News roundup for Tue, Aug 02, 2022

In short:
  • The first grain ship leaves Ukraine after months of Russian blockade
  • Floods killed hundreds across the US, Iran, Pakistan, and Uganda
  • California, New York, ad Illinois declared a state of emergency over monkeypox
Floods kill hundreds across the US, Iran, Pakistan, and Uganda

Flash floods in Kentucky left at least 37 people dead, with more bodies likely to be discovered in the coming weeks. 14,000 households are without power, 60,000 are without water or under a boil notice, and search teams are still trying to access more remote areas. Rain and potential floods are expected into Tuesday. The same weather system also brought floods to St Louis, MO. St Louis broke a century-old rain record—in just five hours!

Watch an interview with a survivor who used her vacuum cord to tie herself and her children together to try and survive (or keep their bodies together in case they didn’t make it).

Floods have also recently hit Las Vegas, New Mexico, Arizona, Iran, Pakistan, and Uganda:

Some things to know about flash floods:

  • If you see water coming towards you and rising, go to higher grounds immediately.
  • Never drive (or walk, for that matter) through flood waters. People overestimate the ability to cross flood waters. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away:

  • The aftermath will be gross and dangerous—imagine rainwater mixed with sewage water, mixed with gutter water, and anything that the water swept away. Even a small cut could become infected by flood water. Here’s a great post from community member Ubique about how to prevent injury, illness or death while cleaning up after a disaster.
  • Also, looting could be a problem.
  • More people die in flash floods in the US each year than from tornadoes, hurricanes, or lightning.
  • Inland flooding is becoming more common. As the atmosphere gets hotter and the air holds more moisture, it rains harder when it rains. Even one inch of rain, if it falls in a very short period of time, can cause a flash flood. Heavy rain has increased all over the US. And in the southeastern US, including in Kentucky, it’s increased by almost a third.

More resources:

Here’s more about preparing for flood (and storm surges.)

Here’s FEMA’s advice on Floods and their shelter-in-place guidance.

NOAA’s Floods/Flash floods 101.

A good article from the NYT: What to do when there’s a flash flood warning.

Bonus: How to make a sump pump kit to keep your basement dry.

More extreme weather

The McKinney Fire is California’s biggest wildfire of the year. It burned more than 55,00 acres and is 0% contained at the time of this writing. Two people have died, and thousands evacuated:

Oregon is giving away free AC units to those most vulnerable.

July was the hottest on record in Salt Lake City for the second year in a row.

Fires, floods, and drought: Scenes of extreme weather from space.


NY state and NYC declare a disaster emergency over the monkeypox outbreak. The declaration will allow officials to issue emergency orders under the city health code. California and Illinois followed suit.

The CDC has updated its recommendation for people infected with monkeypox:

Brazil and Spain report the first monkeypox deaths (3) outside of Africa. One of the patients who died had a compromised immune system, had gone through chemo, and had other comorbidities. Here’s the latest data.

The rest

The first grain ship leaves Ukraine for the first time since the Russian blockade. This ship is headed to Lebanon and carries over 26,000 tons of corn.

The UK heatwave has caused fruit and vegetables to die on the vine. Growers fear the drought and further hot temperatures could ruin harvests this year and threaten future food security.  This July was the driest in England since 1935.

Australian watchdog urges curbs on gas exports to avoid supply crunch in 2023.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, people have been closely watching China’s reaction and its possible action against Taiwan. Could China be preparing for a move? Even if not connected, China has been making threats about Pelosi’s supposed visit to Taiwan. Here’s why Pelosi’s Taiwan visit matters to China.

Just a heads up for those interested in disinformation: A new study found that anti-vax Twitter accounts are now pushing food crisis misinformation.


    • MainPugh

      And now this is happening: Website of Taiwan’s presidential office receives overseas cyber attack

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    • Doug Mengers

      Flash floods also significantly impacted Mojave National Preserve and surrounding parks in southern California (likely the same storm that affected Las Vegas). Most park roads closed. Pics and info on their FB page (Mojave NPS FB) and here: Mojave NPS Road Conditions. Stay safe!

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    • M. E.Contributor

      Thank you for a great update, Carlotte. Regarding flash floods: One of my BIGGEST pet peeves is all of the local news stations that show people driving through floodwaters. Sure, it makes for interesting viewing. But it also normalizes an extremely dangerous behavior.  If you see your local news station airing footage like that, please write the news editor a polite letter expressing concern and asking that they use different visuals in the future, showing people behaving safely OR, if they must use car-in-water videos, use those that show how dangerous it really is. 

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      • GB M. E.

        Good points M.E.

        Our state government has a campaign that’s really very simple – “If it’s flooded, forget it”. Meanwhile, local news agencies here too show people driving through flood waters, always with a token voice over of authorities telling people not to drive across/through flooded areas.

        Le sigh.

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