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Archive for September, 2009

Dark Water: The Legacy of Hurricane Floyd, Part 3

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

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It is a cycle that Carolina residents know well. A storm forms, hits, dumps heavy rain, and moves on its way. Clean-up can be slow, but you get a chance to dry out. That was not the case with hurricane season 1999.

In late August/early September, Hurricane Dennis dumped up to 18 inches of rain in the Carolinas. Just a few weeks later, Floyd would bring over 19 inches. Keep in mind that a coastal location may only average about 55-60 inches of rain for an entire year. So when you dump nearly 40 inches in just under a month, you are going to flood, no matter how well the drainage system is designed. And southeastern North Carolina did flood.

There were 52 fatalities in North Carolina, many due to drowning. When people encounter flooded roadways, there first instinct is to try to drive through the water. After all, the water may not look that deep.

Think of it this way, it is a question of buoyancy. For each foot the water rises up the side of a vehicle, 1,500 pounds or water is displaced. In essence, you car weighs 1,500 pounds less for each foot of rising water. In other words, 2 feet of moving water will be more than enough to float away a car or light truck.

Also, remember that you can’t see the condition of the road underneath standing water. It may be damaged, or gone altogether. What seems to be only a few feet of water may turn out to be over 20 feet deep.

NOAA has started an excellent campaign called “Turn Around, Don’t Drown”, and the premise is simple. If you see standing water on a roadway, don’t go through it, it may cost you your life.

For more on Floyd, visit our special Remembering Hurricane Floyd section on our website.

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videoAs we prepare for future hurricanes, we are looking back at one that caused major damage in southeastern North Carolina ten years ago. In our series, Dark Water, meteorologist Jerry Jackson has examined the effects of Hurricane Floyd.

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City Council puts foot down on storm water issue

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

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The city of Wilmington is cracking down in the name of cleaner storm water. City Council voted Tuesday night to fine pet owners $250 if they do not pick up after their pet.

If left on the ground, the waste runs off in to our water. Pet owners say not only is it bad for the environment, but also the bottom of a shoe.

“I don’t like it, especially if I step in it,” said Charles Steel. “Once in a great while that happens, but I do think 18 or 19 out of 20 do clean up.”

City Council member and dog owner, Margaret Haynes said, “It’s an important issue because everybody has a responsibility to maintain our environmental resources and clean water is certainly one of them.”

Dog walkers will be required to carry good neighbor bags when the ordinance takes effect November 1st. A $250 fine will also be levied on folks who dump yard debris in storm drains.

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The city of Wilmington is cracking down in the name of cleaner storm water. City Council voted Tuesday night to fine pet owners $250 if they do not pick up after their pet.

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Friday Night Varsity Preview Week 5

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Rachel George and Tim Hower look ahead at the Week 5 matchups including Ashley-West Brunswick and New Hanover-Jacksonville Northside.

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Some health experts want to tax sugary drinks, cite health benefits

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

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The American Heart Association recently released dietary guidelines to reduce sugar intake that highlighted the health benefits of cutting back on sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages.

Now, in a recent report on health policy, a group of public health experts suggest placing a tax on these sugary beverages as a means of reducing public consumption. According to the report, Americans consume about 175 calories daily from sugar-sweetened beverages on average.

Past research has linked consumption of these beverages to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

The report proposes that a tax of 1 cent per ounce be placed on beverages with added sweeteners. This tax would increase the cost of a 20-oz drink by 15-20%, which, the report estimates, should decrease consumption of these drinks by about 15%.

In addition to the health benefits gained by decreasing America’s consumption of sugary drinks, this tax would have the added benefit of generating revenue that could be used in health programs for treating obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

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Past research has connected the consumption of sugary drinks like soda and sweetened juices with diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Now a group of public health experts is calling for a tax on these beverages.

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Associated poll

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Grand jury subpoenas 2 related to Easley permits

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

GARY D. ROBERTSONAssociated Press Writer

RALEIGH | Two state environmental engineers have been called to testify before a federal grand jury this week, including one who examined the permit for a development where then-Gov. Mike Easley bought some land in 2005.

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