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Girl missing after storm sparks flash flooding in Mississippi

(Reuters) - Authorities in Mississippi searched early Monday for a 9-year-old girl thought to have been swept away in flash-flood waters triggered by severe storms that were expected to spread north into the eastern United States. The child was missing in Yazoo County, where homes and businesses also were flooded, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said. Seven people suffered minor injuries in Covington County in the state after an apparent tornado damaged homes there overnight, the emergency agency said.

In tornado-prone Oklahoma, some better prepared than others

By Heide Brandes MOORE, Oklahoma (Reuters) - The mayor of Moore, Oklahoma, a municipality twice devastated by tornados in the past 15 years, is fixated on garage doors, knowing they are a key to protecting the city from even more damage during this year's tornado season. Moore, in the heart of "Tornado Alley," where twisters frequently hit, will be operating this year under new building codes, arguably some of the most stringent in the nation, to protect people and structures from deadly winds.

No charges for snowboarder who triggered killer Montana avalanche

By Laura Zuckerman (Reuters) - A snowboarder who inadvertently triggered a deadly avalanche that engulfed a Montana home in February will not face charges for riding a mountain slope that was closed to the public at the time, prosecutors said on Friday. The avalanche that tore down a mountainside and into a Missoula neighborhood leveled the two-story house of an elderly couple several blocks from the University of Montana campus, burying them and two neighbor children in snow.

Space tech provides Africa's first Islamic insurance for herders

The son of a camel herder, Hassan Bashir knows how tough traditional life in Kenya's arid north is, where pastoralists rely on livestock herds surviving boom and bust cycles of drought. But Bashir is also an astute entrepreneur, developing Africa's first livestock insurance scheme to make payouts compliant with Islamic law, by bringing together Muslim scholars and number-crunching agricultural experts using NASA weather satellites.

Two Colorado avalanche mitigation workers injured in blast

By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - Two workers helping mitigate the risk of avalanches on a Colorado mountain pass were injured on Monday when a mortar shell used to trigger controlled snow slides to prevent larger ones exploded prematurely, officials said. The accident occurred just after sunrise on Loveland Pass, a high snow slide area where five snowboarders were killed last April in an avalanche, said Tony Devito, a regional director with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Two Colorado avalanche mitigation workers injured in blast

By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - Two workers helping mitigate the risk of avalanches on a Colorado mountain pass were injured on Monday when a mortar shell used to trigger controlled snow slides to prevent larger ones exploded prematurely, officials said. The accident occurred just after sunrise on Loveland Pass, a high snow slide area where five snowboarders were killed last April in an avalanche, said Tony Devito, a regional director with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

P.E.I. home burns as firefighters spend three hours driving through blizzard

NEW GLASGOW, P.E.I. - A crew of firefighters spent three hours trying to reach a burning home in central P.E.I. on Wednesday, only to be thwarted by huge drifts created by the intense blizzard that left much of Atlantic Canada paralyzed. New Glasgow fire Chief Jason Peters said the lone occupant of the home managed to escape to her car, where she called for help from her cellphone.

Rare tornado damages homes in North California city

By Laila Kearney SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A rare tornado has damaged about a dozen homes in Northern California, sending roof tiles and solar panels flying and leaving residents of the city of Roseville in shock over the unusual event, officials said on Thursday. The twister descended late on Wednesday in a residential area of Roseville, about 18 miles north of the state capital, Sacramento, and ripped through a distance measuring some 100 yards, a Roseville Fire Department spokesman said.

Powerful gusts lash East Coast as spring blizzard moves in

HALIFAX - Across a large swath of Atlantic Canada, people who ventured outside Wednesday felt the cold sting of a massive spring blizzard that brought much of the region to a standstill. Most schools and government offices were closed in the Maritimes, flights were cancelled and traffic along some of the busiest streets and highways was virtually non-existent amid knee-high drifts. As the winds picked up throughout the day, more and more power outages were reported.

Late blast of wintry weather hits parts of New England

By Dave Sherwood BOWDOINHAM, Maine (Reuters) - Parts of New England were hit with a late blast of wintry weather on Wednesday, the so-called "bombogenesis" storm that brought high winds to much of the region and snow to parts of Maine and Massachusetts' Cape Cod resort area.
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