Posted inBreaking News, National Defense, Policy Topics, Public Planning

Monster tornado rips through Moore, Oklahoma, killing at least thirty-seven people

Dis­as­ter strikes again: A mas­sive tor­na­do roared through Moore and south Okla­homa City on Mon­day after­noon, grind­ing up neigh­bor­hoods and rav­aging at least one ele­men­tary school in its path. Ter­ror quick­ly spread as the Emer­gency Med­ical Ser­vices Author­i­ty rushed ambu­lances to Bri­ar­wood Ele­men­tary School in the Moore School Dis­trict and to sev­er­al homes, busi­ness­es and intersections […]

Posted inBreaking News, Policy Topics, Public Planning

President Obama to travel to New Jersey tomorrow, inspect damage with Chris Christie

Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma will trav­el to New Jer­sey tomor­row to inspect dam­age caused by Super­storm Sandy with Repub­li­can Gov­er­nor Chris Christie. The Pres­i­dent will spend his time “talk­ing with cit­i­zens who are recov­er­ing from the storm and thank­ing first respon­ders who put their lives at risk to pro­tect their com­mu­ni­ties”, White House Press Sec­re­tary Jay […]

Posted inBreaking News, Policy Topics, Public Planning

Hurricane Sandy barrels towards East Coast, bringing commerce and travel to a halt

One of the most destruc­tive storms ever to threat­en the Unit­ed States is hours away from slam­ming into the Atlantic seaboard, mete­o­rol­o­gists are warn­ing. Hur­ri­cane Sandy, which has already killed dozens of peo­ple in the Car­ribbean, is pro­ject­ed to make land­fall some­time tomor­row evening between the Chesa­peake and the mouth of the Hud­son Riv­er. The […]

Posted inBreaking News, Policy Topics, Public Planning

Tsunami warning issued for Pacific Northwest as East Coast prepares for “Frankenstorm”

It’s turn­ing out to be a busy week­end for sci­en­tists at NOAA’s Nation­al Weath­er Ser­vice (NWS) and the U.S. Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey (USGS). The Nation­al Weath­er Ser­vice has spent the last few days track­ing Hur­ri­cane Sandy, which is now pro­ject­ed to make land­fall some­where along the mid-Atlantic, per­haps off the coast of Vir­ginia or Delaware. Hurricane […]

Posted inPolicy Topics, Public Planning

Conne family’s ordeal should serve as a reminder to all of us to be prepared

Some hap­py news this week­end: A fam­i­ly that had got­ten lost on the Ore­gon coast while out pick­ing mush­rooms were found alive (though hun­gry and with minor injuries) by search and res­cue teams, who pin­point­ed the fam­i­ly’s where­abouts after they were spot­ted from a heli­copter pilot­ed by Jack­son Coun­ty Com­mis­sion­er John Rachor, who was flying […]

Posted inPolicy Topics, Public Planning, Unscheduled Programming

Governor Gregoire declares state of emergency in response to winter storms

Gov­er­nor Chris Gre­goire pro­claimed a win­ter storm emer­gency this morn­ing, fol­low­ing a series of events that have forced schools and offices to shut their doors and made many roads impass­able. “This is pure­ly a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure,” Gre­goire said in a news release. “So far, we haven’t received any requests for state assis­tance – but we […]

Posted inPolicy Topics, Public Planning

Earthquake strikes near D.C.: Nation’s capital gets a taste of a major hazard we live with

An hour ago, a sig­nif­i­cant earth­quake struck near one of the Unit­ed States’ most pop­u­lat­ed areas, caus­ing minor dam­age, dis­rupt­ing trav­el, and prompt­ing evac­u­a­tions of build­ings. But unusu­al­ly, the pop­u­lat­ed area that this quake affect­ed was not in Cal­i­for­nia, or on the Left Coast, or even west of the Rocky Moun­tains, where earth­quakes are an […]

Posted inPolicy Topics, Public Planning

New coastal radar now online near Copalis Beach; local meteorologists thrilled

Thanks to the tire­less efforts of our two U.S. Sen­a­tors — par­tic­u­lar­ly our junior sen­a­tor, Maria Cantwell — the Pacif­ic North­west final­ly has a state-of-the-art Doppler radar sta­tion locat­ed on the coast, capa­ble of assist­ing mete­o­rol­o­gists in prepar­ing more accu­rate and use­ful fore­casts for our region. The radar sta­tion, which has been under­go­ing con­struc­tion since […]

Posted inPolicy Topics, Public Planning

Republicans continue assault on emergency preparedness, even after Tohoku megaquake

Read­ers may recall our ire was raised dur­ing the Repub­li­can response to Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s 2009 State of the Union Address, when Louisiana Gov­er­nor Bob­by Jin­dal dis­missed fund­ing for vol­cano mon­i­tor­ing as a triv­i­al­i­ty. As res­i­dents of the Pacif­ic North­west, we are all too aware of the pres­ence of vol­ca­noes in our region and the destruction […]

Posted inPolicy Topics, Public Planning

Aftermath of Tohoku megaquake demonstrates the folly of nuclear power

Two days have elapsed since Japan was pum­meled by one of the largest earth­quakes human­i­ty has ever doc­u­ment­ed. In that time, we’ve begun to see the trag­ic and painful extent of the dis­as­ter. The earth­quake (which reg­is­tered 8.9 on the moment mag­ni­tude scale) and the ensu­ing tsuna­mi it spawned have laid waste to sev­er­al previously […]