Environment

Environment
8:48 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Six Months After The Spill: Tourism Flows, Tobacco Grows and Questions Linger Along The Dan River

Tourism is doing well along the Dan River in Rockingham County, a few miles upstream from the site of a massive coal ash spill in February.
Credit Jeff Tiberii

Following a massive coal ash spill into the Dan River in February, The Department of Health and Human Services issued an advisory downstream from the site, recommending people stay out of the water. Now, after surface water and soil testing, state health officials say recreational use of the Dan River is safe.

 

It has now been almost six months since a Duke Energy storm water pipe ruptured near the Virginia border, sending 39,000 tons of potentially toxic material into the Dan River. Some of the effects have been marginal and others remain unknown.

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Environment
8:05 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Panel Meets To Look At Sea-Level Rise... Again

A woman photographs a house as waves overtake its stilts on Mirlo Beach in March.
Credit Eric Mennel / WUNC

The panel responsible for studying sea-level rise along North Carolina's coast met Monday in New Bern. It was the first meeting under a new mandate to look at the forecast for sea-level rise for a shorter time period.

Four years ago the Coastal Resources Commission's science panel issued a dire report saying oceans could rise 39 inches by the year 2100. The state then issued a moratorium on using that prediction for policy purposes. The new guidelines for the science panel call for a 30-year prediction.

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Environment
7:16 am
Tue July 22, 2014

'SolarBees' Poised To Churn Jordan Lake

DENR will use 36 water churning devices, or 'SolarBees', in Jordan Lake to keep algae from growing in stagnant water.
Credit JT Taylor / Flickr/Creative Commons

State environmental officials are overseeing the installation of special machines in Jordan Lake starting today. 

SolarBees are water circulators intended to prevent algae from storm water runoff from forming in the lake.  Installers are placing a total of 36 machines: 12 in the Haw River arm of the lake and 24 more in the Morgan Creek tributary.  

Susan Massengale is a spokeswoman with the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  She says this step begins 18 months of water testing.

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Environment
8:55 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Today Is The Deadline For April 25th Storm, Tornado Disaster Loans

Business and home owners and renters whose property was damaged in the April 25 storms and tornadoes have until today to apply for disaster loans from the federal Small Business Association.
Credit Blair Busby

Victims of severe storms and tornadoes that swept through 12 coastal counties in late April are eligible for federal disaster relief loans, if they turn in their applications today.

Business and homeowners, and renters, can apply for loans of varying levels from the Small Business Association. Interest rates are from 2 to 3 percent and can be paid off over 30 years.

Jay MacKenna of the SBA says these loans cover physical and property damage.

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Environment
6:09 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Jordan Lake’s Managers Authorize Lake-Stirring Trial To Prevent Algae Growth

A SolarBee machine
Credit Medora Corp.

State environment officials expect to install 36-solar powered water mixers into Jordan Lake by the end of the month, as part of a two-year trial to find out whether the mixers can prevent algae from growing in the lake, they said.  

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Environment
2:32 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Problematic Section Of NC-12 Will Have Beach Widened

Credit NCDOT / facebook.com

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $20.3 million contract for beach re-nourishment just north of Rodanthe. The contract is going to the same Illinois dredging company that re-nourished the beach in Nags Head just before Hurricane Irene hit the area in 2011, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, of Illinois.

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Environment
8:43 am
Tue July 8, 2014

North Carolina Continues To Grapple With Deadly 'Piglet' Virus

Waterkeeper Alliance took this photo of a 'PED' posting outside a Murphy-Brown facility in North Carolina.
Credit Rick Dove, Waterkeeper Alliance

The New York Times reports Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea or PED virus killed an estimated 100,000 young pigs each week across the country since the virus was detected last May.

North Carolina continues to suffer.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture says, no doubt, PED has been a nasty virus and has taken an emotional and financial toll on hog farmers.

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Hurricane Arthur
4:00 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

#Arthur: Snapshots Of A Storm

Credit 'Preppy Pimp' / Instagram

Updated July 4 7:15 a.m.: Hurricane Arthur is still a category two hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour. It is moving off the coast, but has left flood waters and downed trees across the Outer Banks. The National Weather Service says the storm surge was as high as four feet overnight.

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Hurricane Arthur
7:31 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Arthur Leaves Flooding, Power Outages Along Outer Banks

Credit National Weather Service / NOAA

Update: Highway 12 Could Reopen Saturday

Governor Pat McCrory says the North Carolina coast took less damage than expected from Hurricane Arthur.  

The storm moved north between the Outer Banks and the mainland as a Category 2 hurricane.  Emergency management officials are reporting downed trees and widespread power outages in their damage assessments this morning, but no injuries have been reported.  

The governor encouraged vacationers who might have canceled trips to the coast to renew their plans.

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Environment
5:33 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Awful Arthur's Oyster Bar Is Defiant In Hurricane Arthur's Wake

The front door at Awful Arthur's Oyster Bar on the Outer Banks.
Credit Awful Arthur's Oyster Bar

Hurricane Arthur is continuing its path toward North Carolina's Outer Banks. Residents on Hatteras Island are under a mandatory evacuation order. But many other residents and business operators in Dare County are taking a wait-and-see approach to the storm.   Karen Overbey is a manager at the aptly-named Awful Arthur's Oyster Bar in Kill Devil Hills.  She says the hurricane hasn't driven their customers away so far.

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