Monday morning news – August 3, 2020

Tropical Storm Isaias rakes Florida coast » Tropical Storm Isaias spared Florida from serious damage over the weekend.

Forecasters had expected the storm to regain strength before making landfall. But the winds steadily decreased throughout Saturday afternoon.

Stacy Stewart is a senior specialist with the National Hurricane Center.

STEWART: Most of the heavy rainfall may also remain just offshore of the Florida East Coast. But there will be squally rain bands that will occasionally move on shore of the Florida East Coast, from West Palm Beach northward, all the way to Cape Canaveral through Monday.

Isaias did much more damage in the Caribbean. Before becoming a hurricane on Thursday, the storm destroyed crops and homes and caused widespread flooding in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

And Stewart says even after weakening the storm is not done yet.

STEWART: What we anticipate is that Isaias will turn to the northeast and move across the Mid-Atlantic region, anywhere from South Carolina, North Carolina, north eastward, by the middle of the week and then eventually dissipate well to the north of Maine by late Wednesday and Thursday.

Forecasters expect the storm to dump heavy rainfall and strong winds all along the East Coast.

Astronauts return home from ISS » But Isaias did not disrupt a historic NASA mission on Florida’s gulf coast Sunday.

SOUND: Splashdown! [clapping] As you can see on your screen, we have visual confirmation for splashdown 

Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico just off the coast of Pensacola after spending two months at the International Space Station. It was the first splashdown by U.S. astronauts in 45 years and the first time in a commercial spacecraft.

SOUND: Dragon Endeavor has returned home!

Hurley and Behnken are the first astronauts to complete a mission in one of the Dragon capsules built by SpaceX. But in six weeks, four more NASA astronauts will ride the capsule back to the International Space Station for a six-month stay.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine called this the “next era” in human spaceflight, one in which, quote—“NASA gets to be the customer.”

Although SpaceX completed the first successful manned mission, it does have competition. Boeing is working on its own capsule and expects to launch a crew next year.

If all goes well, tourists could buy seats aboard the SpaceX capsule as early as next year.

California wildfire forces thousands to evacuate » Thousands of people fled their homes in Cherry Valley, California, over the weekend as the Apple Fire burst to life east of Los Angeles.

As of Sunday, the fire had burned more than 20-thousand acres and had no level of containment. Much of the fire is burning in steep, rugged hillsides inaccessible to firefighting vehicles.

Fernando Herrera is a captain with Cal-Fire.

HERRERA: We’re looking at warnings from everything in the Morongo Reservation, and it’s going to push up all the way to Highway 62, basically, and I-10 area as the fire continues to progress in that direction.

Forecasters warn the fire could spread rapidly due to triple-digit temperatures and low humidity.

Military accident in California » Meanwhile, the search has ended for eight Marines missing after an accident involving an amphibious vehicle off the California coast. 

The 26-ton, tank-like craft had 15 Marines and one Navy sailor aboard when it sank on Thursday. Rescue teams pulled eight Marines from the water. One later died and two remain in critical condition.

The seven missing Marines and one sailor are presumed dead. All aboard the vehicle were attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at nearby Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego. 

Actor Willford Brimley dies » Actor Wilford Brimley died Saturday at a Utah hospital. He was 85.

Brimley started his acting career as a stuntman and extra before seeking more prominent roles. He’s best known for the 1985 Ron Howard film, Cocoon. Brimley played the leader of a group of seniors who discover an alien pod that keeps them from aging.

BRIMLEY: I guess me and your grandma are going away, David.

DAVID: Where to?

BRIMLEY: Well, that’s not important. What’s important is that when we get where we’re going, we’ll never be sick, we won’t get any older, and we won’t ever die.

Brimley also sang and recorded several jazz albums. Toward the end of his career he worked as the pitchman for Quaker Oats and appeared in a series of spots for a medical company selling diabetes supplies.

Brimley leaves behind a wife and three sons.

(NOAA via AP) This GOES-16 GeoColor satellite image taken Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, at 9:40 a.m. EDT., and provided by NOAA, shows Hurricane Isaias over the Bahamas. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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