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Severe Weather Plagues US: Flooding Claims Lives and Extreme Conditions Persist

by Lucas Garcia
1 comment
Extreme weather

Authorities in Pennsylvania mobilized a large-scale search operation on Monday involving 100 individuals, drones, and cadaver dogs to locate two missing children who were swept away in flash flooding, adding to the devastation caused by extreme weather along the East Coast. Simultaneously, other regions of the country grappled with dangerously high temperatures and severe air pollution resulting from wildfires in Canada.

In eastern Pennsylvania, the search for two-year-old Matilda Sheils and her nine-month-old brother Conrad Sheils proved to be a daunting task. The siblings, part of a family from Charleston, South Carolina, were visiting relatives when they were caught in a flash flood on Saturday. While their father managed to rescue their four-year-old son, their mother and grandmother were carried away by the forceful waters.

Tragically, five lives were claimed by the floods, including Katie Seley, 32, the mother of the missing children. The Sheils family, who experienced the terrifying force of the floodwaters, is now overwhelmed with grief.

The community and local religious leaders have rallied to support the family during this unimaginably difficult time. Monsignor Michael Picard, from St. Andrew Roman Catholic Church, where the family attends, expressed his condolences and joined in prayer with the grieving grandparents.

The flash floods in Pennsylvania also resulted in the deaths of Enzo Depiero, 78, and Linda Depiero, 74, from Newtown, Yuko Love, 64, from Newtown, and Susan Barnhart, 53, from Titusville, New Jersey, according to Bucks County Coroner Meredith Buck. In response to the severe flooding, the county commissioners declared a state of emergency.

While parts of the saturated Northeast began to recover from the torrential rains, which triggered flash floods in various states including New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, the risk of landslides continued to be monitored in vulnerable areas.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Governor Phil Scott assessed the damage caused by recent heavy rains, which resulted in a damaged inn split in half by floodwaters. Buttigieg emphasized the need for forward-looking approaches to address the increasing frequency of extreme weather events.

As the affected regions struggled to cope with the aftermath, air quality became a major concern in the northern United States. The Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow.gov Smoke and Fire map revealed extensive areas with unhealthy air quality due to fine particle pollution caused by smoke from wildfires in Canada. These particles, known as PM2.5, pose short-term respiratory problems and can have long-term effects on the lungs and heart.

In addition to these challenges, Kansas and Missouri faced power outages following storms over the weekend, with the potential for further storms and stifling heat in the upcoming days. Meanwhile, in the West, a mountain biker lost his life in scorching desert heat after assisting in the rescue of four stranded hikers.

Temperatures continued to rise in various parts of the country, with Phoenix enduring 18 consecutive days of 110-degree Fahrenheit (43.3 degrees Celsius) heat, tying a previous record. Death Valley in California reached a scorching 128 degrees Fahrenheit (53.3 degrees Celsius), while Reno, Nevada, experienced record-breaking temperatures of 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42.2 degrees Celsius).

Contributors: Ron Todt (Philadelphia), David Collins (Hartford), Sarah Brumfield (Silver Spring), Kathy McCormack (Concord), Patrick Whittle (Portland), Margery Beck (Omaha), Scott Sonner (Reno), Leah Willingham (Charleston).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Extreme weather

What was the impact of the extreme weather in the US?

The extreme weather in the US resulted in devastating floods, high temperatures, air pollution from wildfires, power outages, and record-breaking temperatures in various regions.

How many people were affected by the flash floods in Pennsylvania?

The flash floods in Pennsylvania claimed the lives of five individuals, including a mother and two missing children. Additionally, several other people lost their lives due to the floods.

What precautions should people take during the poor air quality caused by wildfires?

During poor air quality caused by wildfires, it is advisable to limit outdoor activities, especially for sensitive groups such as individuals with heart and lung disease, older adults, children, and pregnant women. Staying indoors and following advisories from relevant authorities is recommended.

How did the extreme weather impact transportation?

The extreme weather conditions led to hundreds of flight cancellations and delays in the New York City area. Additionally, storms in Kansas and Missouri resulted in power outages, creating difficulties for people while more storms were expected in the affected areas.

What were some of the record-breaking temperatures experienced during this period?

Phoenix endured 18 consecutive days of 110-degree Fahrenheit (43.3 degrees Celsius) heat, tying a previous record. Death Valley in California reached a scorching 128 degrees Fahrenheit (53.3 degrees Celsius), and Reno, Nevada, experienced record-breaking temperatures of 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42.2 degrees Celsius).

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1 comment

WeatherWatcher22 July 18, 2023 - 3:58 pm

omg this extreme weather is cray! floods everywhere, ppl stranded, so sad. hope they find them kids tho 🙁 #prayers

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