream the eclipse starting at 1 p.m. ET. NASA plans views from balloons, satellites, and telescopes. What about taking a photo? Will it damage my iPhone?The eclipse won't damage your phone's camera, according to c/net. C/net’s post explains how to use your iPhone or an Android phone to capture the eclipse.
  • After two Jacksonville officers were shot on the Westside, support has been flooding social media. FULL STORY: Two JSO officers shot Government officials: Law enforcement:
  • The Stone Mountain Memorial Association this week denied a Ku Klux Klan request to burn a cross at the park in Dekalb County, Georgia, citing the trouble at a “pro-white” rally last year. >> Read more trending news Joey Hobbs, a Dublin man with the Sacred Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, wanted to hold a “lighting” ceremony on Oct. 21 with 20 participants, according to the application. This would have been to commemorate the KKK’s 1915 revival, which began with a flaming cross atop Stone Mountain on the evening of Thanksgiving. “We will light our cross and 20 minutes later we will be gone,” wrote Hobbs, who couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, in an application dated May 26. It wasn’t immediately clear if Hobbs holds a formal position with the group. >> Related: George H.W., George W. Bush condemn ‘racial bigotry’ in Charlottesville statement “We don’t want any of these groups at the park, quite frankly,” John Bankhead, spokesman for the association said Wednesday, referring to white nationalists groups and the KKK. “This is a family-oriented park.”  But since it’s a public park, the association created a permit process to consider each application individually. In a statement, the memorial group, which oversees the park, said it “condemns the beliefs and actions of the Ku Klux Klan and believes the denial of this Public Assembly request is in the best interest of all parties.” >> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in CharlottesvilleWriting to deny Hobbs, CEO Bill Stephens cited the trouble at the “Rock Stone Mountain” rally of April 23, 2016. The park had to close that day as white power revelers, including KKK members, clashed with counter-protesters. Stephens said an event like Hobbs’ would require public safety resources beyond what park police could provide, and thus, would put guests, employees and public safety workers in danger.  Besides creating a potentially-dangerous scene, the cross-burning would’ve also been an act of intimidation, Bankhead said. >> Related: University of Florida denies request for white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak “I think anybody who knows about cross burning knows why it’s used,” Bankhead said, recalling the KKK’s track record of setting crosses on fire to intimidate African Americans. “We’re just not going to allow that.” Georgia's terroristic threats and acts statute also specifically bars the practice when it’s done with the intent to “terrorize.” The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that states can ban cross-burning, though it warned that the intent to intimidate must be proven in each case. Whatever Hobbs’ intent, the Stone Mountain Memorial Association CEO said the event would violate its ordinances against disruptions to the park and actions that present a “clear and present danger.”

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