Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Hurricane season begins today and experts are expecting a larger than normal season, with 12 to 18 named hurricanes, three to six of which could turn into major hurricanes. With many parts of the country still reeling from tornadoes, and cuts to the disaster preparedness budget, how prepared are we as we begin hurricane season? Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, and co-founder and president of Children's Health Fund, has the answer.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Japan teeters on the brink of a nuclear meltdown following the 8.9 earthquake and the enormous tsunami. Meanwhile, many in the U.S. are pondering the state of our nuclear power plants if they ever faced a similar bout with mother nature. The U.S. is the home of 104 nuclear reactor sites, four of them along the west coast — famed for its fault line and earthquakes — one in Washington, two in California, and three in Arizona.
Monday, December 06, 2010
(Washington, D.C. -- David Schultz, WAMU) We told you earlier about Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's discovery of $1.5 billion dollars in unspent transportation funding. McDonnell, a Republican, found the money through a comprehensive audit of the state's Department of Transportation that he ordered immediately after succeeding Virginia's previous governor, Democrat Tim Kaine.
Now, the Governor is delivering on his pledge to get that $1.5 billion out the door as quickly as possible. Earlier today, he announced that almost three quarters of that newly-discovered funding would be advertised immediately -- meaning contractors can start bidding on it today. Excerpts from McDonnell's announcement are posted below.
But first -- in the interest of balance -- a caveat about that funding: Virginia Democrats say McDonnell didn't really discover any new funding and, in actuality, is drawing down the Transportation Department's cash reserves, which will make the state less able to respond to a natural disaster in the future.
Anyway, here's that announcement:
Governor Bob McDonnell today announced that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will advertise an estimated $1.1 billion in construction and maintenance projects during the first six months of Fiscal Year 2011. The estimated economic impact of this work is 33,900 jobs created or supported, as well as $2.83 billion in economic activity and $282.5 million in taxes that come back to the Commonwealth.
According to studies published by the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, every $100 million spent on highway construction and maintenance projects adds 3,000 jobs created or supported, $250 million in economic activity and $25 million in taxes that go back to Virginia coffers.
McDonnell directed VDOT to more quickly initiate transportation improvements. A recent independent audit of the agency criticized its ability to move projects through the pipeline. VDOT and members of the McDonnell administration have been developing new business practices that speed the investment of transportation funding.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Haitians officials have issued a hurricane warning as Tropical Storm Tomas barrels towards the beleaguered nation. More than one million earthquake survivors have been advised to leave their tent camps before Tomas arrives, which is expected sometime tomorrow. Besides the issue that most of these refugees have no place to go, the hurricane is expected to make the recent cholera epidemic in the country worse. Elysia Nisan, an aid worker for Save the Children, and Jacqueline Charles of The Miami Herald join us from Miami.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
A magnitude 7.7 earthquake rocked Indonesia on Monday and caused a 10 foot tsunami, has left the country devastated. The latest death toll is at 272 and expected to rise. Rescue teams are battling through uprooted forests to reach at least 400 people believed to be missing. The country was already reeling from a volcano eruption on Java that killed 28 people. Patrick Barta, Southeast Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, is coordinating coverage of the twin disasters for his paper. He reports live from Singapore, where he is stationed until he is allowed to travel to Indonesia.
Monday, August 02, 2010
Medical teams were sent to northwest Pakistan on Monday to be on hand for a possible cholera epidemic triggered by the district's heavy monsoon rains. The floods have killed some 1,200 people and displaced 2 million from their homes.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Looters set a department store on fire in Concepcion, Chile following Saturday's 8.8-magnitude earthquake. People are continuing to fight over goods and gasoline there, and a curfew is in place until midday to help keep the city calm.