Winter Storm Kills More Than 30
A winter storm hit the Midwest in December, causing massive power outages, travel problems and at least 33 deaths. The storm iced in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and other states as it headed northeast across the country. Hundreds of thousands of people were without power throughout the middle of the nation, including 350,000 in Oklahoma at the height of the storm.
President George W. Bush authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send industrial-sized generators, bottled water, blankets and plastic sheeting to cover hundreds of damaged roofs to Oklahoma, where all counties were struck by the storm.
The storm continued to move across the country in mid-December. It was forecasted to bring several feet of snow to the northeast. Businesses and schools across numerous states were closed for several days because of power outages or road conditions.
Northeast U.S. Coast Battered By Storm
A huge storm battered the coastline of Oregon and Washington in early December. The storm had winds equal to many moderate hurricanes. At least eight people died, with damaged estimated to reach into the billions of dollars. Widespread flooding also occurred. In Oregon, a huge mudslide swept trees, debris and mud four-foot deep, burying homes and roadways in its path. A state of emergency was declared by the governor of Washington to assist local officials with recovery and response from the storm. Several areas lost power and many roads in the state were closed because of flooding. The Amtrak passenger train service from Eugene, Ore., and Vancouver, B.C. was also shut down at one point. A container ship sailing off the Washington coast was damaged, causing fuel spillage.
Rare December Cyclone Hits Caribbean
A rare December cyclone caused major floods and landslides in the Caribbean, killing at least 13 people. Tropical storm Olga hit the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico. Heavy rains and high winds swept across the islands. Thousands were left without power or water.
Virus Updates From Around The World
A new strain of the Ebola Hemorrhagic fever virus is spreading in Uganda. As of mid-December, 93 people were infected and 22 died from the virus. The outbreak was first reported on November 30, 2007. The new subtype of the virus was most affecting Bundibugyo, a district in western Uganda. The new strain has a 22 percent death rate, which is lower than the 50 to 90 percent death rate from other strains of the Ebola virus.
Poland has experienced an outbreak of H5N1 in their domestic birds. Poland is the eighth European country to report an outbreak of the virus in 2007. Two turkey farms in the country were affected. Reports said some of the meat was sold to consumers. Officials were trying to track down the consumers and were keeping an eye on the health of store employees.
In Bangladesh, more H5N1 outbreaks were reported in the poultry in the northwestern part of the country. Workers destroyed 6,000 chickens and more than 2,500 eggs to stem the outbreak. Twenty of Bangladesh’s 64 districts have reported H5N1 outbreaks in poultry.
In China, a man in the eastern province of Jiangsu died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu. He was admitted to the hospital on Nov. 27 and died in early December. The man had no known contact with dead poultry and no outbreaks have been reported in the area. A total of 17 people have died in China from the H5N1 virus.
2008 Hurricane Predictions Released
"Appeared in DRJ's Winter 2008 Issue"