Severe Weather Threatens South Florida On Tornado Alert Next 48 Hours

Following on the heels of severe storm activity from Texas to Georgia on Easter Sunday, potentially severe thunderstorms are expected to flare up across portions of the South this week. The worst of the weather could produce large hail, damaging winds and wind gusts of up to 55 miles per hour. There is also a likelihood that tornadoes could spawn out of the unstable weather.

Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Fort Pierce Florida are among the cities that will be directly in the path of severe storms in Florida this week. The main concerns with the thunderstorm activity are strong winds, hail and isolated tornadoes. The National Weather Service had a severe thunderstorm warning in effect for the Houston, TX area Tuesday night. The main threats with the storm over the Houston area are hail, high winds and locally heavy rainfall. Residents of Houston were being warned Tuesday night to be aware of the possibility of localized flooding on roadways Wednesday and were being reminded of the dangers of driving through standing water.

The same system that will produce storms in Texas will also cause bad weather along the Gulf Coast. This unstable weather system with potentially damaging winds, hail and severe thunderstorms will eventually hit the northern portion of Florida by Thursday at the latest. An upper level low pressure system that was over the four corners states Tuesday is responsible for sending the severe weather into the South. This system already stirred up a ruckus of storms across west Texas Tuesday with hail, wind and a couple of tornado touch downs. More storms will be developing around Texas’s Big Bend area Wednesday. They say that everything in Texas is big and some of the storms in the Lone Star State will be big from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning from the Big Bend region across to the Houston area. Eventually the storms will move across the South to bring severe weather to New Orleans and northern Florida. By Thursday, severe thunderstorms with heavy rain and potential flooding will be a real threat to the northern portion of Florida including the Panhandle.

Thunderstorms in the Sunshine State late Thursday into early Friday could produce damaging winds and a few tornadoes. The air will be warm enough with just the right amount of humidity on Friday to support super-cell storms and potentially dangerous tornadoes. As the severe weather moves into the South, enough rain could come down to provide some relief of drought conditions from central Texas to parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas. Then, later in the week, some needed rainfall will come down on portions of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and of course Florida. Some areas could receive up to four inches of rain when all is said and done. Urban and low-lying areas could very well flood with that type of heavy rainfall so folks living in the South should be aware of what’s happening weather-wise this week into the weekend.

Sinkholes are Common in the State of Florida

There was widespread new coverage last week of a Tampa-area home that was swallowed up by a large sinkhole, killing a man inside. Shortly after that sinkhole occurred, the ground opened up between two homes just a few short miles away. Coincidence? Hardly. Thousands of sinkholes open up in the Sunshine State each year. There is even a large sinkhole in Florida that’s opened to tourists and divers, called “Devil’s Den”.

Sinkholes are naturally occurring works of nature in the landscape in Florida. They belong in the same land form classification as caves and underground drainage systems which also make up the Florida landscape. A sinkhole occurs when acidic rainfall seeps down through the surface soil where it eventually reaches a soluble bedrock such as limestone – which is what half the land mass of Florida is made up of.

The process of a sinkhole forming and then opening is one that can go on for centuries as water slowly dissolves small parts of the rock to enlarge its natural fissures and joints to create a cavity beneath. As the process unfolds, the loose soil above is slowly washed into the cracks and voids. As the hole underground expands, sooner or later the surface layer of soil will simply give way.

When a sinkhole collapses, the materials above it will funnel into the sinkhole and that material includes homes, businesses and whatever other types of things may be sitting atop the area. In sinkhole-prone areas such as Florida, geologists routinely carry out land surveys for builders and property owners who are worried about sinkholes.

The state of Florida is known as having a karst landscape. What this means is that the landscape is formed by underground erosion of rocks (limestone) which can be dissolved by water. With Florida’s average annual rainfall total of about 4 feet, the land making up the state is very susceptible to sinkholes. These naturally occurring works of nature are so common in fact that Florida is often called the “Sinkhole Capital”. When you couple that much rain with the limestone that half of the state is made up of, you get sinkholes and sometimes very large ones occurring all across the state.

So how do you know if you have sinkholes on your property? You can look for cracks in your foundation, fences & utility poles that wobble and window & door frames that suddenly don’t fit correctly. Warped fences and doors and windows that don’t close are other warning signs of a sinkhole lurking beneath the surface of the ground. There are tests which can be conducted to determine if there is a sinkhole present. One involves inserting a tube into the ground to see what the solidity of the rock is like in the soil. Ground-penetrating radar can also be used to determine if a property is at risk for a sinkhole.

Proper Mold Remediation Involves Sealing Off Ventalation

Why Is Containment So Important During Mold Remediation

Containing Mold Contaminated Materials is Critical

Mold spores can pose a serious health threat to those exposed to the microscopic particles. The spores are the reproducing product of mold growth and can be thought of as the seeds that can spread the mold. The spores can also cause respiratory problems in people that have been exposed. Mold poses the greatest risk to people with compromised respiratory health. Mold contamination can occur after flooding, after a plumping leak or sewer backup or when building materials become wet from a roof leak.

Common symptoms for mold associated health problems include shortness of breath. More serious conditions occur when the mold spores develop into an infection within the lungs. Prompt medical treatment is urged whenever mold related respiratory problems are suspected.

Removing mold infected materials is critical to making a home safe for habitation. Hard surfaces, those that do not absorb moisture can be cleaned with a bleach mixture. Moisture absorbing materials, such as drywall, carpet and upholstered furniture most be removed from the home.

Place the moldy materials in a container that can be closed and sealed. Heavy-duty garbage bags work for lighter materials although a heavier container may be required for building materials such as drywall or wood. Workers handling the material should wear the proper masks while handling mold contaminated materials. Cleaners should also wear eye protection that seal against the skin of the face without ventilation holes and waterproof gloves that extend beyond the wrist.

Containing the mold contaminated materials until it can be safely disposed of is critical to keeping the home safe. Even after the moldy material is removed from the home it poses a risk until disposed if a landfill or other approved location.

Containment of the mold contaminated materials helps limit the potential exposure of people in and around the materials. Once the moldy materials are placed in the containment systems, those bags or boxes should be disturbed as little as possible. Movement of the boxes or bags can shake loose more of the spores and create additional chances for inhalation hazards by people around the containment bags.

Few bagging or containment systems are completely airtight and some potential for mold spores escaping always exists. For this reason, it is always recommended that the containment bags or boxes be removed from the home as soon as possible. In some areas, mold contaminated materials most be disposed of by an approved contractor. In other areas, the containment bags or boxes can be disposed of with the normal trash.

The mold cleanup process is generally considered complete when all hard surfaces have been decontaminated and sanitized and absorbent materials that have become infested with mold have been removed from the premises.

Cleanup Efforts Continue after Sandy Devastates The East Coast

Over two weeks since Superstorm Sandy struck the East coast and caused havoc and widespread devastating damage in scores of communities, those who took the brunt of the storm are still struggling to clean up the mess left behind. Residents in Red Hook – a NYC neighborhood that was submerged by the rising sea water describe the current conditions there using phrases like “a living hell” and “unbelievable still”. If it were not for the volunteers who are going door to door in that and other neighborhoods, many victims would not know what to do or where to turn.

Large, home improvement chains like Lowe’s and Home Depot as well as many local hardware stores are hustling to keep up with the huge demand for storm-related items following Sandy. As soon as items such as generators, power saws and ladders arrive in stock, they are quickly purchased by property owners who are trying to repair damages and restore power to their storm-struck homes.

Governors up and down the storm-ravaged East are not being shy about asking for as much federal money as they can for their storm-struck states. It is estimated that the damages and lost economic activities as a result of the big storm are over $50 billion. Governor Cuomo of New York is asking for a whopping $30 billion in federal aide to help rebuild his state. There are still tens of thousands of people homeless or displaced in the East from the storm and even more without power after sixteen days.

Tons of debris can be seen piling up in the streets of towns in numerous states that were hit by the massive 1,000 mile wide hurricane that came ashore under a full moon. Record-setting storm surge inundated portions of New York City while it re-arranged the New Jersey Shore and tore up neighborhoods in Long Island and in the Big Apple’s outer boroughs. Storm cleanup companies, contractors and electricians from across the country have converged on the region to offer their services. It could take weeks for some neighborhoods and communities to return to a somewhat ‘normal’ state after Sandy, a storm that was one of the largest ever to hit the United States.

The Basics Of Basement Waterproofing

Waterproofing a basement is necessary to prevent flooding that can destroy the structure of a home. Any structure that is built below the ground must be waterproofed. Otherwise, ground water will enter the structure. Waterproofing is especially necessary in areas where the underground water table is likely to rise and fall drastically. Such rises in the water table can cause major flooding at unexpected times. The reason that an underground structure will flood is because of hydrostatic pressure. This causes water in the soil to be forcibly pushed into the cracks of the structure. Even if the structure appears to be built solidly, there are usually ways for water to make it through. When water begins to flow through these cracks then the cracks will naturally begin to widen. This can cause the structure to crumble and fall apart. If the basement of a home falls apart than the rest of the home is likely to follow. No home owner would ever think of risking such a disaster, especially since hydrostatic pressure is basically unavoidable without some form of waterproofing.

Sealant Injections On Basement Walls And Floors

Cracks are bound to occur in the concrete structure of a basement. Even if the cracks cannot be seen clearly by the naked eye that does not mean that they are not there. Waterproofing is a way of sealing these cracks to stop water from entering the basement and causing serious problems to occur. Such problems include mold build up, structural destruction and rot. In order to prevent this rot there are a few waterproofing steps that must be taken. The first step in waterproofing a basement is to effectively seal the walls and floor. Epoxies and other sealants can be applied to the interior walls with a pressurized injection method. This will cause the sealants to pass into the nearly invisible cracks in the structure and eventually reach the exterior side of the walls. Many of these injections will last for a very long time. Many contractors also offer warranties on interior sealant injections that can be life long.

Drainage Instillations

A drainage system may also need to be installed when waterproofing a basement. This helps to remove water that has found a way inside the basement. This is not exactly part of the waterproofing method, but is commonly used alongside the sealant injections to further ensure that no water can collect and cause damage to the home’s structure. Many contractors will install a drainage system as an alternative to a sealant, but a combination is most effective. This system is fairly complex and uses dimple boards to direct moisture into designated areas where the moisture can then be pumped from the basement. These systems will typically run on batteries so that power outages do not effect their efficiency. If the system is not battery operated, then it likely has some form of backup power. Waterproofing a basement is a serious job. Talk to your contractor if you have any questions or preferences about how your basement is treated to prevent flooding.

2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season Gets Slow Start But Forecasters Say Be Ready

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season got off to a slow start but forecasters are saying that people should be ready because NOAA is predicting a 70 percent chance that between nine and sixteen named storms will develop this year of which up to eight could become full blown hurricanes.

So far this season, six named storms have formed including Ernesto which is now in the Caribbean and Florence that is located in the far east Atlantic. Forecasts are calling for two more systems to hit the US coastline with the coast that stretches from the northern Gulf Coast to Virginia coast being the most vulnerable.

Most of the tropical waves which have developed thus far this year have fizzled out due to upper level dry air or because they were torn apart by wind shear before they were able to form into storms. NAOO reported this week that changes in the water temperatures off the coast of South America are indicative of a developing El Nino. If an El Nino current does develop and grow stronger, it will pump large amounts of warm water into the normally cold Pacific ocean near the earth’s equater which could very well result in the development of extreme weather including hurricanes.

It is not possible to say for sure how active this Atlantic hurricane season will be as even the most advanced computer technology can only provide us with forecasts with any reliability for around fourteen days in advance. With the recent unpredictable path of tropical storm Debby fresh in our minds, it’s clear that residents of the United States must be prepared for the possibility that at least one major storm will hit their area.

Forecasters are saying that warmer than normal ocean surface temps and wind patterns which favor storm formation means that the chances are high for an above-normal hurricane season. This is not a time for coastal residents to become complacent about the chances of a hurricane striking. Even though the 2012 season got off to a slow start, there could be more storms this year than originally predicted.

It is being predicted that the next three weeks will probably be the busiest period of activity in the tropical Atlantic for the rest of this year’s season. We will have to wait to see how much influence the developing El Nino will have on the second half of the season which runs through September to the end of October. However, conditions seem to be coming together for what could be a very active second half of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.

Developing Weather System in Gulf Prompts Alerts and Evacuations

Tropical disturbance over the southern Gulf, dubbed as Invest 96L by the National Hurricane Center, is expected to develop into a tropical storm or hurricane over the next few days. As a result, the entire U.S Gulf coast has been put on alert, and some companies have already started evacuating non-essential personnel from the region.
According to Michael Brennan, a senior hurricane expert, the low-pressure system located near the northern Yucatan Peninsula was still disorganized. However, the falling surface pressures in that region of the Gulf are creating favorable conditions for the development of tropic depression in the next couple of days.
The latest report from the National Hurricane Center indicates that there is a 70 percent chance for the system to transform into a tropical cyclone over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the Florida Division of Emergency Management has warned people residing in Central and South Florida to prepare for possible flooding rains. As per Matt Zibura, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NSW) in Jacksonville, there is the possibility of some storms hitting Gainesville and Ocala. However, the intensity would probably be not as strong as in Central Florida.
Amy Godsey, State Meteorologist, stated in a press release that thunderstorms are possible in most parts of Central and South Florida in coming days due to as the tropical moisture moves into the state. Godsey advised that people residing in Florida should pay attention to the warnings issued by the NSW as well as local authorities. Amy also urged people not to drive through flooded roads.
While the forecasters are still not sure about both the development and track of the system, some oil and gas companies in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico have begun evacuating non-essential crew.
Murphy Oil Corporation stated that it had commenced evacuation of the non-essential workers. While the operations are still on, they are watching the system.
Barb Hesterman, spokesperson for the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, said that though the operations were running normally, they are moving out non-essential staff.
Forecasters said the interests located along the United States Gulf Coast should closely watch the progress of the system over the weekend. Several early computer model forecasts predict the system’s track toward Florida.

Flooding in Gulf Coast States Causing Havoc

Southeastern Alabama and the Panhandle of Florida have been overcome with rainwater as several cities are receiving more than 12 inches of rain in one day. People living in and around Mobile, AL are being told to use extreme caution there as severe flash floods have washed out roadways and made many impassible. In nearby Pensacola, FL the National Weather Service said that Saturday was the 2nd wettest day on record there and that a flash flood emergency is in effect.

Flooding from heavy downpours of rain have damaged many homes across the Florida Panhandle, cut power off to a county jail and has sent many people fleeing their homes to look for shelter on dry land. A tornado which formed from the storm system damaged a few homes and buildings in southeast Alabama. Over nine inches of rain fell in Mobile County from Friday through Sunday with even more rain in the forecast for Monday morning. People there are being told not to travel because many roadways are washed out or completely flooded with water.

The historical rain event is being caused by a low pressure system that has stalled out over the region for the past few days and it is not expected to leave until the end of this week. There have been moments when it has stopped raining, but most of the time it’s either been constantly drizzling or pouring down rain. All of the rain is simply more than creeks, rivers and lakes can handle. Drivers are being told that if they cannot see the road because of water that they should turn around as there’s no telling how deep it is.

Pensacola has seen severe flooding this weekend. On Sunday, emergency workers had their hands full and the sound of sirens could be heard regularly all day long. Many homes were flooded with several feet of water there Saturday and Sunday as residents braced for additional rains Monday morning. More than 100 people spent the night in shelters in Escambia County Saturday night including residents from a 50-unit apartment complex and a 22-home subdivision.

The National Weather Service reported that over thirteen inches of rain fell on Pensacola over a 24 hour period by Saturday, coming very close to the 15.29 inches set in 1934. Thus far, the flooding has caused millions of dollars worth of damages with more rain on the way for the start of the work week. Flood assessment teams are preparing to see exactly what the end results are from this major flood event once the storm system finally leaves the region and moves out to sea.

Doral Flood Cleanup Begins as More Wet Weather for Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade County in Florida remains under a flood watch after 48 straight hours of rain. The National Weather Service has extended the watch until Thursday evening. On Wednesday, heavy, torrential rains caused all types of problems for business owners in Doral. Water had to be pumped out of a parking lot there into a nearby canal, but by the time that was done, many motorists had already been left stranded on flooded roads and streets.

Folks living in south Florida are fed up with Mother Nature as it has been pouring rain since early Tuesday. Residents at one Doral apartment complex spent all of Wednesday removing wateer from their homes and vehicles. The heavy rainfall set a new Miami record after 5 ½ inches of rain fell within 24 hours, something that has not been witnessed since 1901. Doral got more than four inches of rain. There were vehicles seen stranded in high water all over that community. Unfortunately, Doral residents are not in the clear yet because the National Weather Service is telling them to expect more rain and even some more torrential rains through Thursday as the system that’s bringing the wet weather is moving very slowly across the region.

Due to the extreme rainfall that has been ocurring, The South Florida Water Management District or SFWMD is now operating the extensive flood control system that is designed to move massive amounts of water very quickly due to the. Officials at SFWMD report that the system is doing it’s job which is to minimize the risk of flooding near homes and businesses. Already about 200 million gallons of rain from the recent storms have been flowing in an emergency basin which is a nearly 1000 acre impoundment area that was built after Hurricane Irene in 1999 and an unnamed storm in 2000. In all, a half a million residents and 5,000 homes and businesses are being protected by the system.

The upcoming Memorial Day weekend is also going to be wet. The National Weather Service reported Wednesday that it will rain over the coming weekend as the official forecast calls for scattered showers and thunderstorms all across the region. How much rain will fall is yet to be seen. If those iving in southern Florida had their say, the upcoming holiday will be sunny and dry. However, people living in the region who are planning outdoor get-togethers should make alternative indoor plans as it could rain very heavily at times.

Cleanup Efforts Begin as Carencro Faces More Flooding

Officials are working to assess the damage caused by flooding on Tuesday. The assessments of damage resulting from the flash floods that inundated southern Louisiana on Monday could be ready by Thursday, there is a threat of more flooding from the bloated Vermilion River is a major worry for the people residing in the northeastern area of the Lafayette Parish, officials stated on Wednesday.

As per Jay Castille, Carencro City Manager, people are being evacuated from the area, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate reported.

If more rain falls, then there will be trouble for the communities in Carencro and surrounding areas, Castille stated.

As per the National Weather Service, the Vermilion River swollen to 21.85 feet at 3.00 pm, causing moderate flooding near Carencro. Flood stage of the river is at 17 feet.

According to Castile, a reworked estimate suggested that 60 percent of the Carencro city was inundated at one point, the Lafayette Daily Advertiser reported.

Church Street and Veterans Drive were hit quite hard. Affirming it as a major event, Castille said that almost all the communities within the Carencro city limits were affected. At least, 100 homes were affected.

The public works building in the city was also flooded with 2 feet of water.

Sewerage infrastructure in the city suffered some damage because of flooding, Carencro Mayor Glenn Brasseaux stated.

Castille stated that the city workers were out there cleaning up the drains and flooded buildings.

Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s office spokesman, Capt. Kip Judice said that deputies were still observing the situation and were prepared to provide any help when needed. Judice said that they were waiting water levels to recede further and then evaluate what the city has to do to assist in public cleanup.

All the affected people are being prompted to get to call the Lafayette Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to answer a phone questionnaire.

Flooding can cause irreparable damage to your home or business place if not cleaned and dried promptly. In order to get to protect your property from water damage you should hire the service of a professional flood restoration company.

A reputable restoration company has all the equipment and expertise in cleaning up water-related damage. The services provided by an established property restoration company include flood redemption, water extraction, structural drying, sewage cleanup and mold redemption.