Climate Impact Report – 08/01
Flash floods in Kentucky have killed at least 28 people, and hundreds of people are still missing.
In the Klamath National Forest near the California border with Oregon, the McKinney Fire has become the state’s largest fire this year.
At least seven people are suspected to have died from hyperthermia since the hot spell began a week ago in the Pacific Northwest.
Key Facts Of The Day 08/01
- On Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris will announce that the White House is making more than $1 billion available to states to address flooding and extreme heat exacerbated by climate change.
- Heavy rain is expected to produce more flooding across already-saturated eastern Kentucky on Monday.
- Forecasters said a cold front would drift over the eastern part of the state, generating more showers that could last into Tuesday.
- Since last week, the worst of the devastation has been concentrated in roughly a half-dozen counties in the Appalachian region in Kentucky’s southeast.
- On Friday, President Joe Biden approved Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s initial request for a disaster declaration in Kentucky.
- Flash floods killed at least 28 people, and hundreds of people are still missing.
- The death toll is expected to rise as search-and-rescue operations resume on Monday.
- The flooding has caused mudslides and topped up streams, creeks, and rivers to overflow.
- Bridges have collapsed, isolating communities. Some houses were torn from their foundations.
- On Friday, more than 33,000 customers remained without electricity in eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia, with the bulk of the outages in Kentucky.
- On Friday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for six counties in West Virginia where flooding downed trees, caused power outages, and blocked roads.
- On Friday, Virginia, Gov. Glenn Youngkin also made an emergency declaration, enabling the state to mobilize resources across flooded areas of its southwest.
- As of Monday, eight FEMA teams will be surveying damage created by the floods in the St. Louis area last week.
- St. Louis, Missouri, saw more devasting flooding last Thursday after experiencing devastating and historic flooding earlier in the week.
- The flooding submerged part of the city in 7 feet of floodwaters and trapped some residents in their homes.
- The St. Louis Fire Department responded to 75 flooding-related emergencies, and 60 people were rescued or helped to safety.
- Among the rescues, the department said firefighters carried six children to safety from a daycare at Cornerstone Institutional Baptist Church, where 15 children and three adults reportedly were trapped.
- A storm system dropped more than 12 inches in St. Charles County and up to 10 inches in other areas last Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Authorities said two men drowned in the earlier St. Louis-area storm.
- The weather service said the early Tuesday rain was the most prolific in the St. Louis metropolitan area since records began in 1874.
- Such extreme weather events are likely to become more frequent and intense as the global climate crisis persists.
- The atmosphere can hold more moisture as temperatures climb. More water vapor in the atmosphere means more moisture available to fall as rain, which leads to higher rainfall rates.
- Monsoonal rains flooded streets and casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday.
- Water cascaded from casino ceilings and flooded street intersections across the city.
- Little precipitation easily creates flooding in Las Vegas since the water doesn’t seep into the desert terrain.
- Nearby wind gusts peaked at 71 MPH and toppled trees.
- One of those trees fell on an apartment complex in Las Vegas, displacing more than 30 people who live there.
- Las Vegas firefighters responded to 330 calls for service, and swift-water teams rescued at least seven people.
- Clark County firefighters responded to six water rescue calls
- There were scattered power outages in the downtown Fremont Street Experience casino pedestrian mall.
- At least 16,000 people suffered power outages in the Las Vegas area.
- Parts of Arizona, including the towns of Heber, Show Low, Bellemont, and Prescott, are near or above 200% of normal rainfall so far during this monsoon season.
- In Arizona, a driver was rescued from a vehicle caught in floodwaters in Apache Junction.
- Mohave County sheriff’s officials rescued a woman clinging to a stop sign earlier last week after her car was swept away.
- In recent days, parts of the Hualapai Mountains in Mohave County have received up to 6 inches of rain.
- As of Monday, there are currently 55 large active wildfires that have burned 1,580,475 across AK, AZ, CA, ID, MT, NE, NV, NM, OK, OR, TX, UT, and WY. As of Monday, 39,226 wildfires have burned 5,712,925 acres across the country.
- In Alaska, 27 fires have burned 1,038,536 acres as of Monday.
- In Arizona, 4 fires have burned 4,822 acres as of Monday.
- In California, 4 fires have burned 78,280 acres as of Monday.
- The China 2 Fire has burned 1,652 acres and is 0% contained as of Monday.
- The McKinney Fire has burned 52,498 acres and is 0% contained as of Monday.
- In the Klamath National Forest near the California border with Oregon, the McKinney Fire has become the state’s largest fire this year.
- Gov. Gavin Newsom of California declared a state of emergency for Siskiyou County on Saturday.
- Nearly 3,000 people have been ordered to evacuate since Saturday.
- Some neighborhoods on the western side of Yreka were ordered to evacuate.
- By Sunday morning, the fire had destroyed more than 100 structures — including homes, a grocery store, and a community center.
- Officials said that on Sunday, firefighters prioritized protecting Fort Jones, Yreka, and other communities in the Highway 96 corridor from the blaze, which could burn for weeks.
- A red flag warning was in effect due to searing temperatures, which averaged about 100 degrees on Sunday.
- On Monday, authorities announced that two people were found dead inside a car in the fire zone.
- About 650 firefighters battling the blaze were dealing with triple-digit heat and possible thunderstorms that could set off dangerous conditions.
- Highway 96 was shut down along the Klamath River, where crews overnight worked to keep homes and buildings from burning.
- The particular area where the fire is burning right now has not burned since the mid-’50s.
- The Oak Fire has burned 19,244 acres and is 67% contained as of Monday.
- The Washburn Fire has burned 4,886 acres and is 95% contained as of Monday.
- In Idaho, 3 fires have burned 52,302 acres as of Monday.
- In Montana, 4 fires have burned 14,592 acres as of Monday.
- In Nebraska, 1 fire has burned 13,051 acres as of Monday.
- In Nevada, 3 fires have burned 8,033 acres as of Monday.
- In New Mexico, 2 fires have burned 342,111 acres as of Monday.
- The Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire has burned 341,735 acres and is 96% contained as of Monday.
- In Oklahoma, 1 fire has burned 7,542 acres as of Monday.
- In Oregon, 2 fires have burned 1,900 acres as of Monday.
- In Texas, 2 fires have burned 7,082 acres as of Monday.
- The Chalk Mountain Fire has burned 6,755 acres and is 85% contained as of Monday.
- In Utah, 1 fire has burned 11,701 acres as of Monday.
- In Wyoming, 1 fire has burned 523 acres as of Monday.
- Climate change is fueling longer heat waves in the Pacific Northwest, where weeklong heat spells were historically rare.
- At least seven people are suspected to have died from hyperthermia since the hot spell began a week ago.
- The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for the Portland and Seattle regions lasting through late last night, with temperatures expected to reach as high as 103 degrees.
- Temperatures have neared the triple digits in Portland the entire week, hitting a high of 102 degrees on Tuesday.
- The temperatures have remained abnormally high at night — only dropping to about 70 degrees — making it hard for residents to adequately cool off their homes before the sun rises.
- The Seattle region was slightly cooler but still topped 90 degrees on Saturday for a fifth straight day, compared to normal temperatures in the high 70s.
- Many homes in the region lack air conditioning.
- Nearly 250 people used the overnight cooling shelters on Friday night.
- Austin, Texas, just experienced its hottest July on record.
- Records for the Austin area go back to 1897, 125 years.
- The mean temperature of 90.6 degrees for July 2022 was a full 4.8 degrees warmer than an average July in Austin and almost a full degree warmer than the previous hottest July.
- This comes following the hottest December, May, and June on record in the last 12 months, thanks to a long-lasting La Niña weather pattern and the impacts of a changing climate.
- Looking at the top hottest Julys on record in Austin, they’ve all occurred since 2009.
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