Latest Disaster planning and response News

Rainout shelters help Missouri farmers manage drought

Jan. 24, 2020 1:01 AM EST

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — In July 2002, a drought settled over Missouri that lasted 99 weeks and finally ended in May 2004. Eight years later during the week of Aug. 21, Missouri suffered the most intense drought in its history. The dry spell affected 35.72% of land in the state, according to the U.S. Drought...

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo, smoke billows around power transmission lines as the Camp Fire burns in Big Bend, Calif. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the nation's largest electric utility, filed for bankruptcy last year after facing an estimated $50 billion in damages from several Northern California wildfires that were linked to its equipment, including one blaze in 2018 that killed 85 people and destroyed about 19,000 buildings. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

California bill would make utilities pay some blackout costs

Jan. 23, 2020 8:19 PM EST

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Californians left in the dark by electric companies that shut off their power to prevent wildfires could get paid for things such as lost wages or spoiled food under a bill that advanced Thursday in the Legislature. In the state plagued by catastrophic blazes started by strong...

Man accused of Hurricane Irma disaster assistance fraud

Jan. 23, 2020 4:18 AM EST

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has been accused of lying about damage caused by Hurricane Irma, federal prosecutors announced this week. An indictment was returned charging Deontre Javan Taylor, 26, of Jacksonville, with disaster assistance fraud. He faces up to 30 years in federal prison. Taylor...

Ground broken to replace WVa high school destroyed by floods

Jan. 22, 2020 2:27 PM EST

ELKVIEW, W.Va. (AP) — Ground has been broken for a new West Virginia high school to replace one destroyed by 2016 floods. Gov. Jim Justice attended the ceremony Wednesday for the new Herbert Hoover High School in Elkview about 13 miles (21 kilometers) northeast of Charleston, news outlets reported. ...

Editorial Roundup: Mississippi

Jan. 22, 2020 2:09 PM EST

Recent editorials from Mississippi newspapers: ___ Jan. 21 The Greenwood Commonwealth on the recent violence in Mississippi prisons: If there’s anything positive about the recent violence in Mississippi prisons, it’s that the continuing news coverage makes it more likely that substantial...

Editorial Roundup: North Carolina

Jan. 22, 2020 10:32 AM EST

Recent editorials from North Carolina newspapers: ___ Jan. 20 The Jacksonville Daily News on investing in alternative energy sources while maintaining safety for state military bases: Military bases are a vital part of life in eastern North Carolina. The sound of Freedom is not only overhead regularly, but the...

In this Friday, Jan. 10 photo, residents from the Indios neighborhood of Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, Milagros Figueroa and Ruben Fantausi, sit under a tarp between vehicles parked on a private hay farm where locals affected by earthquakes have set up shelter amid aftershocks in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico. A 6.4 magnitude quake that toppled or damaged hundreds of homes in southwestern Puerto Rico is raising concerns about where displaced families will live, while the island still struggles to rebuild from Hurricane Maria two years ago. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

Puerto Rico seeks more help from US after damaging quake

Jan. 21, 2020 6:36 PM EST

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez asked the U.S. government Tuesday to issue a major disaster declaration for 10 additional municipalities following the recent damaging earthquake. The petition came two weeks after the 6.4 magnitude tremor hit near the U.S. territory's...

Trump OKs North Dakota disaster declaration due to storms

Jan. 21, 2020 3:40 PM EST

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — President Donald Trump has approved a disaster declaration for North Dakota after an October storm dumped heavy rain and snow on a large part of the state. Gov. Doug Burgum made the request last month and announced Trump had approved it on Tuesday. Burgum's office said the rainfall...

Ex-Louisiana state senator pleads guilty to federal charge

Jan. 21, 2020 1:01 PM EST

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former Louisiana state senator pleaded guilty Tuesday to making false statements to a federal agency about a Hurricane Katrina recovery loan. Wesley Bishop's guilty plea to the single count was expected, according to The Times-Picayune/ The New Orleans Advocate. Bishop, a New Orleans...

Ohio Air National Guard to aid relief efforts in Puerto Rico

Jan. 20, 2020 4:03 PM EST

PORT CLINTON, Ohio (AP) — The 200th Red Horse squadron of the Ohio Air National Guard will deploy to Puerto Rico to aid in relief efforts after the island experienced multiple earthquakes earlier this month. Last week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued a proclamation authorizing squadron members to assist with...