Local KSN News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Latif Blessing hoisted the U.S. Open Cup as high as he possibly could, which meant the bottom of the silver trophy just about scraped the ground as he pranced around the field.
Short jokes aside, he played plenty big Wednesday night.
The 5-foot-3 dynamo scored midway through the first half, Daniel Salloi added a breakaway goal in the second and Sporting Kansas City held on to beat the New York Red Bulls 2-1 for its fourth title in the nation’s oldest ongoing soccer competition.
“As an organization, this is a very, very valued championship to us,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. “If I remember correctly, 99 teams started out in this tournament, so for us to hoist the trophy in the knockout stage is pretty impressive for this group.”
The fast-paced match featured plenty of chances for both Major League Soccer clubs, but it was the pint-sized Blessing whose header in the 25th minute put Sporting KC ahead to stay.
The Red Bulls’ Michael Murillo had just won a free kick, but Sporting KC quickly cleared and went on the counter-attack. Graham Zusi got the ball on the wing, and the U.S. national team mainstay curled in a cross that Blessing managed to connect with between four defenders.
Blessing’s goal came shortly after a hard tackle left him lying on the turf in pain. He was only out of the game for a moment, but he was still limping after a hydration break at the 30-minute mark on a hot, muggy night, so Vermes decided to substitute a few minutes later.
It was Salloi who came on and, despite a hip injury that had him questionable to play, he managed to get loose in the 66th minute and put a pass from Benny Feilhaber in the back of the net.
The goal proved crucial when the Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips scored in extra time.
“Obviously going down 2-0 is different than being down 1-0,” Red Bulls manager Jesse Marsch said, “but even at 2-0, our guys weren’t fazed. They continued to go after the game.”
“Our team pushed,” he said. “They gave everything they had to each other, to the game. I’m gutted for them. I’m just gutted for the organization and the fans, because it’s a heartbreaking moment.”
Sporting KC won its first Open Cup in 2004, when it was known as the Wizards, and added trophies in 2012 and 2015. That means it has won four major trophies since 2012, counting an MLS title in 2013.
Sporting KC’s midfield celebration was led by the defensive trio of Zusi, Matt Besler and Seth Sinovic. They have been part of the club’s last three Open Cup titles, and they were instrumental in stifling Wright-Phillips, Sacha Kljestan and the Red Bulls’ potent attack for the first 90 minutes.
The sellout crowd of 21,523 that joined in their party included Kansas City sports icons such as Hall of Fame linebacker Willie Lanier and Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett.
“We knew this would be a very difficult match in that they would come and throw everything forward,” Vermes said. “They have some young guys on their team. So do we. But one of the things about young guys is they have no fear, so they were coming the whole game.”
Sporting KC improved to 4-0 in MLS Cup and Open Cup finals under Vermes, who has displayed a remarkable ability to massage and overhaul his roster each year. And a solid performance by goalkeeper Tim Melia, featuring several dazzling second-half saves, made him 11-0-2 in Open Cup games.
Meanwhile, the result was another bitter disappointment in a major competition for the Red Bulls, who lost their only other Open Cup final to the Chicago Fire in 2003.
New York is the only original MLS club that has never captured the MLS Cup or Open Cup.
It was also a bitter defeat for Marsch, who had placed an emphasis on the single-elimination tournament. The Red Bulls manager won four Open Cups during his playing career, and he believed that winning the silver trophy could spur his ascending club onto bigger things.
Instead, it was Blessing and Sporting KC that lifted it into the air.
“There are no consolation prizes in finals,” Marsch said, “but I feel like our team played great. I feel like our team went after the game, dictated the pace of the game in many ways — controlled many parts of it. And we were unlucky not to come away with more.”
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The shooting at the Department of Revenue and Taxation building Tuesday afternoon has KSN looking into laws regarding guns in state buildings.
Back in 2013, Governor Sam Brownback signed the Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act into law.
That law took effect in 2015.
It basically says any state or municipal buildings that don’t have adequate security, like metal detectors or security guards at every door, must allow concealed weapons.
Robert Choromanski, the Executive Director for the Kansas Organization of State Employees, says he’s spoken with employees who were working inside the building when the shooting happened.
“Our employees are very scared for their safety because there is no security at that building,” said Choromanski. “I talked to a lot of state employees who kind of wish they were back working at the Finney State Office Building, where they use to be at, where there was adequate security,” added Choromanksi.
The shooting has also gotten the attention of state lawmakers.
Democrat State Representative Jim Ward says the general rules of gun ownership apply at public buildings, like the Department of Revenue building.
However, Tuesday’s shooting, Ward says, raises concerns about the safety of employees who work at state buildings.
“There is any number of situations that could place employees at risk and that’s why we need to do a risk assessment to determine what is appropriate so that every state employee can feel they are in a safe work environment,” said Ward.
Kansas Secretary of Revenue, Sam Williams says he met with his management team first thing Wednesday morning to discuss all the aspects of the incident that took place in Wichita.
“One of the items we have on our list is to review all our security procedures in our offices where we have both taxation and motor vehicle, we will in a very short amount of time come up with some good suggestions to improve our security,” said Williams.
KSN did reach out to Republican lawmakers to get their thoughts on this issue.
One Republican lawmaker KSN spoke with says the current location of the Department of Revenue building could be an issue.
They say figuring out if the building does have adequate security is something that needs to be looked into in the future.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The victim in the shooting at a Wichita Kansas Department of Revenue office has been identified as Cortney Holloway, a revenue agent. KSN spent the day speaking with friends and family members who all say Cortney is a noble man, husband and devoted father.
It’s been a very emotional 24 hours for the Holloway family. Via Christi’s ICU waiting room was full of anxious family members and close friends Wednesday, waiting for updates on Cortney’s condition. The hospital reported his condition moved from critical to serious, which is an improvement but the family says it’s only by the grace of God that Cortney is still alive after being shot five times.Cortney and Moniqueka Holloway (Photo courtesy Under the Willow Tree Photography)
“Cortney and I are active members of Resurrection Community Church where Riccardo Harris is the pastor,” said wife Moniqueka Holloway. “God is the head of our lives and we believe that while this was an attempt to create a level of disaster, our faith in God will pull him through and everything in his body will be as it was before all of this happened.”
Moniqueka has been married to Cortney for 12 years. They have two sons together.
“He shows up to everything for those boys; every game and every event. Anything that’s important to them, Cortney is there and if it wasn’t for God, I would’ve had to explain to them that their father wasn’t coming home.”
The Holloway family has received an enormous amount of support from the community and while they did express gratitude for the calls and the prayers, they still have questions surrounding the person who shot Cortney and the series of events that led up to that moment.
“He had so many opportunities to just turn around and do something differently but he actively pursued,” said Moniqueka.
Another hard reality has been the $150,000 bond set for the man who is currently under investigation for the incident.
“It’s not right,” she said. “I’m just trying to rationalize how a judge or attorney can think that it is OK for an individual to willingly target and attempt to murder another individual and have the opportunity to be free.”
Moniqueka says her faith in God is what keeps her and her family motivated, recalling a conversation she had with her husband before he was shot.
“We’re watching an Oprah series called Black Love and we started talking about what we looked forward to,” she said. “I told him I wanted to grow old with him and sit outside swinging on a porch.”
These words resonated with Cortney, even during his darkest time.
“When I got a chance to talk to Cortney, she recalled. “He said as he was being shot, he was thinking, I got to make it to that porch. God I got to make it to that porch with my wife; my wife needs me at that porch”
The family said after a few phone calls, the bond was raised to $250,000 and they were told that they would be notified if the suspect is released. They also have requested that the suspect be mandated to 24 hour watch, if he is released.
BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Butler County officials said their computers are back up and working a of couple weeks after their network was hacked by ransomware.
After working with IT experts and outside vendors, Butler County has restored computer service.
The county said it did not lose any information. However, the county did have a problem with an old software system that operates the HVAC system in a building.
Officials are working to fix that issue.
SEDGWICK CO, Kan. (KSNW) – Tyson Foods could be looking for a new site to build its $320 million chicken processing plant.
It seems all signs point to a less than perfect situation for Tyson to build in Tonganoxie after some in the community worried about smells, the environment, and school district sizes.
Tyson’s President of Poultry Operations Doug Ramsay wrote a letter to the Leavenworth County Commission saying the company is still interested but are on the lookout for other possible suitors.
“Their loss is our gain,” said Michael O’Donnell.
In a tweet directly to Tyson Food companies, Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell effectively threw Sedgwick County’s hat in the ring.
“Sedgwick County, we want to be on the map we want to be on the radar. We would like Tyson to at least look at us as an opportunity,” said O’Donnell.
Along with a state-of-the-art facility, Tyson would bring more than 1,400 jobs to whichever community it settled in and is projected to have an economic benefit of more than $150 million to Kansas.
O’Donnell sees it as a chance to add jobs and diversify what kind of jobs are offered in southcentral Kansas.
“There are going to be farms they are going to be working with,” explained O’Donnell. “There are going to be indirect jobs. This could be transformational and a real game changer for our region.”
He said they have spoken with some members of the Wichita City Council and the Greater Wichita Partnership about the possibility.
“We, I think have a workforce that is definitely more ready, willing and able and then we also have higher unemployment than they do,”
Mayor Jeff Longwell wouldn’t speak on it specifically but did say, “We are always open to welcome new companies to the region.”
The big question now is will Tyson build in Kansas?
If this plant comes to Kansas, it won’t be the first Tyson Foods facility in the state.
The smallest Tyson plant is their facility in south Hutchinson where they employ 145 people.
Compare that to their largest facility which is in Finney County where 3,200 people work.
In all, Tyson Foods has more than 4,900 jobs in the state.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Hurt’s Donut asks a question on a recent Facebook post, “Wanna scare the sh…Shprinkles out of your friends!?”
The popular doughnut shop is offering delivery by clown next Monday and Tuesday to Wichita, and Tuesday and Wednesday to Hutchinson.
“We are bringing the fall festivities to Wichita this next week, we’ve got our pumpkin spice varieties out so we decided to add a little bit more fun to that with some scary clown deliveries as well,” Hurts Donut Wichita owner Trista Patterson said.
The doughnut chain is known for their other colorful delivery characters, like a grown man in a diaper as Cupid for Valentine’s Day. Patterson says the phone has been off the hook as people call in to order donuts and scare their friends.
“One lady called yesterday and she said “I am so excited, you have got to scare the crap out of my kids” and I was like okay we’ll be there to scare the crap out of your Kids on Tuesday,” Patterson laughed.
Callers pick a time slot for their creepy delivery and a clown will come with a Hurt’s employee to deliver the sweets. Patterson is not worried about any bad reactions to the doughnut delivery, as they haven’t had any trouble in the past.
BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Butler County Community College experienced what they believe is a result of a DDoS cyber attack.
The school said this type of attack brings down systems by overloading them with information.
According to an official statement from Butler Community College, the college and their internet service provider have partnered with additional engineers and are working to address the issue.
The statement went on to say, “We recognize this situation is extremely frustrating. We understand technology is core for our students’ success and our daily business operations.”
The school said it will continue to provide updates following the attack.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – There is a big event making its way to Wichita this weekend.
The Chisholm Cattle Trail is a piece of history. It is the route by which hundreds of thousands of Texas longhorn cattle traveled north across Indian Territory. The first herd of cattle traveled the trail in 1867.
This year, a cattle drive is being recreated by the O-K Chisholm Trail Cattle Drovers Association.
The cattle drive started near Pond Creek, Oklahoma on September 12, and the final stop will be in Wichita at 6425 W MacArthur on September 23.
After a massive restoration effort, most of Florida has power 10 days after Hurricane Irma knocked out electricity to nearly two-thirds of the state.
Experts say improvements made to the power grid since Hurricane Wilma 12 years ago have meant less time for people waiting for their power to come back on.
But that may do little to stem a growing backlash over the widespread outages that caused misery across the state and sparked sharp criticism from residents and elected officials. One top utility official apologized this week for how long it took to bring back electricity.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Authorities are looking into a gas leak in the 5100 block of North Hillside. It happened around 11:30 a.m.
Right now, sheriff’s deputies have shut down Hillside between 45th and 53rd as a precaution.
Due to a gas leak south of Heights, Hillside between 45th and 53rd will be closed while crews make repairs. Students and staff are safe.
— WichitaPublicSchools (@WichitaUSD259) September 20, 2017
KSN News has a crew at the scene. Look for updates online at KSN and KSN.com
FAIRVIEW, Okla. (AP) – Federal marshals say the last of two inmates who overpowered guards, stole a prison transport van and escaped from northwest Oklahoma last month has been apprehended in Missouri.
The U.S. Marshals Service says authorities apprehended 37-year-old Darren Walp Wednesday at a truck stop in Norwood, Missouri, after a standoff that lasted several hours.
The second inmate, 32-year-old Andrew Foy, was apprehended on Friday at a hotel in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania.
The inmates escaped near Fairview, Oklahoma, on Aug. 22 during a multi-state inmate transfer by a private transportation company. The van was later found abandoned and the men were last seen on Aug. 24 driving a stolen tractor-trailer rig in northeastern Oklahoma.
Authorities say Foy was being taken to Wyoming and Walp to Kansas to face charges for nonviolent offenses.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police said a Facebook investigation on stolen tools led officers to arrest two women.
The victim located the stolen tools on Facebook and alerted police. The burglary section and special investigation bureau purchased some of the stolen property which led police to obtain a warrant to search the 100 block of South Greenwich.
During the search, officers seized 32 grams of meth, cash, a stolen gun and tools.
Two women, 38 and 53, were arrested on multiple warrants and drug charges.
A 4-year-old boy was taken into protective custody.
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. (AP) – A second Kansas teenager says he wants to run for governor next year.
Tyler Ruzich, of Prairie Village, who will turn 17 next week, filed campaign papers with the state this week. He is a junior at Shawnee Mission North High School.
The Hutchinson News reports Ruzich considers himself a moderate Republican but says he is still developing specific policy positions.
Another 16-year-old, Jack Bergeson of Wichita, is running for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Ruzich says he contacted Bergeson, who encouraged him to run.
Ruzich says the young candidates agree that having two teenagers in the race is an opportunity to get young people involved in politics and government.
Kansas has no age requirement for running for governor.
America’s Got Talent Season 12 finalists had one last chance Tuesday to show America why they deserve to win.
The acts are competing for a $1 million grand prize and a headline Las Vegas stage show at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
The winning act will be revealed tonight in the live two-hour season finale on KSN.
Superstars Kelly Clarkson, Shania Twain, Derek Hough, James Arthur, Kevin Nealon, Jeff Dunham and Season two winner Terry Fator are set to perform during the finale.
Find out how to vote here.
Need a little help deciding? Here’s a replay of all the final acts.Diavolo Kechi Mandy Harvey Light Balance Angelica Hale Chase Goehring Preacher Lawson Darci Lynne Sara Carson & Hero Evie Clair
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Navy hospital in Florida has removed some employees from patient care after Snapchat photos showed a nurse giving the middle finger to a newborn with a caption that said, “How I currently feel about these mini Satans.”
Jeanne Casey, spokeswoman for the Naval Hospital Jacksonville, said in a statement released late Monday said the incident is “outrageous, incredibly unprofessional, and cannot be tolerated.”
The Snapchat post also said the “navy nurse” and her friend made a baby dance to rap music.
Casey says the employees have been removed from patient care and they will be handled by the legal system and military justice. She said the hospital was in the process of notifying the parents of the babies.
The statement didn’t say how many employees were involved in the incident.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma City police say a man holding a stick was shot and killed by an officer on the city’s southeast side.
Police Capt. Bo Mathews says officers were responding to a report of a hit-and-run around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday when they found a vehicle that matched the description of the one in the crash.
Mathews says two officers confronted a man holding a stick near the vehicle. One officer fired a Taser and the other shot the suspect with a firearm.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Names of the suspect and the two officers have not been released. He didn’t say why the officer opened fire.
Mathews says the officer who shot the man with the firearm was placed on administrative leave.
An investigation is ongoing.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Police, firefighters and ordinary Mexicans dug frantically through the rubble of collapsed schools, homes and apartment buildings early Wednesday, looking for survivors of Mexico’s deadliest earthquake in decades as the number of confirmed fatalities stood at 217.
Adding poignancy and a touch of the surreal, Tuesday’s magnitude-7.1 quake struck on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 earthquake that killed thousands. Just hours earlier, people around Mexico had held earthquake drills to mark the date.
One of the most desperate rescue efforts was at a primary and secondary school in southern Mexico City, where a wing of the three-story building collapsed into a massive pancake of concrete slabs. Journalists saw rescuers pull at least two small bodies from the rubble, covered in sheets.
Volunteer rescue worker Dr. Pedro Serrano managed to crawl into the crevices of the tottering pile of rubble that had been Escuela Enrique Rebsamen. He made it into a classroom, but found all of its occupants dead.
“We saw some chairs and wooden tables. The next thing we saw was a leg, and then we started to move rubble and we found a girl and two adults — a woman and a man,” he said.
“We can hear small noises, but we don’t know if they’re coming from above or below, from the walls above (crumbling), or someone below calling for help.”
A mix of neighborhood volunteers, police and firefighters used trained dogs and their bare hands to search through the school’s ruins. The crowd of anxious parents outside the gates shared reports that two families had received WhatsApp messages from girls trapped inside, but that could not be confirmed.
Rescuers brought in wooden beams to shore up the fallen concrete slabs so they wouldn’t collapse further and crush whatever airspaces remained.
The federal Education Department reported late Tuesday that 25 bodies had been recovered from the school’s wreckage, all but four of them children. It was not clear whether those deaths were included in the overall death toll of 217 reported by the federal civil defense agency. Pena Nieto had earlier reported 22 bodies found and said 30 children and eight adults were reported missing.
In a video message released late Tuesday, Pena Nieto urged people to be calm and said authorities were moving to provide help as 40 percent of Mexico City and 60 percent of nearby Morelos state were without power. But, he said, “the priority at this moment is to keep rescuing people who are still trapped and to give medical attention to the injured people.”
People across central Mexico already had rallied to help their neighbors as dozens of buildings tumbled into mounds of broken concrete. Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said buildings fell at 44 sites in the capital alone as high-rises across the city swayed and twisted and hundreds of thousands of panicked people ran into the streets.
The huge volunteer effort included people from all walks of life in Mexico City, where social classes seldom mix. Doctors, dentists and lawyers lined up alongside with construction workers and street sweepers, handing buckets of debris or chunks of concrete hand-to-hand down the line.
Even Mexico City’s normally raucous motorcycle clubs swung into action, using motorcades to open lanes for emergency vehicles on avenues crammed with cars largely immobilized by street closures and malfunctioning stoplights.
Dust-covered and exhausted from digging, 30-year-old Carlos Mendoza said two people were pulled alive from the ruins of a collapsed apartment building in the Roma Sur neighborhood during a three-hour period.
“When we saw this, we came to help,” he said, gesturing at the destruction. “This is ugly, very ugly.”
Blocks away, Alma Gonzalez was in her fourth-floor apartment when the quake collapsed the ground floor of her building, leaving her no way out. She was terrified until her neighbors mounted a ladder on their roof and helped her slide out a side window.
The official Twitter feed of civil defense agency head Luis Felipe Puente said 86 dead had been counted in Mexico City and 71 in Morelos state, which is just south of the capital. It said 43 were known dead in Puebla state, where the quake was centered. Twelve deaths were listed in the State of Mexico, which surrounds Mexico City on three sides, four in Guerrero state and one in Oaxaca.
At the site of a collapsed apartment building in Mexico City, rescuers worked atop a three-story pile of rubble, forming a human chain that passed pieces of rubble across four city blocks to a site where they were dumped.
Throughout the day, rescuers pulled dust-covered people, some barely conscious, some seriously injured, from about three dozen collapsed buildings. At one site, shopping carts commandeered from a nearby supermarket were used to carry water to the rescue site and take rubble away.
As night fell, huge flood lights lit up the recovery sites, but workers and volunteers begged for headlamps.
Where a six-story office building collapsed in Mexico City, sisters Cristina and Victoria Lopez Torres formed part of a human chain passing bottled water.
“I think it’s human nature that drives everyone to come and help others,” Cristina Lopez said.
“We are young. We didn’t live through’85. But we know that it’s important to come out into the streets to help,” said her sister Victoria.
Ricardo Ibarra, 48, did live through the 1985 quake and said there hadn’t been anything like it since.
Wearing a bright orange vest and carrying a backpack with a sleeping bag strapped to it, he said he and his friends just wanted to help.
“People are very sensitive because today was the 32nd anniversary of a tragedy,” he said.
Buildings also collapsed in Morelos state, including the town hall and local church in Jojutla near the quake’s epicenter. A dozen people died in Jojutla.
The town’s Instituto Morelos secondary school partly collapsed, but school director Adelina Anzures said the earthquake drill held in the morning came in handy.
“I told them that it was not a game, that we should be prepared,” Anzures said of the drill. When the quake came, she said, children and teachers rapidly filed out and nobody was hurt.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.1 quake hit at 1:14 p.m. (2:14 p.m. EDT) and was centered near the Puebla state town of Raboso, 76 miles (123 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City.
Much of Mexico City is built on former lakebed, and the soil can amplify the effects of earthquakes centered hundreds of miles away.
The quake appeared to be unrelated to the magnitude 8.1 temblor that hit Sept. 7 off Mexico’s southern coast and also was felt strongly in the capital.
U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Paul Earle noted the epicenters of the two quakes were 400 miles (650 kilometers) apart and said most aftershocks are within (60 miles) 100 kilometers.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — One of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit Puerto Rico pummeled the island Wednesday, tearing off roofs and sending doors flying from hinges as officials warned Hurricane Maria would decimate the power company’s crumbling infrastructure and force the government to rebuild dozens of communities.
Maria, which has killed at least nine in the Caribbean, made landfall early Wednesday in the southeast coastal town of Yabucoa as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph (250 kph) winds, and it was expected to punish the island with life-threatening winds for 12 to 24 hours, forecasters said.
People calling local radio stations reported that doors were flying off hinges and a water tank flew away in the island’s southern region. Meanwhile, widespread flooding was reported in the capital of San Juan, with water running down one apartment’s interior staircase.
“This is going to be an extremely violent phenomenon,” Gov. Ricardo Rossello said. “We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history.”
Metal roofs were already flying and windows were breaking as the storm approached before dawn, with nearly 900,000 people without power and one tree falling on an ambulance. Those who sought shelter at a coliseum in San Juan were moved to the building’s second and third floors, reported radio station WKAQ 580 AM. The storm was moving across Puerto Rico on Wednesday morning at 10 mph (17 kph), with a gust of 113 mph (182 kph) reported in the capital of San Juan, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Maria, which had previously been a Category 5 storm with 175 mph (281 kph) winds, hit Puerto Rico as the third strongest storm to make landfall in the United States based on a key measurement that meteorologists use: air pressure. The lower the central pressure a storm the stronger it is and Maria’s pressure was 917 millibars, lower than Irma’s U.S. landfall of 929 millibars in the Florida Keys earlier this month.
Puerto Rico had long been spared from a direct hit by hurricanes that tend to veer north or south of the island. The last Category 4 hurricane landfall in Puerto Rico occurred in 1932, and the strongest storm to ever hit the island was San Felipe in 1928 with winds of 160 mph.
As Maria approached, U.S. President Donald Trump offered his support via Twitter: “Puerto Rico being hit hard by new monster Hurricane. Be careful, our hearts are with you- will be there to help!”
More than 4,400 people were in shelters by late Tuesday, along with 105 pets, Rossello said.
The storm’s center passed near or over St. Croix overnight Tuesday, prompting U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp to insist that people remain alert. St. Croix was largely spared the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Irma on the chain’s St. Thomas and St. John islands just two weeks ago. But this time, the island would experience five hours of hurricane force winds, Mapp said.
“For folks in their homes, I really recommend that you not be in any kind of sleepwear,” he said during a brief news conference. “Make sure you have your shoes on. Make sure you have a jacket around. Something for your head in case your roof should breach. … I don’t really recommend you be sleeping from 11 o’clock to 4 (a.m.). … Be aware of what’s going on around you.”
Maria killed two people in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe and two people aboard a boat were reported missing off La Desirade island, just east of Guadeloupe, officials said.
About 40 percent of the island — 80,000 homes — were without power and flooding was reported in several communities.
The storm also blew over the tiny eastern Caribbean island of Dominica late Monday, where Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit sent out a series of dramatic posts on his Facebook page, including that his own roof had blown away.
“The winds are merciless! We shall survive by the grace of God,” Skerrit wrote before communications went down.
Hartley Henry, an adviser to Skerrit, said there have been seven confirmed deaths in the Caribbean country from Hurricane Maria. Hartley Henry didn’t give details about how the deaths occurred.
The storm knocked out communications for the entire island, leaving anyone outside Dominica struggling to determine the extent of damage, though it was clearly widespread. “The situation is really grave,” Consul General Barbara Dailey said in a telephone interview from New York.
She said she lost contact with the island about 4 a.m. At that point, officials had learned that 70 percent of homes had lost their roofs, including her own.
Flooding was a big concern, given the island’s steep mountains, cut through with rivers that rage even after a heavy rain. Dominica was still recovering from Tropical Storm Erika, which killed 30 people and destroyed more than 370 homes in August 2015.
Forecasters said the storm surge from Maria could raise water levels by 6 to 9 feet (1.8 to 2.7 meters) near the storm’s center. The storm was predicted to bring 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 centimeters) of rain across the islands, with more in isolated areas.
To the north, Hurricane Jose weakened to a tropical storm Tuesday night. Forecasters said dangerous surf and rip currents were likely to continue along the U.S. East Coast but said the storm was unlikely to make landfall. Big waves caused by Jose swept five people off a coastal jetty in Rhode Island and they were hospitalized after being rescued.
A tropical storm warning was posted for coastal areas in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and tropical storm watches were up for parts of New York’s Long Island and Connecticut.
Associated Press writers Ben Fox in Miami and Seth Borenstein in Washington contributed to this report.
Our high temperatures were sweltering again yesterday as we soared into the 90s and low 100s across Kansas… Phew!
But change is on the way… I’m tracking a cold front this morning, making it cool and crisp in western Kansas to start the day, but for Wichita it’s still warm and muggy.
And that front is expected to stall out right over Wichita – meaning here it will still be hot and humid today. The rest of the state to the north and west, however, gets much more comfortable weather for your Wednesday. For everyone, though, the winds won’t be nearly as strong – so that helps!
For those around Wichita missing the fall-like weather today, have no fear, the cooler temperatures return next week! And it will bring a good chance for rain and storms to go along with it.
I’m also continuing to track Hurricane Maria, which is a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 155 mph as of this morning. It is making landfall in Puerto Rico now, with devastating damage expected throughout the day. We’ll be watching this very closely.
And be sure to tune in to Kansas Today all morning for more details on this, plus the timing of our weekend rain and storms.
Or you can catch my latest video forecast right here: http://ksn.com/2017/03/08/weather-forecast-discussion/
Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!
~Katie the Weather Lady
Lot of great high school volleyball around Wichita on Tuesday night. Wichita North hosted Wichita Northwest. Grizzlies trailed early in the first set; however, they came back to win that set, and the second set, winning the match.
Kapaun Mt. Carmel hosted Wichita Heights. The crusaders won the first set. The falcons tried to make it close in the second set, but the crusaders would win that set, and the match.