As oil prices decline the price of gas in California continues to set new highs, record highs! You would be wise to ask why.
The reason for this is the ‘outages’ in several refineries in the state. One outage was a power failure that caused the Exxon refinery in Torrence to shut down. With this and other outages at other refineries happening the supply of gas has all but dried up with many gas stations closing as they can’t pay more for their product than customers can pay. This phenomena is not limited to ‘mom and pop’ shops but extends all the way to Costco…
This is yet another example of just how fragile our entire supply chain is in this country and how there are many things that one can do to better prepare for these type events, something that not everyone is prepared to do. After all, preparing for these events is just plain crazy right?
WRONG, it is just good common sense to put up a few extra groceries, water and other items one might need to exist without unnecessary hardship should something come to pass. Here in the mountains of Colorado the occasional snow storm can all but prevent the food trucks from resupplying the stores and believe me those stores empty out in just a couple of days. Almost everyone I know stocks up on basic food items just in case!
A supply chain disruption can be caused by so many things as evidenced by this recent event in CA. Add to that natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and the like that can destroy roads, refineries, dams and nuclear plants that generate power and can also generate huge swaths of destruction should something happen to them.
Once the chain is disrupted expect shortages in just about anything you can imagine as most everything we consume comes from somewhere else! Higher prices will just be a natural consequence of these shortages.
In short, be rational and be prepared.
If I were a parent with children in school in an earthquake prone area, I would most definitely make darn sure that the building was structurally sound and could withstand an earthquake!
I would also make sure my kids knew about earthquake safety…i.e. how to act in the event of an earthquake.
KTLA SPECIAL REPORT: Can Your Child’s School Withstand An Earthquake? (Part 2)
:01 p.m. PST, February 15, 2012
HOLLYWOOD (KTLA) — Several Southern California school campuses have been flagged with structural issues, but students continue to attend class daily.
Helen Bernstein is one of dozens of schools that have been placed on a list no California school wants to be on, which is leading some to question whether the high school is structurally safe, if an earthquake strikes.
Martir Gomez has a daughter who is a student at Helen Bernstein and while he likes the school, he says he wishes he would have known about the problem three years ago when his daughter first enrolled.
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Classes have been in session since 2008 at the modern, five-story Hollywood campus which cost an estimated $177 million to build.
But, according to documents uncovered by California Watch — a reporting initiative launched by the independent, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting — there are structural flaws and potential safety hazards that a state agency called the DSA (Division of the State Architect which provides design and construction oversight for K12 schools, community colleges, and various other state-owned and leased facilities) has not approved.
“There’s bracing issues, bracing issues in the wall, there’s issues with some of their sheer wall brackets,” says Eric Lamoureux who works for the California Department of General Services.
Lamoureux says it’s DSA’s job to make sure schools being built meet standards to withstand earthquakes and Helen Bernstein has been given the dreaded Letter 4 status.
“The one you need to be most concerned about… is a Letter 4s. Those are projects we’ve determined there’s a structural issue,” Lamoureux said in an interview with KTLA.
Documents show that before the school opened its doors, more than 1300 changes made to contract documents had not gone through for approval and the contractor continued to build over those deviation items.
During construction, inspectors listed missing bolts and missing welds on support beams, missing anchors and lopsided walls.
One engineer noted that ceiling framing and braces were bending and weak and later added that “if any accident occurs in the future, who will be liable for that?”
“At the end of the day, the school district is responsible,” says Lamoureux.
KTLA tried several times to get an on camera interview with the LA Unified School District and the station was told that no one responsible for the construction of Helen Bernstein works at the district currently and it would be unfair to put a new employee’s face on camera to answer questions.
Over the phone, the district admitted there was friction on the job site each day between the contractor and inspectors.
LAUSD Chief Facilities Executive, Kelly Schmader, said “We’re looking at each deviation closely. There are some things that have not been fixed because we don’t believe they are deviations and we’ve had professionals in the industry confirm that Helen Bernstein is safe.”
KTLA contacted the contractor for Helen Bernstein, but the station was told no one was available for comment.
The DSA says it cannot specify which structural issues have been resolved and which ones still remain.
The district insists that students are not in danger, but Gomez says, “If I would have known that, I would have taken my kid out of this school and put her someplace else.”
Bernstein is one of dozens of California Schools that have not met earthquake standards. To see if your school is on the list, go to: CaliforniaWatch.Org
We also have posted about common things that you can do in the event of an earthquake and they are surprising.
Wow, the surprise for me in the below article is that heretofore they were not required to do an earthquake assessment! Incredible that this somehow slipped by and these plants were built, some directly over fault lines know for high earthquake activity!
Hopefully, we won’t see a devastating earthquake anywhere near one of these plants ever…but the facilities have 4 years to comply with the new rules…I am betting that they find a way to put that off…indefinitely!
Updated Earthquake Risk Assessment Required at Nuclear Plants
By TAMMY WEBBER | February 4, 2012
Nuclear plants throughout the central and eastern United States must be reassessed within four years to determine how well they might withstand earthquakes, including plants in Illinois and Iowa where new geological data suggest earthquakes could be more frequent and intense than previously believed, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.
The commission this week released an updated seismic risk model that plant operators must use to recalculate risks. The model has been in development for four years but took on a greater urgency after last year’s nuclear disaster in Japan following an earthquake and tsunami, said Viktoria Mitlyng, a Lisle, Ill.-based spokeswoman for the NRC.
Exelon Energy, which operates Illinois’ 11 nuclear reactors, believes it will take three to five years to complete studies for all of its plants before determining whether any need upgrades, but “would not expect to incur significant costs as a result,” said spokesman Marshall Murphy. He said the company’s units already are designed to withstand an earthquake of 6.0 to 6.9 on the Richter scale.
Murphy said the plants also are built to withstand “variety of other significant natural events and … are constructed in a safe manner in which there are numerous redundant safety systems in place.”
Exelon’s Dresden Nuclear Power Plant, about 65 miles southwest of Chicago, and NextEra Energy’s Duane Arnold Energy Center, just north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, are in areas where scientists believe that seismic risk is slightly greater than indicated by past data, Mitlyng said.
Both also use Mark I boiling-water reactors, which are the same model as the Fukushima Daiichi plant that failed in Japan, a design that has been a concern to some environmentalists and scientists in this country.
David Lochbaum, director of the nuclear safety project for Union of Concerned Scientists, said spent fuel rods at those plants are stored above and outside of the reactor containment chamber instead of at ground level, and systems used to cool the rods were not built to withstand earthquakes. He said the assumption when the plants were built was that the rods would be shipped off-site for burial. But that didn’t happen after a U.S. plan to bury spent rods in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain was stalled.
If the storage area or piping were to rupture, it might be more difficult to keep the rods covered with water, which is required to protect them “because they’re up in the attic,” Lochbaum said, adding that, “I don’t want to imply that Dresden is a house of cards.”
Exelon officials have said all their reactors are safe.
A spokeswoman for the Arkansas Nuclear One plant near Russellville, Ark., said officials will review the new seismic model to determine if upgrades are needed, but the plant doesn’t anticipate major changes. She said the plant was designed and built to withstand the largest earthquake historically reported in the area, plus a margin of safety.
“Our original design is pretty solid,” Gregory said. “We feel like we’re safe today and we’ll be safe tomorrow, but we constantly reevaluate our processes.”
However, Gregory cautioned that it’s too early to tell whether the plant, which is operated by Entergy, will have to make any tweaks based on the new seismic model.
“The challenge is going to be simply meshing this with the time expectations that the regulator has,” said Steve Kerekes, a spokesman for the Nuclear Energy Institute, a Washington-based policy group. “It’s not going to be a surprise to them because this is an issue that’s been percolating for many years now.”
In Kansas, Jenny Hageman, spokeswoman for the Wolf Creek Nuclear plant, said it’s unclear if there will be a change in risk for Wolf Creek, about 90 miles southwest of Kansas City. She said Wolf Creek is designed to withstand an earthquake equivalent to the maximum potential earthquake in the region, with an additional safety margin.
“Wolf Creek will use the information from the new seismic model in evaluating seismic hazards as part of our ongoing efforts to incorporate lessons learned from events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant,” Hageman said.
Scott Bond, manager of nuclear development for Ameren Missouri, also did not anticipate major changes in risk for the company’s Callaway Nuclear Generating Station in central Missouri.
“What we would stress here is really this is not associated with Fukushima,” Bond said. “This was ongoing. It really is just part of the constant reexamination of nuclear safety by the industry and the regulators.”
The Associated Press reported in September that the NRC believed a fourth of America’s reactors might need modifications to make them safer in the event of an earthquake. The report, based on a preliminary AP analysis of government data, came after the largest earthquake to hit Virginia in 117 years appeared to exceed what the North Anna nuclear power plant was built to sustain. The plant northwest of Richmond was shut down for three months after the Aug. 23 quake caused peak ground movement about twice the level for which the plant was designed.
(Associated Press Reporters Jeannie Nuss in Arkansas and Maria Sudekum in Missouri contributed to this report.)
Personally, I would never even consider living within hundreds of miles of one of these monsters! Once the monster is out of the box, the damage is irreversable as we are witnessing in Fukushima!
3rd earthquake in 2 years hit Beeville in S. Texas this morning. Unusual? Yes! Why, well no one knows exactly but some suspect the drilling activity close by. It is under investigation…
I am sure that the oil companies will squash any info that might support such a theory. Can you tell I am a bit skewed against the objectivity of the media these days?
Third Sizeable Earthquake in Two Years
It happened without many people even knowing it but early Saturday morning an earthquake rumbled through the Beeville area.
According to the United States Geological Survey, the tremor happened at 6:48 AM, 38 miles northwest of Beeville. No damage was reported.
It came in as a 3.0 on the Richter Scale.
This is the third sizeable earthquake to rock the area in the past two years. A quake back in October had nearly the same epicenter. That one was a 4.6 magnitude earthquake and was felt by people as far away as Corpus Christi. Another trembler back in April of 2010 in Aqua Dulce came in as a 4.0.
So are three sizeable quakes in two years unusual? Could they be related to all the new oil drilling along the Eagle Ford Shale?
Geologists are looking at that possibility. Mark Besonen, a geologist at TAMUCC says “there is scientific evidence that suggests injecting fluids under pressure deep into the earth can promote seimistiy or earthquakes… if these start happening more frequently than in the past we can say it’s abnormal.”
Scientists say the only way to prove the recent oil boom is responsible for the earthquakes would be if additional quakes occur.
This is the case in point that one never knows when or how bad an ‘event’ might be. I would think that it is a reasonable action to get a bit prepared in case of an event that could disrupt your life. It is a small price to pay to have some stored food, water and other supplies.
I had no idea that the aftershocks from the 5.8 magnitude quake that hit Virginia last August were still going on. The article below gives us a brief explanation as to why…
When will the Virginia earthquake aftershocks end?
On Tuesday, a 3.1 magnitude aftershock centered 40 miles northwest of Richmond rattled central Virginia. The tremor could be felt as close by as the District’s west and southwest suburbs. Since the 5.8 magnitude earthquake of August 23, there have been 43 aftershocks of at least magnitude 2.0 in central Va. according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), begging the question: when will they end?
I posed this question to Morgan Page, an aftershock expert at USGS. Here was her response (note: “M” stands for magnitude):
It will be a few years before activity returns to the low levels observed before the earthquake, and that is provided a large aftershock does not occur. (For very large earthquakes that have many more aftershocks, aftershock sequences have been known to continue for a century!)
A rule of thumb is: if you have X number of aftershocks the first day, then you can expect about X/2 aftershocks the second day, and X/3 aftershocks the third day, and so on. Currently the rate of aftershocks is less than 1 per day (there were 5 aftershocks above M2 in January, so that’s about 1 every 6 days). That rate will continue to drop as time passes.
So at what point is a tremor considered a new or independent earthquake, rather than an aftershock? Page responded as follows (note : “M” stands for magnitude) :
…with any particular earthquake we cannot tell. But given that the number of independent “background” (that is, non-aftershock) earthquakes expected is about 1 M2+ earthquake per year in this area [central Virginia], that’s about how many per year are “independent”. The remainder are aftershocks. We can’t tell which earthquakes are the independent ones, but it’s a pretty small proportion at this point!
David Applegate, Associate Director for Natural Hazards at USGS, added the following:
We keep referring to aftershocks as long as there are more quakes happening in the vicinity than the background rate before the mainshock occurred. The rate of aftershocks decay with time (a statistical pattern known as Omori’s law), but the magnitude does not decay, so even though there will be fewer with time, it doesn’t mean that they will all be much smaller.
Particularly in stable continental crust, this elevated rate of earthquakes can go on for months, years, even decades. There are seismologists who argue that much of the elevated seismicity in the Central U.S. are still aftershocks of the series of magnitude-7+ earthquakes that struck two centuries ago
Related: USGS definition of aftershock
By Jason Samenow | 03:54 PM ET, 02/01/2012
Just gives me another reason to prepare my family for those unforeseen incidences that could really impact your quality of living!
The fracking nightmare is once again showing itself to be a dangerous reality, with earthquakes proven in Oklahoma and the UK already and now Ohio. Check out this article below to see more on what is going on!
Since March, a hydraulic fracturing operation near Youngstown, Ohio, has been shaking things up. In the past nine months, 11 earthquakes have originated within two miles of the well. The latest, which struck on Saturday, was also the largest, measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale- strong enough to be felt in Toronto, reported the New York Times.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources asked for a temporary shut down of the operation on December 24, after a 2.4 magnitude quake; D&L Energy Group, which owns the well, complied voluntarily. Officials brought in to investigate the cause of the seismic activity (in a usually calm area) speculate that the water and other liquids pumped thousands of feet into the ground have reduced friction among fault lines, causing them to slip.
There’s no word yet on when the well might reopen, or what the ramifications for hydraulic fracturing in the area would be if the earthquakes are definitively linked to the operation. But this is not an isolated incident: fracking caused 50 earthquakes in Oklahoma and two more in England.
It also poisons plants and trees and makes drinking water flammable.
Things just keep getting stranger…
Two small earthquakes recorded east of Oklahoma City
The U.S. Geological Survey reports that two earthquakes struck near Meeker shortly after 3:30 a.m. Sunday.
Two earthquakes struck Sunday morning about 40 miles east of Oklahoma City.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the 3.2 and 2.2 magnitude quakes hit near Meeker shortly after 3:30 a.m. Sunday. The quakes were about 4 miles from Johnson and 9 miles from Shawnee.
No damage was reported in Lincoln County, a sheriff’s dispatcher said.
Oklahoma was rattled by a 5.6 earthquake on Nov. 5, the largest ever recorded in the state since 1952. It caused damage to several homes and buildings in Shawnee, Prague and Sparks.
The two quakes Sunday were aftershocks.
While it’s difficult to determine a precise length of time that aftershocks will occur, it’s typical for them to occur for at least a week or two after a major seismological event, U.S. National Earthquake Information Center geophysicist Rafael Abreu said.
“As time goes by, they do keep tapering off,” he said.
If another earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 or greater hits, it will be considered a separate main event and another series of diminishing temblors will be expected to occur, Abreu said.
Read more: http://newsok.com/two-small-earthquakes-recorded-east-of-oklahoma-city/article/3623022#ixzz1ddi3yuTy
The question is are you prepared for something like this?
There is some pretty strange things going on if you ask me! 2 earthquakes in OK of all places! What next? Are you prepared if something happens in your area?
For a Weekend, Oklahoma is Earthquake Country
By SARAH MASLIN NIR
Published: November 6, 2011
Usually, the earth-moving events on an autumn weekend in Oklahoma are at the college football stadiums in Norman and Stillwater.
The quakes, powerful by Midwestern standards, shook towns about an hour’s drive northeast of Oklahoma City. They began early Saturday and continued intermittently through the weekend.
Late Saturday night, the area experienced the strongest earthquake ever recorded in the state. No serious injuries were reported, but minor damage to roads and buildings was reported, according to the Sheriff’s Department in Lincoln County, the epicenter for many of the quakes.
Geological activity in the region has increased in recent years, and earthquakes have occurred with greater frequency and intensity. The big quake on Saturday night, which occurred at 10:53, had a preliminary magnitude of 5.6, according to the National Earthquake Information Center, a division of the United States Geological Survey.
The Geological Survey said Saturday night’s quake was shallow, about three miles deep, and that the epicenter was four miles east of Sparks, which is about 44 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.
That quake followed smaller ones earlier in the day, including one at 2:12 a.m. with a preliminary magnitude of 4.7. Its epicenter was in Prague, about 50 miles east of Oklahoma City.
Since mid-2009, the state has had 10 times more earthquakes than normal, said Austin Holland, a research seismologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey. In 2010, the earth beneath Oklahomans’ feet moved more than 1,000 times, but only 100 or so were strong enough to be felt.
“We have not a clue,” Mr. Holland said of the increase. “It could be a natural cycle; we just don’t know.”
Unlike earthquake-prone California and Japan, Oklahoma does not rest atop the fractious areas where two tectonic plates rub against each other. But the state’s geophysical activity has only been surveyed in earnest for about 50 years, Mr. Holland said, making it difficult to draw conclusions or put the recent activity into context.
But the state does have faults that are buried deep, like the Wizetta Fault, also known as the Seminole Uplift, east of Oklahoma City, where pressure can build.
“You still get earthquakes within the plate. That doesn’t mean there’s a plate boundary, but there’s a fault,” said Don Blakeman, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center.
That pressure is released as tremors like those that startled residents over the weekend in Prague, Okla., where the visible damage on Sunday morning included chimneys that had collapsed onto houses. In a house on North Road, a china cabinet was emptied of its contents, which were smashed, Mr. Holland said. Parts of Highway 62 between Prague and Meeker buckled, he said.
In Lincoln County, cracks ran up the brick courthouse in Chandler after a smaller quake early Saturday morning, said Justin Reese, who runs the Boomarang Diner there.
Since the Saturday night quake, there have been 11 aftershocks that measured above 2.5 on the Richter scale, Mr. Blakeman said.
Mr. Holland said the intensity of the Oklahoma earthquakes “could go either way.”
But this being Oklahoma, the football fans in Norman and Stillwater were not to be outdone by any earthquake on Saturday.
In Norman, the University of Oklahoma Sooners beat the Aggies of Texas A&M, 41 to 25, and in Stillwater, the Oklahoma State Cowboys defeated the Kansas State Wildcats, 52 to 45.
Here is some of the latest news on sea levels. If global warming is true the scientists who wrote this article might be correct. Of course, all this plays out until 2100 and I am not altogether too sure that we can keep all this in one piece until then!
UA climate research: Big stretch of US coast at risk of rising seas
If global temperatures continue to rise and polar ice continues to melt, 9 percent of the land in our coastal cities and towns will be beneath sea level by the end of the century, University of Arizona researchers say.
Climate researchers Jeremy Weiss and Jonathan Overpeck, along with Ben Strauss of Climate Central in Princeton, N.J., mapped the U.S. coastline, using elevations provided by the U.S. Geological Survey. They applied the most recent predictions of a sea level rise of 1 meter (3.28 feet) by 2100 to produce a map that predicts big trouble for 20 cities with more than 300,000 people and for 160 smaller municipalities.
Weiss is a senior researcher in geosciences. Overpeck is a professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences and co-director of the UA’s Institute of the Environment.
The report was published last week in Climatic Change Letters.
The biggest impact will be felt in low-lying, heavily populated places such as New Orleans, Miami Beach and Virginia Beach, the report says.
Subsequent centuries will bring even higher sea levels that could completely submerge some large coastal cities, the researchers say.
It’s not news in New Orleans, said geographer Richard Campanella of Tulane University. Half its urban area is already below sea level.
It was above sea level in the late 19th century, he said, but levees built to protect New Orleans from seasonal floods on the Mississippi River starved the delta of fresh water and sediment. Municipal drainage projects subsequently caused the soils to compact. The city sank, and continues to do so, Campanella said.
Weiss said his study did not consider the impact of protective measures such as sea walls and levees, which are in place in New Orleans and other areas on the map.
Campanella said those protections will fail if sea levels rise as predicted.
It is tough to protect places like Miami Beach, said Robert Deyle, a professor of urban and regional planning at Florida State University.
You could build a huge sea wall around Miami Beach, but infiltration of its shallow aquifer would just fill it like a bathtub, he said.
Deyle said many areas of Florida will face adverse effects from sea-level rise long before the end of the century.
Infiltration and increased property damage from storm surges will be the first signs, he said. A report he prepared with other Florida State researchers says a storm with a severity that could be expected every 100 years would have the force of a 500-year event with a meter’s rise in sea level.
“The message from our work,” said Weiss, “is that one of the most popular landscapes we want to live in or recreate on – the coast – is looking squarely at major impacts from rising sea level in the next century.”
The change will be incremental, said Weiss.
Those polar ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica melt slowly, like a block of ice in the sun, he said. If nothing is done to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and rising temperatures, they will continue to melt over centuries, placing 36 percent of our urbanized coastline beneath sea level, the report says.
“Temperatures by 2100 may be warm enough to commit Earth to at least 4-6 m(eters) of global SLR (sea level rise) over following centuries as the polar ice sheets adjust to the comparatively rapid and largely irreversible global warming that occurs this century,” the report says.
“In terms of sea-level projections, we’re looking squarely at one meter of rise by 2100 with the continuing of current rates of greenhouse gases,” said Weiss.
With that rise only 90 years away, he said, it could affect people born today.
Deyle said Florida governments are beginning to plan for rising sea levels, but he still hears remarks such as “I’ll be dead by then.”
“All the alternatives are really expensive and politically fatal,” Deyle said.
Barrier islands and low-lying beach towns are not the only targets of sea-level rise, the report says.
Cities with bay and river connections, such as Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., and Washington, D.C., will also be affected.
The Gulf Coast states and the Southern coast will be hardest hit, the study says, but coastal land everywhere will be affected.
Contact reporter Tom Beal at email@example.com or 573-4158.
No matter what happens the sea coasts might now be too safe considering the number of earthquakes that are occurring across the globe. If one of these large ones happens in just the right spot a large tsunami can be generated and cause immense devastation…it has happened before and can happen again!
I wonder how many folks in the Northeast that are in the flooding were prepared to deal with the consequences? How many are depending on the government or their neighbors who might have thought ahead just a wee bit?
Natural disaster happen and they can affect large swaths of the population. Isn’t it worth spending and extra couple of hundred dollars over several months to prepare you and your family for these type events?
As South mops up, storm drenches Northeast
From the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) — A massive storm system that socked North Carolina and Virginia made its way into New York and New England on Friday, leaving flooded neighborhoods and roadways in its wake.
The storm was dropping heavy rain in the Northeast as the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole interacted with an upper-level low and a frontal boundary. An 11 a.m. ET advisory from the National Weather Service said up to three more inches of rain may fall in the region.
Flood watches and warnings were in effect from the mid-Atlantic states to Maine. High-wind warnings were in effect from Massachusetts to Maine, with wind gusts up to 60 mph.
About 150 roads were in North Carolina were closed and some people were evacuated in Bertie County, said Patty McQuillan, communications officer for the state’s Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.
Gallery: Downpour causes flooding
Video: Floods shut down NC roads
Video: Maryland flooding damage
Video: Flooding hits U.S. East Coast
* North Carolina
Five people died in weather-related incidents, she said.
As of 8 a.m. Friday, New York City had received almost 3 inches of rain. Mass transit was recovering from service suspensions and delays.
In Swansboro, North Carolina, eight people were rescued, an emergency management official said. That scene repeated itself in a few other North Carolina and Virginia communities.
Airport delays are expected to be crippling in the Northeast again, with ground stops and delays of three hours or more at the New York City airports and in Boston, Massachusetts.
Baltimore, Maryland — at 6.02 inches– on Thursday had its wettest September day ever. Norfolk, Virginia, endured nearly 12 inches of rainfall. CNN affiliate WUSA showed images of flooding in St. Mary’s County, Maryland.
Rain left city streets under water, stranded vehicles and sent scores of people to shelters and caused major delays at airports along the East Coast.
Skies were beginning to clear Friday in much of the Carolinas and Virginia.
Wilmington, North Carolina, has received 22.54 inches of rain since Sunday, the National Weather Service said. September’s total of 22.72 inches was shy of the record 23.41 inches in 1999.
“Waterwise, it was significant,” said Warren Lee, emergency management director for New Hanover County, which includes three beach communities. Monday was actually worse than Thursday, said Lee, because the heavy rain hit bone-dry ground and sparked flash flooding.
Crews will do a damage assessment Friday, he said, indicating there were few evacuations and little wind damage.
Sixty miles up the coast, there was extensive flooding in Swansboro, according to Norman Bryson with Onslow County Emergency Management. The town was completely cut off to vehicular traffic.
A weather-related accident claimed four lives in Washington County where a Jeep Grand Cherokee hydroplaned and ended up in a ditch filled with water. Four of five people in the SUV drowned. They were from Gwinnett County, Georgia.
A 3-year-survived and was hospitalized Friday, officials said.
In Carolina Beach, a lake overflowed and flooded downtown, a video from CNN affiliate WRAL showed one person kayaking through the streets. U.S. 421 remained closed Friday morning.
Carolina Beach Town Manager Tim Owens said the weather was improving Friday and the town expects tourists to return for the weekend. He said some residents near the retention lake likely have some flood damage. “We fared pretty well,” he said.
CNN iReporters snapped flood photos and told their tales.
In upstate New York, Esopus Creek, a tributary of the Hudson River, overflowed and flooded shops and homes in downtown Phoenicia, said Kevin Keaveny.
“I’ve never seen the water come up to the streets,” he said.
Margaret Pelczynski of Buffalo, New York, was visiting Carolina Beach. “This only confirms my beliefs that I’d gladly take a blizzard any day over this rain, wind and flooding,” she wrote.
And William Bernstein Jr. posted photos of Virginia Beach, Virginia. He said there were rescues Thursday and trees down in the Tidewater area. “I believe this will be one we will remember a long time,” he wrote.
The American Red Cross opened seven shelters in North Carolina for those displaced by floods, the group said Thursday.
In Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia, many streets were flooded, as were stretches of Interstate 264, according to CNN Virginia affiliate WAVY 10. Some in the area are without power because of downed lines.
Flood watches and warnings were in effect for Friday for all or major parts of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, according to the National Weather Service.
Police in Wilmington, Delaware, warned motorists about areas of high water Friday.
Wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour are expected in parts of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, the National Weather Service said.
The rain will move out of the Northeast throughout Friday, but not before dropping an additional 4-6 inches (100-150 mm), according to CNN Meteorologist Taylor Ward.
CNN’s Shawn Nottingham, Angela Fritz, Phil Gast, Taylor Ward and Scott Thompson contributed to this report.