Power outages and car accidents across the south as Ice Storm barrels down

Luke 21:25-26 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Important Takeaways:

  • Death toll climbs, power outages remain rampant during southern US ice storm
  • At least eight people have now died from storm-related crashes in Texas and Arkansas, and two law enforcement officers have been seriously injured since Monday, The Associated Press reported.
  • The weight of ice on trees and power lines caused power outages to rise overnight. As of 5 a.m. CST, more than 400,000 customers across four states are in the dark. The majority of the outages were in Texas, with over 390,000 without power. According to PowerOutage.US, over 165,000 of the outages were in Travis County. This county is the home to the city of Austin. Freezing rain is continuing to fall in Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi this morning, so the power outage number may rise further before crews have a chance to restore electricity.

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Just after flooding in St. Louis comes catastrophic flooding in Kentucky

Revelation 16:9 “They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Kentucky flooding: Homes, cars under water with over 22,000 power outages reported
  • This catastrophic flooding in Kentucky came just two days after a historic flood in St. Louis killed one person on Tuesday when more than 9 inches of rain fell.
  • In Buckhorn, a photo shared on social media showed the elementary school was almost completely underwater.
  • More than 8 inches of rain has fallen in the city of Hazard since Wednesday, most of which fell in just a few hours early Thursday morning.
  • Many other areas in eastern Kentucky have received between 4 and 8 inches of rain.
  • The North Fork of the Kentucky River at Whitesburg has risen to an all-time record crest of 16.81 feet, smashing the previous record of 14.7 feet from Jan. 29, 1957. The river level rose more than 13 feet in about 7.5 hours early Thursday morning.

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Warnings from experts on coming power outages as Summer heats up

  • 100m living in Midwest, West Coast and Southwest face summer power outages from hot weather, climate change, overstretched fossil fuel power plants and unreliable green alternatives, energy regulator warns
  • Huge swathes of the US are at risk of power outages this summer
  • The ‘MISO’ part of America’s power grid – whose full name is the Midcontinent Independent System Operator is at greatest risk of a large-scale outage
  • That warning was given by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), which released a map showing Michigan, most of Indiana, most of Illinois, and Wisconsin were in trouble.
  • Also at the highest risk are Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and a small part of East Texas. That high-risk classification means that the existing power grid is ‘potentially insufficient to meet peak load during both normal and extreme conditions,’ according to NERC
  • Parts of the Midwest will experience a ‘capacity shortfall’ driven by increased demand and power plant shutdowns as states turn to more renewable energy sources like hydro and solar.
  • Wild fires could put extra strain on power grids, as could drought
  • Regular NERC says it’s a ‘perfect storm’ that could leave millions in dark

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Seminole Oklahoma hit by two tornado events leading to massive power outage

Important Takeaways:

  • 2nd tornado cluster ravages towns in Oklahoma and Texas
  • The community of Seminole, Oklahoma, has been ripped apart by two tornado events in three days, including a multi-tornado outbreak Wednesday evening, leading to massive structural damage and power outage in the city.
  • The second tornado of the evening touched ground at approximately 8:48 p.m. CDT, after the area was already shaken from the prior hour’s damage. Seminole County was unable to sound the area’s tornado sirens due to power outages, leading to a potentially dangerous situation for those needing to take safety precautions.

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6.6 Earthquake hits Taiwan followed by seven more

Luke 21:11” There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

Important Takeaways:

  • Eight earthquakes hit Taiwan, ‘unlikely to trigger tsunamis or other severe secondary disasters’
  • Eight earthquakes with a minimum magnitude of 4.1 and a maximum magnitude of 6.6
  • The 6.6-magnitude quake that struck in the early hours on Wednesday could be felt throughout the island, with Taitung County, which was closest to the epicenter, experiencing the strongest visible shaking that lasted for about two minutes
  • Besides, the quake also caused power outages to 1,203 households in Pingtung, rock falls, and small landslides in mountainous areas, and affected some Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) machines.

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Winter storm buries Northeast and knocks out power

Luke 21:25,26 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Important Takeaways:

  • Nantucket UNDERWATER as winter storm Kenan barrels through New England: More than 30 inches of snow could fall in parts of Massachusetts
  • Winds gusted as high as 70mph on Nantucket and over 60mph elsewhere in eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island
  • More than 4,500 flights were cancelled across the US, while Amtrak cancelled all of its high-speed Acela trains between Boston and Washington
  • More than 89,000 customers remained in the dark in Massachusetts
  • Much warmer ocean waters ‘are certainly playing a role in the strengthening of the storm system and increased moisture available for the storm,’ said University of Oklahoma meteorology professor Jason Furtado

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Winter Storm slams East Coast knocking out power

Luke 21:25,26 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Important Takeaways:

  • Powerful storm slams East Coast with snow, winds and freezing rain
  • A powerful winter storm that slammed the Southeast over the weekend was moving north Monday, causing widespread power outages and covering roads in a mix of snow and ice.
  • More than 125,000 customers were in the dark in Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and West Virginia, according to the website PowerOutages.us.
  • As the system moves north, Pittsburgh could see more than a foot of snow and some parts of New York could see 2 to 3 inches of snow falling every hour.

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The biggest winter storm so far this year is set to slam the eastern U.S.

Luke 21:25, 26 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Important Takeaways:

  • Storm to unleash dangerous snow, ice from Atlanta to Raleigh
  • A winter storm will plunge from the Midwest into the Southeast over the holiday weekend, threatening to create dangerous to impossible travel conditions and the potential for lengthy power outages.
  • A weather event that could evolve into an all-out ice storm for cities along the Interstate 85 corrido
  • The ice could also contribute to power outages and significant tree damage, Porter added.

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Regulators issue standards to prevent another Texas grid freeze

By Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. and North American energy regulators on Thursday issued recommendations and mandatory electric reliability standards for utilities they hope will prevent a repeat of February’s deadly power outages in Texas during a deep freeze.

The freeze left 4.5 million without power over several days in the state, killing more than 100 people.

“I cannot, and will not allow this to become yet another report that serves no purpose other than to gather dust on the shelf,” Rich Glick, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said about the preliminary recommendations and standards the regulators expect to finalize in November.

FERC and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) released the recommendations that include revisions of mandatory reliability standards. The revisions require power utilities to identify and protect cold-weather critical components, build new or retrofit existing units to operate at specific conditions based on extreme temperature and weather data, and develop corrective plans for those that suffer freeze-related outages.

FERC does not have jurisdiction over the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the operator of the Texas grid. But Jim Robb, president and CEO of NERC, said his organization has jurisdiction in Texas over reliability matters.

In 2011, FERC probed ways to protect the Texas grid from power outages after a cold snap that was milder than the most recent one. Its recommendations included winterization of natural gas and other installations. Texas authorities never implemented those recommendations, leaving its grid vulnerable.

Texas regulators have been working on their own ways to protect the grid from extreme weather.

“The work that the team has done here reflects things that would be additive to what Texas has been working on and not in conflict with,” Robb told reporters.

ERCOT and the Texas Public Utilities Commission, which regulates the state’s grid, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; additional reporting by Scott Disavino; Editing by David Gregorio)

More grain terminals found damaged by Ida, exports may stall for weeks

By Karl Plume and PJ Huffstutter

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Grain shippers on the U.S. Gulf Coast reported more damage from Hurricane Ida to their terminals on Wednesday as Cargill Inc confirmed damage to a second facility, while power outages across southern Louisiana kept all others shuttered.

Global grains trader Cargill Inc said its Westwego, Louisiana, terminal was damaged by Hurricane Ida, days after confirming more extensive damage at its only other Louisiana grain export facility located in Reserve.

Hurricane Ida, which roared ashore on Sunday, has disrupted grain and soybean shipments from the Gulf Coast, which accounts for about 60% of U.S. exports, at a time when global supplies are tight and demand is strong from China.

Emergency authorities were still surveying the destruction, as numerous barges and boats were sunk in the lower Mississippi River while other debris has obstructed the navigation channel, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The major shipping waterway remains closed to vessel traffic from the Louisiana-Mississippi border to the Gulf of Mexico, shipping sources said.

Mike Strain, commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, saw scores of barges and at least five ships grounded during a flyover of the river.

He said the Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard anticipate getting the upper Mississippi, from Baton Rouge on northward, “opened up by later today so we can start moving ships.”

The Army Corps of Engineers did not immediately respond to request for comment.

On the lower Mississippi, authorities aim to reopen the section from Nine Mile Point and down in seven days, Strain said.

“There are still transmission lines in the river, and those need to be removed before there can be safe passage,” Strain said. He said low water levels were making it harder to get stuck ships and barges moving again.

Cargill is still assessing the extent of the damage and does not yet know how soon its grain loading and shipping operations at the busiest U.S. grains port may resume, Cargill spokeswoman April Nelson said.

Rival exporter CHS Inc is diverting its export shipments scheduled through the next month through its Pacific Northwest terminal as the hurricane knocked out a transmission line that powers its lone Gulf Coast facility, the company said.

Other shippers, including Bunge Ltd and Archer-Daniels-Midland Co are still assessing damage to their locations, although all are still without power, the companies said.

Power may not be restored for weeks.

(Reporting by Karl Plume and P.J. Huffstutter in Chicago; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)