Despite Storms, Luzerne County Under Drought Watch

Editor’s note:  There are 27 Pennsylvania counties under this watch, including Berks.

Keith Hilliard has been watching the sky from his farm in Sugarloaf Township, hoping for rain.

Hilliard hasn’t seen the weather he’d like so far this spring.

The dry weather helped him plant seeds, but now, “if we don’t get any rain, it will affect those crops pretty quickly,” he said.

Some crops are worth irrigating for Hilliard, president of the Luzerne County Farm Bureau. Others won’t offer enough return on his investment. About 40 percent of his hay crop has already been affected by the dry weather.

“There’s not a whole lot you can do with a lack of rain,” he said.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/despite-storms-county-under-drought-watch-1.1889261

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April Showers Swamp Region, Trigger Flooding

The rains came heavy Tuesday into Wednesday as if all those metaphorical April showers waited until the last day of the month to show up.

It all started when a low-pressure front slinked into the region Tuesday and started dumping rain into the area to the point that by 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, a United States Geological Survey rain gauge along the Schuylkill River had recorded nearly 5 inches of rain in a 24-hour period.

And, as you might expect, the result was creeks bursting their banks — along with the Schuylkill River they ultimately feed — and flooded roads, and then trapping some motorists on those roads after they tried to drive through the water.

One of at least four “water rescues” in the area occurred on Bethel Church Road in East Coventry when a small blue sedan stalled in a deep swell of water on the road.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140430/april-showers-swamp-region-trigger-flooding

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Southern California Shaken By 5.1 Earthquake, Minor Damage Reported

A locator map showing Los Angeles County — in ...

A locator map showing Los Angeles County — in Southern California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A magnitude-5.1 earthquake shook buildings, ruptured gas lines and caused other minor damage and injuries in Southern California late Friday.

The quake, centered 2 miles east of La Habra, Calif, was reported at 9:09 p.m. according to the United States Geological Survey. The shaking originated about 5 miles underground. The 5.1-magnitude quake was followed two minutes later by another 3.4 quake, officials said.

Reports of natural gas leaks began flooding in once the shaking stopped, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Ed Pickett. Firefighter assessed the leaks as minor, Pickett said, but a broken water pipe did flood a CVS Pharmacy.

A rockslide in Brea, Calif. in Orange County caused a car to overturn, causing only minor injuries, officials said. Southern California Edison officials reported about 2,000 customers were without power late Friday because of the earthquake. The earthquake also sent rocks tumbling off the 10 Freeway, creating a traffic hazard, according to California Highway Patrol officials.

Read more: http://dfm.timesherald.com/article/los-angeles-county-shaken-by-51-earthquake-some-damage-reported/91bba0fe9d3a2d719a7a92ca7b7557fd

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Pa., W.Va., Ohio Vie For Huge New Shell Gas Plant

Cropped portion of image from USGS report show...

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Big industry may be coming back to the northeast United States.

Shell Oil Co. is nearing a decision on where in the Appalachians to build a huge new petrochemical refinery — a project that could bring thousands of construction and production jobs and change the face of the region for decades…

To read the rest of this article, click here:  http://hosted2.ap.org/PALAP/d3444c3add384b05a39deb3258f13309/Article_2011-09-03-Gas%20Drilling-Refinery/id-3ff93b9f9fff48e2b50d5b5aca340964

Animal “Mass Die-Offs” Nothing To Panic Over

A flock of Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius pho...

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Evidently, according to AP Writer Seth Borenstein, the recent conspiracy theories about the blackbirds in Arkansas, crabs in the Chesapeake and red tilapia in Vietnam are internet hype and to be taken with a grain of salt.  These “die-offs” happen in nature all the time. 

With the advent of the internet age and instant access to information, people are more aware now of what happens across the globe at any given moment of the day.  This “access” to information leads some people to speculate outrageous things.  According to scientist and the Federal government, these die-offs are nothing to be alarmed over.

To read the entire article  click here:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40961721/ns/us_news-environment/?gt1=43001