Heavy thunderstorms packing winds of around 60 miles per hour and coin-sized hail blasted portions of Michigan and Ohio late Friday, knocking down trees, powerlines and leaving thousands of people in the dark. In southeastern Michigan during the peak of the storms, nearly 150,000 DTE Energy customers were without power.
Many reports of downed trees, hail and strong gusting winds were pouring into the National Weather Service’s offices in southern Michigan Friday. In Troy, a city located on the outskirts of Detroit, public work crews were prioritizing storm damage removal Saturday morning as there was widespread damage done by the severe weather. The first problems that were handled were fully blocked roadways as there were many roads completely inaccessible due to entire trees laying on them.
The severe weather collapsed a wall at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio and caused flooding throughout Lake County. The storms ripped down a huge wall at the gym at Ursuline College, causing extensive damage and prompting officials to close the campus at least through Monday. Several roadways in the city of Mentor, Ohio were closed down due to flash flooding. Many of Mentor’s residential streets were flooded and closed to traffic. Officials in that city urged residents not to travel on city streets and told those who have to travel to do so using extreme caution.
In addition to numerous trees being knocked down all across southern lower Michigan, in that state’s upper peninsula, there also were many reports of downed trees and power poles. In L’Anse, strong gusting winds blew a roof off a barn and downed numerous power poles and lines that resulted in thousands of people being left without power there. The wind gusts in the upper peninsula were clocked at just over 60 miles per hour early Saturday morning which resulted in many homeowners having to spend their Saturday cleaning up tree limbs from yards.
People living in the Midwest are being told by the National Weather Service to expect more severe weather this week. There are more thunderstorms being forecast for the new week that may bring with them heavy downpours of rain to result in flash flooding. Embedded in the trough of moist warm air that’s taking over the eastern third of the country will be pulses of energy that will help spark showers and thunderstorms Monday through Wednesday in the Great Lakes, Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley and the Northeast.
The Importance Of Cleaning Equipment After A Fire
Many individuals don’t realize the severity of the damage that a fire can cause. Sometimes, you will be lucky enough to catch a fire related problem before it damages most of your cost worthy items. Most of the time, you wont be able to salvage much. IN the event that you do have intense fire damage, not all has to be considered lost. From burnt and corrupted files on a computer, let alone the computer itself, to beautiful furniture and generations of passed down family heirlooms and sometimes you are lucky enough to save them. The clean up is devastating and can take months to finalize. While it is important to clean and take care of what has mattered most to you, make sure you pay close attention to the equipment in your home and garage as well.
You should know that there are many different important considerations when caring for the clean up of your equipment. Your equipment can and will range from electronics such as televisions, computers, VCR’s and DVD players, phone related objects and power tools that would be in your garage. Your tool box and other automobile equipment that might be of use to you as well. When you experience the casualty of a fire, make sure call your homeowners insurance company and document the remains. They will usually initiate a claim based on the damage. When it is safe to go back into the house (safe from hazardous smoke, debris, etc;), be sure to take a video and/or pictures of the aftermath. If you are worried about the smoke damaging the hard drive of your computer, most of the time the smoke will not ruin anything. 90% of electronics hardly takes smoke damage when there is a house fire.
When carpets, draperies, upholstered furniture and clothing are found after a fire, they can usually be refurnished, with the exception of scorched or severely water damaged items. A professional fire restorer can clean the soot and what is left of the damage after the fire is through and you have gathered your detailed documentation. They usually have the best equipment to take care of your items, in an efficient amount of time. If you decide to clean the equipment yourself, remember how important it is to keep safety your number one priority. While taking extra consideration in cleaning your equipment is very important, you must let all of the areas that have been engulfed in flames, cool down, making sure that all of the cleaning supplies that you are using are not fire hazardous or will not spark when hitting open vapors. Opening windows or even remaining outside while you clean your equipment is the safest. It is highly recommended to cleaning equipment such as lawn and yard mowers than may have been effect along with desks, chairs and tables that may be salvaged. Stoves, kitchen appliances and laundry units are important to clean right away because of the electrical outlets that take the most damage and should be dealt with first.
Early Tuesday morning the National Weather Service said that cold air coming down from Canada is mixing with warm moist air coming up from the south to make conditions very favorable for thunderstorms. These storms moving into the Midwest could produce very heavy down pourings of rain, large damaging hail the size of golf balls and could even trigger flash flooding.
Who in the Midwest is at threat for severe weather? The NWS says that the areas sure to see bad weather today through Wednesday morning are those people living in an area that stretches across an area covering the eastern half of Iowa, all of Minnesota, most of Wisconsin, the northern half of Indiana, Illinois & Ohio and most of Michigan’s lower peninsula.
The National Weather Service issued a statement Tuesday morning that said that low pressure over the Plains and Midwest is leading to the formation of thunderstorms. These storms are expected to grow into a line that will move into Michigan’s lower peninsula Tuesday night and that they could trigger very heavy rainfall that could lead to flash flooding. Areas most prone for flash flooding are those along streams and rivers and those in low-lying spots.
The Service is also telling state officials in northern Indiana, northeastern Ohio and southern lower Michigan that tornado spotters may need to be activated Tuesday and especially during the evening hours as conditions in those areas will be right for the formation of twisters.
In all, about 36 million people in the Plains and Midwest are at risk for severe weather through Tuesday night. A few of the major metro areas which could see damaging winds and large hail include Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Cedar Rapids and Detroit. The severe weather that’s moving across the nation could cause real headaches for rush hour commuters as there could very well be traffic delays due to flash flooding and other weather related problems such as large hail and blinding down pourings of rain.
In the Corn Belt area of the nation that stretches from northern Missouri to Michigan, the rain associated with this weather pattern will be welcomed by farmers growing corn and soybeans. However, if very heavy rain falls for several hours in a row, crops could be negatively affected as too much water is never a good thing from a farmer’s standpoint. Forecasters across the Midwest are reminding people that they should always take stock of the weather and be very careful when traveling when there is a threat of flash flooding. Places to be very careful around include low-water passageways, viaducts, small streams and culverts as these are the first to go if a flash flooding even occurs.
The massive blizzard hitting the heartland of the United States has been called “truly historic” by the National Weather Service. Once again, people living in the middle of the country and as far south as the panhandle of Texas are dealing with heavy blowing snow and slippery driving conditions. The storm has been blamed for two deaths in the United States thus far. One death occurred when a man lost control of his vehicle on an icy roadway in Kansas and the second was due to a roof collapsing on a person in Kansas.
Early Monday, blizzard warnings were in effect from Oklahoma into Texas and southern Kansas. Most of those warnings did expire Monday evening. The areas being hit by the massive snowstorm are already under significant snowpack from last week’s snowstorm.
Several drivers in Texas had to be rescued from their vehicles Monday when they became stranded on a major interstate. In Amarillo, 19 inches of snow fell which is just short of the record 19.4 which fell in that city several years ago in the same period of time. The snow was being blown by hurricane-force winds in Texas that reached speeds of well over 70 miles per hour at times, making driving extremely dangerous and nearly impossible.
The National Weather Service is warning people that the storm will continue to cause a variety of hazards Tuesday as it treks across the country, heading for the Midwest. In addition to slippery roads, the heavy snow also can cause homeowners grief as it can result in ice dams on roofs. If not dealt with, an ice dam on a home can damage roofing material as it slowly melts, allowing the water makes its way into the attic. There are also flooding concerns in the Midwest as the temperatures will be above freezing during Tuesday’s storm. Homes and businesses located in low-lying areas are the most vulnerable as are those who do not have proper drainage around the foundations.
The snowy mess that has occurred in the Plains states and which is heading into the Great Lakes region is putting a lot of stress on road crews. Many states in the line of this week’s storm are still digging out from the snow that fell last week. While it’s been a rather tame winter thus far in many regions of the country, February is shaping up to be a month that many soon won’t forget as three major winter storms has struck thus far this month.
As arctic air blows in some of the coldest air seen in over four years, homeowners all across the midwest are bracing themselves for what could be a serious disaster. Plumbing is designed to be functional at a certain temperature, but it is getting to be far below that temperature in the next few days.
These record low temperatures are serious. In some areas of the midwest, highs are not going to be above zero degrees, which means the incredibly cold temperatures penetrate deep into the ground. This creates a huge problem when it comes to buried plumbing, as if the plumbing is not deep enough, the water in the pipes will freeze.
Homeowners are bracing themselves for such a thing, because frozen pipes means much more than not being able to get water during that time. The problem is in the chemistry. As water freezes, the molecules are farther apart, which means that it expands significantly as it turns into ice. This puts terrible strain on the pipes and can, in many cases, cause burst pipes. If this happens outdoors the problem is awful, as it means water leaks everywhere and saturates the ground as soon as it defrosts. However, if it happens indoors it is even worse.
The burst pipes indoors can cause severe flooding, which can be responsible for a large amount of property damage. The flooding is very serious, and the extreme cold temperatures can delay any sort of response as well. That means that such extreme cold temperatures can prove very costly to homeowners in any area. Many homes in the midwest have plumbing that is sufficiently insulated to withstand such temperatures, but some homes, especially those with older cast iron plumbing systems are not.
Some home insurance policies cover damage caused by freezes such as this one, however it is important to check for specifics in each individual policy before assuming anything. As the temperatures drop significantly, pipes are going to be bursting in many areas, including public buildings. Response times may be delayed simply due to the weather or because the emergency responders and plumbers are swamped with other reports of burst pipes. There is also not much to do about frozen pipes until the temperature raises back up. One thing to consider would be finding some form of insulation for pipes, as that can increase the temperature tolerance of any given pipes and lower the freezing point, perhaps even far enough that this cold spell will not cause problems.
With as serious a drop in temperatures as is coming to the midwest, homeowners are going to need to be cautious and patient. Households are advised to keep enough drinking water to last several days or even a week on hand, in case plumbing freezes or bursts during the cold snap.
Christmas Day Storms Wreak Havoc on US
The 2012 holidays are going to go down in history as being a very stormy time in the US as severe weather has prevailed in many parts of the country. At least 30 tornadoes struck across the South, blizzard conditions were reported in several states in the middle of the country and the Midwest is bracing for snowstorms the day following Christmas. Heavy snows, ice and sleet are expected to make travel very difficult for people trying to get home after the holiday in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio where up to 10 inches of precipitation is being forecast.
The National Weather Service is urging people to either stay out of the weather altogether in the Midwest or to postpone their travel plans for at least a day. It is warning that heavy ice accumulations can cause tree limbs and powerlines to fall, which could take out power for many. Tornadoes touched down on Christmas day in four states: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas destroying scores of homes and leaving tens of thousands without power. The big storm system also caused winter weather conditions in Oklahoma where a multiple car pileup occurred on an Interstate, injuring several.
The biggest tornado reported struck Mobile, Alabama Christmas day. The twister which struck at about 5pm, touched down a total of five times just outside the downtown area. Several businesses and homes were damaged and power was knocked out to over 20,000 people. A Mobile high school sustained serious damage from the twister as did a church. Meanwhile, blizzard conditions hit the midsection of the country causing vehicular accidents in many areas as well as downed trees and powerlines due to high winds. Hundreds of flights in the US were canceled by evening on Christmas due to snow, wind, ice and sleet.
The National Weather Service has Winter Weather Advisories in effect for the Midwest on Wednesday as they severe weather is forecast to move into the region. Some areas in southwest Pennsylvania could get a foot of snow while other areas are expected to get anywhere from 5 to 8 inches. Freezing rain may also fall across the Midwest where temperatures will be hovering right around the freezing mark.
A powerful storm blasted its way into New York and New Jersey Wednesday, bringing with it high winds, rain and heavy wet snow. Many homes were plunged back into darkness, commuter trains were stopped and another round of misery was inflicted upon thousands of residents who have been in the process of trying to recover from superstorm Sandy’s horrendous blow more than a week ago.
The new storm, a nor’easter, is not a big concern under normal circumstances but because of Sandy, many trees are vulnerable as is the electrical system. And, scores of storm victims have spent the last week shoveling mud and pumping water out of their homes and businesses only to possibly have to repeat it again. There are many people still without power whom have been trying to deal with the shivering cold temperatures, making this new storm all that more unwelcome.
As the new system drew closer, thousands of people living in low-lying areas were told to get out of their neighborhoods. Work crews in New Jersey were busy building up sand dunes ahead of the new storm so that they could protect the ravaged coastline there. In New York City, police officers headed into neighborhoods with loudspeakers, telling residents to evacuate ahead of the storm. While it was not mandatory that people leave, many said they would refuse to abandon their homes if ordered to because they fear looting – something that has been taking place all across the storm-ravaged city.
All construction in the Big Apple was put on hold Wednesday as a safety precaution. The decision to halt construction was partially brought on by the gigantic crane that broke during Sandy and which was left dangling precariously over the streets of Manhattan.
At least 1,2000 flights coming into and leaving the New York metro area were canceled ahead of the storm, causing even more travel chaos.The storm dumped 4 inches of wet, heavy snow on New York by Wednesday night. Some regions such as areas in Connecticut, upstate New York and New Jersey received over 7 inches of snow with more promised to come.
The good news is that there is relief on the way for the millions of weary residents of the East. The unwelcomed rain, ice, snow and high winds are slowing moving out of the region and temperatures are being forecast to climb back up to tolerable levels for those without power as the highs for the next couple of days will hover in the 50s.
A very active weather pattern took shape in the center of the US at the end of last weekend. That weather pattern has set the stage to bring significant rainfall and thunderstorms to areas of the Ohio and Tennessee Valley Thursday and Friday. The greater part of the central portion of the country was wet and windy Wednesday with periods of heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. The unstable weather system moving across the country’s midsection is meeting a cold front as it pushes northeast to increase the risk of severe thunderstorm activity for the Midwest.
Some portions of the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys could see isolated large hail, damaging winds and even a few tornado outbreaks Thursday and Friday. Steady rain put an end to the ALCS playoff game in Detroit Wednesday afternoon. The game was rescheduled for Thursday but forecasters are saying that the Motor City may be in for more steady rain to further push back Game 4.
The weather system that is moving into the Central and Midwest states is delivering a shot of chilly air which will be somewhat of a shock for some areas that have seen highs in the 70s and 80s. Temperatures will be around 30 degrees cooler in some areas Thursday and Friday compared to earlier in the week. Conditions can be downright miserable from the eastern Dakotas into the northern portion of Iowa with strong winds, cold temperatures and periods of heavy rainfall. To make things even worse, the cold temperatures, rain and high winds moving eastward into the Great Lakes could be accompanied by a combination of hail and snow.
Wind gusts nearing hurricane strength hit the Plains earlier this week. That storm system is spreading blustery, chilly conditions into the Ohio Valley. Some areas in Ohio and Michigan could see winds gusting as high as 60 miles per hour Thursday along with steady rain to make being outdoors very unpleasant to say the least. Winds of that strength can easily take down tree limbs and cause power outages. Some of the crosswinds could cause airport delays as well.
Rain is desperately needed by farmers but it will not be enough to make a dent in the overall drought conditions heading into winter. What the rain will do instead is slow down harvesting of soybeans and corn. On the bright side, the temperatures will not dip below freezing so farmers will have time to work the fields before real winter weather sets in.
Winter will be here soon! If you are smart you will begin the winterizing process sooner rather than later. By making sure that your home is ready for winter you can be sure that your house and it’s contents are safe. Winterizing is a great way to save on your energy bill. With the economy and rising fuel prices we need to save any way we can. Your family will stay comfortable without having your heater work overtime.
Right before the temperatures start to get below freezing is a great time to start the winterizing process. If you start then you will have ample time to get your house sealed up without having it freeze over.
There are many areas that you need to think about sealing up. Depending on what type of home you have there may be more or less. You can get most of these jobs done yourself. If you are having doubts about being able to do it yourself then contact a professional.
Now let’s go over the main areas you need to worry about getting ready for winter.
The first is the plumbing. There are a couple situations where winterizing your plumbing is essential. If you won’t be living in your house during winter, and if your home does not have a strong heater. You will need to drain out all the hot water from your water tank once you turn off the power. You’ll also need to make sure that all your water pipes are drained. That’s goes for both the cold and hot water. At the lowest point on the lines you should be able to drain the pipes. Finally you need to add antifreeze that won’t hurt the environment to your sewer and water pipes.
The next thing you need to winterize is your fireplace. You will want to make sure that they are well cleaned and then seal them from top to bottom. Using a sheet of plastic is a great choice.
Your doors and windows also need to be looked at. The edges of all your windows and doors need to have weather stripping added. Also you need to make sure the bottom of your doors are sealed with a door sweep. Any cracks you see also need to be sealed. Even the small ones!
Your roof is another spot that needs to be looked at. Depending on your health you might want to call in a professional on this one. Any broken or missing tiles or shingles will need to get replaced. Any other damage that may be present like small holes will need to get fixed as well.
Make sure that your gutters are clean too. Gutters that are filled with twigs and leaves could cause water to leak into your home. Additionally, check that all your gutter spikes are well fastened. Make sure that your downspouts are draining correctly.
Those are most of the key areas you need to check to get your home ready for winter. Make sure to look for any leaks both on the inside and outside of your house. By taking the time to make sure your home is ready for winter you will prevent damage and save money on your electric bill!