Tag Archive: American Red Cross


By Michelle Fay Cortez, Bloomberg News
Updated:   07/15/2013 01:28:13 PM PDT

Almost 10 million Americans annually give blood. (John Guillemin)

Dennis Gastineau started giving blood regularly when he was in medical school in the 1970s. The $25 he received bought almost enough groceries for a week. Now, it just seems like the right thing to do.

It may also be bad for his health. Gastineau, who happens to be a hematologist, is among the 2.4 million donors who risk silent damage as a result of frequent giving. U.S. government research published last year found this group iron-deficient, which can lead to fatigue, compromised mental function and eventually anemia. Now, iron levels are being examined as part of an $87.2 million study the U.S. is funding on blood donation and transfusion safety.

Seventy percent of the blood supply comes from repeat donors. Limiting their giving may hamper a system that already suffers shortages. The Mayo Clinic predicts a 10 percent drop in its supply from its restrictions on donors after finding that one-third had iron deficiency.

“We want to make sure we don’t have a group of people walking around being iron-deficient,” said Manish Gandhi, the medical director of the Mayo Clinic’s blood donation center. “Blood donation in the U.S. is an altruistic thing. We need to focus on what we should be doing to protect these wonderful donors.”

Almost 10 million Americans annually give blood. Still, that’s only 5 percent of those eligible, according to a national survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency’s REDS-III study, under way

since 2011, is examining donors’ iron levels as part of an effort to improve blood banking and transfusion practices. Boosting the number of donors may be key to a healthier blood banking system.Whole blood, which is divided into four components to treat everything from hemophilia to ulcers and accident victims, can now be given every two months, under rules set by the Food and Drug Administration.

The question is whether that’s too often. The FDA, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the AABB, a nonprofit that represents the transfusion medicine industry, are struggling to find a way to minimize iron loss in donors without reducing the total blood supply. Researcher


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Red Cross issues emergency call for blood and platelet donors

Posted on: 10:44 am, July 10, 2013, by , updated on: 02:20pm, July 10, 2013

red cross 

Norfolk, Va. – The American Red Cross issued an emergency request for platelet and blood donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give because fewer donations than expected were received in June and the first week of July.

“We are counting on generous volunteer blood and platelet donors to step up and give now,” said Page Gambill, CEO for the Red Cross Mid-Atlantic Blood Services Region. “Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Each day donations come up short, less blood is available for these patients in need.”

Nationwide, donations through the Red Cross were down approximately 10 percent in June, resulting in about 50,000 fewer donations than expected. The shortfall is similar to what the Red Cross experienced in June 2012.

June can be among the most challenging months of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they adjust to summer schedules. High school and college blood drives account for as much as 20 percent of Red Cross donations during the school year.

Donations from those who usually give at these drives drop by more than 80 percent when school is out for the summer. In addition, a mid-week Independence Day holiday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July.


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Earth Watch Report  –  Forest / Wild Fires



20.06.2013 Forest / Wild Fire USA State of Arizona, [Granite Basin area, Near to Prescott] Damage level Details


Forest / Wild Fire in USA on Wednesday, 19 June, 2013 at 06:04 (06:04 AM) UTC.

A wildfire eight miles northwest of Prescott grew from 20 acres to 500 acres in one hour Tuesday afternoon. As of 6 p.m., the Doce Fire had blackened 5,000 acres, according to USDA Forest Service spokeswoman Mary Zabinski. Mandatory evacuations were first ordered in the Granite Basin area. By early Tuesday evening, residents at American Ranch and Sundown Acres off Williamson Valley Road were told to leave, according to Yavapai County Emergency Management. The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office has been facilitating operations to get homeowners out safely. A shelter has been set up at Yavapai College at 1100 E. Sheldon St. Voluntary evacuations were occurring in the Iron Springs Club area. Up to 300 homes have been evacuated in all, the Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross said. “We have cots and blankets for overnight stays,” said Red Cross spokesman Brian Gomez. “We have everything someone would need who has been evacuated.” The fire started south of Iron Springs Road at about 11:30 a.m. It crossed a state highway and headed north. Law enforcement personnel closed Skyline and Iron Springs Road for safety reasons.

Winds gusting to 22 mph fanned the flames Tuesday afternoon. Kaibab National Forest fire lookouts reported smoke was traveling from the southwest to the northeast. Two crews with five engines are on site. Authorities have ordered two more air tankers, two helicopters, 10 additional crews and 10 engines. A DC10 has been dropping thousands of pounds of fire retardant. “We’ve also ordered two other air tankers as well,” Zabinski said. “It buys time. It retards the growth of the fire to allow ground forces to move in.” Local agencies and the U.S. Forest Service are also lending tactical support, said Chino Valley spokesman Rob Zazueta. The Forest Service has closed campgrounds in the Granite Mountain area and access to all area trails. Authorities said they don’t know yet how the wildfire started.


No containment of wildfire near Prescott

by 3TV


Posted on June 18, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Updated today at 7:45 PM

Doce Fire
8 miles northwest of Prescott; burning near Granite Mountain Recreation
Tuesday, June 18, 11:30 a.m.
7,000 acres
Mandatory evacuations:
Granite Basin, Sundown Acres, American Ranch, Mint Creek
2 Type 1 Air Tankers, 2 Helicopters, 10 Crews, 10 Engines, The Southwest Area Type I Incident Management Team will arrive Wednesday
Manzanita and Chaparral
The fire continues to be active with winds pushing the fire north into the Williamson Valley Corridor. Several areas have been evacuated, but no structures have been lost and no injuries
Granite Basin Summer Homes, American Ranch, Sundown Acres
On notice for evacuation:
Neighborhoods in Williamson Valley
Evacuee Shelters:
Evacuation center at Yavapai College and for livestock at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds

Mandatory evacuations ordered; no homes lost, no injuries reported

PRESCOTT, Ariz. — A nearly 11-square-mile wildfire in Arizona’s Prescott National Forest is continuing to grow as more than 500 firefighters were dispatched to battle the blaze.

Yavapai County Emergency Management Regional Alert Website

The Doce Fire, near Doce Pit, started at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and is burning seven to eight miles northwest of Prescott and four miles northwest of Thumb Butte.


Paige Rockett from the U.S. Forest Service said the fire has burned 7,000 acres as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, less than 24 hours after it was first reported.

At this point, no injuries have been reported and no homes have been lost, but fire teams are working against time and Mother Nature. A Red Flag Warning for windy conditions was in place throughout the day..

Officials have ordered mandatory evacuations for homes in the Granite Basin area, Mint Creek, Sundown Acres, Old Stage Acres and American Ranch developments. There is a voluntary evacuation in place for the residential development of Iron Springs Club.

The Alto Pit Recreation Area is closed.


One hundred and thirty kids from the Phoenix area are attending Camp Stein in Prescott. Emergency officials have been in contact with camp personnel as the fire is about 10 miles away, however, it is heading away from the camp. There is no smoke in the camp and there are no plans to evacuate at this time.


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The Oklahoman, NewsOk.com

A teacher hugs a child at Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, Monday, May 20, 2013.

By Suzanne Choney, Contributing Writer, NBC News

The loss of life and stunning devastation in Oklahoma City suburbs after a monster tornado ripped through the area are heart-wrenching. “The streets are just gone. The signs are just gone,” said Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, after she toured the area by helicopter Tuesday. And many, many relief organizations are getting the message out on how to help.

American Red Cross
The Red Cross has set up shelters in various communities. You can donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund here, and the organization also suggests giving blood at your local hospital or blood bank. Fundraising efforts were buoyed Tuesday by a $1 million pledge from Kevin Durant, of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team, via his family foundation.

If you’re searching for a missing relative, check Red Cross Safe & Well’s site. And please register if you’re within the disaster region. The site is designed to make communication easier after a tragedy like this.

If you want to send a $10 donation to the Disaster Relief fund via text message, you can do so by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999. As in the case with other donations via mobile, the donation will show up on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your balance if you have a prepaid phone. You need to be 18 or older, or have parental permission, to donate this way. (If you change your mind, text the word STOP to 90999.)

The Red Cross also accepts frequent flier miles as donations. Delta, United Airlines and US Airways partner with the Red Cross throughout the year, which uses miles to help get volunteers and staff to key locations during disasters. (Note: The donation is not tax-deductible as the IRS considers it a gift.) For Delta, email: delta.bids@delta-air.com with your SkyMiles number, the number of miles you want to donate, and specify the Red Cross as the charity. You can donate miles online at United Airlines Donate Your Miles and US Airways Dividend Miles.

Phone: 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767); for Spanish speakers, 1-800-257-7575; for TDD, 1-800-220-4095.

OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund
The state of Oklahoma, coordinating with the United Way of Central Oklahoma, on Tuesday established the OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund to help “with the long-term medical, emotional and educational needs of victims of the May 20 tornado in Moore and the May 19 tornado near Shawnee.”

Donations can be made online at UnitedWayOKC.org.

Phone: 1-405-236-8441.

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, working with the Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, is seeking monetary donations. To donate, visit the regional food bank’s website, or give $10 by texting the word FOOD to 32333.

Phone: 1-405-972-1111

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief
This organization says donations will “go straight to help those in need providing tree removal services, laundry services and meals to victims of disasters.”

It is requesting monetary donations (It says clothing is NOT needed). For more information, and to donate, visit Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief’s website.

You can send checks to: BGCO, Attn: Disaster Relief, 3800 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK., 73112.

Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is organizing disaster response units to serve hard-hit areas in central Oklahoma, including Moore, where it is sending mobile kitchens that can serve meals to 2,500 people a day, and to South Oklahoma City.

In Little Axe, Okla., the organization said, the army’s Central Oklahoma Area Command Disaster Service Unit was busy feeding breakfast, lunch and dinner to people, “even as one of our Salvation Army family member’s home was destroyed.”

Supporters can donate online via the organization’s website, SalvationArmyUSA.org. You can also text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation via cellphone.

If you want to send a check, the Salvation Army asks that you put the words “Oklahoma Tornado Relief” on the check, and mail it to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK., 73157.

Phone:  1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

Feed the Children
Feed the Children has set up five locations in Oklahoma City to accept donations to help victims of the Moore tornado. The organization is accepting items including diapers, canned goods, non-perishable food, snack items, water and sports drinks. The organization is also supporting mobile canteens in partnership with the Salvation Army and the Red Cross.

You can donate online, or make a $10 donation by texting the word DISASTER to 80888.

Phone:  1-800-627-4556

United Way of Central Oklahoma
A disaster relief fund is being activated as of May 21 so that individuals can specifically donate to tornado relief-and-recovery efforts, the organization says on its site.

“Financial contributions are the best way to help unless otherwise requested.” Donations can be made online at

United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Disaster Relief Fund is open.  Donations may be made online here. Checks, with a notation of “May Tornado Relief” can also be sent to the United Way of Central Oklahoma, P.O. Box 837, Oklahoma City, OK , 73101.

Feeding America
Through its network of more than 200 food banks, Feeding America, whose mission is to “feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks,” says it will deliver truckloads of food, water and supplies to communities in need, in Oklahoma, and will also “set up additional emergency food and supply distribution sites as they are needed.” You can donate online here.

Phone: 1-800-910-5524.

Operation USA
The international relief group, based in Los Angeles, says it is “readying essential material aid — emergency, shelter and cleaning supplies” to help Oklahoma’s community health organizations and schools recover.

You can donate online here. You can also give a $10 donation by texting the word AID to 50555. Checks should be sent to: Operation USA, 7421 Beverly Blvd., PH, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Phone: 1-800-678-7255.

Convoy of Hope
The Missouri-based nonprofit organization has done work in other disasters, including the Haiti earthquake, with a mission of getting food and water to those after disaster strikes. Now it’s doing the same for Moore, Okla. You can donate online here. Convoy of Hope is also going the crowd-sourced route, using HopeMob, a site similar to Kickstarter but for raising money to help disaster victims and others in need, which charges no fees to the organizations that use it. Convoy of Hope’s goal on the site is to raise $15,000 in seven days to help Moore.

“Why 7 days? In these first 7 days the town of Moore, OK will be consumed with clearing out destruction and accessing their needs,” HopeMob says on its site. “Once those needs are known we want to be able to give them the funds to help them rebuild in the long term.”

Phone: 1-800-988-0664


Read Full Article Here




Oklahoma tornado: How to find people, pets


Google’s Crisis Response Center provides information and compiles resources to aid tornado survivors and their loved ones.

By Rosa Golijan

In the aftermath of one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history, many are desperately trying to reach loved ones in areas affected by the disastrous event. Google and the Red Cross are helping confirm the safety of tornado survivors, while the Oklahoma Humane Society and Reddit users band together to take care of missing pets.

Google Crisis Response Center and Person Finder
Google has set up a Crisis Response Center page on which it provides shelter information, weather reports, public alerts and links to a variety of resources to aid those in or around the towns of Moore, Newcastle and southern portions of Oklahoma City. The search giant has also enabled the Google Person Finder tool at a plain and simple-to-use site for sharing and gathering information about those missing after the tornado. The tool was originally created after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

 As with previous versions of the tool, all someone needs to do is enter as much of a person’s name as he or she knows and Google will provide any related information — including last known location, physical descriptions, last reported status and messages left by those searching for the individual.

Those seeking to add information to the database will need to provide the full name of the individual they’ve got information about, as well as their own names and e-mail addresses.


Read Full Article Here

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross Safe and Well website is one way to look for loved ones; another is Google’s Person Finder.

By Suzanne Choney, contributing writer, NBC News.com

Following the confusion and panic caused by the Boston Marathon bomb blasts, websites have been set up for people to report that they’re safe, or check in on a loved one.

The best mainstream resource is the Red Cross’ Safe and Well site, where you do two things: register yourself as being “safe and well,” or find out other people’s status. Those people will have to register with the site first, of course.

Google has activated its Person Finder service to help people locate each other. The search giant has used this in the past, for both U.S. and international crises, such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake and Japan’s 2011 tsunami strike.


If you have loved ones who ran in the Boston Marathon, you can check on their last check-ins at the marathon’s website here. (A marathon enthusiast set up an independent Facebook page where some are checking in, too.) The Boston Marathon’s official Facebook page has also turned into a site to share information about what happened.

(Runners, for example, who got away from the scene, leaving their bags behind, were told on the Facebook page that “baggage claim is now open on Berkeley Street between Boylston Street and St. James Avenue. All unclaimed bags will remain secure.”

Families searching for loved ones can call this number at the Boston mayor’s office for information: 1-617-635-4520. Anyone with information about the blasts that can lead to an arrest are encouraged to call 1-800-494-TIPS, or text the word TIP to CRIME (27463).

Earth Watch Report  –  Forest/Wild Fires

A wildfire, seen here from helicopter, destroyed more than 30 cabins in East Tennessee, March 17, 2013.

18.03.2013 Forest / Wild Fire USA State of Tennessee, [Pigeon Forge region] Damage level

Forest / Wild Fire in USA on Monday, 18 March, 2013 at 07:28 (07:28 AM) UTC.

Firefighter departments from several counties and the Tennessee Division of Forestry continue to battle a massive fire in Pigeon Forge overnight. Sevier County Fire Department confirmed that the fire damaged at least 35 cabins near Black Bear Ridge Resort and Trappers Ridge at this time. Pigeon Forge Fire Chief Tony Watson said his department used lots of resources fighting flames covering 200 to 300 acres. “It’s been rough. It’s been rough as I’ve ever seen it,” said Watson. Weather conditions failed to provide relief for crews struggling to contain the blaze. “You gotta understand, it jumped across a road, several roads, and now it’s racing up a hill,” explained Watson. “Luckily, the humidity, the temperatures dropped. We’re still not under control, but if it was earlier in the day, we’d still be in worse shape.”

Crews evacuated the area, and Watson said there are no injuries at this time. “Everybody that I know of has not been injured,” confirmed Watson. “This is by the luck of God and prayer that we’ve not been able to get that.” Officials said they believe a cabin fire at the Bear Ridge Resort ignited the massive fire at approximately 4:00 p.m. Authorities still don’t know what sparked the fire inside the cabin. Watson said the fire spread quickly, which made for dangerous conditions. “These houses are put close together up there. The first portion of this started out as a house fire. . . it led to several other next to it catching on fire,” Watson said. “Propane tanks have been exploding. It’s been a real dangerous.” Firefighters placed tankers on the scene carrying water to put out the flames. Officials used helicopters to extinguish the fire from a higher altitude as well.

“We’re a long way from home. We’re going to be going into multiple operations for the next couple of days,” said Watson. “We’re not even able to say this fire’s under control. We are not under control.” Tennessee Highway Patrol, Sevier County Sheriff’s Office and Pigeon Forge Fire Department are helping with evacuation efforts and keeping people out of the danger zone. Watson said people who live in Pigeon Forge, Waldens Creek, Wears Valley area, and Lost Branch area need to pay attention to the conditions. “What I’ve been telling people, ‘If you see the fire get close to your home call 911,” said Watson. “If you live in those areas right there, you need to be packing up some stuff and be ready to go, so if somebody knocks on your door, you’re ready to get out quickly.” Agencies from all over East Tennessee and churches organized relief efforts throughout Sunday. The American Red Cross opened an emergency shelter at the Pigeon Forge Community Center for people displaced by the fire. Red Cross volunteers also staffed an emergency relief vehicle to assist the area.

State of Emergency Declared In Pigeon Forge Due To Fire

Posted on: 10:55 am, March 18, 2013, by


(Pigeon Forge, TN CNN) Tennessee authorities declared a state of emergency and sent in the National Guard on Monday in an effort to control a fast-moving wildfire near the resort town of Pigeon Forge.

The fire started about 5 p.m. Sunday and quickly spread, charring more than 30 cabins and turning propane tanks into shrapnel.

About 20 fire departments have been fighting the fire, authorities said.

“Propane tanks have been exploding,” Pigeon Forge Fire Chief Tony Watson said Sunday. “It’s been real dangerous.”

Now at 230 acres, the blaze started as a house fire, according to Watson.

“It looks like somebody just went through there and just dropped a bomb on the place,” Shannon McCostlin told affiliate WATE-TV. “I feel bad for them people.”

The area is home to rental cabins with some permanent residences.

National Guard helicopters were flying to the scene Monday morning and will drop water from a nearby lake onto the fire, said Perrin Anderson, a spokesman for Sevier County.

The help is badly needed, Watson said Sunday.

“You gotta understand, it jumped across a road, several roads, and now it’s racing up a hill,” he told CNN affiliate WBIR-TV.

The fire has been partially contained, said Dean Flener, a spokesman for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.

About 150 people were evacuated Sunday and the American Red Cross opened a shelter at the Pigeon Forge Community Center.

Pigeon Forge, in eastern Tennessee, is best known for singer Dolly Parton’s theme park, Dollywood, which was not affected by the fire.

Positioned on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains, the area also is popular with outdoors enthusiasts and has a wide variety of other attractions, including music theaters, outlet malls, go-kart tracks and mini-golf courses.

More than 30 cabins torched by Tennessee wildfire

A wildfire, seen here from helicopter, destroyed more than 30 cabins in East Tennessee, March 17, 2013.

A wildfire, seen here from helicopter, destroyed more than 30 cabins in East Tennessee, March 17, 2013. / WVLT-TV/CBS

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. A wildfire burning in a resort area outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in eastern Tennessee has destroyed more than 30 large rental cabins.

The 145-acre fire was first reported around 5 p.m. EDT Sunday in Sevier County, said Ben Bryson, a fire resources coordinator with the Tennessee Division of Forestry. Smoke was reported to be visible from 25 miles away.

Bryson said early Monday that the fire was contained and not expected to spread.


Fires burn in two Southern states

Some of the cabins were occupied and about 150 to 200 people were evacuated, but no injuries were reported, Bryson said.

After dawn Monday, two Tennessee Air National Guard helicopters took off from nearby McGhee Tyson Airport. A state Forestry Division spokesman said the helicopters would be used to scoop up water from Douglas Lake and drop it on the fire.


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Explosion levels building, damages 8 others in Jensen

Investigators from the Utah State Fire
Marshal’s Office determined a gas leak caused the explosion in the
Ashley Valley Industrial Park,

Today Explosion USA State of Utah, Jensen [Ashley Valley Industrial Park] Damage level

Explosion in USA on Sunday, 03 March, 2013 at 04:56 (04:56 AM) UTC.

No one was hurt in an industrial park explosion Saturday morning that destroyed one building and damaged 11 others in eastern Utah’s Uintah County. The blast occurred shortly after midnight at the Ashley Valley Industrial Park, a facility a few miles southeast of Vernal that’s run by Adler Hot Oil Service. Dispatchers fielded calls from around the county from people who felt the rumble. Fire crews arrived at the facility at 5131 S. 4880 East to battle the flames while law enforcement evacuated residents within a half-mile radius of the site. Tal Ehlers, Uintah County emergency manager, estimated that included about 30 homes. Firefighters from three agencies eventually doused the flames, but not before they had destroyed an industrial building, severely damaged eight others and moderately damaged three homes, according to a news release. No one was hurt. The American Red Cross has a temporary shelter on standby at Vernal Middle School, 712 W. 100 South, for anyone displaced by the fire and evacuation. The evacuation is expected to remain in effect until 6 p.m. because crews are still dealing with a 1,000-gallon propane tank that flipped over in the explosion and has been leaking as a result, according to the release. The state’s fire marshal has sent investigators to help determine what happened, though early signs indicate it was a gas or propane explosion, Ehlers said. No one was at the site when it erupted. Adler Hot Oil Service is a Vernal-based company that sells hot oil trucks for cleaning oil and gas processing equipment, heating fracturing fluids and pumping fluids down well bores, among other applications, according to the website. The company could not be reached for comment.


Earth Watch Report  –  Flooding


Images Source

23.02.2013 Flash Flood USA State of Hawaii, [Maui] Damage level

Flash Flood in USA on Saturday, 23 February, 2013 at 10:22 (10:22 AM) UTC.

The National Weather Service cancelled a flash flood warning for east Maui after heavy rains stopped by about 3:30 p.m. The island is still cleaning up after floods Thursday closed roads, stranded motorists, threatened homes and washed away an abandoned cottage. Today’s rains were concentrated in East Maui, while Thursday’s floods affected Upcountry Maui and areas near Haiku. Maui remains under a flash flood watch because of the potential for more heavy showers, even thunderstorms, through at least tonight. Baldwin Park in Paia remained closed this morning because of flooding. The American Red Cross opened an evacuation center at the Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani Thursday night to asset residents forced from their homes and closed it this morning. Maui Fire Department spokesman Lee Maniaga said eight homes were evacuated and three vehicles were stranded by floodwaters in the Maliko Gulch area near Haiku on Maui’s north shore. The residents and car occupants evacuated safely. An abandoned cottage in nearby Paia at 355 Kaluanui Roadas was washed away by floodwaters, Maniaga said.

Floods also threatened a nearby home at 365 Kalanui Road, trapping five residents. Firefighters rescued two residents after floodwaters subsided, but three others decided to stay at the home. Firefighters also responded to Makawao, where water and debris began flowing over Makawao Avenue, making the bridge impassable. Crews also assisted homeowners trying to divert flood waters from a home on Kuhina Place in Makawao Ranch Acres and a residence at 2905 Iolani Street in Makawao. Maniaga said firefighters escorted four motorists stranded in the Kealaloa/ Hanamu Road area near Hana. Roads closed by flooding on Maui included Kee Road in Makawao between Makawao Avenue and Baldwin Avenue; Brewer Road in Makawao; Makawao Avenue; and Kaupakalua Road in Haiku between West Kuiaha and Kauhikoa roads. All roads are now open, a county spokesman said this morning. Maniaga said firefighters began responding to calls at about 3:15 p.m. Thursday and continued responding into the evening. The National Weather Service recorded just under 9 inches of rain in Upcountry in the 24 hour period ending at 2:45 p.m. Pukalani got 4.4 inches and the Kaupo Gap received 2.1 inches.

Maui flash floods wash away cottage and shed

Posted: Feb 22, 2013 9:07 PM CST Updated: Feb 23, 2013 12:06 AM CST

 MAKAWAO, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) –

Flash flooding on Maui late Thursday and early Friday caused extensive property damage. Dramatic video shared with Hawaii News Now shows the flooding in Upcountry Maui that washed away a cottage and a shed on Kaluanui Road.

Severe Weather Photos

Gushing floodwaters turned what is normally a waterfall into a huge torrent of water in Makawao. The rush of water inundated property owned by Bob Flint, who lives in the Maliko Gulch area.

“In like five minutes I turned around and the water was up on the lawn and the waves were coming up across,” said Flint. “Suddenly waves were coming under the cottage, and they were thrusting under the cottage and I ran to turn off the gas lines, and I heard a giant crack, and I turned and the cottage was gone,” he said.

Water and debris destroyed an unoccupied cottage and a shed and also washed out a driveway, says Flint. His family’s home was also hit by floodwaters, but he used sand bags to try to prevent further damage.

No one was hurt.

Watch Video Here

FEMA battles online misinformation with ‘rumor control’

By John Ribeiro, IDG News Service
The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency has set up a “rumor control” section on its website to counter misinformation on social networks that has affected relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy.

“Fema.gov/sandy now has a RUMOR CONTROL section for misinformation,” FEMA said in a Twitter message on Saturday.

The move by FEMA reflects the continuing spread of rumors on social networks in the wake of the hurricane.

“There is a lot of misinformation circulating on social networks. Check here for an on-going list of rumors and their true or false status,” the agency said on its website, which on Saturday warned people for example about recent blog posts and social media traffic that claimed that FEMA is out of bottled water.

Hurricane Sandy floodingFlickr: NCDOT Communications

“This is FALSE. We are providing water to our state partners for distribution,” FEMA said. It also informed people that calls and posts from citizens related to the failure of the Old Bridge Township water system in Old Bridge, New Jersey were false.

As Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the U.S., a number of users turned to social networks such as Twitter to alert other people, and also to report on developments. Local and state government officials also recommended a number of accounts and hashtags that users could follow to stay informed of emergency measures, Twitter said in a blog post ahead of the hurricane landing on the east coast.

But some users also spread rumors.

A user who used the Twitter handle @ComfortablySmug said in a message that he apologized to the people of New York for “irresponsible and inaccurate tweets.” The user who was identified in some reports as Shashank Tripathi, a campaign manager for Christopher Wight’s New York City congressional campaign, said he had resigned from the campaign.

Over the weekend, FEMA continued to use social media including Twitter to get messages across to people about availability of food and transport at various locations, including from organizations like the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army. Other organizations working on the relief have also been using social media extensively in the crisis. “If you see any Red Cross trucks in your neighborhood, please tweet out locations and pic so others will know,” The Red Cross in Greater New York for example said in a message on Sunday on Facebook.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John’s e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

‘We Need Food, We Need Clothing’: Staten Island Residents Plead for Help 3 Days After Sandy

gty si sandy kb 121101 wblog We Need Food, We Need Clothing: Staten Island Residents Plead for Help 3 Days After Sandy                                                                          (John Moore/Getty Images)

The residents of Staten Island are pleading for help from elected officials, begging for gasoline, food and clothing three days after Sandy slammed the New York City borough.

“We’re going to die! We’re going to freeze! We got 90-year-old people!” Donna Solli told visiting officials. “You don’t understand. You gotta get your trucks down here on the corner now. It’s been three days!”

Staten Island was one of the hardest-hit communities in New York City. More than 80,000 residents are still without power. Many are homeless, and at least 19 people died on Staten Island because of the storm.

One of the devastated neighborhoods was overwhelmed by a violent surge of water. Residents described a super-sized wave as high as 20 feet, with water rushing into the streets like rapids.

Staten Island resident Mike Abuzzio’s home is completely gone, with only his floor boards remaining. He, his wife and their two young daughters have been staying with relatives.

“My youngest daughter yesterday said, ‘Daddy, I want to go,’” Abuzzio told ABC News. “I told her, ‘It’s going to be awhile, hon.’ She doesn’t understand. She’s 6.”

In the rubble that was once his home, Abuzzio found one clean, intact plate of Christmas china. He said that plate will be special at Christmastime and will be used specifically for his mother’s cookies.

For 48 hours after the storm, search teams were hunting for two Staten Island brothers, just 2- and 4-years-old. They were swept out of their mother’s arms when waves caused by storm surges crashed into the family’s SUV. Their small bodies were found today at the end of a dead-end street. Their parents were at the scene where the bodies were discovered.

Staten Island officials sounded increasingly desperate today, asking when supplies will arrive. They blasted the Red Cross for not being there when it counted.

“This is America, not a third world nation. We need food, we need clothing,” Staten Island Borough President Jim Molinaro said today. “My advice to the people of Staten Island is: Don’t donate the American Red Cross. Put their money elsewhere.”

The Red Cross and the National Guard arrived in the area late Tuesday and are distributing food, water and gas – and city officials say things are much better.

Molinaro urged New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg Wednesday to cancel Sunday’s New York City Marathon. The race’s staging area is on Staten Island and Molinaro said it would be “crazy, asinine,” to have the race after what has happened.

“My God. What we have here is terrible, a disaster,” Molinaro said Wednesday. “If they want to race, let them race with themselves. This is no time for a parade. A marathon is a parade. Now is the time to put your shoulder to the wheel. If they want to prepare for something, let them prepare for the election, not a marathon.”

“Do you realize how many police officers you need for a marathon?” he asked. “There are people looting stores on Midland Avenue. There is looting taking place in the homes on the South Shore that were destroyed. That is where we need the police.”