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Deadly Flooding in Texas Causes Dramatic Bridge Collapse
Heavy rains led to flooding where the Llano River and the Colorado River meet in Kingsland, Texas. Flood waters rushed over the 2900 bridge for hours before it collapsed.
A rainfall graph showing the heavy rains that caused flooding in Central Texas. National Weather Service
Residents in the area were ordered to evacuate Tuesday, and Llano County Emergency Management Coordinator Ron Anderson warned them on Wednesday not to return to their homes too quickly.
"Texas is taking immediate action to respond to the threat of recent severe weather and flooding across the state," Texas Gov. Greg Abbot said in a statement Tuesday as he issued a state disaster declaration for 18 impacted counties.
The Texas flooding in the latest in a year of extreme weather events.
The Llano River almost reached record levels Tuesday when it crested at 39.91 feet, just under the 1935 high of 41.5 feet. By Wednesday, however, it had fallen to 12.5 feet.
"And that has been outstanding news for us. It's going to allow us to begin to get a lot of the recovery work initiated that's going to be ongoing in weeks and couple of months that are ahead of us," Anderson said.
But that doesn't mean the area is in the clear yet. The National Weather Service has predicted more rain for the area Thursday and Friday, The Associated Press reported.
"It's not going to take hardly anything to cause additional issues with flash flooding and river flooding," NWS forecaster Jason Runyen said.
Two bodies have so far been found in the swollen rivers. A body was found early Tuesday in Lake Lyndon B. Johnson where the Llano flows into the Colorado, and a woman's body was found Tuesday night at a low-water crossing in Llano.
Four additional people were swept up in river waters last week when the South Llano River flooded an RV Park in Junction, Texas. Three bodies have been recovered and one is still missing.
The Lower Colorado River Authority said it would likely have to open a record number of eight flood gates at the Mansfield Dam at Lake Travis. There are currently four open.
Heavy rains, or extreme precipitation events, are linked to climate change because a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, according to the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Between 1901 and 2016, the percentage of annual rainfall falling in the most extreme one percent of precipitation events increased in Texas by 24 percent.
The change in rainfall falling in extreme rainfall events across the U.S.U.S. Global Change Research Program
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.