Puppies survive Italian avalanche

Rescue workers found three puppies alive five days after a deadly avalanche buried the Rigopiano Hotel in Farindola, Italy on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

The puppies belong to two dogs that lived at the hotel. They were born on Dec. 4.  The two dogs also survived the avalanche. They were found by rescue workers in the hotel’s boiler room in an air pocket, according to NBC.

The dogs belong to the hotel’s owner, who is still missing.

All known survivors have been rescued as of Monday, Jan. 23, bringing the number of survivors to 11. The avalanche has killed six people and there are still 23 missing.

The survivors have shown signs of hypothermia, but do not have any life-threatening injuries. They were trapped in an air pocket in the hotel where they could breathe and the snow around them kept the area at a steady temperature. Rescue workers are hoping they can find more survivors as rescue efforts continue.


Extreme weather in South kills 20

People in the southeastern United States began to clean up the destruction of their homes on Monday, Jan. 23, after 41 tornadoes killed 20 people over the weekend.

The death toll across Saturday and Sunday was higher than in all of 2016 from extreme weather in that region.

Tornadoes were reported in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. A state of emergency was called on Sunday in Georgia, where 15 people were killed.

“You can imagine putting a bomb in a mobile home and having it explode. That’s about what it looks like,” Buddy Duke, mayor of Adele, Georgia said to CNN.

At least five people are still missing in Georgia, and officials expect the death toll to rise.

Officials in every state tried to prepare people for the incoming storms.

Extreme weather affected other parts of the country over the weekend, as well. Heavy rain and high winds were reported on the east coast and there were flooding conditions in the Los Angeles area.


Mercury levels spike in Steamboat Creek

Mercury levels in Steamboat Creek have spiked 1,000 percent after floods in the Reno area on Jan. 8, according to the Regional Transportation Commission.

The increase is due to the amount of soil that was churned around the creek. Public officials said the public is not at risk due to the increase and still complies with federal environmental regulations, as reported by the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Steamboat Creek runs through the Southeast Connector construction site. Residents around the site were concerned that the mercury level increase was due to the soil stored by the RTC for the project, but RTC insists that is not the case.

“The RTC is doing what they need to be doing and is in compliance with the regulatory controls we have established,” said Kristine Hansen, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project manager, to the RGJ.

Mercury has been flowing through Steamboat Creek from Washoe Lake for 150 years because of mining in the Comstock area.

Madeline Purdue can be reached at and on Twitter @madelinepurdue.