Environment

GREAT SMOKEY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK VIA FACEBOOK

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will receive a $2.5 million upgrade to its radio communications systems in response to a fire in Tennessee that contributed to 14 deaths and millions of dollars of damage in November.

Bill Hughes

A special circuit judge ruled Wednesday that three acres of an Estill County landfill will be protected from any further dumping of waste until core testing is done.

Six days after Hurricane Harvey first crossed the Texas coast, Houston is still in rescue mode with people stranded in houses and apartments.

With the authorities overwhelmed by the scope of the flooding, private citizens have been rushing to Houston and towing their own boats to conduct rescues.

Rene Galvan has come to a makeshift boat launch on flooded Highway 90, looking for rescuers. In a soaked, blue hoodie, he sits anxiously in the bow of an aluminum boat, wondering how they're going to get to 14 members of his extended family who have been stranded by rising water.

A friend sent a photo to Jaime Botello's phone Wednesday that confirmed his fears: The house where his family has lived for 30 years is completely flooded.

"All the way to the top," he says.

And like most people in the Houston area, Botello, a welder who was at a shelter with his wife on Wednesday, doesn't have flood insurance. He says he can't afford it.

NOAA Paducah, weather.gov

Friday Mid-Morning Update:

Remnants of Harvey continue eastward on Friday. Moderate to heavy rains should end by Friday evening. No severe weather is expected, however a flash flood watch and a lake wind advisory remain in effect until 7. Winds around 20 miles per hour, with gusts up to 40 remain a concern. Avoid flooded areas.

In southeastern Texas, about two dozen hospitals remained closed as of midafternoon Wednesday, and several Houston hospitals remain under threat of flooding from nearby reservoirs.

But things are looking up. Some hospitals that had been evacuated have reopened, and others are restoring services they had temporarily suspended. Many never closed at all.

This week was supposed to be the start of a brand-new school year for the 200,000, or so, students in the Houston Independent School District.

Instead, kids, teachers and staff are dealing with the fallout from Harvey's record-breaking rainfall and devastating floods.

Richard Carranza, Houston schools superintendent, is trying to figure out when school can start — and where, in cases where high waters flooded out schools and homes. Even as he recognizes this school year will be very different, he says the focus will be on teaching kids, wherever Harvey has scattered them.

The rain has let up in Houston, but getting in and out of the city is still a difficult task. Houston's two main airports reopened Wednesday with limited service. But many roads are flooded, and some bridges have been damaged.

Since Saturday, when both the airports shut down, thousands of flights in and out the city have been canceled. Up to now, at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the runways were open only for limited operations and humanitarian flights.

City of Paducah

The City of Paducah is asking residents to send storm water data as remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey come through the area this week. 

123rf Stock Photo

Officials say the bald eagle population in Kentucky is continuing to grow and spread.

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