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  • Asbestos inspections of flood-prone Des Plaines homes approved Dec 17, 2014 4:43 PM
    Twenty-one flood-prone Des Plaines homes slated for demolition under a voluntary federal buyout program will be inspected for asbestos before being taken down. The city council this week approved an agreement with Gabriel Laboratories at a cost not to exceed $20,000 for inspections and testing for asbestos.

  • Schaumburg parks monitor skating safety Dec 14, 2014 4:30 PM
    The Schaumburg Park District will report ice skating conditions for three ponds this winter. The ponds are Volkening Lake at 900 W. Schaumburg Road; Gray Farm at 120 N. Cloverdale Lane; and Twin Ponds at Lance Creek, 539 S. Summit Drive.

  • Major storm sweeps through Southern California Dec 12, 2014 6:29 PM
    Californians got a lot of what they wanted and little of what they feared from a major storm that finally blew out of the state Friday.Up to 5 inches of desperately needed rain fell in some areas of Southern California, where several areas were hit by landslides, some areas saw minor flooding and fire officials rescued two people and pulled two bodies from rivers.

  • Four-story “Polar Peak” snow hill opens Friday in Rosemont entertainment district Dec 11, 2014 5:31 PM
    There may not be any real snow on the ground, but Rosemont’s four-story tubing hill is ready for its inaugural ride Friday night. Polar Peak is the latest addition to the host of winter activities at the village’s MB Financial Park entertainment district.

  • Wintry weather mix could cause problems for morning commute Dec 8, 2014 6:18 AM
    A wintry mix of precipitation could cause sick roads and major delays on the roadways, authorities warn.

  • Powerful typhoon slams into eastern Philippines Dec 6, 2014 6:15 PM
    Eastern Samar province Rep. Ben Evardone said electricity was knocked out early Saturday in Borongan city where the government has set up a command center for rescue and relief operation.Evardone said the strong winds also felled trees and ripped off roofing sheets. “You can hear the whistling of the wind,” he said.

  • Meteorologists watch for ‘winter bomb’ Dec 5, 2014 4:51 PM
    Bombs are the storms people remember. Airports close, Amtrak shuts down train service, roads become impassable, beaches get washed away and power can be knocked out for days at a time.

  • Flash flooding strands drivers in California Dec 4, 2014 5:35 PM
    A dayslong storm took a parting shot as it moved out of the drought-stricken state Thursday, dumping more heavy rain that triggered flash floods and stranded more than three dozen people in their cars in Southern California. Five vehicles got stuck shortly after 1 a.m. as several feet of mud and water roared over a rural road near Gilman Hot Springs about 80 miles southeast of Los Angeles, Riverside County fire officials said.

  • November was 4th-coldest on record in Illinois Dec 2, 2014 6:11 AM
    There’s a reason you pulled out the parka last month. Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel says November’s statewide average temperature was 34.2 degrees — 8.2 degrees below average. That’s the fourth-coldest November on record. The record was set in November 1976, when the average temperature was 33.4 degrees. The state also was unusually dry, averaging just under 2 inches of precipitation in November. That’s about 1 ½ inches below average. Angel says that’s not a cause for concern because of wetter-than-average conditions in August, September and October. When it came to snow last month, Angel says many areas in southern Illinois saw more snow than areas in central and northern Illinois. Two to 5 inches fell south of Interstate 70, compared to less than 2 inches north of the interstate.

  • Safe rooms part of Washington tornado recovery Dec 1, 2014 10:37 AM
    A year after a tornado devastated the central Illinois community of Washington, city officials say one in 20 home rebuilding projects include a reinforced safe room. The rooms are designed for enhanced security in case of a disaster, Washington director of planning and developing Jon Oliphant tells the (Peoria) Journal Star. Three people died due to the November 2013 tornado, which damaged more than 1,100 homes in Pekin, East Peoria and Washington. “It’s not necessarily a significant number, but there are definitely more safe rooms than we saw prior to the tornado,” Oliphant said. “People have been trying to have their homes be a little bit safer than what they were before.” The tornado wiped Andrea and Ryan Bowers’ home off its foundation. They weathered the storm with their then 10-week-old daughter and two dogs in their basement where they were partially buried under debris. The Bowers have decided to add a safe room to the basement of their new home. “For me, personally, the safe room is vital to my healing,” Andrea Bowers said. “To lose almost everything you had, and so quickly, is to completely lose your sense of security in the very place you once felt the most secure. Hopefully we don’t ever need (the safe room), but there is peace of mind just knowing it is there.” Andrea Bowers said the room’s extra cost extends beyond her family’s ownership of the new house. “Maybe we’ll never need it, and probably this won’t be the last house we own,” Andrea Bowers said. “But if we sell it to someone else down the line, we’ll know we’re passing down a house that’s as safe as it can be and maybe that will be a comfort to the family that buys it.”

  • Meteorologists: Cuomo’s weather claims are all wet Nov 29, 2014 2:07 PM
    Don Paul, chief meteorologist at WIVB-TV in Buffalo, wrote that “Cuomo’s attempt to scapegoat the National Weather Service for an inaccurate forecast in advance is not only completely in error — the NWS did an outstanding job — but is a disservice to the public and to the hardworking staff of this federal agency.”

  • Cold complicates Illinois duck hunting Nov 24, 2014 4:41 PM
    A mid-November cold snap has brought an early end to the duck hunting season for many participants in north central Illinois.

  • Images: Monday’s Slushy Snow Nov 24, 2014 5:24 PM
    See snow in the suburbs of Chicago on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014.

  • Suburbs see slight snow accumulation Nov 24, 2014 7:43 PM
    Gusting winds and small snow accumulations Monday afternoon created some delays at airports and a smattering of crashes throughout the suburbs, including two in Gurnee that sent nine people to area hospitals.

  • The Soapbox Nov 22, 2014 5:01 AM
    Daily Herald editors give their views on topics including generous hockey players, a new dog park and a remorseful elected official.

  • Storms raise hope in California drought Nov 22, 2014 5:27 PM
    Warm weather means the Sierra Nevada mountains were getting rain, not snow, on Saturday, although a couple of inches of snow blanketed the mountains during one of the storms earlier in the week, said Robert Baruffaldi of the National Weather Service in Sacramento. Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains is critical to the year-round water supply in California, where a Mediterranean-style climate concentrates rain in the winter, with dry summers. As of early this month, Sierra snowpack stood at roughly 20 percent of normal, and Baruffaldi noted the season had yet to bring a big snowstorm to the mountains.

  • Flooding becomes new threat in snowy Buffalo Nov 22, 2014 9:53 AM
    After a three-day onslaught that dumped a historic 7 feet of snow on the Buffalo area and killed at least 12 people, the sun came out, but so did predictions of flooding caused by rain and temperatures of up to 60 degrees.

  • Freezing rain overnight, more rain and heavy winds Saturday Nov 21, 2014 8:15 PM
    Freezing rain is expected to hit the suburbs overnight, with an advisory lasting until 9 a.m. Then expect more rain through mid-afternoon as well as bigger wind gusts -- but warmer temps.

  • Images: Keeping Your Dogs and Cats Warm Nov 19, 2014 2:53 PM
    It's November and it's starting to get very cold outside. We asked readers how they keep their pets warm and dry in this weather. Here's a photo gallery showing how they keep their dogs and cats warm.

  • Final gap filled in Levee 37 along Des Plaines River Nov 19, 2014 5:00 PM
    Mount Prospect Public Works Director Sean Dorsey announced this week that the final gap in Levee 37 along the Des Plaines River has been completely and permanently filled. The $30 million project began in March 2009.

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