Vacationers at the Florida Coast and at the Great Lakes had a good chance to see a waterspout this season. Because of its close resemblance to a tornado, a waterspout can look really frightening. What makes it so distinctly visible is the column of water that's hurled upward by the swirling wind.
An emerging trend across the nation is the designation of "blueways." In spring 2012, the Department of the Interior initiated a system of waterways with boat launch points and camping sites, intended to protect the natural landscape while at the same time allowing for recreational uses such as paddling and kayaking.
Anybody hoping for another dry, parched summer this season must have been disappointed. In the first two-thirds of July, Gainesville received 8.27 inches of rain. In June, the total for the month was 6.38 inches. That's more than was received in some places normally known for heavy summer rains, such as Islamabad (Pakistan), Delhi (India) and Dhaka (Bangladesh). In the U.S. Southeast, it's the Bermuda High that can determine whether we have drought or rain. ...
Residents of Calgary, Alberta, will be digging out from the mud for weeks to come. Torrential rains resulted in massive flooding that started on June 20. Some areas, including the Saddledome, a popular hockey venue, were submerged to a height of 15 feet.
Railroads are an excellent means for experiencing the scenic beauty of mountain regions. Suitable for an afternoon excursion, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is within two hours' drive from Gainesville. Board the train in Bryson City, N.C., for a trip deep down into Nantahala Gorge.
Among the video footage of the Moore, Okla., tornado of May 20 available online now, some scenes shot while the twisters were touching down are disturbing. You see cars on the road and traffic patterns that look quite normal, except for the huge funnel approaching in the background.
Boats leak from the bottom. But a house can leak from the top or the bottom. After the heavy rains we've had in North Georgia this month, many homeowners found water intruding into the basement, or a saturated crawl space with standing puddles, causing floor joists to rot. In almost all these cases, inadequate drainage around the house is the cause. Builders recommend routing water 15 feet away from the foundation walls. This doesn't mean ...
North Georgia's summer climate is often called "hot and humid." But that's not really accurate. There are times when it's warm and humid, and other times when it's hot and dry.
Among reports of the massive destruction that the May 20 tornado unleashed on the towns of Newcastle and Moore, Okla., some stories stand out as a message of encouragement. With a reported width of up to 2 miles, the massive twister destroyed two elementary schools. Nine children died at Plaza Towers Elementary.
May 17 was a day of odd contrasts. At Cornelia's beautiful old railroad station, three train enthusiasts were standing next to the track with top-quality cameras, waiting to take photos of the approaching northbound Norfolk Southern. The familiar mustang logo on the lead engine rolled by, followed by additional locomotives and a very long chain of flatbed cars carrying containers.
California Highway 58, east of Bakersfield, presents some truly astounding sights. It's still a rare occurrence here in Georgia to see more than one wind turbine. At Tehachapi Pass on Cal. 58, there are 5,000 of them.
Spirits were high but clouds hung low during graduation ceremonies on the Brenau campus a week ago. Commenting on the light rain that was falling, Brenau President Ed Schrader said, jokingly, "according to the weather radar on my computer, these rain clouds don't exist."
Our student volunteers were working hard last week, dragging huge piles of privet cuttings and other shrubs down the slope toward the power chipper. More helpers were bringing plant debris out of the bamboo forest, that unique environment at the end of the Brenau campus where bamboo, planted in the 1930s, has grown into huge trees.
Driving through Hall County, you probably don't expect a huge hole to suddenly open up and swallow your car. But Florida residents are familiar with this scary phenomenon. It also happened in Chicago 10 days ago when the pavement buckled and three automobiles went down 10 feet into a gaping sinkhole.
The all-American storm is in season again. No other country in the world has common outbreaks of tornadoes the way the United States does.
When Germany's Elbe River flooded in May this year, Hamburg and other communities along the waterway felt reminded of the catastrophic storm flood of February 1962. I remember TV images of people clinging to rooftops that were the only portions of houses still above the water.
Back in the 1950s, most hospitals were eerie places: Tiled walls, dimly lit hallways, gruff personnel. It would be tough to find such an old-style, stark facility in this country today.
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