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Archive for September, 2011

Lee moves up the coast, Katia passes offshore Thursday, Maria forms

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)- After a day of strong to sometimes severe thunderstorms in North Carolina on Tuesday, the rainstorm that remains of Tropical Storm Lee will be gentler for us today.

The main area of low pressure is tracking farther up the coast and will near Pennsylvania tonight. The threat for severe weather will shift north as well, with the greatest chances for tornadoes anywhere from Richmond to Philadelphia. For us, most of our activity is overwith, outside of a few widely scattered tropical downpours – mostly east of Wilmington.

Drier air will move in overnight and eliminate the oppressive humidity across the area. This will mean comfortable weather for the end of the week and the weekend.

Hurricane Katia has weakened to a category 1 storm and will move closer to the US today. However, heading into tonight the storm will begin to get picked up in the strong southerly jet that is positioned along the East Coast. These winds will funnel the storm northward – splitting the difference between North Carolina and Bermuda on Thursday.

While we will not see any wind or rain from Katia, her effects are already being felt at area beaches. Dangerous rip currents and high surf will be present through at least Friday. Swimmers are urged to stay out of the water. 

Looking farther out to see, Tropical Storm Maria has formed in the central Atlantic. The storm is extremely far from land, and any track forecasts are speculation at this point. However, the storm should take a track farther south than Katia, and will bear watching through next week.

You can always see the latest tropical updates at Hurricanes 101.

– Meteorologist Tim Buckley

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Community Emergency Response Team training to be held in New Hanover County

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

New Hanover County will hold Community Emergency Response Team Training starting Sept. 20.

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Looney joins E2America advisory board

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Efficient Energy America has named longtime software industry executive Tom Looney to its newly formed industry advisory board, the Carolina Beach-based company said Wednesday.

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Auditors critical of NC health plan contract

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — State auditors say North Carolina’s health insurance plan for workers could have saved more than $1 million if it had written a better contract with a hospital and monitored rates more closely.

State Auditor Beth Wood’s office released an audit Wednesday of the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees and a contract with Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital.

Auditors say plan officials didn’t take advantage of outpatient discount rates allowed in the contract between 2003 and 2008 because they lacked contract monitoring and failed to seek information that could have led to expense reductions.

The audit said the health plan failed to recover about $640,000 from the hospital related to higher payments.

The health plan agreed with Wood’s findings and said improvements have been made.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Contract crews to help Wilmington with Irene clean-up

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Contract crews will start picking up debris from Hurricane Irene in Wilmington tomorrow.

As of Tuesday night, city crews have picked up between 800 and 1,000 tons of vegetative debris since Irene passed through Wilmington.

Sunday, the city activated a pre-approved contract for debris removal with Bamaco Inc. of Bunnell, FL. The contract stipulates a minimum of 12 crews, with each to pick up no less than 250 cubic yards of debris per day. They will work 10 hour days, six days per week.

The city says initially, the crews will be dispersed throughout the city in areas that have not yet been picked up. The city is eligible to apply for and expects to receive some reimbursement from FEMA for this and other storm-related expenses.

There’s no word yet on how long it will take to finish the clean-up. The city offers these tips for how citizens can help in the process:

·Please put debris in bags or other containers if at all possible for quicker pick up.
·Please don’t cut down trees or add additional yard waste for pick-up after the storm. Adding new vegetative waste to the storm debris greatly slows down the clean up process.
·Please keep debris out of streets and away from driveways, fire hydrants and mailboxes.
·Continue to take your trash and recycling to the curb as you normally do. These services are running on a regular schedule.
·The city asks that citizens be patient as cleanup continues. For more storm debris clean up tips, see the city’s website at http://www.wilmingtonnc.gov.

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