A combination of heavy rain, snow and wind brought threats of flooding and power outages to the Northeast on Dec. 11, part of the same storm system that killed six people in Tennessee, including a 10-year-old boy, as tornadoes toppled houses and tens of thousands of people lost power.
The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings through the evening as snow fell across Vermont and northern New York, where up to 10 inches of snow could accumulate. The weather service said that snowfall rates of an inch an hour were possible. Many schools were closed in Vermont, while the National Weather Service in Burlington warned of black ice as temperatures dropped on wet roads.
In Boston, the National Weather Services reported that 1.75 inches of rain fell at Logan Airport, breaking the previous daily rainfall record for Dec. 11 of 1.52 inches, which was set in 1936. A mix of rain and snow was falling in New Hampshire and some roads had minor flooding in Maine, where the National Weather Service reported “significant amounts or precipitation.”
Heavy rain and strong winds left thousands of Connecticut homes without power Dec. 11 morning, and some roads were closed because of downed trees and poles. With parts of the state receiving more than five inches of rain Dec. 10 and Dec. 11, river and stream flooding were a concern for the next few days, the Connecticut state Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security said.
In the New York City area, between 1.5 to three inches of rain fell overnight but the storm was moving fast and a flood watch and wind advisory were lifted Dec. 11 morning.
The Washington, D.C., area also saw rain and mild temperatures turn into some slushy snow and near-freezing conditions Dec. 10 night.
The situation in parts of Tennessee and Kentucky was more dire: Emergency workers and community members were dealing with the aftermath of severe weekend storms and tornadoes that sent dozens of people to hospitals while damaging buildings, turning over vehicles and knocking out power. In all, 11 Tennessee counties were affected by Dec. 9 tornadoes and severe weather. Weather service teams were out Dec. 11 assessing damage.
The tornado that hit Clarksville, Tennessee, on Dec. 9, killing three people and injuring 62 others, was an EF3, with peak winds of 150 mph, the weather service office in Nashville announced. It was on the ground for more than an hour, traveling 43 miles across Montgomery County, Tennessee, and Todd and Logan counties in Kentucky. At its widest point, the tornado’s path was 600 yards (meters).
In a Dec. 11 afternoon news release, police in Clarksville identified three people who died. They were Arlan Coty, age 10, of Clarksville; Stephen Kwaah Hayes, 34, of Clarksville; and Donna Allen, 59, of Florida.
Another tornado that struck the Madison neighborhood just north of Nashville and also raked Hendersvonville and Gallatin was an estimated EF2, with winds of 125 mph, the weather service said. Authorities said it tossed one mobile home onto another, killing three people inside the two homes.
“It’s nothing out of the ordinary for us to have tornadoes this time of year,” meteorologist Scott Unger in Nashville told The Associated Press on Dec. 11. “The environment was just right. We had the warm, moist air coming up from the Gulf. We had the cold air coming down from the North. The two things combine and create the right conditions for us to have tornadoes.”
In the Bowling Green, Kentucky, area an EF1 tornado traveled more than two miles with peak winds of 90 mph. And in west Tennessee, a survey team determined that an EF1 tornado with peak winds of 110 mph tracked nearly 25 miles over a half hour across Gibson and Weakley counties in west Tennessee with a maximum width of 600 yards, but there were no fatalities and only three minor injuries. (AP)
Snowfall, rain and gusty winds hit Northeast as Tennessee recovers from deadly tornadoes
The U.S. House and Senate have approved a massive $886 billion military budget for 2024, sending the document to the White House for President Joe Biden to sign it into law.
More than two-thirds of the House of Representatives voted in favor of the military policy bill on Dec. 14. This year’s bill authorizes $28 billion, or about three percent, more than the previous fiscal year.
The 300-page National Defense Authorization Act would direct hundreds of millions of dollars toward sending weapons to Ukraine and Israel and push back against China’s plans in the Indo-Pacific region.
It will extend by several months a controversial overseas electronic surveillance system that permits warrantless surveillance of foreign nationals.
The bill enables the U.S. government to obtain intelligence by collecting communications records of non-extending authority for the surveillance program through April 19.
The program has been under scrutiny by privacy groups and some lawmakers.
The staggering military budget would also authorize $14.7 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and extend it through fiscal year 2024.
The bill would establish a training, advising and institutional capacity-building program for the military forces of the Chinese Taipei (Taiwan).
China has sovereignty over Taiwan, and under the “One China” policy, almost all world countries, including the U.S., recognize that sovereignty. However, Washington has long courted Taipei in an attempt to unnerve Beijing.
The bill also sets up a submarine deal at the heart of a new security partnership with Britain and Australia known as AUKUS.
The military policy bill will allow the gradual release of $300 million for the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The document would provide funding for Washington to pay industry to produce weapons and military assistance to send to Ukraine, rather than drawing directly from current U.S. stockpiles of weapons.
In a separate bill, Zelensky and Biden requested $61 billion from Congress for arming Ukraine by the end of the year. The program is still being debated.
Zelensky wrapped up a series of meetings in Washington this week with no guarantees that a Congressional aid package would be passed.
Nearly two years into the war in Ukraine, the Biden administration has provided Ukraine with more than $44 billion in military assistance. (PressTV.ir)
U.S. Congress okays staggering $886B military spending bill amid wars
George Presley looks over the damage at the Community Baptist Church, Dec. 11, in Nashville, Tenn. Presley and other members of the church were in the building when severe storms ripped through the area and destroyed the facility on Dec. 9.
(AP Photo/George Walker IV)