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WGNO(NEW ORLEANS) -- Crews have conducted a controlled demolition at the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans to bring down two cranes standing at the site.

Video of the demolition showed a brief explosion followed by one of the cranes toppling to the ground. The other crane appeared to remain standing after the smoke cleared.

NEW: Video of the controlled demolition of two cranes at the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans shows an explosion followed by one of the cranes falling to the ground. The other crane appeared to remain standing after the smoke cleared. https://t.co/j8qWmUwaJy pic.twitter.com/00IgdWjwEV

— ABC News (@ABC) October 20, 2019

The demolition was originally planned for Friday but was delayed until Sunday.

Three workers were killed and dozens more people were injured after the cranes collapsed on Oct. 12. The cranes were a source of major concern as they continued to sway after the accident.

City officials ordered an evacuation of the area surrounding the partially collapsed hotel, located on the edge of the historic French Quarter, on Sunday morning. Demolition crews attached small explosives known as energetic materials to the cranes in an effort to bring them down in the same place as where they were standing several stories above the ground.

The remains of two the deceased are still inside the unstable building, and first responders hope to retrieve them once the demolition was complete.

Ten of the injured victims have filed a lawsuit against five companies involved in the construction.

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KATU(PORTLAND, Oregon) -- Stunning surveillance footage captured the moment a high school coach in Oregon disarmed a student with a shotgun and then held him in his arms.

Keanon Lowe, a football and track and field coach at Parkrose High School, can be seen walking through the hallways and entering a classroom on May 17.

When he next emerges, he is holding a shotgun and backing away from student Angel Granados-Diaz before another teacher comes up and takes the weapon away.

Then, in an extraordinary moment, Lowe embraces Granados-Diaz and the two hug for at least a minute.

At one point, it appears that Granados-Diaz tries to break free, but Lowe continues to hold on to him.

Police eventually arrive and take Granados-Diaz into custody.

Lowe was hailed a hero following the incident at the Portland high school.

"This was a best-case scenario," Portland Police Sergeant Brad Yakots said at the time. "The staff members from all accounts did an excellent job."

Initial reports said that Lowe wrestled the student to the ground, but the video, which was released by Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office on Friday, shows the emotional moment the two shared.

Granados-Diaz, now 19, was suffering from a mental health crisis at the time, according to ABC Portland affiliate KATU. He pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in a public building and one count of unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in public and was sentenced to three years of probation, KATU reported.

Lowe, a former Oregon Ducks football player, told "Good Morning America" that when the student entered the classroom with the weapon, he was close enough that he lunged for the gun and grabbed it with both hands.

"I kind of assessed that situation and my instincts kicked in. I lunged for the gun and we both had the gun," Lowe told "GMA" earlier this year. "We had four hands on the gun and students are running out of the back of the classroom."

He said he barely had time to think about his own safety and his main concern was to keep the students save.

"I'm just trying to make sure that the end of the gun isn't pointing towards where the students are running and also not pointed at myself," he said. "I ended up getting the gun from him, with my right hand, and holding him off with my left hand and calling for a teacher to grab the gun from me."

"To be around the kids and to be there for the community and in that moment, I was called upon and I just reacted and like I said, instincts kicked in and I was able to, you know, make something good that could have been very, very tragic," he added.

When it comes to being labeled a hero, Lowe said "it feels great" but he was simply doing what he hopes any adult would have done.

"I feel like I was put in that room for a reason. You know, the shooter didn't -- he didn't know that I was in that room when he opened the door and I think there are things in my life that have prepared me for that very moment," Lowe said. "I thank God that no one got hurt and I thank God I was in that room."

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iStock(FORT STEWART, Ga.)-- Three U.S. Army soldiers were killed during training at Fort Stewart in Georgia, according to officials.

The soldiers, part of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, were pronounced dead on the scene after the Bradley Fighting Vehicle they were riding in was involved in an accident early Sunday morning, Patrick Husted, division public affairs officer, said in a news release.

The vehicle rolled over into water around 3:20 a.m., officials said.

Another three soldiers were injured and evacuated to the Winn Army Community Hospital for treatment. The extent of their injuries was not disclosed. Two of the injured soldiers were released Sunday afternoon and the third was transferred to Memorial Hospital in Savannah with non-life threatening injuries.

The soldiers and vehicle are part of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, called the "Raiders," stationed at Fort Stewart, officials said.

"Today is a heartbreaking day for the 3rd Infantry Division, and the entire Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield community, as we are all devastated after a training accident this morning on the Fort Stewart Training Area," said Maj. Gen. Tony Aguto, commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division. "We are extremely saddened by the loss of three Dogface Soldiers, and injuries to three more. Our hearts and prayers go out to all the families affected by this tragedy."

The incident is under investigation, Husted said. The circumstances surrounding the accident were not immediately clear.

The identities of the deceased soldiers will be released pending next of kin notification.

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission(WASHINGTON) -- Florida wildlife officials have uncovered a trafficking ring of thousands of smuggled turtles following a long-term undercover investigation.

Two suspects have been charged for poaching the turtles, most of them native to Florida, and selling them illegally, according to a news release by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Many of the turtles ended up in international markets, including those in Asia, officials said.

The FWC launched the investigation in February 2018 after receiving a tip from the public. Investigators determine that a "ring of well-organized wildlife traffickers" was catching and selling the turtles to large-scale reptile dealers and illegal distributors, who would then ship most of them overseas on the black market, according to the release.

One of the suspects, 39-year-old Fort Myers resident Michael Boesenberg, allegedly directed others to collect the turtles in "large numbers." Once they "had enough," they would then sell them to a buyer with links to Asian markets, FWC officials said.

The turtles were sold wholesale for up to $300 each and retailed for as much as $10,000 in Asia. In one month alone, an estimated $60,000 worth of turtles were trafficked out of Florida, according to the FWC.

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While the turtles were mostly sold for cash, the poachers would occasionally trade them for marijuana products, officials said.

The poachers would target habitats known for specific species of turtles and "depleted the species so much" that they had to expand to other parts of the state, according to the FWC. Lee County, the primary location of the poachings, was the most heavily impacted, but the affect on the wild turtle population overall stretched beyond the state.

"Wild turtle populations cannot sustain the level of harvest that took place here," said Dr. Brooke Talley, the Reptile and Amphibian Conservation Coordinator for the FWC. "This will likely have consequences for the entire ecosystem and is a detriment for our citizens and future generations."

Turtles are one of the most threatened animal groups on the planet, Dr. Craig Stanford, Chairman of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, said in a statement.

"The illegal trade of turtles is having a global impact on many turtle species and our ecosystems," FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton said in a statement. "We commend our law enforcement’s work to address the crisis of illegal wildlife trafficking."

More than 600 turtles were returned to the wild as a result of the investigation, and about half of those are now part of a long-term monitoring project by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, which has been conducting research on them for almost 20 years, officials said.

About two dozen turtles were at first quarantined and released at a later date, but a handful of them were retained by a captive wildlife licensee, since they were not native to the area, officials said.

The illegal commercialization of wildlife ranks fourth in trafficking in the U.S. behind guns, drugs and human smuggling, according to the release. Illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth $19 billion annually, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Col. Curtis Brown, head of the FWC's Division of Law Enforcement, described the thwarting of the trafficking ring as "a significant win for conservation."

ABC News could not immediately reach Boesenberg or an attorney for him for comment. The other suspect who was charged was not identified.

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Phoenix Fire Department(PHOENIX) -- Crews from the Phoenix Fire Department have returned from helping local authorities search for a man who fell into a sinkhole and was swept away in a storm drain.

The incident happened last Monday when a large sinkhole opened up in Hermosillo, Mexico, and the man was swallowed up by it and carried away by the underground water currents.

Phoenix, a sister city to Hermosillo, sent technical advisers from the Phoenix Fire Department to help with the rescue operation on Friday morning, according to ABC Phoenix affiliate station KNXV. The group returned from assisting the authorities in Hermosillo this weekend.

Officials said that there are several different drainage pipes that the missing man could have been carried through so authorities are currently searching those pipes in hopes of finding him.

Authorities from Jaurez were also sent to Hermosillo to assist with the Phoenix Fire Department and other local authorities, according to KNXV, citing a press conference that was streamed by news organizations in Mexico.

"The Phoenix Fire Dept advisory team along with Councilman Nowakowski and Councilwoman Guardado have returned safely from Hermosillo Mexico. The team was able to assist and lend their technical expertise to the responders in Hermosillo in a complex rescue operation of a missing adult male that fell into a sink hole and was swept underground into a storm drain. Through our Sister Cities program, and with the generosity of Cutter Aviation, our members were able to make the trip and ensure operations were conducted effectively and safely," the Phoenix Fire Department said in a post on Facebook.
Additional details regarding the incident were not immediately available. The man is currently still missing.

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iStock(DELRAY, Fla.) -- A Florida man has been arrested after catching a peeping Tom outside of his window and beating him to death.

Victor Vickery of Delray, Florida, faces a manslaughter charge in the death of 57-year-old Asaad Akar in the incident that occurred in July of last year, according to ABC’s Miami affiliate WPLG.

Vickery was getting intimate with his girlfriend in a bedroom in her Fort Lauderdale home, according to the arrest report obtained by WPLG, when they heard a scratching noise coming from outside the window.

Vickery went outside to go and inspect the source of the noise and allegedly found Akar standing partly naked by the window.

A fight then broke out between Vickery and Akar while Vickery’s girlfriend called the police.

Akar, who allegedly had a previous criminal record for prowling, was taken to the hospital after the altercation but died in the hospital from his injuries less than two hours later.

Vickery told police that he has had to call the authorities to report a peeping Tom on the premises before.

Vickery was arrested and charged with Akar’s death on Thursday and is now being held behind bars on a $100,000 bond while he awaits trial.

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iStock(PHILADELPHIA) -- An 11-month-old baby is in extremely critical condition after being shot four times while seated inside the back of a car in Philadelphia.

The incident happened on Saturday night at around 8 p.m. in the Hunting Park neighborhood in Philadelphia.

The child was seated in the back of a car being driven by the baby’s stepmother when the woman reported that she heard shots being fired in the area.

The woman drove for a few blocks before turning around and realizing that her car had been shot and the baby had been hit by four bullets that penetrated the vehicle: once in the head, once in the chest, and twice in the back according to ABC’s Philadelphia station WPVI.

The child was then rushed to Einstein Medical Center where they were listed in critical condition. Police did not confirm whether the child was a boy or a girl.

Police canvassed the crime scene looking for shell casings and appealing for witnesses to come forward who heard shots in the area. As of now, no physical evidence has been found from where the crime occurred.

Only a few blocks away about an hour before the 11-month-old child was shot, police reported that three men were injured in a triple shooting.

Police confirmed to WPVI that a 28-year-old man was shot in the stomach, a 41-year-old man was shot in the back and a 35-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to the thigh. The three men are all expected to survive and are listed in stable condition.

It is unknown if the two incidents are related but police are investigating that possibility. No arrests have been made in either one of the cases.

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ABC News(APALACHICOLA, Fla.) -- Post-tropical storm Nestor made landfall in Florida Saturday, and while it continues to lose steam, heavy rain and gusty winds are expected to impact parts of Southeast U.S.

Nestor touched down on St. Vincent Island, near Apalachicola, around 2:15 p.m. ET.

The storm is no longer a tropical storm and is now considered a post-tropical low-pressure system. However, the storm will continue to race up the Southeast coast Saturday night into Sunday.

Much of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina can expect heavy rain and high winds Saturday afternoon.

A tornado watch for much of Florida was no longer in effect. There were four reported tornadoes in the Tampa Bay metro area overnight.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said it had not received any reports of serious injuries related to the tornadoes. However, many residents sustained damage to their homes, some of which were severe, according to the sheriff's office.

The National Weather Service was surveying the damage from the tornadoes in Polk County and Pinellas County Saturday morning.

On Sunday, Nestor will slide up the East Coast and bring heavy rain to parts of the Mid-Atlantic, including Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. Once again, there will be at least some marginal severe probabilities in parts of Eastern North Carolina.

Nestor will quickly be pushed eastward on Sunday night and Monday, with the majority of the storm heading into the Atlantic. While some showers and gusty winds will be possible, impacts should be kept to a minimum in much of the Northeast.

Attention will immediately turn to a new storm developing in the West, that will race across the country this week, bringing rain and mountain snow to the Pacific Northwest. This is typical for fall, as low-pressure systems begin to trek further and further into the mid-latitudes due to colder air gaining strength in the Arctic.

The storm is also causing gusty winds ahead of the frontal system, which could briefly cause pockets of fire danger from California to the Rocky Mountains.

Late Sunday and early Monday, as the storm heads into the Central U.S., it will spark a line of intense storms and heavy rain. There is a chance for some severe weather across Northern Texas, parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas. The threats will be damaging winds, large hail and possible tornadoes.

Then on Monday and into early Tuesday, heavy rain and severe storms will move into parts of the southern U.S., especially the Mississippi River Valley. There will be a potential for a few tornadoes in this round of severe weather. This classic fall severe weather set-up looks like it could be the most notable severe weather in the last couple of months.

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JONGHO SHIN/iStock(NEW ORLEANS) --  The controlled demolition for the cranes at the partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans has been delayed, officials said Saturday.

The two cranes are "more damaged" than experts initially thought, which forced them to change their course of action, New Orleans Fire Department chief Timothy McConnell said at a news conference.

The cranes were supposed to come down Friday, but McConnell said he now believes it won't happen until noon Sunday at the earliest.

"If they tell us it's too dangerous to do it one way," authorities will go with the experts and prioritize a new plan, he said.

The cranes, which each weigh 145,000 pounds, have been a source of major concern. Both have continuously swayed since the under-construction building's collapse on Oct. 12, which left three dead and dozens injured.

Experts are using small explosives, known as energetic materials, to bring the cranes down.

The goal is that they will come down in the same place as they are standing. However, McConnell noted that because of how unstable the cranes are, they might not fall as experts hope.

"That's our goal, but it may not happen that way," he said.

Residents in the nearby area will be evacuated starting four hours before the crane's official demolition.

The bodies of two men who died are still inside the building. Authorities have not been able to reach them but hope that they will be able to recover the bodies.

Officials have not yet said what caused the collapse. Ten of the victims injured filed a lawsuit Friday against five companies involved in the construction, citing negligence.

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iStock/Kuzma(FORT WORTH, Texas) -- Family and friends of Atatiana Jefferson, the 28-year-old woman fatally shot by a Fort Worth police officer in her home last week, will have to wait to pay their respects after a judge halted Saturday’s scheduled funeral.

At the request of the victim’s father, Marquis Jefferson, Dallas County Probate Court Judge Brenda Hull Thompson issued the temporary restraining order Friday to postpone the funeral. The father claimed he had no control over his daughter’s funeral and burial arrangements, which were planned by Atatiana Jefferson’s aunt, Bonita Body.

Lee Merritt, the attorney for Brody, confirmed Saturday the funeral had been postponed. He lamented the family having to deal with this family dispute publicly.

“This family, like most families, is dealing with internal disputes," Merritt said in a statement Saturday. "Unfortunately, due to the public outcry concerning Atatiana’s murder, they are being forced to go through this tragedy publicly. Please respect their privacy as the family resolves this conflict.”

Marquis Jefferson, according to court documents, argued that, as the surviving parent and his daughter's heir, he should be the one planning her funeral. The documents also state that he was denied any involvement by the funeral home.

“Good cause exists to limit the right of Bonita Body to control the funeral and burial of Atatiana Jefferson because … Marquis A. Jefferson, as the parent, has priority of the persons that are allowed under the Code to control the decedent’s funeral and burial arrangements,” Marquis Jefferson’s temporary restraining order application states. “Applicant prays that after notice and hearing on this matter, the Court to restrain Bonita Body, Golden Gate Funeral home and others acting in concert with them to control the funeral and burial of Atatiana Jefferson.”

Body’s funeral for Atatiana Jefferson was planned for 2 p.m. Saturday before the judge postponed it. Thompson scheduled a hearing for Monday, Oct. 21, to determine if the restraining order would continue.

Atatiana Jefferson was shot to death on Oct. 12 at around 2:30 a.m. Her neighbor called the non-emergency number for a welfare check because her doors were open. Police bodycam footage showed that when officers arrived, they walked to the back of the house. That's where they saw Atatiana Jefferson, in the rear window. The officer, later identified as Aaron Dean, approached the window with his gun drawn. When he saw Atatiana Jefferson in the window, he shouted, "Put your hands up, show me your hands," but then fired one shot.

When police arrived at her home, Atatiana Jefferson was playing video games and baby-sitting her 8-year-old nephew. The boy told investigators he witnessed his aunt being shot to death as she approached the window that night.

"She took her handgun from her purse," the arrest affidavit reads. "(The nephew) said Jefferson raised her handgun, pointed toward the window."

At that point, she was shot and fell to the ground, the affidavit said.

Dean's partner, identified in the warrant as L Darch, told investigators that she didn't see Jefferson raise the gun before Dean discharged his weapon. "Officer Darch said that they went into the backyard and Officer Dean was standing between her and the house and she could only see Jefferson's face through the window when Officer Dean discharged his weapon one time," the arrest warrant affidavit reads.

The footage appears to confirm that Dean never identified himself as a police officer before opening fire. On Monday, Dean abruptly quit the police department shortly before he was going to be fired, according to Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus.
 
"Had the officer not resigned, I would have fired him for violations of several policies, including our use of force policy, our de-escalation policy, and unprofessional conduct," Kraus said at a press conference Monday.

Just hours after he resigned, Dean was arrested and charged with the murder of Atatiana Jefferson. Dean was then released on bond from Tarrant County Jail late Monday, according to court records.

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Indiana State Police(ROCHESTER, Indiana) -- A 24-year-old Indiana woman who struck four children with her pickup truck, killing three of them, as they crossed a rural highway to their school bus, has been found guilty of reckless homicide.

Alyssa Shepherd was also found guilty of criminal recklessness in the Oct. 30, 2018, crash, which shined a light on issues of school bus safety.

Shepherd testified Friday that she saw blinking lights but failed to see a school bus or a red stop sign arm when she plowed into 6-year-old twin brothers Xzavier and Mason Ingle, and their 9-year-old sister, Alivia Stahl, as they crossed the highway to board the bus from the mobile home park where they lived, near Rochester, Indiana. All three children died, while Maverik Lowe, 11, was injured in critical condition.

Lowe, who entered the courtroom Wednesday using a walker, testified that he saw the headlights of an approaching vehicle as he crossed the road toward the bus. He recalled having only a couple of second to decide what to do.

"I decided to go forward," he said, at which point he was struck. He remembered struggling to breath as he lay in a ditch before rescuers had him airlifted him to a hospital, where he spend 30 days and ultimately underwent 21 surgeries.

Shepherd, in her testimony, said she dropped her husband at work and was on her way to drop her kids at school and welcome a new youth pastor to church when she came upon a large vehicle, according to South Bend, Indiana, ABC affiliate WBND.

"I saw a vehicle, it was a very large vehicle. I couldn't tell what it was," Shepherd told the court, saying that she assumed it was an oversized-load modular home.

“When I saw children I instantly knew it was a bus," Shepherd said. She testified that doesn't remember how she moved the steering wheel but said she did brake.

Her husband testified that Shepherd called him shortly after the accident.

"She was very hysterical. I couldn’t quite make out what was going on. I assumed she was in an accident," he said.

The parents of the three children who were killed, Shane Ingle and Brittany Stahl, told ABC News following the accident that their loss was "more than what we can even express in words."

"A parent never expects to bury their child," the couple said in a statement. "Every night we go to sleep without their hugs and kisses. And every morning we wake up to reality and wishing it was just a dream. We miss them so much. Our lives are forever changed."

Shepherd, who will be sentenced on Dec. 18, now faces up to 21 1/2 years in prison.

The crash led the Indiana legislature to increase statewide penalties for drivers who pass stopped school buses illegally.

Shortly after the accident, the supervisor of the local school district announced that the bus stop where the crash occurred would be relocated into the mobile home park where the victims lived.

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eyecrave/iStock(LAGUNA BEACH, Calif.) -- There a number of ways to prevent wildfires, but for the city of Laguna Beach, California, fire officials used a unique method, in fact,1,000 of them.

As of Friday, more than 1,000 goats were chewing their way through dry weeds and grass, vegetation that Laguna Beach’s Fire Marshall, James Brown is calling “fuel” for fire. Best suited for the geography and topography of the city due to their ability to maneuver steep and rocky slopes, goats and herders from Peru have cleared 80% of this year’s 250-acre goal.

Laguna Beach’s goat program began in 1992, a year after the city of Oakland tested its own goat program in response to the Oakland-Berkley fire of 1991. Brown told ABC News that with 250 goats, the Laguna Beach fire officials moved forward with the program after it proved extremely effective during the fire season.

This is largest group of goats they’ve had in the history of the program. Officials even added a third herd to cover more acres, Brown told ABC News.

“The Laguna Beach residents appreciate what the goats do to protect their community, and are very supportive of our program," Brown said. "They have also been very supportive of the herders who tend to the goats, and welcome the herders each year when they come through the neighborhood.”

This year, Laguna Beach experienced a wet season prompting a super bloom. Brown says while a super bloom may seem great, the vast growth becomes fuel for a fire when it dries out.

 This is where the goats come in.

The goats are just one of five prongs of fire-prevention methods used by the city. Other prongs include hands crew, weed abatement, complaint-based removal and enforcing building development requirements for fire safety landscaping.

“The City of Laguna Beach has been using goats for fuel modification for over 25 years, and they have proven very effective at reducing the dead vegetation fuel load and helping to protect our City," Brown said. "They have also been very cost-effective, and typically are 10% or less per acre of what a hand crew charges.”

Brown says he looks forward to expanding the department’s fuel modification program over the next 10 years with the goal to cover the entire perimeter of Laguna Beach.



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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico strengthened to Tropical Storm Nestor Friday afternoon as it takes aim at the Florida Panhandle.

Nestor is moving quickly and is set to make landfall along the Florida Panhandle near Panama City on Saturday morning, bringing tropical storm-force winds and dangerous storm surge.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect from southeastern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.

Bands of rain will move in Friday night, and by Saturday morning, Floridians will see heavy rainfall and strong, gusty winds.

In the impact zone is Mexico Beach, Florida, which was devastated by Category 5 Hurricane Michael last year.

Mexico Beach resident Gail Evans lost her three-bedroom home from Michael and has been living in her RV for over a year -- and now she's worried about Nestor.

"I hope that it's not that bad," she told ABC News Friday. "I'm hoping there's not a lot of wind to lift anything ... everything depends on if it strengthens coming in, which is what Michael did."

If the wind is significant, Evans said, "I'll have to leave."

The biggest threat with this storm will be storm surge, as ocean water could rise up to 5 feet from Apalachicola to Cedar Key, Florida. Water could also rise up to 4 feet as far south as Clearwater.

Storm surge warnings have been issued from Apalachicola to Clearwater.

"Residents should prepare now for the chance of flooding & power disruption," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted Thursday.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards added, "Until we know the exact track of the storm & the potential impact areas, it is important for everyone to stay informed & prepare now. Hopefully, most of the severe weather will remain south of Louisiana, but we must stand ready in case the conditions change."

Up to 6 inches of rain is possible in the Florida Panhandle.

Winds aren't forecast to be too strong, with gusts near 50 mph possible.

Because the storm is moving quickly, conditions will improve along the Florida Panhandle mid-day Saturday.

Saturday evening, what's left of Nestor move through Georgia and the Carolinas, bringing about 2 to 4 inches of rain.

By Sunday morning, Nestor's remnants will sweep across eastern North Carolina, then move off the mid-Atlantic coast and out to sea.

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Ryan Burnias(UNALASKA, Alaska) -- A passenger has died after a twin-engine Alaska Airlines flight crashed Thursday night, officials said.

Alaska Airlines Flight 3296, operated by Peninsula Airways, ran off the runway while landing at Alaska's Unalaska/Dutch Harbor Airport, airline officials said, and stopped just short of plunging into the waters of the bay.

Passenger David Allan Oltman, 38, of Washington state, died as a result, Alaska State Troopers said on Friday.

This is the first U.S. commercial plane passenger death since a passenger died in a Southwest incident last year.

A statement from Peninsula Airways on Friday said: "It is with our deepest sorrow that we have confirmed that one of our critically injured passengers from PenAir Flight 3296 passed away last night. "

"Our entire team is devastated by this tragic incident," the statement said. "The thoughts of all 1,300 of our employees are with those who were hurt or affected."

Another passenger was critically injured, and 10 others received medical care, according to Peninsula Airways.

The flight was from Anchorage to Unalaska Island.

The plane, a Saab 2000 turboprop, had three crew members and 39 passengers aboard, including members of the swim team at Alaska's Cordova High School.

"At present, all students and chaperones are accounted for and are OK, albeit a bit shaken up," read a statement posted by superintendent Alex Russin on the school district's website Thursday night.

The statement said that "the team was together, seemed fine, and were eating pizza."

Photos taken afterward showed the plane resting at about at 30-degree angle on a rocky embankment, with its nose just feet from the water.

Unalaska Island is part of the Aleutian Island chain to the west of the Alaskan mainland.


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baona/iStock(NEW ORLEANS) -- Demolition experts will use small explosives to bring down the two cranes still standing at the site of the partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans, authorities said.

The controlled demolition is expected to happen around noon Saturday, New Orleans Fire Department chief Timothy McConnell said at a press conference Friday.

The cranes have been a source of major concern, he said. Both have continuously swayed since the under-construction building's collapse on Oct. 12, which left three dead and dozens injured.

"They are not designed to do that," McConnell said at a press conference Thursday.

Workers will use small explosives, known as energetic materials, to bring the cranes down. The goal is that they will come down in the same place as they are standing.

"Think of it like melting," McConnell said.

There is a "very, very high probability" that the cranes will come down as planned, according to McConnell, but there is always a risk.

"Something like this is not a science. It's not something you can practice," he said.

Authorities said if the cranes can come down earlier, they will but the approaching tropical storm and high winds are preventing them from moving as quickly as they'd like.

The controlled demolition was expected to happen Friday, but authorities said the plan was pushed back to Saturday.

Authorities are not only working through the dangers of the building, but also hoping to recover two bodies that are still inside.

One man was confirmed dead, while the other has not been located yet but is presumed dead, according to the mayor's office.

Officials have not yet said what caused the collapse. Ten of the victims injured filed a lawsuit Friday against five companies involved in the construction, citing negligence.

Surrounding buildings have been evacuated ahead of the demolition.

Authorities will divert their attention to the rest of the building once the cranes are successfully brought down.


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