Clean Start: July 29, 2011

“The economic impact of severe weather events is only projected to grow,” Senator Dick Durbin said at a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and Government, which he chairs. “We are not prepared. Our weather events are getting worse, catastrophic in fact.” [Reuters]

Unrelenting rain pounding Seoul, South Korea, and the southern part of the country is causing historic flooding and extensive landslides, killing at least 57 people, including 13 university students killed by a landslide while doing volunteer work. [SkyNews; Chosun Ibo]

North Korea’s state media issued almost real-time updates of the havoc wreaked by the flooding from July 12 to 17, but it has fallen silent since. [Chosun Ibo]

The 2007 wildfire on the North Slope of the Alaska’s Brooks Mountain Range released 20 times more carbon to the atmosphere than what is annually lost from undisturbed tundra. [Science Daily]


As much of Texas suffers through one of its worst droughts, many rain-starved Texans are doing something they thought they would never do — looking forward to the arrival of a tropical storm. [Reuters]

What is almost certain to become the warmest July on record in Philadelphia already has been blamed for at least 25 deaths in the region, including six announced Wednesday. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

The death toll in St. Louis from the heat wave is has reached 13 victims, pending confirmation of two suspected cases. [STLToday]

Overnight storms dumped a record amount of rain on parts of the Midwest, including more than 10 inches falling on Dubuque, Iowa, prompting fears of more Mississippi River flooding. [Reuters]