Wednesday, March 23, 2016

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: Disaster Precursors - Dozens Of Dead Birds Found On Street In Elmira, New York; And Golf-Ball Size Hailstorm Kills Flamingos, Other Birds At Fort Worth Zoo, Texas!

March 23, 2016 - UNITED STATES - Here are two reports of mass bird die-offs in the United States.

Dozens of dead birds found on street in Elmira, New York

"It was really bizarre I mean you wonder what could've caused that."

A strange scene on the street of an Elmira neighborhood has some searching for an explanation.

On Saturday March 19, Ryan Keilman observed one dead bird on his lawn between the curb and the road on Davis Street in Elmira and thought nothing of it until he got a phone call from his mom who sounded concerned with the scene she saw while leaving his residence. Upon observing an unsettling scene of dozens of deceased animals just outside of his home, Keilman contacted multiple agencies to get answers.

"My mother, she stopped by when she was leaving she called me and said hey you need to come outside and I went out and she's like did you see all of these and originally I counted 21 but then I ended up double counting it was 25 dead birds," said Keilman.

Thomas Kump, The Director Of Environmental Health for The Chemung County Health Department said after receiving a report he contacted the state to determine the next action to be taken.

"I contacted the New York State Department Of Environmental Conservation, their wildlife unit, and I will report the findings to them and they will make the decision whether or not they will be able to come down and grab a sample for testing," said Kump.

Right now the cause of the animal deaths remain unclear, but the local health department has some idea of what next steps could be.

"They might come out to take some samples do some necropsies of the animals and find out what caused it whether it was chemical or some other disease or illness," said Kump.

However at least one concerned father continues to anxiously await an explanation.

"I guess you never know environmentally what the impact is and if there is a large scale something going on or not," said Keilman. "But that way at least the experts in the field can look at an isolated incident and see if it's something more widespread or not."

The Chemung County Health Department is awaiting further instruction from the DEC and said if a resident sees a scene similar to the one on Davis Street, they can contact the DEC for action. - Mytwintiers.

Dozens of dead birds found on street in Elmira, New York

Severe thunderstorms pounded Tarrant County with hail Thursday morning, covering roadways in west Fort Worth and south Arlington, busting out windshields
and killing some exotic birds at the Fort Worth Zoo.
© Jared L. Christopher

The first ice storm of 2016 hit Thursday.

But it wasn't sleet. It was hail, so thick at times it looked like snow.

The surprise hailstorms busted in windshields from Fort Worth to Arlington, killed exotic birds at the Fort Worth Zoo and made for a chaotic Thursday morning commute.

The hailstones varied in size from blueberries to tennis balls.

"The main ingredient was instability in the atmosphere," said National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Stalley. "We definitely had been advertising that there could be a few severe storms but they were more widespread than we anticipated." The storms rolled in early, with the first hail falling about 4 a.m. in Benbrook and eastern Parker County. A second wave of hail came a couple of hours later as commuters were on their way to work, forcing some drivers to stop under overpasses.

On what is historically their busiest week of the year, the Fort Worth Zoo delayed opening until 11:45 a.m. Thursday because of the damage caused by the hail.

"We got hit hard," said Alexis Wilson, a zoo spokeswoman. "Worst of all, we actually lost some animals in our bird collection."

Wilson said the final death count was five flamingos, a pelican and two smaller birds — an ibis and a baby black-neck swan cygnet.

She said others birds were being treated in the zoo's hospital.

Wilson said golf-ball or larger sized hail pummeled the zoo around 6:30 a.m., damaging skylights, exhibit roofs and vehicles.

At MedStar headquarters in west Fort Worth, golf- to tennis-ball-size hail caused extensive damage to almost 50 vehicles and 11 ambulances were taken out of service because of busted windshields.

"We've contacted three windshield companies trying to get the ambulances repaired," said Matt Zavadsky, MedStar spokesman. "We hope the ambulances are out just for a day." The Fort Worth Police Department's West Division was damaged by the hail and heavy winds, as were other businesses in the area, including New Horizons Realtors, where large holes were punched in outside walls.

Fort Worth firefighters rescued a woman from her car on Hulen Street, near Interstate 30, where waters rose to waist-high about 7 a.m., Fire Department spokesman Kyle Clay said. Hail had clogged up the street's storm drains, causing the water to rise.

Egg-size hail was measured in Benbrook and tennis-ball-size hail later fell in south Arlington, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

Three Arlington police cars had windshields destroyed at a substation near Lake Arlington.

Many of the same southwest Fort Worth and Benbrook neighborhoods hit Thursday had roofs replaced after receiving hail and wind damage in last year's spring storms.

Mark Hanna, spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas, said it was too early to tell how costly this hailstorm would be.

Hanna said that more than 6,000 auto claims had been filed in the first 12 hours after the storms.

Stalley, with the National Weather Service, said hailstorms are difficult to predict.

"That's something you're not going to know until the storms start to develop," Stalley said.

The chance of storms will stick around for a while. There's a 40 percent chance tonight and a 50 percent chance Friday and Friday night. - Star-Telegram.

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