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8/24/2007

Update: Floods, heat wave batter United States

David Morris retrieved a ladder from the smoldering debris of a house that burned Thursday after an electrical fire caused by the flooding of the Fox River near Wheatland, Wis


Breaking Earth News

USA

Mudslides and murky floodwaters hampered recovery efforts in Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio and Wisconsin where at least 23 people were killed after a week of heavy rains that prompted dramatic roof-top rescues. A fresh round of thunderstorms battered parts of the central United States for a fifth day on Thursday. Three people were killed in Madison, Wisconsin, yesterday when lightning struck a utility pole and knocked a live wire into a deep puddle at a bus stop. Meanwhile, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama continued to wither under a RECORD-BREAKING HEAT WAVE blamed for the death of at least 25 people. Recovery workers in Oklahoma were searching yesterday for the body of a high school student who was sucked into floodwaters while running with his cross country team. Six other people were confirmed dead in the state after the remnants of tropical storm Erin dumped heavy rain there and triggered flooding over the weekend that continued to wreak havoc on the state. It was the third major flood the state has faced this summer and the deadliest so far because of the intensity of the storm. "What made this one so amazingly intense is we had an eye of a hurricane form over our state. We haven't seen it flood so fast and so high in recent memory." Texas was spared the brunt of hurricane Dean's wrath but was still cleaning up from the damage wrought by tropical storm Erin and months of endless rain which caused six deaths last week. This brought the state's flash-flood deaths to 40 so far this year, tying the record set in 1989. "We've had persistent, ongoing, relentless precipitation pretty much all year. It's our WETTEST YEAR ON RECORD so far... dating back to 1895."

Click the Photo to View Flood Images
Many people have lost their homes and most of their belongings.

Meanwhile, a crippling heat wave brought death and drought to the south eastern states of Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. Thirteen deaths were reported in Memphis, Tennessee and a dozen were reported in Alabama. "These are a HUNDRED-YEAR-PLUS RECORDS THAT ARE BEING SHATTERED." One such RECORD was in Athens, Georgia which has had 13 days this month with temperatures at or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to an average of one day a year in August. "That's a TREMENDOUS CLIMATOLOGICALLY EXTREME EVENT." Birmingham, Alabama BROKE RECORDS with 10 consecutive days of temperatures at or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius), up from the previous record of eight days in the deadly heat wave of 1980.


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