After a Shell drilling rig ran aground on Tuesday in the icy waters of Alaska, members of congress are pushing for an investigation of the company's Arctic offshore drilling operations.
According to the Associated Press, "The House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition called on the Interior Department and the Coast Guard to jointly investigate the New Year's Eve grounding of the Shell drill vessel Kulluk on a remote Gulf of Alaska Island, and a previous incident connected to Arctic offshore drilling operations in 2012."
The rig ran aground on New Year's Day after tugs struggled to maintain control over it while a severe storm passed over the Arctic. Swells as high as 35 feet and winds gusting to 55 miles per hour made for a treacherous situation.
As the weather calmed, salvage crews were lowered by helicopter onto the vessel to check for damage and possible spillage. The team reported that the rig, which is carrying more than 140,000 gallons of diesel and 12,000 gallons of lube oil and hydraulic fluid, remains upright and intact.
It has not yet been determined when the vessel will be moved from its current location near Sitkalidak Island.
Travel hazards, delays and disruptions associated with rain, ice and snow will continue over the Central states through the balance of the Thanksgiving weekend.
The current reprieve from heavy rain across southern India will not last long with the threat for flooding downpours set to return for the final days of November.
Sandra has weakened to a tropical storm but remains on track to make landfall in western Mexico with flooding rainfall on Saturday.
Heavy thunderstorms will continue to shift northward across central South America with the greatest threat for flooding focusing on northeastern Argentina and eastern Paraguay into Saturday morning.
Several days of heavy rain will bring the potential for significant flooding from the southern Plains to the middle Mississippi Valley into early next week.
O'Fallon, MD (1990)
Strong downburst from a thunderstorm caused an apartment to collapse, injuring 25 people.
New England Coast (1898)
Famous "Portland" storm formed off Cape Cod with loss of 200 lives. Many others were lost to the raging sea in 50 small vessels. A total of 27 inches of snow in New London, CT; 15 inches at Waterbury, CT. Peak wind was 72 mph in Boston. Boston received more than a foot of snow.
Second heavy snowfall in three days hits the region with 12 inches on the ground in NJ; 14 inches in NY; greatest November snow in New England since 1898.