Isaias Projected to Become Hurricane as it Approaches Carolinas
The storm's projected path had prompted fears that Floridians would have to evacuate in large numbers as the state struggles to contain the coronavirus pandemic. But Isaias weakened to a tropical storm Saturday afternoon, ABC 11 reported. It also remained offshore, drenching parts of the Florida coast with rain but largely sparing the state, according to USA TODAY.
"Florida dodged a bullet for sure!" BAM Weather meteorologist Ryan Maue tweeted.
Tropical Storm #Isaias no longer expected to restrengthen into a hurricane. 🌀 The vertical wind shear shredder has… https://t.co/kqBsJOS3Tj— Ryan Maue (@Ryan Maue)1596381581.0
However, Isiais isn't done with the U.S. yet. It now approaches the Carolinas, and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane again before reaching them Monday night, CNN reported.
A storm surge warning is in effect from Edisto Beach in South Carolina to Cape Fear in North Carolina, along with parts of the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds and the North Carolina Outer Banks from Oregon Inlet to the North Carolina and Virginia borders. It could raise water levels by three to five feet from South Santee River, South Carolina to Cape Fear, North Carolina, according to an 11 a.m. EDT update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
"A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours in the indicated locations," NHC explained.
Here are the 5 am EDT Monday, August 3 Key Messages for Tropical Storm #Isaias. For the full advisory on #Isaias, v… https://t.co/5MbSBJmEhI— National Hurricane Center (@National Hurricane Center)1596445959.0
The North Carolina coastal communities of Ocracoke Island and Hatteras Island were evacuated Friday ahead of the storm, CNN reported.
President Donald Trump approved a disaster declaration for parts of North Carolina, and Gov. Roy Cooper reminded residents Sunday to have their emergency kits ready, ABC 11 reported.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, meanwhile, said Friday he would not issue any evacuations.
"Right now we're hoping this storm will not hit us hard if it hits at all," McMaster said in the CNN story. "At this time we have no intention at all of declaring any sort of evacuation."
Isaias is expected to slowly weaken after making landfall and then travel north. It will bring strong winds to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York, impacting the Mid Atlantic states on Tuesday and New Hampshire and Maine on Wednesday.
Along the way, storm surges and winds aren't the only threat.
"Heavy rainfall from Isaias will result in flash and urban flooding, some of which may be significant in the eastern Carolinas and the mid-Atlantic, through Tuesday night near the path of Isaias up the East Coast of the United States," NHC wrote.
There is a moderate risk of flash flooding across portions of the eastern Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states from… https://t.co/C5Ys46ZetX— National Hurricane Center (@National Hurricane Center)1596446600.0
Tornadoes could touch down in coastal South Carolina Monday and eastern North Carolina into Tuesday. Twisters are also possible from eastern Virginia to southern New England on Tuesday.
Before Isaias reached the U.S., it knocked down trees and tore off roof shingles in the Bahamas, Al Jazeera reported. Some residents of Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands, who were still living in temporary shelters following last year's devastating Hurricane Dorian, had to be evacuated ahead of the storm.
"With everything not quite shored up, property not secured, homes not prepared, even a category one will be enough to set them back," Bahamas Mercy Corps Director Paula Miller told The Associated Press, Al Jazeera reported.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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