Disturbing: Food stamp fraud rampant: GAO report
Hoping to hear from readers who have been impacted or who are in the projected path of the massive Hurricane Sandy “superstorm.” Please let us know what’s happening in your area, what you’re seeing, etc.
Sandy has had a significant impact on North Caroilina, on the coast of course as well as in the mountain areas:
Elizabeth City, NC — The captain of a ship that sank this morning off the North Carolina coast remains missing along with a fellow crew member.
Fourteen people were rescued from the HMS Bounty when the 180-foot, three-mast tall ship took on water as Hurricane Sandy skirted the North Carolina coast.
The ship sunk, according to the Coast Guard at 8:45 a.m. Monday.
The Coast Guard continues to use a helicopter and an airplane to search for the two remaining crew members. They are the captain, 63-year-old Robin Walbridge, and crewmember Claudene Christian, who is 42 years old.
The Coast Guard says the first Jayhawk helicopter crew reached the life rafts around 6:30 a.m., which is about 90 minutes after the crew of the Bounty abandoned ship. Crews hoisted five people into the aircraft at that time. A second helicopter arrived and rescued nine people.
The Bounty was built for a 1962 film and has been featured in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
The Bounty has been to Carteret County a couple times, back in the 2000s. According to its website, the Bounty “sails the country offering dockside tours in which one can learn about the history and details of sailing vessels from a lost and romanticized time in maritime history.”
Please keep the families of those rescued and those missing in your prayers tonight.
Here’s more on Sandy’s NC impact, via the Charlotte Observer:
Hurricane Sandy battered a 400-mile-wide swath of North Carolina on Monday, sending huge waves and tidal flooding ashore on the Outer Banks and causing accumulating snowfall in the western mountains.
A wide array of warnings and advisories are posted for the Tar Heel State, including a Wind Advisory for Charlotte and much of the Piedmont.
A High Wind Warning is posted in higher elevations to the northwest of Charlotte, including all or parts of Watauga, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, McDowell and Rutherford counties. Forecasters warn gusts of 60 to 70 mph are possible Monday and early Tuesday in that area, and they say widespread power outages are likely.
And a Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the northwest mountains, where 8 inches or more of snow could fall by late Tuesday.
At midday Monday, Hurricane Sandy was growing stronger as it moved toward the coast. Its center was about 200 miles southeast of Atlantic City, N.J., and its top sustained winds had grown to 90 mph. Gusts were above 110 mph.
The storm’s growing strength could mean Sandy’s effects here in the Carolinas will be stronger than earlier thought.
As Sandy moves to the north, conditions slowly are improving on the Outer Banks.
Rain bands from Hurricane Sandy were falling as close as Greensboro and Raleigh late Monday morning.
That precipitation is expected to move south gradually during the day, and a few showers could reach Charlotte by evening and overnight.
Along the Outer Banks, the heavy rain and storm surge have closed parts of N.C. 12. The N.C. Department of Transportation says N.C. 12 is closed south of the Oregon Inlet Bridge, to Rodanthe. Overwash was being reported on sections of the road.
In addition, the DOT has stopped running its ferries to the Outer Banks. Manteo was reporting sustained winds of 30 mph and heavy rain at 7 a.m.
There are no other flooding reports, however.
“So far, we’ve been fortunate as we have not had reports of severe damage from Hurricane Sandy,” N.C. Emergency Management Director Doug Hoell said late Sunday. “But this is still a slow-moving, powerful storm that could impact North Carolina well into next week.”
Snow fell much of Monday morning in Boone, where the temperature hovered around 32 degrees and the ground had a white coating. A dispatcher with the sheriff’s offices in Avery and Watauga counties reported several secondary roads were ice and snow at times during the morning.
Winter Storm warnings are in effect until Wednesday morning. National Weather Service meteorologists expect 4 to 8 inches’ accumulation above 2,500 feet, with locally heavier snowfall. A couple inches will accumulate in Asheville, the Weather Service adds.
Adding to the problem will be strong northwest winds, blowing 25 to 35 mph sustained and gusting at times to 60 to 70 mph. Forecasters say they expect widespread power outages, with the winds predicted to knock down trees and power lines.
“It will be heavy, wet snow … a high-impact storm,” McAvoy said.
The area included in the High Wind Warning covers cities such as Morganton, Lenoir, Boone and Rutherfordton.
Be safe out there, everyone – in NC and all other areas impacted by what Accuweather has dubbed the “Frankenstorm.”