WV and National Disaster News - March 12, 2021



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West Virginia
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Note: This section’s inputs are provided by FEMA Head Quarters.
Winter Storm Winter Storm Xylia is expected to dump multiple feet of snow in parts of Colorado, Wyoming and western Nebraska starting Friday evening and many cities are warning residents not to travel. USN&WR says Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced Thursday he is activating about 50 National Guard troops to help first responders conduct any search and rescue missions. Polis said, "I urge you to stay home if it’s going to snow hard in your area so you don’t need them to rescue you." Polis also addressed the issue of COVID vaccine cancelations saying Colorado has received the week’s shipments of vaccines from the federal government, so supplies won’t be disrupted. “If they have canceled, don’t panic, your vaccine is still there,” the governor said. CBS News Denver (CO) reports thousands of appointments across the area have been canceled or rescheduled. 
The Weather Channel reports Denver International Airport is expecting flight delays and cancelations and hundreds of utility workers and contractors are on standby for possible power outages. AccuWeather reports winter storm warning and watches are in effect for parts of Colorado and Wyoming as forecasters warn of a monster, long-duration snowstorm that could dump up to three feet of snow in parts of the region. Some areas are likely to see blizzard conditions as winds reach up to 50 mph by Sunday. Whiteouts, road closures and power outages are all concerns and forecasters say roadways such as I-25 and I-80 may get shut down late Saturday into Sunday.
Xylia will also be the catalyst for igniting severe thunderstorms farther south and east over the weekend. AccuWeather says the system will bring the whole gamut of hazardous weather as opposite air masses collide together providing the necessary fuel for widespread thunderstorm development. Over 20 million Americans are in the threat zone, including the bigger cities of Oklahoma City, Dallas and Little Rock, Arkansas. Hail, isolated tornadoes, flooding rains and damaging winds gusts up to 80 mph are all possible. On Sunday, the threat for severe weather will shift eastward, to include eastern Oklahoma and Texas all the way to the Mississippi River.
In Hawaii, a massive landslide in Hanalei is blocking the only access for vehicular traffic in and out of Kauai’s north shore. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) reports days of flooding rains have created a myriad problems resulting from thunderstorms, heavy rainfall and flooding that have stretched across the islands, hitting Kauai and Oahu particularly hard. KHON-TV (HI) reports rocks and dirt continue to come down at the Hanalei Hill location and a Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for the island of Kauai until at least Friday evening. Extended power outages are also expected in the area.
US News & World Report - Mar 11, 2021 - Reach: 37649436
In Mississippi, an audio reports by NPR says it's been a month since some in Jackson had usable running water. A winter storm hit the aging infrastructure in the majority Black city, and many are angry about how long the fix is taking. USN&WR says most water customers have seen service restored, but thousands will likely remain under a boil-notice into next week. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said the crisis has been caused in part by decades of neglect and he sent a letter to Gov. Tate Reeves and other officials last week requesting $47 million in state and federal funding to begin repairing the water system.
National Public Radio - Mar 12, 2021 - Becca Schimmel - Reach: 45074433
In Louisiana, KATC-TV (LA) reports six months after Hurricane Laura housing issues continue for residents of Lake Charles. Mayor Nic Hunter has sent an open letter to FEMA for more assistance, specifically for more temporary housing. KPLC-TV (LA) reports Hunter said, “I really am getting so frustrated. I’m running out of appropriate words to use to express how disappointed we are in the speed. FEMA’s done some good things, but I tell you, with this temporary housing plan, it’s been a disappointment.” FEMA announced earlier this month that it plans to have everyone housed by September or October. Hunter said solutions suggested “immediately after the hurricanes” regarding group housing -- FEMA called a last resort and would not consider.

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