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Hurricane Florence: Carolinas to See 50% More Rain Due to Climate Change
Hurricane Florence, which the first pre-storm study of its kind shows will be more than 50 percent wetter due to climate change, began to soak North Carolina Thursday night into Friday morning, The Washington Post reported.
While the hurricane was downgraded to a category 1 storm, as of 5:16 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) it had already collapsed roofs and damaged structures in Morehead City and New Bern, North Carolina and unleashed flooding that stranded more than 100 in New Bern.
Warnings are focused on rainfall and storm surge, which the National Hurricane Center said could be "life threatening."
"It cannot be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland through the weekend," a 5:00 a.m. ET National Hurricane Center update said.
And scientists can now confidently say ahead of time that 50 percent of that rain can be attributed to climate change.
A study by researchers at Stony Brook University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found the storm will be 50 miles larger in diameter than it would have been without climate change and deliver about 50 percent more rain, The Guardian reported.
This is the first study to attribute a storm's characteristics to climate change before it struck.
"The idea we can't attribute individual events to climate change is out of date, it's just no longer true," study author and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory staff scientist Michael Wehner. "We've reached the point where we can say this confidently."
What exactly that climate-increased rainfall will mean for the states in Florence's path will be revealed in full over the weekend.
The storm is expected to make landfall Friday morning near Wilmington, North Carolina, according to a 6 a.m. ET update from The Washington Post.
There are currently up to 321,692 houses without power, and high water levels are expected to increase as the tide comes in, the same update said.
Flash flood warnings are in effect for Wilmington, Washington, Riverbend and Vanceboro North Carolina.
Flooding, storm surges and heavy winds are expected to persist through Saturday, CNN reported.
The most dramatic impact so far has been in New Bern, North Carolina where more than 100 rescues were in progress after water levels rose 10 feet, Mayor Dana Outlaw said, according to CNN.
"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU. You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU," The City of New Bern tweeted early Friday morning.
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Tyson Foods Recalls Nearly 70,000 Pounds of Chicken Strips After Customers Find ‘Fragments of Metal’
Tyson Foods is recalling approximately 69,093 pounds of frozen chicken strips because they may have been contaminated with pieces of metal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday.
The affected products were fully-cooked "Buffalo Style" and "Crispy" chicken strips with a "use by" date of Nov. 30, 2019 and an establishment number of "P-7221" on the back of the package.
"FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers' freezers," the recall notice said. "Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."
Environmental exposure to pesticides, both before birth and during the first year of life, has been linked to an increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder, according to the largest epidemiological study to date on the connection.
The study, published Wednesday in BMJ, found that pregnant women who lived within 2,000 meters (approximately 1.2 miles) of a highly-sprayed agricultural area in California had children who were 10 to 16 percent more likely to develop autism and 30 percent more likely to develop severe autism that impacted their intellectual ability. If the children were exposed to pesticides during their first year of life, the risk they would develop autism went up to 50 percent.