Disaster List for 2005

Remember the Boy Scout motto:

"Be Prepared"

You never know when disaster will strike near you



December 31
Thirty-two train cars derailed in Casselton, ND, spilling coal.
Article

December 30
Seven cars derailed in Muncie, IN, which closed four roads. This was the second derailment there since the fall.
Article

December 28
Three people were killed in an explosion which destroyed a bank in Ramsey, MN. It was speculated to have been caused by a natural gas leak. The cause was later found to be a metal pipe connector that was not designed to be used on plastic pipe, which failed and allowed gas to leak. Investigators fear that faulty couplings may be to blame and may have been installed in thousands of houses in the area.
Article1 Article2 Article3 Article4

December 27-29
Power was lost to 13,500 homes in Los Angeles due to a storm.
Article

December 26
A rare ice storm knocks out the power to thousands in the Carolinas. The storm then dumped snow further north, restricting travel and leaving more without electricity.
Article1 Article2

December 23
More than 150 people were evacuated from their homes in the morning after nine train cars carrying hazardous chemical derailed in Jacksonville, AR. The residents were allowed to return home a day and a half after their hasty departure. Fortunately there were no chemicals leaked.
Article

December 22
Western Kentucky was hit by a snow and ice storm of "Biblical proportions," as described by state transportation officals, leaving some motorists stranded in their cars in the cold. The record-breaking storm dumped as much of 2' of snow in some places. Thousands were without power.
Article

December 22
Fourteen rail cars and two engines derailed in Paris, IL spilling hydrochloric acid and diesel fuel. Almost 250 residents were evacuated, most just for the morning.
Article1 Article2 Article3 Article4

December 22
A train car derailed after a set of wheels separated from a railroad car in Fairmont, MN. A worker said, "I've worked for nearly 30 years, and I've never seen anything like this happen."
Article

December 21
A train derailed in the morning in New Albany, IN when the tracks apparently separated.
Article

December 19
A train derailment from a broken wheel almost caused a second derailment the next day in Pinola, IN.
Article

December 18-19
Eleven cars derailed over the weekend in St. Cloud, MN.
Article

December 18-19
A train derailed into the water supply of Cambridge, MA.
Article

December 16
The last six cars of a freight train derailed near Sorrento County, CA.
Article

December 13
Fifteen train cars derailed in Marion, OH.
Article

December 13
A train derailment occured in Tulsa, OK when a tanker inexplicably struck an overpass.
Article

December 11
Nine cars derailed in Pike Co., AL.
Article

December 3
An explosion rocked a wax plant in Houston, TX. The blast was heard as far as 24 miles away and blew out windows in nearby homes. The cause was later found to be a defective storage tank, and all the tanks were unsafe. The plant was so dangerous that it was a wonder it had not blown up before. It will probably never be reopened because it poses such a threat to local residents.
Article1 Article2

November 22
A pipeline ruptured near Baker, CA, spilling 96,000 gallons of gasoline and forcing the closure of I-15 and evacuation of local residents.
Article1 Article2

November 9
Five men died and four more people were severely burned when a pipeline exploded in Walnut Creek, CA. About 275 people were evacuated. The pipeline was owned by Kinder Martin and some of their employees in charge could not even read blueprints and erroneously marked a pipeline. The blast led to the introduction of legislation to improve safety. A contractors' association representative said that such mistakes have hit "epidemic proportions" in northern CA, while a state official said there are 100 or more "near misses" for each accident like this.
Article1 Article2 Article3 Article4 Article5 Article6

November 8
A pipeline explosion destroyed 4 homes and injured nine in a Kentucky neighborhood.
Article1 Article2

November 2
The Texas panhandle was hit with a snowstorm leaving tens of thousands without power. Amarillo set a record for daily snowfall with 8.4".
Article

October 30
A train derailment in Gay Hill, TX caused the evacuation of 17 families for nine hours due to leaking octylaldehyde.
Article

October 16
A train derailed near Pico Rivera, CA spilling 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel and causing the loss of power to 100 homes and the evacuation of 200 people. The accident caused $2.7 million in damages.
Article1 Article2

September 28
A series of strong earthquakes hit CA and were felt from LA to San Francisco. The strongest was 6.0 in Parkfield.
Article1 Article2

September 25-27
Hurricane Jeanne hits FL near the landfall of Frances, just east of Stuart, with winds of 120 mph. Six people were killed and more than 2.6 million customers were without power. Officials estimated that it would take 3 weeks to restore all power. This was the first time since 1851, when records were first kept, that FL was ever hit with 4 hurricanes, and it was the third to cross central FL. Jeanne crosses GA as a tropical storm and dropped 7" of rain, leaving tens of thousands without power. The Carolinas received 5", and 10 tornadoes were reported in SC.
Article1 Article2 Article3 Article4 Article5 Article6 Article7 Article8

September 26
A pipeline explosion in New Caney, TX resulted in a million dollars worth of damage, and appeared to be caused by tampering with equipment. This was the second such explosion in one month and both were being treated as criminal acts.
Article

September 18-20
An earthquake swarm of over 300 quakes struck the CA/NV border near Mammoth Lakes. The largest was 5.5. Had the event occurred in an urban area there would have been significant damage.
Article

September 16
Hurricane Ivan hit near the AL/FL border and moved northeast, causing widespread flooding and leaving a total of 1,216,141 people without power. As of 9/20, residents of Santa Rosa Co., FL had to boil water and about 119 roads in NC were still closed. As of 9/21, Dauphin Co., PA residents still had to boil water because of flood damage to water systems. By 9/22, almost 400,000 residents were still without power in AL, FL and NC. Ivan moved back south into the Gulf, reformed into a tropical storm, and then moved northwest into TX/LA, dropping 5-10" of rain.
Article1 Article2 Article3 Article4 Article5 Article6 Article7

September 10
An explosion leveled a church in Colchester, CT. No one was injured in the blast.
Article

September 4
Hurricane Frances hit FL about 35 miles north of West Palm Beach, leaving almost 1.5 million without power. About 1.8 million customers were without power 3 days after the storm as it continued inland, and Broward county had to boil water. By 9/7 over 3.4 million customers, or 39% of FL's power consumers, were without power. As the storm crossed GA it left almost a half million residents, 270,000 in Atlanta, without power.
Article1 Article2 Article3 Article4

September 2
A natural gas pipeline explosion flattened a house in a Bellevue, WA neighborhood, sending the elderly resident to the hospital in critical condition where she died 3 weeks later. The pipeline was later found to be corroded.
Article1 Article2

August 27-30
Tropical storm Gaston formed suddenly off the SC coast, then hit SC on 8/29. Although originally classified as a tropical storm, it was later reclassifed as a hurricane. More than 172,000 customers are without power in SC and 6,500 in NC. The storm moved into VA and killed 8 people, dropping a foot of rain, leaving more than 61,000 homes without power and causing the closure of 120 roads. As August ended, a new record was set when Hermine formed on 8/29, making a total of 8 tropical cyclones formed in the Atlantic in the month of August.
Article1 Article2 Article3

August 21
A gas explosion in a Dubois, PA home killed a couple inside. The cause was a defective butt-fusion joint.
Article

August 20
A water tank exploded in Chester, S.C. leaving more than 100 residents without water. Another tank had been previously taken offline by the state health dept., leaving no backup. The residents might be without water for 1-3 weeks.
Article

August 19
An underground gas storage plant at Moss Bluff, TX, about 40 miles northeast of Houston, exploded and forced the evacuation of 300 residents within a one mile radius. A second explosion the next day expanded the evacuation to a 3 mile radius. The explosion was later attributed to "a series of unusual events."
Article1 Article2 Article3 Article4

August 18
Thirteen rail cars derailed in Brownsville, TX but no hazardous materials were spilled.
Article

August 13
Hurricane Charley, with sustained winds of 145 mph and gusts over 180 mph, hit FL and killed 26 people. Almost 2 million evacuated and almost a million were still without power on 8/16. It was estimated that the worst-hit towns of Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, and Arcadia would not have power until 8/29, over 2 weeks after landfall. By 8/23, 90,213 households were still without power. As of 8/24, all of Charlotte, Hardee and Osceola counties and parts of Lee, Seminole, Polk, Lake and Highlands counties still had to boil water. After damaging FL, it went out to sea and then made landfall again on 8/14 at the NC/SC border as a weak hurricane.
Article1 Article2 Article3 Article4 Article5 Article6 Article7

August 12
Tropical storm Bonnie dumped 4-6" of rain on the FL panhandle, while Hurricane Charley bore down on FL from Cuba. Having two storms hit was unprecedented in National Hurricane Center records (about 50 years).
Article1 Article2

August 3
Hurricane Alex, a tropical depression formed on 7/31, suddenly developed into a hurricane off the SC coast and brushed past NC with top sustained winds of 100 mph.
Article1 Article2

July 15
A storm system destroyed at least 50 houses in PA, injured 2 dozen people, and left hundreds of thousands without power in Kentucky and PA. Louisville had its worst power outage in 30 years.
Article

July 9
A train derailed on an overpass at I-57 near Benton, IL. Several train cars fell onto the interstate.
Article1 Article2

June 30
An explosion in Ardmore, OK of dimethylamine anhydrous in a train car caused the derailment of 24 of 113 rail cars and resulted in the evacuation of all residences within a 1.5 mile radius.
Article

June 29
A train engineer died when two trains collided in San Antonio, derailing 40 cars and releasing chorine gas. Fifty people were hospitalized.
Article

June 28
Two trains in Bexar County, Texas collided and derailed, releasing chlorine gas and killing 3 people. A lawsuit two years later alleged that the volunteer firemen were prevented from saving them by city and county officials.
Article1 Article2

June 7
Three train cars derailed between Portland and Seattle, spilling a small quantity of flammable liquid.
Article

June 3
A severe storm swept through Texas and Oklahoma, leaving hundreds of thousands without power for several days and killing 3 people.
Article

May 16
An apartment building in White Plains, NY had an explosion when two firemen poured gas down a sink in an adjacent building, and the fumes went through the sewer system and into the basement of the apartment building and blew up. Article

May 5
Two trains collided about 50 miles north of Dallas, killing 5 people.
Article

May 3
Two trains collided south of San Antonio, injuring 3 people and spilling about 5,600 gallons of diesel fuel into the San Antonio River.
Article

April 30
A pipeline ruptured 30 miles northeast of San Francisco, spilling 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel into a marsh.
Article

April 23
The Formosa Plastics Plant in Illiopolis, IL exploded from a gas leak, killing 5 people and forcing the evacuation of the entire community.
Article

April 7
An Amtrak train derailed in Mississippi, killing one and injuring almost 60 other people. The railroad was later found to be at fault for failure to properly maintain the track.
Article1 Article2

March 5
A train derailed in Kingfisher, OK when the tracks washed away from heavy rains.
Article

February 26
Another winter storm bringing snow and ice crippled the midwest.
Article

February 15
A severe winter storm dumped a 26-year record snowfall on Dallas and damaging ice on the southeast, leaving hundreds of thousands without power.
Article

February 7
A train derailed near Timberbrook, Maryland, where residents were evacuated.
Article

January 26-30
A vicious winter snow and ice storm swept through the midwest and mid-Atlantic leaving thousands without power for days and restricting travel.
Article1 Article2

January 1
California was pounded with a series of major storms that dumped 9' of snow in the Sierra Nevada and caused mudslides, knocking out power to thousands.
Article