Pence arrives in Nebraska as U.S. Midwest reels from historic floods

Pence arrives in Nebraska as U.S. Midwest reels from historic floodsVice President Mike Pence in Nebraska on Tuesday took stock of the devastation unleashed across the U.S. Midwest by floods that have killed four people, left one missing and caused more than a billion dollars in damage to crops, livestock and roads. The way communities come together and people volunteer to put themselves in harm's way to help others," Pence said Tuesday in Omaha, according to an official statement. Pence also said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is working to expedite a request from Nebraska's governor for a federal emergency declaration, which will provide more aid to the state.



Firefighters contain petrochemical blaze, Texas expands air monitoring

Firefighters contain petrochemical blaze, Texas expands air monitoringFirefighters late Tuesday contained a raging inferno at a Mitsui & Co petrochemical storage site outside of Houston that has been billowing acrid smoke for days as Texas officials and environmental groups raced to expand air monitoring. The blaze at Mitsui unit Intercontinental Terminals Co in Deer Park, Texas, was reduced to four burning tanks from eight, a Harris County official said in a statement, after additional equipment and firefighters trained in handling tank fires arrived earlier in the day.



Patriots owner Kraft can avoid prosecution in Florida prostitution sting: prosecutors

Patriots owner Kraft can avoid prosecution in Florida prostitution sting: prosecutorsRobert Kraft, the National Football League team owner, is receiving the same offer from the Office of the State Attorney for Palm Beach County as the other first-time misdemeanor offenders caught up in the case last month, said Mike Edmondson, a spokesman for the office. Edmondson declined to say if Kraft has agreed to the offer for avoiding prosecution. Kraft, 77, a businessman who built the Patriots into the NFL's most dominant franchise, was charged following a police sting targeting sex-trafficking in day spas and massage parlors.



Pets, livestock among victims of Midwest flooding

Pets, livestock among victims of Midwest floodingRescuers in the Omaha area, where the Platte, Elkhorn and Missouri rivers began spilling over their banks last week, have been working overtime to save dogs and cats along with their owners, sometimes at risk to themselves. "It becomes very difficult and it does put our rescuers in harms way, because you have animals that can potentially try to bite or fight,” Rescue Lieutenant Jami Mitchell of Waterloo Fire/Rescue in Nebraska said by phone on Tuesday. Along with the 189 adults and eight children pulled from flooded homes in Waterloo, about 20 miles west of Omaha, Mitchell tallied 87 dogs, eight cats, one rabbit, two birds, two hamsters and 26 horses.



Missouri River flooding catches small Nebraska town off guard

Missouri River flooding catches small Nebraska town off guardWhen Jim and Rose Downing heard forecasts last week for dangerously high water in their Nebraska hometown on the Missouri River, they were nonplussed since their house had not flooded in 100 years. Rose is the third generation of her family to reside in the brick home in the Gunnysack Flats neighborhood near downtown Peru, Nebraska, and 2 miles west of a levee that townspeople said never faltered in the past. This time was different, as the fewer than 1,000 residents of Peru discovered on Saturday when numerous Missouri River levees were breached due to heavy rainfall and snow melt.







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