Monday, April 1, 2019 - 10:15 External News

(TNS) — California’s hospitals are scrambling to retrofit their buildings before “The Big One” hits, an effort that will cost tens of billions dollars and could jeopardize health-care access, according to a newly released study.

The state’s 418 hospitals have a deadline from the state, too. They’re racing to meet seismic safety standards set by a California law that was inspired by the deadly 1994 Northridge earthquake, which damaged 11 hospitals and forced evacuations at eight of them.

By 2020, hospitals must reduce the risk of collapse. By 2030, they must be able to remain in operation after a major earthquake.

Monday, April 1, 2019 - 11:00 External News

(TNS) - Oroville Dam’s massive flood-control spillway will be deployed Tuesday for the first time since it was rebuilt for $1.1 billion after a near-catastrophe forced the evacuation of 188,000 people in 2017.

In a brief statement Sunday, the California Department of Water Resources’ deputy director Joel Ledesma said the agency has “restored full functionality to the Oroville main spillway and is operating the reservoir to ensure public safety of those downstream. The Oroville main spillway was designed and constructed using 21st century engineering practices and under the oversight and guidance from state and federal regulators and independent experts.”

Friday, March 29, 2019 - 11:00 External News

California’s earthquake early warning system may have taken a step forward this week when officials conducted a test in downtown Oakland.

The USGS, in partnership with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), the city of Oakland and Alameda County, issued Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) soliciting a response to a survey to about 40,000 people in a 60-acre block. It went well, but not perfectly.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 11:15 External News

The speed and scale of digital rollouts are putting risk and internal audit professionals in a difficult spot, and the smarter risk managers are making more use of data and digital capabilities to inform their decisions, according to a new study from consulting firm PwC.

Friday, March 22, 2019 - 06:45 External News

Northern Cass Middle School in Hunter, North Dakota is located about 30 miles northwest of Fargo and the student body of about 650 students is made up of many rural towns. Unfortunately, for the school and townspeople, the closest first responders about a 30- to 45-minute drive away.

So the school’s eighth-grade class decided that was the best choice as a problem they could solve for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow national Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) contest. They developed an app, the Emergency Video Assistance (EVA) that connects the caller with first responders during their lengthy drive, providing video and other information for real-time situational awareness.

Friday, March 22, 2019 - 06:30 External News

(TNS) — Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in California on Friday and waived environmental regulations to expedite nearly three dozen local forest management projects to protect communities from the deadly wildfires that have decimated regions up and down the state.

The governor's action marks the latest effort by the state to offset the possibility of catastrophe after back-to-back years of savage wildfires that killed more than 100 people and burned nearly 2 million acres in total. The projects will cost a total of $35 million, which will be paid with forest management funds in the 2018-19 budget.

Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 06:30 External News

Fighting wildfires has traditionally been a response driven by experience, but as conditions change, as they have in California, that response becomes more difficult.

Climate change has made the wildfire seasons in California longer and more severe, and that makes response that is based on history and experience difficult. But that’s beginning to change because of technology as more than 700 stakeholders learned this week at the Wildfire Technology Innovation Summit held at California State University, Sacramento.

A recent drought in California and global warming, in part, has led to increasingly intense fires that in 2017 and 2018 killed more than 100 people in 2017 and 2018, burning more than 875,000 acres. The changing conditions have resulted in a fire season that is nearly year-round.

Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 06:30 External News

A rare hailstorm hit normally sunny Southern California on Wednesday, as residents flocked to social media to post pictures of driveways, lawns and roofs blanketed in white nickel-size ice chunks.

The National Weather Service reported 1.57 inches of rain was recorded for the day at the Compton Creek rain gauge, while intense pockets of thunderstorms peppered the Southland. Freeways and roads were clogged even more than usual during rush hour, as Interstate 710 and State Route 91 were closed after several feet of water flooded lanes.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 07:30 External News

Authorities confirmed multiple people were inured in an explosion following reports of an underground gas leak in South Los Angeles, Calif.

The fire department says crews found flames coming from storm drains early Sunday. Officials say the blast displaced several manholes in a neighborhood about 6 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 09:45 External News

(TNS) - In the most extensive study to date on sea level rise in California, researchers say damage by the end of the century could be far more devastating than the worst earthquakes and wildfires in state history.

A team of U.S. Geological Survey scientists concluded that even a modest amount of sea level rise — often dismissed as a creeping, slow-moving disaster — could overwhelm communities when a storm hits at the same time.

The study combines sea level rise and storms for the first time, as well as wave action, cliff erosion, beach loss and other coastal threats across California. These factors have been studied extensively but rarely together in the same model.