"Six months after flood waters swept through this small B.C. city, at least 28 downtown businesses are still closed. Many locals and forestry experts are blaming rampant clearcutting for reducing nature's ability to protect residents from the hell of high waters, but the province insists all is well in the forests of southern British Columbia".
With flooding from hurricanes and other climate disasters becoming the new normal, badly needed flood insurance reform continues to founder in the halls of Congress. The National Flood Insurance Program is billions of dollars in debt, and aid packages are doing little to get people out of flood-prone areas. Congress watchers will keep an eye on new House leadership for insurance solutions, although politically unpalatable rate hikes swamped the big reform. This week’s TipSheet has more on the story, with leads on what to watch in 2019.
"The Croda chemical plant at Atlas Point on the Delaware River, which was recently expanded by its British owners to produce two tons of hazardous ethylene oxide per hour so the material didn't have to be shipped from Texas by rail, was shut down due to a leak on Sunday afternoon, stopping holiday traffic on I-295 over the Delaware Memorial Bridge and jamming drivers on the direct routes between New York and Washington, D.C."
"The deadliest wildfire in California history that destroyed the mountain town of Paradise and killed at least 85 people was 100 percent contained on Sunday, according to state fire officials."
"A major scientific report issued by 13 federal agencies on Friday presents the starkest warnings to date of the consequences of climate change for the United States, predicting that if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the damage will knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end."
"The Trump administration is pointing to the deadly California wildfires to renew its call for Congress to boost the administration’s ability to remove more brush and trees from federal forests."
"Victims of the Camp and Woolsey fires will see some relief but also face the threat that rainfall will bring down mud and rocks."
"The level of air pollution in California exceeded world “safe” levels by about 60 times last week after a series of deadly wildfires."
"Federal regulators have given U.S. grid companies until Jan. 1, 2028, to shield vulnerable high-voltage transformers from damaging electrical currents triggered by a massive solar eruption."
Sue Bonham was ready to die. A ruptured high-pressure natural gas pipeline was firing a flame at her house like a blowtorch. She was crouching by a fence in a flower garden behind her home about 200 yards away, struggling to breathe the scalding air. Her thoughts turned to the things she'd miss — grandchildren, birthdays, weddings — but she had made her peace."