FRANKLIN, Ind. - Severe storms crippled central Indiana with as much as 10 inches of rain yesterday and spawned tornadoes that ripped up roofs and flipped tractor-trailers in Wisconsin and the Chicago suburbs.
The floods in Indiana threatened dams, inundated highways and forced the Coast Guard to rescue residents from swamped homes. To the northwest, Chicago-area residents ran for cover as tornadoes touched down throughout the region.
Wisconsin had a few minor tornado injuries, and at least one injury was reported near Chicago. Indiana had been spared any reported deaths or injuries due to flooding. Interstate 70 was closed in Clay County in west-central Indiana.
COLUMBIA, N.C. - A wildfire that has burned 30,000 acres in eastern North Carolina may smolder for months as it burns decayed vegetation that makes up the soil in the area, North Carolina Forest Service spokesman Bill Swartley said yesterday.
The fire, which was about 30 percent contained, continues to burn in the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, about 70 miles south of Norfolk, Va. Its spread has slowed over the last few days, and winds remain light, but the fire continues to threaten about 80 homes and businesses.
Swartley warned that forecast temperatures near 100 degrees this weekend keep conditions ripe for the blaze. "When the fire comes near, the vegetation is that much more ignitable because they are already warm," Swartley said. Gov. Mike Easley has declared a state of emergency in three counties.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Salmonella food poisoning first linked to uncooked tomatoes has spread to 16 states, federal health officials said yesterday.
Investigations by the Texas and New Mexico Departments of Health and the U.S. Indian Health Service have tied 56 cases in Texas and 55 in New Mexico to raw, uncooked tomatoes. "We're seeing a steady increase," said Deborah Busemeyer, communications director for the New Mexico Department of Health.
An additional 50 people have been sickened by the same salmonella "Saintpaul" strain in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
As officials ordered
bathers out of the water, wildlife officers trapped a 6-foot-long American crocodile in the surf Thursday at Isle of Palms, S.C. A state wildlife official said the crocodile likely escaped or was released by someone who illegally brought it from its normal habitat in southern Florida.