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Balkans battling worst flooding in almost 120 years

It's being called one of the worst natural disasters in Serbia and Bosnia in more than a century.

"The floods were caused by record rainfall, the heaviest deluge to hit the Balkans in almost 120 years. Both countries have appealed for international help and warn the flooding will likely get worse." (Via CBC)

Local officials have refused to release an official death toll until the devastating floodwaters have receded and authorities have had time to see the extent of the damage. (Via YouTube / dzohusafetw)

But RT reports at least 20 people have died and thousands have evacuated their homes since record-breaking rainfall began wreaking havoc on the area this week.

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Both Serbia and Bosnia have reportedly declared a state of emergency. Al Jazeera quotes Serbia's prime minister as saying, "Serbia has never seen such a horrible natural catastrophe."

But according to the BBC, getting rescue crews and supplies to affected areas is near impossible — overflowing rivers have drowned towns and villages, and landslides have buried houses and other buildings.

"When we saw the first two houses start to slide down, when the place started disappearing, you know, we could do nothing but cry. This morning, my house, everything, it's all gone." ​(Via BBC)

And it doesn't look like the situation will let up any time soon — rain fell steadily through Saturday, and even more rainfall was in the forecast for Sunday.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • UPDATE Friday morning:  Logan Mott’s mother has posted a heartfelt message on Facebook, pleading for a safe return of her 15-year-old son and his grandmother, Kristina French.  UPDATE 11/23/17 5:40 PM: The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says there’s no new information to release. ORIGINAL STORY: A missing child alert has been issued for 15-year-old Logan Mott out of Neptune Beach.  The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Jacksonville Police believe Logan is in the company of his grandmother, 53-year-old Kristina French.  The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says firearms are missing from a home they are associated with. Our partners at Action News Jax spoke with Logan’s mother who says the home that had the firearms looked like it had been ransacked.  The two are believed to traveling in a 2015 silver Dodge Dart with Florida tag D-L-L-T-4-2.  JSO says with the firearms missing, you should not approach them if you see them. You are asked to call 911. This is a developing story, check back for more updates. 
  • If you need a Christmas tree you might want to head over to Hendricks Avenue Elementary School. Kick off your holiday shopping by paying a visit to their Christmas lot which officially opened today.  The School’s Ambassador Program which includes the Safety Patrol and Leaders of Tomorrow are raising money for their end of the year trip.  You will be able to visit the lot to buy trees or wreaths over the next three weeks, proceeds will benefit the program. If you aren’t looking for a tree or a wreath, there will also be a donation jar.  Prices of the trees will depend on the size of the tree and based on the pricing structure given to the group by the tree farm. 
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  • We're still damp this morning, with some mist and fog early.  Gradually the rain is expected to end and CBS 47/Fox 30 Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says skies will clear.   Thursday saw a tremendous amount of rain.  “Unofficial reports of as much as 6’’ in the St. Augustine area, pretty widespread rainfall of 2-5’’ for parts of Clay and St. Johns County and even into southeastern Duval County”, Buresh said.  Mike says we'll gradually see skies clear through the day and by tonight.   That sets up a really nice, dry weekend with temps in the low 70's. LISTEN:  Mike Buresh Weather Podcast
  • Whether you’re leaving Jacksonville or coming back home, expect to see more Florida Highway Patrol troopers on your busy roads this weekend.  The Thanksgiving holiday is a peak travel period for families nationwide. During this time last year, troopers and other law enforcement agencies state-wide worked more than 10,000 crashes. All sworn FHP personnel, including Auxiliary, and Reserve troopers will patrol major roads as the Thanksgiving holiday weekend comes to a close on Sunday.  “It’s imperative to buckle all seatbelts, get plenty of rest before a long trip and allow sufficient time to reach your destination,” says Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. The public is encouraged to report impaired or aggressive drivers by dialing *FHP (*347).

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