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Tropical triple threat: Irma followed by Hurricanes Katia & Jose
Two other giant storms – Katia and Jose – have grown to hurricane levels, and now trail the calamitous Category 5 Hurricane Irma, which has battered the Caribbean and is headed toward the southern coast of Florida.

Katia, a Category 1 hurricane as of Wednesday evening, is in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to make landfall in Mexico late Friday or early Saturday.

The storm is forecast to produce up to 10 inches of rain, with the possibility of 15 inches in northern Veracruz, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“This rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, especially in areas of mountainous terrain,” NHC said.

For comparison, Hurricane Harvey unloaded over 50 inches of rain east of Houston, Texas last week.

Katia’s maximum sustained winds are 75mph (120 km/h), compared with Irma’s 185 mph (295 km/h), which makes the latter one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes in history. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 had 175 mph winds.

Jose, like Katia, is a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. It is in the Atlantic, moving behind Category 5 Hurricane Irma, also in the northwest direction. However, Jose is unlikely to make landfall.

‘Barbuda is literally rubble’: Shocked PM says Irma destroyed 90% of homes on tiny Caribbean island

Price gouging complaints hit Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma

“Worst hurricane ever” headed straight for multiple US nuclear plants − Winds up to 225 MPH − Storm to cause “apocalyptic damage” − Officials making Fukushima comparisons
Miami Herald, Sept 6, 2017 at 2:00 PM EDT (emphasis added): Two South Florida nuclear power plants lie in Irma’s path… projections on Wednesday showed [Irma] headed straight for South Florida… But neither Turkey Point nor the St. Lucie plant farther up the coast had made the call yet to shutting down the plants… “If we anticipate there will be direct impacts on either facility we’ll shut down the units,” [spokesman Peter Robbins] said.
Bloomberg, Sep 6, 2017 at 1:10 PM EDT: Nuclear Plants in Irma’s Path Plan Shutdowns Ahead of Storm… Two of the Sunshine State’s nuclear facilities are in the Category 5 storm’s path… NextEra Energy Inc. will shut the plants “long before” the onset of hurricane force winds, spokesman Peter Robbins told Bloomberg…
Washington Post, Sep 6, 2017 at 7:50 PM EDT: This could be The Big One, again, and everyone knows it… Hurricane Irma is about as big as a tropical cyclone can possibly get, and the latest computer models show it aimed at South Florida as if following directions by GPS… This hurricane’s 185-mph maximum sustained winds are the strongest recorded for a landfalling hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean… Storm preparations also were underway at two nuclear sites in Florida… NextEra said that it will shut down its four nuclear reactors before Irma makes landfall… NextEra also said that its reactors could weather a loss of electricity of the sort that caused a meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi reactors…

PBS, Sep 6, 2017 at 6:50 PM EDT: Sustained winds are still blowing at a record 185 miles an hour, with gusts up to 225 miles an hour. One forecaster watching the assault today said this thing is a buzz saw…

Florida shutting down its 2 nuclear plants ahead of Hurricane Irma
While Governor Rick Scott said Florida’s two nuclear power plants will be shutdown before Hurricane Irma hits, little has been said about over a dozen chemical plants around the state, many of which manufacture highly combustible fertilizer.

“I have been talking to Florida Power & Light, which owns these,” Scott told CNN on Thursday, when asked about the power plants, “and they will both be shut down.”

One of the plants, St. Lucie, is on Hutchinson Island, about 55 miles (88km) north of West Palm Beach. Its two reactors generate 2,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 1 million homes.

Turkey Point nuclear power station is located on the Biscayne Bay, about 24 miles from Miami. Its two reactors generate about 1,600 megawatts of electricity, or enough for about 900,000 homes.

“It is about a thirty hour process, as soon as the Category 1 winds start,” Scott said. “We have evacuation routes opened for people to get out and get back to them. But they will be completely shut down before the storm hits. They will not be re-open until afterwards.”

The St. Lucie plant has already weathered powerful storms, like Hurricane Frances in 2004 and Wilma the year after.

Turkey Point withstood 1992’s Hurricane Andrew, a Category 4 storm and one of the strongest the country has experienced. The plant sustained $90 million in damages and had to run on backup generators for more than five days, however.

Its access road was blocked, communication systems shut down, and fire protection system damaged. The exhaust stack of one of its oil-powered units cracked. The reactors, shielded by six feet of steel-reinforced concrete and 20 feet above ocean level, remained unscathed. No radioactive material leaked, according to the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The trajectory of Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm with winds of 185 miles per hour (295 km/h), is uncertain but the US National Hurricane Center described it as the strongest Atlantic storm on record. The hurricane is currently passing the Dominican Republic.

The shutdown of St. Lucie and Turkey Point goes a long way to assuage fears of an incident similar to Fukushima Dai-ichi, a power plant in Japan that suffered a reactor meltdown after the March 2011 tsunami.

There has been no official word, however, on whether chemical companies dotting Florida have taken any steps to prevent a repeat of last week’s events in Crosby, Texas.

Flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey knocked out refrigeration units that were cooling chemicals stored at eight tanks at the Arkema plant in this Houston suburb. As the tanks heated up, the chemicals inside caught fire and exploded. Fifteen first responders were treated for smoke inhalation.

A dozen chemical companies are located in Florida, near Miami, Tampa and Orlando, including Gold Coast Chemical Products, Gator Chemicals, Florida Chemical Supply and Thatcher Chemicals of Florida.

Fertilizer manufacturer Helena Chemical Co has several locations in the state. RT requested a comment from its Tennessee headquarters about any precautions the company was taking, but has not received a response.

Bell Chem makes the bleaching agent sodium hypochlorite at a plant in Longwood, just north of Orlando. While the compound itself is not combustible, it is a strong oxidizer and combustible for other substances. Calls made to the plant were not returned.

FAR Chemical, located on the coast in Palm Bay, manufactures a number of chemical compounds. Florida Crystals, about 75 miles northwest of Miami, manufactures sugar, which can be combustible under the right conditions.

While there are no large chemical plants in Palm Beach County, Delray Beach Fire Rescue said the department always prepares for the worst.

“We’re constantly training for what might happen, but we really won’t know what exactly we’re going to do until something happens,” Captain Kevin Saxton told WPEC.

“I think we would be prepared. We do have a special operations team and hazardous materials. We have a bunch of other resources that we can call in,” Saxton said.

He said a large scale explosion would require help from multiple agencies, and the first thing they do is get people away from the hazard.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 15:32| Comment(0) | 国際・政治
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