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October 1, 2013

Sallie Mae leads Consumer Financial Protection Bureau complaints about student loans

Sallie Mae leads Consumer Financial Protection Bureau complaints about student loans

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Education
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File photo of Sallie Mae’s headquarters in 2007
Image: Joshua Davis.

A review this week by Wikinews of US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) complaints about student loans in the United States shows Sallie Mae leads all lending institutions in complaints. Of the 4,851 complaints dating back to March 2012 when the CFPB first began collecting student loan data, 2,262 or 46.6% of all complaints were about the lender. US Federal Reserve data from 2010/2011 shows Sallie Mae is the nation’s largest student loan lender, responsible for 25% of the market

The other major lenders in this space include Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, PNC, and Discover. In complaints, AES/PHEAA came in second with 546, or 11.3% of all complaints. Wells Fargo, Citibank and JPMorgan Chase each had between 5% and 7.5% of all complaints, totaling 918 complaints between them. 78 other lending institutions round out the list of organizations with complaints filed against them for student loans.

Few of the complaints originate from people with problems with federal student loans. Less than 1%, 35 total, are for these types of loans, with Sallie Mae accounting for the bulk of complaints with 17 total. 14 other lending institutions have 3 or fewer complaints. For non-federal student loans, Sallie Mae is still the leader for complaints, with 2245 or 46.6% of all non-federal student loan complaints.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sorts complaints into three issues: Problems when you are unable to pay, Repaying your loan, and Getting a loan. None of the federal loans had complaints about getting a loan. For non-federal loans, 65.5% of the 4,816 complaints related to loan repayment. Sallie Mae led in total complaints in this category with 1467. They were followed by AES/PHEAA with 356, Wells Fargo with 231, Citibank with 201, Discover with 158, JPMorgan Chase with 154, ACS Education Services with 143, and KeyBank NA with 116. CFPB says loan repayment issues include a basket of claim types including “fees, billing, deferment, forbearance, fraud, and credit reporting.” Problems when you are unable pay accounts for 30.8% of the complaints. Sallie Mae had 698 complaints. They were followed by AES/PHEAA with 181, JPMorgan Chase with 106, Wells Fargo with 104, Citibank with 70, and KeyBank NA with 58. Many of the complaints are, according to the CFPB, because borrowers have difficulty getting deferrments on loan repayment as a result of being unable to find employment.

Month by month complaints against major lenders
Image: Laura Hale.

The total complaints against Sallie Mae for September of this year is 2 fewer than the same time last year. The company’s performance this year compared to last year has been mixed. March and June numbers were down over 150 complaints from the same month a year before. April, May, July and August all saw increases of 17–43. Of the top six lenders by volume of complaints, only AES/PHEAA and Citibank saw drops every month between March and September from the total volume in the previous year. Wells Fargo had a gain of 1 in August and 6 in May from the previous year. JPMorgan Chase had a difference of 0 from the same month last year for April, 3 more this year for May, and 4 more for August. Discover saw an increase every month from the same period last year except for September. When the total complaints differences from year to year for March to September are counted, this year has 571 fewer complaints against the top six lenders.

Closure reason percentage for student loan complaints by lender
Image: Laura Hale.

Most, 1470, of the complaints against Sallie Mae were closed with explanations. 10.2% were closed with monetary relief. 7.7% were closed with non-monetary relief. 2.1% were closed with relief and 12.1% were closed without relief. AES/PHEAA’s complaint closure picture was much different. 40.1% of AES/PHEAA’s 546 complaints were closed with non-monetary relief, 35.3% were closed with explanations and 21.2% were closed without relief. Of the eight lending institutions with 100 or more complaints filed against them, Discover was the institution most likely to result in a closure with monetary relief with 12.9% of all their closures ending this way. Citibank was the institution with the highest percentage of closures ending with no relief at 26.0%.

Geographic distribution of student loan complaints
Image: Laura Hale.

Complaints over student loan lenders were geographically distributed, coming from 3,447 different zip codes. The largest cluster of complaints is for 20001, a Washington D.C. zip code with 10 complaints originating from there. 07950, the zip code for Morris Plains, New Jersey, and 37013, the zip code for Antioch, Tennessee, each had 8 complaints originating from them. Zip codes for Patchogue, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Washington D.C.; and Arlington, Virginia each had 7 complaints originating from them. By volume of complaints by state, New York led with 497, with California second with 467, Pennsylvania third with 303, Florida fourth with 288 and Ohio fifth with 219 complaints. US Territories largely occupied the bottom spots. The Northern Marianas Islands, with a population of around 50,000, had 1 complaint. The U.S. Armed Forces – Pacific had 3. North Dakota and U.S. Armed Forces – Europe had 5 complaints each. South Dakota had 7. Wyoming had 8. Puerto Rico and Alaska had 9 each. Rounding out the bottom five states by volume of complaints, Mississippi had 11.

With the possibility of a United States government federal shutdown looming on October 1, student loans may be impacted because of potential for an automatic increase in interest rates.



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August 2, 2012

Drought conditions across much of US impacting fracking activity

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Drought conditions, which have affected large sections of the United States, are now impacting oil production-related activities such as fracking. News sources recently noted that petroleum energy operations throughout parts of West Texas, North Dakota, Kansas, Colorado, and Pennsylvania have been impacted. Hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, has grown to be a widely-used technique in the petroleum industry.

Cquote1.svg Fracking has opened up a whole new world.” Cquote2.svg

—A Texas resident

File graphic explaining the process of fracking.

Fracking requires the injecting of water and other substances into the ground, at very high pressure, to split shale and other sedimentary sources. Due to the drought, water supplies are rapidly diminishing in certain parts of the country. To access the valuable stores below the surface, each well requires anywhere from 2 million up to 12 million gallons of water. Chris Faulkner, CEO of Breitling Oil and Gas, told media sources that in Kansas, most of the water used in fracking is provided by farmers. Faulkner explained that in times past, he could purchase water from farmers for US$0.35 per barrel, but in recent days, farmers there are declining offers of US$0.75. Faulkner also told reporters that roughly 11% of the wells his firm planned to frack in coming days have been delayed. He also predicted that if drought conditions remain, the number of delays will increase.

Many people have criticized fracking, citing harmful outcomes for communities and the environment, including earthquakes. One Texas man told Wikinews, “Fracking has opened up a whole new world…in oil production.”

There has even been an independent film entitled Gasland which attempted to address the issue.



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March 8, 2012

Super Tuesday 2012: Mitt Romney wins six of ten GOP contests

Super Tuesday 2012: Mitt Romney wins six of ten GOP contests

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won six of the ten U.S. Republican Party (GOP) presidential primary contests as part of Super Tuesday. Of the remaining four, former Senator Rick Santorum won three while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich won one. Representative Ron Paul of Texas did not win any contests, but finished second in three.

Mitt Romney stands with his wife Ann before delivering his victory speech.
Image: Ryan Hutton/Boston University News Service.

Romney scored victories in Ohio, Vermont, Massachusetts, Virginia, Idaho, and Alaska. In a victory speech to supporters in his home state of Massachusetts, he remarked, “tonight, we’ve taken one more step towards restoring the promise of tomorrow.” He focused his attacks on President Barack Obama, stating “this president’s run out of ideas. He’s run out of excuses. And in 2012, we’re going to get him out of … the White House.” Romney now has 415 of the 1144 delegates necessary to secure the GOP nomination.

Ohio had the closest margin with Romney defeating the second place Rick Santorum by roughly 10,000 votes or 0.8 percent. While Romney won largely urban and affluent counties, Santorum, of nearby Pennsylvania, won a majority of the counties with rural and blue-collar voters.

Despite the loss, Santorum was able to pull out victories in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and North Dakota, and now has a total of 176 delegates. He told supporters in Steubenville, Ohio, “We need…someone who learned what America was about by growing up in communities just like this…”. Referencing his opponents, he argued “in this race, there is only one candidate who can go up on the most important issue of the day and make the case, because I’ve never been for an individual mandate at a state or federal level.”

Newt Gingrich won his home state of Georgia, which had the most delegates available, increasing his total to 105. He vowed to remain in the race and thanked his supporters, proclaiming, “we are not going to allow the elite to decide who we are allowed to nominate…the national elite — especially in the Republican Party — had decided that a Gingrich presidency was so frightening that they had to kill it early. But, you, you wouldn’t let them do it.” He compared the campaign to the The Tortoise and the Hare fable, “There are lots of bunny rabbits that run through. I am the tortoise. I just take one step at a time.”

Ron Paul finished second in North Dakota, Virginia, and Vermont, and was a close third in Idaho and Alaska. He now has 47 delegates. In his speech to supporters, he said, “if you look at the candidates today, there is very little difference, except for one. … the rest of the candidates support the status quo.”

1541 delegates remain up for grabs. The next contests will take place on Saturday in Kansas, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.



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January 7, 2010

With US mid-term elections fast approaching, three prominent Democrats announce retirement

With US mid-term elections fast approaching, three prominent Democrats announce retirement

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

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Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT)

Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND)

Governor Bill Ritter (D-CO)

With this year’s November midterm elections fast approaching, three prominent United States Democrats announced their plans for retirement from public service on Wednesday.

Powerful and influential—yet controversial for his alleged close ties to the financial sector and his handling of last year’s bailout—Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut announced that he would not be seeking a sixth term this year.

In a speech to his supporters in East Haddam, Connecticut, the sixty-five-year-old senior senator—with his family at his side—said, “I have been a Connecticut senator for thirty years. I’m very proud of the job I’ve done and the results delivered. But none of us is irreplaceable. None of us is indispensable.”

He then went on to say, “Over the past twelve months, I’ve managed four major pieces of legislation through the United States Congress, served as chair and acting chair of two major Senate committees, placing me at the center of the two most important issues of our time—health care and reform of financial services.”

In addition to highlighting some personal travails, Dodd alluded to his precarious political situation, “I lost a beloved sister in July, and in August, Ted Kennedy. I battled cancer over the summer, and in the midst of all of this, found myself in the toughest political shape of my career.”

Despite this, Dodd adamantly maintained that none of the above reasons were the causes for his retirement. He said that his reasons were more “personal,” and that his retirement would hopefully give him a much-wanted opportunity to spend more time with his family.

Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota announced that he would not run for re-election this year either.

“Although I still have a passion for public service and enjoy my work in the Senate, I have other interests and I have other things I would like to pursue outside of public life,” said the sixty-seven-year-old, three-term senator who said he came to this decision after discussing his future with his immediate family over Christmas.

Governor of Colorado, Bill Ritter announced that he too would not seek a second term. The fifty-three-year-old freshman governor said that although he felt his race was “absolutely winnable,” after some deep “soul searching,” he realized that he truly wanted to retire from politics nonetheless. This due to the fact that he felt his main priority should be to be a better husband to his wife as well as a better father to their four children.

When asked to comment on Senator Dodd’s retirement on behalf of the Administration, Vice President Joseph Biden said Dodd would “be long recognized as one of the most significant senators of my generation.”

He furthermore stated, “I believe the nation will miss his wisdom, wit and compassion. I count myself lucky because I know he’s not going too far and will always be a source of advice and counsel.”

Biden gave similar comments and expressed like sentiments about the retirement of his other two Democratic colleagues as well.

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August 21, 2009

Convicted murderer Leonard Peltier again denied parole

Convicted murderer Leonard Peltier again denied parole

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Crime and law
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Leonard Peltier, a Chippewa activist and member of the American Indian Movement who was convicted in 1977 of the murder of two FBI agents, has been denied parole. Peltier is serving two consecutive life sentences in the United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Peltier had been previously denied parole in 1993.

Peltier, along with Robert Robideau and Darelle “Dino” Butler, was charged with the murders of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams after a shootout during unrest on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Robideau and Butler were acquitted, the jury finding the shootings of Coler and Williams having been in self defense, but Peltier had fled the country and was tried separately on his return and found guilty.

Peltier’s attorney, Eric Seitz, stated that the announcement of Peltier’s being denied parole was made without the courtesy of informing the defense, and noted that Peltier, currently 64 years of age, is in poor health with numerous complaints. U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley, meanwhile, called Peltier “an unrepentant, cold-blooded murderer who executed FBI special agents” who is “exactly where he belongs — federal prison”.

Peltier has consistently denied that he murdered Coler and Williams and maintains that the FBI framed him. Supporters of his release include a wide range of world figures, including Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama and Amnesty International, while not classifying Peltier as a political prisoner, asserts that “there is concern about the fairness of the proceedings leading to his conviction and it is believed that political factors may have influenced the way the case was prosecuted.”

A statement from the FBI released after the announcement that Peltier would stay in jail reads, in part, “His callous criminal acts demonstrated a complete disrespect for human life and for the law. His time served in jail for their 1975 murders has not diminished the brutality of his crimes or the pain and sorrow felt by the families of his victims or the FBI family.”

Leonard Peltier is next eligible for parole in 2024.



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June 25, 2009

Freed journalist calls on Iran to release aid worker

Freed journalist calls on Iran to release aid worker

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Iran
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At a press conference held Wednesday in Paris, France, Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi called on Iran to release Silva Harotonian, an Iranian citizen working for a United States aid agency. Saberi was jailed in Iran on charges of spying, and prior to her release shared a cell with Harotonian.

Roxana Saberi in 2009
Image: U.S. Department of State.

Harotonian was working on a healthcare project for the organization International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). She was convicted of attempting to initiate a revolution, and received a sentence in January of three years in jail.

Cquote1.svg She gave me a lot of strength. Cquote2.svg

—Roxana Saberi

“By arresting people like her, certain hardliners have created an atmosphere of fear within Iranian society that anyone who has practically any contact with foreigners… would be accused of acting against national security,” said Saberi at the press conference. She spoke of Harotonian, saying “She gave me a lot of strength.”

Saberi was joined in her efforts on behalf of her former cellmate by International Federation for the League of Human Rights president Karim Lahidji, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran coordinator Hadi Ghaemi, and IREX president Robert Pearson.

Saberi has dual-citizenship as an Iranian-American, and she grew up in Fargo, North Dakota. She lived in Iran for six years while working as a journalist for news media organizations including the BBC. On January 31, four members of the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security of Iran took her from her home to face charges of spying for the United States. She was convicted and sentenced to eight years in jail, however this was reduced to a suspended sentence of two years. After returning to the United States, Saberi met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.



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April 14, 2009

Manitoba\’s flood creating hazardous conditions

Manitoba’s flood creating hazardous conditions

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

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Map of the Red River Floodway.
Image: Kmusser.

The Red River at Winnipeg is almost clear of ice blocks and ice jamming, however there are still dangers from the Red River flood.

Ice blocks which were as high as two storey buildings were ripping out trees, fences and railway ties. “You’ll see huge pans of ice standing vertical, up to 20 feet (6.1 m) high,” said Steve Topping, an official with the provincial Water Stewardship Department. “Ice was shoved up on the shore and took out trees with a very devastating effect. It has changed people’s view of the river.”

“It is incredible, the force. One piece of ice pushed out of the river about 20 feet. You watch the force push this up right in front of your eyes,” said Dean North, of the Selkirk Golf and Country Club.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police are ticketing sight seers who are driving through road closure signs and approaching excavators, cranes and crews breaking up the ice. Vehicles, people, boats, and kayaks are getting in the way.

An eight year old boy is in critical condition after slipping on a culvert Thursday. He was pulled underwater by the speed of the flowing water and remained under for about five to ten minutes until adults could rescue him. The air ambulance supplied by Alberta’s STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society) remains in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“This is not a spectator sport. It’s not about getting the best pictures for the family albums. I know floods are seen as a bit of an event, but some of the instances I’m hearing about, people should give their head a shake, they really should,” said Steve Ashton Manitoba Emergency Measures Minister, “Those who fall into the river or get into trouble in another way would be not only endangering themselves but the emergency response crews trying to rescue them. I don’t want to see a situation … where we’re trying our darndest to prevent flooding and save lives and somebody [who] decides to go have a white-water experience ends up killing themselves.”

Early Easter Sunday morning floodwater reached the rural municipalities of St. Andrews and St. Clements north of Winnipeg. Residents were sent an evacuation advisory Good Friday, however some residents remained. Rescue efforts commenced Saturday night to find those stranded and unable to leave as their vehicles cannot travel in the swollen overland floodwaters. Some people were rescued from roof tops as entire houses were swept off of their foundations by the large ice blocks hurtling down the river.

Highways in the area remain closed. Neil Gobelle, of Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation said to “definitely continue to watch the Red River Valley and north of the city up in the Selkirk area. Things are changing quite a bit, quite quickly, so we’ll keep an eye on those areas.”

As of Easter Sunday, Winnipeg is expected to be ice free on the Red River. The River rose 4 feet (1.2 m) in the course of 24 hours. Rain is in the forecast and the higher temperatures of 17 °C (62.6 °F) will cause melting of snow and ice.

A weather system caused by La Niña is being watched by the United States National Weather Service and its potential effects between April 16-18 for residents along the Red River Valley. “We want people to be aware there is a very real possibility of the river going higher than what is out there,” said Mark Ewens, data manager at the NWS, “To have spring floods like this back-to-back is just an unfortunate series of events that have come along to plague us this spring. We’re wanting people to understand that this is a potentially serious problem.”



Related news

  • “Manitoba volunteers go to war against Red River flooding” — Wikinews, April 6, 2009
  • “Volunteers and food needed for flooded Manitoba, Canada” — Wikinews, March 31, 2009
  • “Manitoba residents receive evacuation flood alerts” — Wikinews, March 28, 2009
  • “Fargo, North Dakota, prepares for record flooding” — Wikinews, March 24, 2009

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Manitoba’s flood creating hazardous conditions

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

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Location of Canada

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The Red River at Winnipeg is almost clear of ice blocks and ice jamming, however their are still dangers from the Red River flood.

Map of the Red River Floodway.
Image: Kmusser.

Ice blocks which were as high as two storey buildings were ripping out trees, fences and railway ties. “You’ll see huge pans of ice standing vertical, up to 20 feet (6.1 m) high,” said Steve Topping, an official with the provincial Water Stewardship Department. “Ice was shoved up on the shore and took out trees with a very devastating effect. It has changed people’s view of the river.”

“It is incredible, the force. One piece of ice pushed out of the river about 20 feet. You watch the force push this up right in front of your eyes,” said Dean North, of the Selkirk Golf and Country Club.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police are ticketing sight seers who are driving through road closure signs and approaching excavators, cranes and crews breaking up the ice. Vehicles, people, boats, and kayaks are getting in the way.

An eight year old boy is in critical condition after slipping on a culvert Thursday. He was pulled underwater by the speed of the flowing water and remained under for about five to ten minutes until adults could rescue him. The air ambulance supplied by Alberta‘s STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society) remains in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“This is not a spectator sport. It’s not about getting the best pictures for the family albums. I know floods are seen as a bit of an event, but some of the instances I’m hearing about, people should give their head a shake, they really should,” said Steve Ashton Manitoba Emergency Measures Minister, “Those who fall into the river or get into trouble in another way would be not only endangering themselves but the emergency response crews trying to rescue them. I don’t want to see a situation … where we’re trying our darndest to prevent flooding and save lives and somebody [who] decides to go have a white-water experience ends up killing themselves.”

Early Easter Sunday morning floodwater reached the rural municipalities of St. Andrews and St. Clements north of Winnipeg. Residents were sent an evacuation advisory Good Friday, however some residents remained. Rescue efforts commenced Saturday night to find those stranded and unable to leave as their vehicles cannot travel in the swollen overland floodwaters. Some people were rescued from roof tops as entire houses were swept off of their foundations by the large ice blocks hurtling down the river.

Highways in the area remain closed. Neil Gobelle, of Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation said to “definitely continue to watch the Red River Valley and north of the city up in the Selkirk area. Things are changing quite a bit, quite quickly, so we’ll keep an eye on those areas.”

As of Easter Sunday, Winnipeg is expected to be ice free on the Red River. The River rose 4 feet (1.2 m) in the course of 24 hours. Rain is in the forecast and the higher temperatures of 17 °C (62.6 °F) will cause melting of snow and ice.

A weather system caused by La Nina is being watched by the United States National Weather Service and its potential effects between April 16-18 for residents along the Red River Valley. “We want people to be aware there is a very real possibility of the river going higher than what is out there,” said Mark Ewens, data manager at the NWS, “To have spring floods like this back-to-back is just an unfortunate series of events that have come along to plague us this spring. We’re wanting people to understand that this is a potentially serious problem.”


Related news

Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about 2009 Red River Flood.
  • “Flood forces rooftop rescues, ice wall moves north of Winnipeg”. CBC News, April 12, 2009
  • “Boy still in critical condition after being rescued from culvert”. CBC News, April 12, 2009
  • “Flood damage, evacuations reported as ice wall moves north of Winnipeg”. CBC News, April 12, 2009
  • “Storms could impact flooding”. Forum Communications Co., April 12, 2009
  • “Manitoba flood thread melting away Huge blocks push up banks of Red River in Selkirk”. Sun Media, April 12, 2009
  • “More sections of Highway 75 closed due to Red River flooding Some highways north of Winnipeg also shut down”. CBC News, April 11, 2009
  • “RCMP ready to ticket Red River floodway sightseers”. CBC News, April 11, 2009
This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Manitoba’s flood creating hazardous conditions

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Other Canadian stories
…More articles here
Location of Canada

A map showing the location of Canada

To write, edit, start or view other Canada articles, see the Canada Portal

Map of the Red River Floodway.
Image: Kmusser.

The Red River at Winnipeg is almost clear of ice blocks and ice jamming, however their are still dangers from the Red River flood.

Ice blocks which were as high as two storey buildings were ripping out trees, fences and railway ties. “You’ll see huge pans of ice standing vertical, up to 20 feet (6.1 m) high,” said Steve Topping, an official with the provincial Water Stewardship Department. “Ice was shoved up on the shore and took out trees with a very devastating effect. It has changed people’s view of the river.”

“It is incredible, the force. One piece of ice pushed out of the river about 20 feet. You watch the force push this up right in front of your eyes,” said Dean North, of the Selkirk Golf and Country Club.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police are ticketing sight seers who are driving through road closure signs and approaching excavators, cranes and crews breaking up the ice. Vehicles, people, boats, and kayaks are getting in the way.

An eight year old boy is in critical condition after slipping on a culvert Thursday. He was pulled underwater by the speed of the flowing water and remained under for about five to ten minutes until adults could rescue him. The air ambulance supplied by Alberta’s STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society) remains in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“This is not a spectator sport. It’s not about getting the best pictures for the family albums. I know floods are seen as a bit of an event, but some of the instances I’m hearing about, people should give their head a shake, they really should,” said Steve Ashton Manitoba Emergency Measures Minister, “Those who fall into the river or get into trouble in another way would be not only endangering themselves but the emergency response crews trying to rescue them. I don’t want to see a situation … where we’re trying our darndest to prevent flooding and save lives and somebody [who] decides to go have a white-water experience ends up killing themselves.”

Early Easter Sunday morning floodwater reached the rural municipalities of St. Andrews and St. Clements north of Winnipeg. Residents were sent an evacuation advisory Good Friday, however some residents remained. Rescue efforts commenced Saturday night to find those stranded and unable to leave as their vehicles cannot travel in the swollen overland floodwaters. Some people were rescued from roof tops as entire houses were swept off of their foundations by the large ice blocks hurtling down the river.

Highways in the area remain closed. Neil Gobelle, of Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation said to “definitely continue to watch the Red River Valley and north of the city up in the Selkirk area. Things are changing quite a bit, quite quickly, so we’ll keep an eye on those areas.”

As of Easter Sunday, Winnipeg is expected to be ice free on the Red River. The River rose 4 feet (1.2 m) in the course of 24 hours. Rain is in the forecast and the higher temperatures of 17 °C (62.6 °F) will cause melting of snow and ice.

A weather system caused by La Nina is being watched by the United States National Weather Service and its potential effects between April 16-18 for residents along the Red River Valley. “We want people to be aware there is a very real possibility of the river going higher than what is out there,” said Mark Ewens, data manager at the NWS, “To have spring floods like this back-to-back is just an unfortunate series of events that have come along to plague us this spring. We’re wanting people to understand that this is a potentially serious problem.”


Related news

Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about 2009 Red River Flood.
  • “Flood forces rooftop rescues, ice wall moves north of Winnipeg”. CBC News, April 12, 2009
  • “Boy still in critical condition after being rescued from culvert”. CBC News, April 12, 2009
  • “Flood damage, evacuations reported as ice wall moves north of Winnipeg”. CBC News, April 12, 2009
  • “Storms could impact flooding”. Forum Communications Co., April 12, 2009
  • “Manitoba flood thread melting away Huge blocks push up banks of Red River in Selkirk”. Sun Media, April 12, 2009
  • “More sections of Highway 75 closed due to Red River flooding Some highways north of Winnipeg also shut down”. CBC News, April 11, 2009
  • “RCMP ready to ticket Red River floodway sightseers”. CBC News, April 11, 2009
This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

April 12, 2009

Manitoba’s flood creating hazardous conditions

Sunday, April 12, 2009

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The Red River at Winnipeg is almost clear of ice blocks and ice jamming, however their are still dangers from the Red River flood.

Map of the Red River Floodway.
Image: Kmusser.

Ice blocks which were as high as two storey buildings were ripping out trees, fences and railway ties. “You’ll see huge pans of ice standing vertical, up to 20 feet high,” said Steve Topping, an official with the provincial Water Stewardship Department, “Ice was shoved up on the shore and took out trees with a very devastating effect. It has changed people’s view of the river.”

“It is incredible, the force. One piece of ice pushed out of the river about 20 feet. You watch the force push this up right in front of your eyes,” said Dean North, of the Selkirk Golf and Country Club.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police are ticketing sight seers who are driving through road closure signs and approaching excavators, cranes and crews breaking up the ice. Vehicles, people, boats, and kayaks are getting in the way.

An eight year old boy is in critical condition after slipping on a culvert Thursday. He was pulled underwater by the speed of the flowing water and remained under for about five to ten minutes until adults could rescue him. The air ambulance supplied by Alberta’s STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society) remains in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“This is not a spectator sport. It’s not about getting the best pictures for the family albums. I know floods are seen as a bit of an event, but some of the instances I’m hearing about, people should give their head a shake, they really should,” said Steve Ashton Manitoba Emergency Measures Minister, “Those who fall into the river or get into trouble in another way would be not only endangering themselves but the emergency response crews trying to rescue them. I don’t want to see a situation … where we’re trying our darndest to prevent flooding and save lives and somebody [who] decides to go have a white-water experience ends up killing themselves.”

Early Easter Sunday morning floodwater reached the rural municipalities of St. Andrews and St. Clements north of Winnipeg. Residents were sent an evacuation advisory Good Friday, however some residents remained. Rescue efforts commenced Saturday night to find those stranded and unable to leave as their vehicles cannot travel in the swollen overland floodwaters. Some people were rescued from roof tops as entire houses were swept off of their foundations by the large ice blocks hurtling down the river.

Highways in the area remain closed. Neil Gobelle, of Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation said to “definitely continue to watch the Red River Valley and north of the city up in the Selkirk area. Things are changing quite a bit, quite quickly, so we’ll keep an eye on those areas.”

As of Easter Sunday, Winnipeg is expected to be ice free on the Red River. The River rose 4 feet (1.2 m) in the course of 24 hours. Rain is in the forecast and the higher temperatures of 17 °C (62.6 °F) will cause melting of snow and ice.

A weather system caused by La Nina is being watched by the United States National Weather Service and its potential effects between April 16-18 for residents along the Red River Valley. “We want people to be aware there is a very real possibility of the river going higher than what is out there,” said Mark Ewens, data manager at the NWS, “To have spring floods like this back-to-back is just an unfortunate series of events that have come along to plague us this spring. We’re wanting people to understand that this is a potentially serious problem.”


Related news

Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about 2009 Red River Flood.
  • “Flood forces rooftop rescues, ice wall moves north of Winnipeg”. CBC News, April 12, 2009
  • “Boy still in critical condition after being rescued from culvert”. CBC News, April 12, 2009
  • “Flood damage, evacuations reported as ice wall moves north of Winnipeg”. CBC News, April 12, 2009
  • “Storms could impact flooding”. Forum Communications Co., April 12, 2009
  • “Manitoba flood thread melting away Huge blocks push up banks of Red River in Selkirk”. Sun Media, April 12, 2009
  • “More sections of Highway 75 closed due to Red River flooding Some highways north of Winnipeg also shut down”. CBC News, April 11, 2009
  • “RCMP ready to ticket Red River floodway sightseers”. CBC News, April 11, 2009
This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
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