Every Oklahoma County Under State of Emergency as Historically Wet Spring Continues
This has been a historically wet spring for the South and Central U.S.
The National Weather Service said that Mississippi River flooding in at least eight states has lasted its longest since the "Great Flood" of 1927, USA Today reported Wednesday. And now, following two weeks of storms in Oklahoma and Kansas, the Arkansas River in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas has swollen to record levels, Axios reported Wednesday.
Authorities in Tulsa, Oklahoma are hoping 70-year-old levees will hold, according to Axios, and every county in the state has declared an emergency over flooding, CNN reported Tuesday. As many as six people have died in the state over the past few days because of extreme weather, including floods and tornadoes.
"We still have water still rising in the east," Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said Monday. "We are not out of the woods yet."
Here’s a look at the flooding we are seeing as we patrol by boat in the Town and Country Neighborhood today. This i… https://t.co/Dp8XM4xUl1— Tulsa County Sheriff (@Tulsa County Sheriff)1558976145.0
Thunderstorms are predicted through Tuesday night from Iowa to Oklahoma and then again Wednesday and Wednesday night from Texas into Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri, The Weather Channel reported. This could threaten new flash floods and add to existing flooding.
The Army Corps of Engineers increased the water flow from the Keystone Dam in Oklahoma to 275,000 cubic feet per second to try and prevent water from overflowing the spillway, The New York Times reported. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said authorities were monitoring water levels.
"We are planning for and preparing for the flood of record, and we think everybody along the Arkansas River corridor ought to be doing the same," Bynum told reporters Tuesday, according to The New York Times. "While it's high risk, there is not an emergency behind the levees right now. It's a high-risk situation when you're talking about infrastructure that's being tested in such a strong way."
Meanwhile, flood waters have turned the town of Braggs, Oklahoma into an island since late last week, and residents have organized boat runs for gas, medicine and food for livestock and people.
"We're just blocked off from civilization," 35-year-old nurse Carrie Ross told The New York Times.
Record flooding is also expected in Ozark, Dardanelle, Morrilton and Toad Suck Reservoir, Arkansas this week, and could top levees in Conway and Faulkner Counties, The Weather Channel said Tuesday.
Here is an update including the latest river levels along the Arkansas River as of early this evening. The next for… https://t.co/scisSn6shn— NWS Little Rock (@NWS Little Rock)1558999951.0
Locations from Oklahoma to Missouri have seen as much as 10 inches of rain this month, and many places could break rainfall records both for May and for any month, as The Weather Channel outlined:
Almost 15 inches of rain soaked Bartlesville, Oklahoma, nearly tripling its average May rain, crushing its previous May record of a mere 10.31 inches in 2000 and threatening the city's single wettest month record of 16 inches in June 1957.
All-time monthly rain records are also within reach in Chanute, Kansas (18.35 inches in May 1990), Wichita, Kansas (14.43 inches in June 1923), and Enid, Oklahoma (15.85 inches in May 1982).
But the wet weather has lasted longer than a month in many places. Since early 2019, most of the lower Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys have seen more than two feet of rain, USA Today reported. In several locations, the Mississippi has either broken or matched its 1927 records for the longest time at flood stage.
In Vicksburg, Mississippi, it has been at flood stage since February 17, the longest since 1927. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, it has been at flood stage since early January, and will break its 1927 record if it stays elevated far into June. And in Illinois' and Iowa's Quad Cities, the river did beat its 1927 record for the amount of time it stayed above the flood level.
The Great Flood of 1927 killed hundreds, displaced around 750,000 people and led to the existing system of flood controls managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Today's historic flood and precipitation levels are associated with climate change. Warmer air holds more moisture, and extreme precipitation events have increased in frequency and intensity across most of the U.S., according to the National Climate Assessment. Since 1991, that increase has been most extreme in the Northeast, Midwest and Upper Great Plains, and has led to an increase in flooding in the Northeast and Midwest. In the Southern Great Plains, the overall frequency of flooding has decreased in the last 30 years, but the number of record-breaking floods has increased. The frequency and intensity of heavy rains are also expected to increase in the region, especially if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the National Climate Assessment concluded.
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Where Does the Deficiency Begin?<p>Nobody knows exactly how much vitamin D a person actually needs. The question of when a deficiency starts is correspondingly controversial. However, vitamin D is becoming increasingly popular.Not only is the pseudo-scientific literature on the "sun vitamin" experiencing an upswing, but the number of published studies has also increased enormously in recent years. For example, in 2019 <a href="https://academic.oup.com/edrv/article/40/4/1109/5126915" target="_blank">a study found that</a> Vitamin D is responsible for keeping the skeleton functional and is associated with cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and various types of cancer. <br></p>
An All-Rounder<p>Vitamin D levels in the body rise and fall according to sun exposure. If sufficient UV rays reach the skin, the body is able to produce the vitamin itself. However, the human body only derives an estimated 10 to 20 percent of its daily requirement from food.</p><p>The vitamin D that we synthesize from sunlight or food is not biologically active at first. Before the kidneys can produce the biologically active form of the vitamin, known as calcitriol, and release it into the blood, some metabolic processes must take place beforehand.</p><p>In addition, many organs have receptors to which the precursor of calcitriol binds. Further, this substance is also present in blood.</p><p>From this precursor, the organs then produce calcitriol themselves, which the body then uses for countless other processes in the body. This form of vitamin D thus regulates insulin secretion, inhibits tumor growth, and promotes the formation of red blood cells as well as the survival and activity of macrophages, which are important for the <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/5/7/2502/htm" target="_blank">immune system.</a></p>
Low Vitamin D, Severe COVID-19 Disease?<p>A research study carried out <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352364620300067?via%3Dihub" target="_blank">at the University of Hohenheim</a> has now established a link between vitamin D deficiency, certain previous diseases, and severe cases of COVID-19.</p><p>According to the study, "there is a lot of evidence that several non-communicable diseases (high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome) are associated with low vitamin D plasma levels. These comorbidities, together with the often accompanying vitamin D deficiency, increase the risk of severe COVID-19 events."</p><p>"This statement is completely correct," said Martin Fassnacht, head of endocrinology at the University Hospital of Würzburg. However, he qualifies that it is a pure association, "i.e. a mere observation that these events occur together.</p><p>Dr. Fassnacht is very critical of the hype surrounding vitamin D, but not because he denies the vitamin serves important functions. However, studies on humans have not been able to show that vitamin D has the healing powers many often propagate.</p><p>Fassnacht says, "If you take a closer look, the hopes that the administration of vitamin D has a healing effect have not been confirmed so far."</p>
Association Versus Intervention Studies<p>Many studies on the vitamin are association or observational studies. "By definition, these studies cannot prove the causal relationship, but only point to mere correlations," said Fassnacht. The physician tries to illustrate this with an example:</p><p>"Imagine two groups of 80-year-olds. One group is spry, active and does sports. If you compare them with another group living in nursing homes, the difference in vitamin D levels will be dramatic. Life expectancy would also be extremely different."</p><p>But to try to explain the difference in fitness by vitamin D status alone is far too simplistic. "Vitamin D levels are a good measure of how sick someone is. But not more," says Fassnacht. </p><p>According to Fassnacht, none of the intervention studies carried out to date -- that specifically examined the effect of vitamin D on various diseases -- has been able to confirm the previous association and laboratory studies or the presumed positive effect of vitamin D.</p>
Further Research Is Needed<p>"If a coronavirus infection is suspected, it is therefore absolutely necessary to check the vitamin D status and quickly correct any possible deficit," said the recommendation of the paper published by the University of Hohenheim.</p><p>"Studies are underway to see whether vitamin D helps in COVID-19 infection, but I personally do not believe that this is really the case," says endocrinologist Fassnacht. Nevertheless, he says it is of course useful to carry out these studies.<br></p><p>"I don't want to rule out that there are actually subgroups of people who benefit from an additional vitamin D dose," he says. After all, this has been proven to be the case with a severe deficit.</p><p>In view of the study situation, Fassnacht does not think much of preventive, nationwide vitamin D substitutes. "My belief that the vitamin helps somewhere is very low. But, of course, I can be wrong."</p>
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