Eta Lashes Florida’s Gulf Coast, Causing Power Outages

first_imgMayor Lenny Curry of Jacksonville, in Florida’s northeast corner, said the storm was expected to hit the city on Thursday, bringing heavy rain, strong winds and some flooding. He urged residents to stay out of the water, warning that the surf and rip currents could be dangerous. The city did not anticipate evacuations and planned to keep municipal offices open.“I know this has been a rough year,” Mr. Curry said at a news conference. “2020 has been something else for our country, the world and our community, and experiencing a tropical storm after the end of hurricane season just adds to it.”Azi Paybarah and Michael Levenson contributed reporting. Josh Rojas, a reporter with Spectrum Bay News 9, said one thoroughfare in St. Petersburg, Coffee Pot Boulevard, was “completely flooded.” Eta is the 28th named storm and the 12th hurricane of an unusually busy Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. The storm’s formation tied a record set in 2005 when Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma devastated parts of the Gulf Coast.Eta first became a tropical storm on Oct. 31, according to the hurricane center. It grew into a category 4 hurricane and thrashed Nicaragua on Nov. 4, killing at least three. By Nov. 9 the storm then traveled to South Florida where it caused intense flooding and produced more than 13 inches of rainfall.Eta has now produced nine named storm days, according to Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University. Only two Atlantic named storms forming in November in the satellite era had generated more named storm days: Epsilon in 2005 with 9.25 days and Gordon in 1994 with 9.5 days, he said. “This storm has been less predictable than most storms,” she said. “This one has changed its trajectory more than once — and it may do it again — so we want to ensure everyone is safe.” By early Thursday morning, more than 40,000 customers were without electrical power from Tampa to Gainesville, according to Duke Energy. Streets were submerged just days after Eta soaked the central part of the Florida Keys and its strongest winds battered the Upper Keys and Miami-Dade and Broward Counties over the weekend. On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida urged Florida residents to prepare for the storm and said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had granted his request for “a pre-landfall emergency declaration” to help mobilize federal aid to the affected parts of the state.- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement – MIAMI — Tropical Storm Eta continued to whip the Gulf Coast of Florida early Thursday morning, producing dangerous storm surge, heavy rain and gusty winds in the region and leaving tens of thousands without power.Eta was expected to make landfall on Thursday morning, its second time coming ashore in the state this week, according to an early morning advisory from the National Hurricane Center.- Advertisement – “It’s really been a crazy storm to watch,” Mr. DeSantis said.Earlier on Wednesday the storm had briefly regained hurricane strength but weakened again to a tropical storm.Mayor Jane Castor of Tampa said Wednesday that the city was expecting a tidal surge of up to four feet. She urged people to remain at home but said five shelters had been opened. She warned that “the weather can change in an instant” and asked residents to stay vigilant.- Advertisement – The center of Eta was about 80 miles north west of Tampa and had maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour, the agency said. Slow weakening was expected as Eta approaches the West Coast of Florida overnight, followed by more rapid weakening after landfall. Eta, the center said, will dissipate over the western Atlantic Ocean by the weekend.last_img read more

Senate sneaks Obamacare sabotage into tax bill

first_imgRepublicans can try to comfort themselves by arguing that eliminating the mandate is good policy on its own merits, simply allowing consumers who do not want coverage to decline to buy it.But the move would also price people who seek insurance out of the market.Killing the individual mandate would encourage people to forgo buying insurance until they got sick, which would drive up premiums for all those who remain in the system.“The resulting increases in premiums would cause more people to not purchase insurance,” the CBO explained, estimating that premiums would rise an additional 10 percent per year.Repealing the mandate would be the most spectacular instance yet of a GOP action that has the effect of raising Obamacare prices, which the Republicans continually complain are too high.In October, President Donald Trump halted payments the federal government promised insurers in exchange for participating in Obamacare markets, forcing insurance companies to raise premiums to compensate.The Trump Department of Health and Human Services then sabotaged this year’s open enrollment period, which could also result in fewer people covered. Some have tried to do better; a bipartisan group of senators developed a compromise bill that would help stabilize Obamacare markets.But it has not passed.There is talk of marrying this compromise bill with the individual-mandate repeal, but cutting the mandate would do much more harm than the compromise would do good.If Republicans really believe that mandate repeal is good health-care policy, they should seek to pass it on its own, with hearings, markups and debate.But a fair process would only clarify further that the policy is ruinous.Republicans who in July recoiled at an attempt to ram through the Obamacare “skinny repeal” have even less reason to vote for this drastic, ill-considered and last-minute attempt to sneak repeal into a tax bill.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe following editorial appeared in The Washington Post.Republican Senators remade their tax bill into an Obamacare repeal bill, announcing Tuesday that they inserted an Obamacare sabotage device into the text.In a stroke, they turned a fiscally irresponsible tax plan into a monumentally unwise piece of social policy that would do much more than widen the deficit.If passed, it would be the most significant health-care shift since the 2010 Affordable Care Act — and in a decidedly negative direction.The Senate GOP’s new bill would eliminate Obamacare’s “individual mandate,” which requires all Americans to get health coverage if they can afford it.Independent health-care analysts and the Congressional Budget Office, Congress’s official scorekeeper, agree that this move would deeply undercut the Obamacare system.center_img The CBO estimated last week that ending the mandate would lead to 13 million more Americans lacking health-care coverage.Yet, for Republicans, the coverage loss is not a regrettable side effect of an otherwise sensible policy. It is the point.Fewer people covered means that the federal government would save money that the treasury would have otherwise spent on their health care, such as by helping them buy healthinsurance or offering them Medicaid — $338 billion over a decade.Republicans want to use that cash to help finance the rest of their tax bill.They could have removed some of the bill’s expensive and unnecessary giveaways to the wealthy, such as its rollback of the estate tax.But they opted instead to raise money by ballooning the ranks of uninsured.last_img read more

Sport Ireland release doping test results

first_img1,028 anti-doping tests were carried out in 2015, 295 of these were blood tests. Sport Ireland says it’s moving away from the emphasis on in-competition testing, with three quarters of tests now done out of competition.last_img