On the Radar: Atlantic storms, Libya and Petraeus' promotion
Route 107 is seen destroyed after floodwaters receded Tuesday in Bethel, Vermont.
August 31st, 2011
08:34 AM ET

On the Radar: Atlantic storms, Libya and Petraeus' promotion

Irene recovery under way as Katia forms - States in the Northeast - particularly Vermont, New Jersey and New York, which saw the worst of Irene's wrath - were struggling with basic recovery efforts: rebuilding roads and bridges, restoring power and stemming the flow of floodwaters after Hurricane Irene struck this weekend. The Passaic River in northern New Jersey was still making the town of Little Falls look more like Niagara Falls. A resident in Montclair said the Passaic was high before Irene, but after the hurricane's rains, "the river began to rage."

One Vermont town hit hard by Irene decided to look for a silver lining. Some Pittsfield residents - there are only 427 of them in all - decided to throw a barbecue. Homes were underwater and roads were impassable, but they nonetheless gathered at a local park for hot dogs and hamburgers. Said Jason Evans, owner of the ski town's Clear River Tavern, "No one in this town was expecting the flooding to be what it was, and we've all gotta eat."

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Katia was strengthening in the Atlantic Ocean and threatening to become a hurricane by Wednesday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said. Early Wednesday, the storm was almost 1,000 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands, moving west-northwest at 21 mph. Katia could grow into a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph by Saturday evening, forecasters said. It is too early to say if or when the storm will make landfall.

Gadhafi on the ropes? - Libyan rebels said time is running out for Moammar Gadhafi, whose trove of family photos has been uncovered. A deadline looms for his loyalists to disarm, and a minister in the National Transitional Council said, "I think this thug, this killer knows that he has nowhere to go." He further predicted that the official end of Gadhafi's 42-year rule would come within a week. Remember, however, that Gadhafi's whereabouts remain unknown and rebels have reported finding or surrounding him in the past, but the claims have turned out to be inaccurate.

As if Tripoli needed another crisis, one is unfolding at the city's zoo. The facility was struggling to function Tuesday, and a CNN correspondent, after finding the gates locked, was told that the zoo was being renovated and that there were no animals there. A big cat's roar from within the zoo suggested otherwise. Inside were a tiger, lions, giant tortoises, hippos, hyenas, bears, monkeys, deer, emus and other animals. They all appeared undernourished, and there was little or no food or water to be found.

In another heartbreaking story emerging from the war-ravaged nation, a 19-year-old woman spoke from her hospital bed about how she was forced to become an executioner for Gadhafi's forces. With an armed rebel guard at her door, the woman, Nisreen, recalled some of the 11 killings she had performed. She said she was told she would be killed if she didn't kill Gadhafi's enemies. "I would turn my head away and shoot. I saw the blood dripping, it just kept flowing," she said.

Movin' on up - U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, who served as the top U.S. commander in Iraq and then Afghanistan, is hanging up his uniform soon. Petraeus worked with the CIA on counterinsurgency efforts during his time as a military commander, which is one of the reasons he was tapped to head the American spy agency.

The 1974 West Point grad is only 58, and some observers say they're surprised to see such a decorated military officer leave the service prematurely. "I wanted this job. ... I am taking off the uniform I have worn for 37 years to do this the right way," Petraeus said at his Senate confirmation hearing. He assumes his new role September 6.

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Filed under: District of Columbia • Hurricane Irene • Hurricane Katrina • Hurricanes • Libya • Military • Natural Disasters • New Jersey • New York • Pentagon • Tropical weather • U.S. • Vermont • Weather • World
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Mary Jane

    My hat goes off to this man of honor. Truly young for what he has accomplished. Thank you for your service General Petraeus.

    August 31, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • michaelfury

      "We are looking for a cash crop to replace the opium, and when we find it, the opium will be gone."

      – Petraeus at BYU


      August 31, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. We are looking for a few good men...

    ...to sacrifice to the god of War. Thanx for the 50,000 (give or take a few 10s of thousands) you sacrificed in Libya. You humans, that is. Wtg in Afghanistan too! Thanx again. Send me more.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. god of War

    You spend more on War than any other human endeavor, and by far. 'War' is your religion evidently. I see even your religious leaders value and honor War and the ones who fight them as much if not more than you do yourselves. Wtg! I like it. Keep 'em coming.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    Why does anyone volunteer for military service, if they get such sh1t and abuse from the general public.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    You can say sh1t on CNN soundoff with a 1, but not with a *. You can also say shiite, but that offends people for some reason.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. physics-lite

    Thank you for your service General Petraeus.
    And God Bless you in your new Job.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  7. god of War

    General P., thanx for your offerings. Those are some tastey young men and women you've offered-up to me, and from wayyy over there! Amazing this honor you have shown me. Good luck, for the god of War is also the god of Luck. Lucky you. (and i adore your state lotteries btw)

    August 31, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. god of War

    In fact the idea of treating war as a crime is, in a very real way old-fashioned. In 1928, our government made war a crime when the Senate ratified by a vote of 85 to 1 the Kellogg-Briand Pact which condemned and renounced all war. Lucky for me, the god of War, that you folks forgot all about this. he he

    August 31, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. god of War

    An anonymous US military official was quoted in the New York Times the other day explaining, as some of us have been screaming for nearly a decade, that the military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan themselves causing violence and instability. The Secretary of War, Robert Gates, at West Point said that we shouldn't launch any more wars like the ones in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the same time, in an interview just published, Gates argues for further prolonging the war in Afghanistan - an action every bit as criminal and immoral as initiating the war in the first place. The god of War and the Secretary of War are good buddies, and lucky.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. god of War

    nobody wants to debate the god of War on these issues? I can hardly blame you.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. gung hoe

    How bout this pansy of war sept11 2001 when as you say there was 3000 offerings only a pansy wouldnt defend their homeland and a good defense is a good offense but pansys like you just sit around and complain YOU SIR ARE A JOKE

    August 31, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Good grief! I've never seen so many war mongers in one thread. What tea party lingo. Truly sickening. These folks obviously are genuine supporters of the thugs in Washington and their illegal war. How disgusting! It makes me so angry!

    August 31, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. gung hoe

    Well,there goes my troll once again. He's posting with my name. I wish this joker would stop his right-wing mumbo-jumbo. He makes me sick! I appreciate your post Joey Isotta-Fraschini. Good post,thank you.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy

    Good post gung hoe. You said it all. Thank you.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Pink Panther

    Good post banasy,thank you.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
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