Latest Disaster planning and response News

Panama City borrows $50 million for hurricane cleanup

Dec. 18, 2018 10:17 AM EST

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Officials in Florida's Panhandle have agreed to take out a $50 million loan to help pay for Hurricane Michael-related bills until federal reimbursements are received. The Panama City Commission approved the measure Monday, calling the loan a "necessary evil." City Manager Mark...

California utility fires contractor from wildfire recovery

Dec. 17, 2018 10:11 PM EST

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Northern California utility on Monday said it terminated one of its contractors helping with wildfire recovery after three workers posted on social media insensitive photos and comments poking fun at victims and the region. Pacific Gas & Electric said Bigge Crane and Rigging Co....

Oklahoma governor seeks disaster aid due to Nov. 3 storms

Dec. 17, 2018 1:38 PM EST

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and the Cherokee Nation are asking the U.S. Small Business Administration for a disaster declaration to residents of Cherokee County affected by tornadoes, severe storms and strong winds on Nov. 30. If approved, the request filed Monday would provide...

Commission names new Mississippi state forester

Dec. 17, 2018 12:21 PM EST

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Russell Bozeman is Mississippi's new state forester. The Mississippi Forestry Commission announced Bozeman's appointment on Friday, taking effect Saturday. He had been leading the agency on an interim basis since Charlie Morgan, the previous state forester, resigned in October after a...

Texas lawmaker proposes casinos to subsidize wind insurance

Dec. 16, 2018 12:36 PM EST

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — A Texas lawmaker has proposed subsidizing the state's underfunded windstorm insurance and flooding assistance by building casinos in coastal counties. State Rep. Joe Deshotel filed the bill on Dec. 7 to cover the cost of the Texas Insurance Agency by proposing to tax licensed...

Kenai borough plans improvements in earthquake response

Dec. 15, 2018 3:55 PM EST

KENAI, Alaska (AP) — The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District performed admirably after southcentral Alaska's magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Nov. 30, according to the borough mayor. Charlie Pierce, however, said there was room for improvement by the borough administration, the Peninsula Clarion reported ....

Report rips expensive decisions in California wildfire fight

Dec. 15, 2018 1:12 PM EST

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When a wildfire burned across Big Sur two years ago and threatened hundreds of homes scattered on the scenic hills, thousands of firefighters responded with overwhelming force, attacking flames from the air and ground. In the first week, the blaze destroyed 57 homes and killed a...

Texas report says 'changing climate' intensifying disasters

Dec. 13, 2018 4:37 PM EST

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Powerful natural disasters in Texas on the scale of Hurricane Harvey's deadly destruction last year will become more frequent because of a changing climate, warned a new report Thursday ordered by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in a state where skepticism about climate change runs deep....

Deadline for Florence aid request in North Carolina extended

Dec. 13, 2018 3:30 PM EST

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Home and business owners suffering damages from Hurricane Florence are getting a little more time to request federal government aid. Gov. Roy Cooper announced Thursday's previous deadline to apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency grants or for low-interest small business loans...

Correction: California Wildfires-Cleanup story

Dec. 12, 2018 7:14 PM EST

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a story Dec. 11 about California wildfires, The Associated Press reported erroneously that insurance carriers paid $11.8 billion to 2017 Northern California wine country wildfire victims. Insurance companies paid $10 billion. A corrected version of the story is below: California...