Monday, June 20, 2011

Floods Along Missouri & Western Wildfires Uproot Americans

People are hurting here in America -- again.

Authorities are evacuating folks along the Missouri River as floodwaters breach Iowa levees and put a second nuclear power plant in Nebraska on alert, while raging wildfires in Texas and Arizona forced even more Americans to flee their homes.

But in what can only be described as a bizarre blame-game accusation, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) insisted over the weekend and again this morning that some wildfires in Arizona were sparked by illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico.

"I was briefed by the Forest Service about the fact that illegal immigrants sometimes start these fires," he said on the "Imus in the Morning" radio show this morning.

McCain did little to back up his claim, other than to cite the The Los Angeles Times, but the newspaper reported today that it did not know what article the lawmaker was referring to on the Imus program.

The Arizona Republic has details of the damage caused by two separate wildfires in its state. 

The Houston Chronicle has a comprehensive rundown today of the fires sweeping through Texas.   

Meanwhile, Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville, Neb. issued the lowest level alert when floodwaters along the Missouri River reached 42.5 feet, but plant officials claim the public is not at risk and as of now it is unlikely the facility will have to  to shut down.

The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant 20 miles north of Omaha issued the same alert two weeks ago, but it has been off line since April for refueling.

Some towns along the Missouri have been evacuated since heavy rains forced the Army Corps of Engineers to release water upstream to take the pressure off of dams and avoid a larger catastrophe. People are accusing the floods of being a man-made event, but with heavy rains in the forecast the engineers said they had no choice but to release water.

The Associated Press has a report on the flood damage in Iowa and Nebraska.

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