The Edmond Sun

Nation & World

October 25, 2012

Sandy hits Jamaica, Haiti, causing at least two deaths

MIAMI — Hurricane Sandy began what could be a long and damaging march out of the Caribbean on Wednesday, leaving a string of Jamaican towns flooded and at least one man dead, crushed by a boulder. In northern Haiti, one person died while crossing a swollen river.

Sandy was far from done. At 11 p.m., the National Hurricane Center said its winds had strengthened to 90 mph and it could intensify further before it struck eastern Cuba. Next up: The Bahamas and — at least potentially — the Northeast United States where some computer models predict Sandy could lose its tropical characteristics but still morph into a monster “nor’easter” slamming the coast sometime next week.

Florida, fortunately, was expected to dodge a direct hit and serious disruption from Sandy, though Palm Beach County decided to close schools early Thursday and cancel classes Friday. Miami-Dade and Broward Counties planned to follow regular schedules, although Broward canceled outdoor events both days.

The NHC placed much of the coastline from the Middle Keys to Flagler Beach under tropical storm warnings and watches. Forecasters expect Sandy to weaken after crossing Cuba, but its wind field could expand enough for outer bands and gusts of tropical storm force to brush the South Florida coast. Still, its projected path through the Bahamas should keep the strongest winds of its “dirty side” well offshore.

The forecast for South Florida calls for foul weather, with the worst coming Thursday night and Friday: steady 25- to 35-mph winds with gusts to 50 mph, 15-foot swells and heavy surf that could cause beach erosion and strong thunderstorms.

In Jamaica, where Sandy made landfall at 3 p.m. near the densely populated capital of Kingston, damage was mounting. The Associated Press, citing police, said at least one person had been killed, an elderly man crushed by a boulder that rolled over his clapboard house.

Storm surge and heavy seas swamped waterfront homes in the eastern Kingston neighborhood of Caribbean Terrace and the road to Kingston’s major airport. Flood water breached rivers and retaining walls, cutting off some communities, including Kintyre in the St. Andrew Parish, according to The Daily Gleaner newspaper. In St. Mary Parish on the northern coast, directly under Sandy’s fierce core, resident Pamella Simms said power was out well before the storm reached the coast.

“Several trees have fallen and many houses have lost their roofs. And we are in darkness,” Simms said.

In Portland, another eastern parish prone to flooding, several roads were already impassable, blocked by landslides and downed trees, and flood waters were rising. With 6 inches to a foot of rain projected across the mountainous island, and up to 20 inches in spots, flash floods and mudslides remained a threat. “We are just recovering from the effects of heavy rains a few weeks ago, and here comes Sandy,” said Rackell Wilson, a nurse who lives in the area.

In Haiti, Sandy’s rain-laden outer bands triggered extensive flooding. Rivers were rising across the country. Farms were under water in Ille a Vache, a small island off the southwestern tip of Haiti. Homes were flooded in the fishing village of Tiburon and in the southwestern city of Les Cayes, where 50 patients were evacuated from a hospital along with 200 residents in a seaside settlement.

One woman was reported killed in the southern town of Camp Perin as she crossed a rising river, said Edgard Celestin, spokesman for the Office of Civil Protection.

Marie-Alta Jean Baptiste, director of the Office of Civil Protection, urged residents to stay away from rivers “to prevent any additional deaths.”

The South Florida Water Management District was preparing for heavy rains and potential flooding, although no repeat of the deluge from Tropical Storm Isaac was expected. Southeast Florida already has received near-record amounts of rain this year.

Robert Molleda, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Miami office, said storms could produce between 1 and 3 inches of rain — but probably not across the entire region. “It’s going to be a close call whether any substantial rain bands do make it on shore,” he said.

At the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, no evacuations were planned but sirens wailed across the base warning of coming dangerous winds. Guards moved some prisoners from a wood hut to a steel and cement building.

Sailors made preparations while an Army colonel went forward with a pretrial hearing in the death-penalty case against Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, 47, accused of masterminding al-Qaida’s October 2000 suicide bombing in Yemen of the USS Cole.

CBS News, meanwhile, reported that the Cuban government had ordered an evacuation of low-lying areas along the eastern coast and a cleanup of storm drainage systems in the area.

Once it clears the Bahamas late Friday, Sandy’s future is less certain. Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the hurricane center, said computer models remain split on whether it will turn harmlessly out into the Atlantic Ocean or curve west toward the Northeast Coast as a still-powerful but nameless “extra-tropical” storm.

1
Text Only
Nation & World
  • MS_injection well.jpg Agency clarifies earthquake-related misinformation

    A state agency says misinformation related to the debate about the cause of more earthquakes across Central Oklahoma includes oil well types, well numbers and injection pressure.
    The Prague sequence of 2011 along the Wilzetta Fault zone included a significant foreshock, a main shock of magnitude 5.7 and numerous aftershocks. It has been suggested that this sequence represents tremors triggered by fluid injection.
    More recently, earthquakes have been recorded in the vicinity of Jones, Arcadia Lake, Edmond, Guthrie, Langston and Crescent. Regulators and scientists are working together to better understand what’s causing all the shaking.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • bomb1 VIDEO: A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • New study counters pot legalization argument

    A new study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences, a researcher says.
    Researchers say the findings suggest recreational marijuana use may lead to previously unidentified brain changes and highlight the importance of research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of low to moderate marijuana use on the brain.

    April 15, 2014

  • Anita Hill.jpg Anita Hill reflects on her fateful testimony, 23 years later

    Back in 1993, I rounded a corner of a Laguna Beach, Calif., grocery store and walked straight into Anita Hill.
    We both stopped in our tracks. She looked slightly panicked, like someone had turned on a light in a room, and all she wanted was the door.
    It took a moment to register that this was the woman who, just two years before, calmly testified before a Senate committee about the sexual harassment she endured while working for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas  at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, of all places.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • jc_Erick Wyatt.JPG Norman man takes on challenge to unseat Inhofe

    EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a series of candidate profiles leading up to the 2014 Oklahoma elections.

    Erick Wyatt is running for U.S. Senate to be a strong voice of the people, he said. More than anything, Wyatt said he is running against incumbent U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe for the sake of his children.
    The Norman Republican vows to represent the people’s interests instead of the interests of powerful political groups, Wyatt said.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140414_MALAYSIA_Bluefin.jpg In new phase to find Flight 370, search robot will enter ocean

    The pings have sputtered out in the multinational search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, forcing search crews to deploy an underwater robot to find a plane that’s eluded human efforts.
    In a last-ditch effort to find the Boeing 777 and its black box flight recorders, a U.S. Navy submersible vehicle will be used to scan an area in the southern Indian Ocean for debris.
    “We haven’t had a single detection in six days, so I guess it’s time to go underwater,” Angus Houston, who heads Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Center, told a news conference in that country’s western city of Perth on Monday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 25801486.jpg VIDEO: Northern California bus crash kills 10

    At least nine people died in Northern California on Thursday night, in an accident involving a bus, a car and FedEx truck. The bus was filled with high school students from Southern California who were on their way to visit a college campus.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Strong earthquake rattles Logan County

    Ray Dorwart, owner of Guthrie’s Dorwart Custom Boots, 117 S. Second, said he was in his store working on a sewing machine when he felt the structure shake Monday morning.
    Dorwart was on the phone with an out-of-state friend when he heard some tools rattle and felt the wood floor vibrate.

    April 7, 2014

  • Number of Americans without health insurance reaches new low

    The share of Americans without health insurance has dropped to the lowest level since before President Barack Obama took office, according to a new national survey that provides more evidence the health care law is extending coverage to millions of the previously uninsured.
    Just 14.7 percent of adults lacked coverage in the second half of March, down from 18 percent in the last quarter of 2013, the survey from Gallup found.

    April 7, 2014

  • Daniel Dissinger, 13.jpg Investigators seek cause of fire that killed 3 brothers

    Two siblings, a 14-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy, survived the early-morning Friday inferno that may have been touched off by kerosene lanterns used in the home. They ran to a neighbor’s house to ask for help and were later treated for smoke inhalation.
    A sixth child, age 4 ½, was spending the night at a friend’s house.

    April 7, 2014 2 Photos