Hurricane Harvey wreaking havoc on Texas:

• At least five deaths and more than a dozen injuries were reported by Sunday in the aftermath of Harvey, the hurricane that tore across the Gulf Coast of Texas over the weekend.

• The powerful system, now a tropical storm, pounded the region with torrential rains that were expected to continue for days, causing catastrophic flooding, according to the National Hurricane Center.

• The public hospital for Harris County, which includes Houston, began evacuating patients after flooding disrupted its power supply.”

• The National Weather Service forecast rainfall of 15 to 25 inches through Friday, with as much as 50 inches in a few areas.

• Emergency responders completed more than 1,000 high-water rescues during the night, and asked the public to donate boats.”

The effects associated with Tropical Storm Harvey are “unprecedented” and “unknown and beyond anything experienced,” the National Weather Service said in a tweet.

In an interview on Sunday morning, Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, said: “Everything that we had hoped wouldn’t happen but was forecasted is happening. We have a catastrophic, life-threatening flood event taking place over southeastern Texas, including the Houston metropolitan area. It’s bad now and it’s getting worse.”

The storm pummeled Houston and the surrounding region, bringing catastrophic flooding and killing at least five people in the region, the National Weather Service said Sunday morning.

The Weather Service issued repeated flash flood warnings throughout Saturday night, and dry city streets turned to speeding rivers in a matter of minutes. Emergency lines in the city were soon filled with people stranded on highways, and residents began sending desperate tweets directly to officials.”

Emergency responders completed more than 1,000 high-water rescues during the night. “Travel across the area is severely hampered, if not impossible,” said an announcement from the Weather Service.

City officials urged flooded residents to head to their roofs, not their attics.

“Many neighbors are screaming for help,” wrote one man to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez on Twitter, urging the sheriff to call.”

Follow me on Twitter and listen to podcast where I TOLD YOU TO LEAVE THE GULF:

Think twice before using the Red Cross for charity:

The American Red Cross spent a quarter of the money people donated after the 2010 Haiti earthquake — or almost $125 million — on its own internal expenses, far more than the charity previously had disclosed, according to a report released Thursday by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.

 The report also says the charity’s top officials stonewalled congressional investigators and released incomplete information about its Haiti program to the public. It concludes “there are substantial and fundamental concerns about [the Red Cross] as an organization.”

The report follows a nearly yearlong investigation by the Iowa Republican and his staff, launched after coverage by NPR and ProPublica of the Red Cross’ Haiti response. The venerated charity raised nearly $500 million after the disaster, more than any other nonprofit, but an ambitious plan to build housing resulted in just six permanent homes, NPR and ProPublica found.”

Mayweather defeats McGregor:

LAS VEGAS — The most improbable fight, one between an all-time great in Floyd Mayweather and an opponent, Conor McGregor, making his professional boxing debut, ended in the most probable way.

It ended with a dominant Mayweather stopping an outclassed McGregor by TKO in the 10th round of their massively hyped junior middleweight fight on Saturday night before 14,623 — well under capacity — at T-Mobile Arena.

Mayweather, who moved his record to a historic 50-0 with 27 knockouts, said after the fight he would return to retirement.

“This was my last fight tonight. For sure,” Mayweather said. “Tonight was my last fight. Tonight I chose the right dance partner to dance with. Conor you are a hell of a champion.”

With the victory, Mayweather surpassed the hallowed 49-0 mark that great heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano retired with. It’s not a boxing record, but it is revered. There are some who said that beating an opponent with no boxing experience was a disgraceful way to pass Marciano, but Mayweather made no apologies.

“A win is a win, no matter how you get it,” said Mayweather, who said during the buildup that he would consider it a failure if he didn’t score a knockout. “Rocky Marciano is a legend, and I look forward to going into the Hall of Fame one day.”…

…Could an MMA great cross over to the boxing ring and do the unimaginable?

He couldn’t, though he also showed his involvement in the fight was not the joke many said it was. He came to fight, never stopped trying and showed bravery, and he got in a few solid shots in the early going to make things interesting.”

One still unaccounted for:

A service member remains missing after a U.S. Black Hawk helicopter crashed off the coast of Yemen during what officials described as a training exercise.

U.S. forces rescued five other troops who also went down in the crash and are still searching for the sixth service member, according to U.S. Central Command. The incident took place about 20 miles from the southeastern coast of Yemen around 7 p.m. local time Friday.

Officials said they would begin an investigation.”

CENTCOM didn’t provide the identities of any of the service members involved, nor any details concerning why the accident happened. Spokesman Col. John Thomas, however, told Reuters, “when the incident took place the helicopter was not very high above the water.”

The U.S. is waging a campaign against an arm of the al-Qaida terrorist group that has secured, in the words of U.S. officials, a “heavy” presence in Yemen. U.S. forces have launched more than 80 airstrikes in the region since late February.”

Throwing your life away for some deployment trim ain’t worth it:

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — An Air Force officer who engaged in an unprofessional relationship with an airman 20 years his junior while commanding a small expeditionary base in Africa will be forced out of the service following a general court-martial last week.

A military judge ruled late Friday that Lt. Col. Denis Paquette should be dismissed from the service, the equivalent of a dishonorable discharge for enlisted personnel. The dismissal means that Paquette, a C-17 pilot and married father with more than 18 years in the Air Force, won’t be eligible for retirement benefits.”

Paquette chose to have his case decided by a military judge. He pleaded guilty to fraternization; violating a lawful general order on one occasion by drinking more than two alcoholic drinks at a deployed location in less than 24 hours; and to impeding an investigation.

The judge, Col. Mark Milam, found Paquette was negligent in performing his assigned duties, a lesser offense than the dereliction of duty for which he was charged. The judge also found Paquette did not violate the same general order regarding alcohol consumption on numerous occasions. He was also found not guilty of the most egregious charge against him: abusive sexual contact.”

A well-named street indeed: 

A Bronx native who enlisted in the US Marines and was killed in one of the deadliest days for American women in uniform was immortalized with a street sign Saturday.

Tearful family and friends at East Fordham Road and Grand Concourse looked on as the sign commemorating the intersection as “Marine Corporal Ramona M. Valdez Square” was unveiled.”

Image courtesy USMC

It’s special to know that her name will be here for years to come, just 10 minutes from where we lived,” Valdez’s sister, Fiorela Valdez, told The Post. “I’ll be able to show my children and grandchildren, ‘Look this is your aunt.’

Ramona Valdez signed up to join the Marines at a recruiting station nearby.

Valdez was killed on June 23, 2005, when the convoy she was riding in came under attack as part of what was then the deadliest day for US women in uniform since World War II.

The young corporal, killed just three days before her 21st birthday, was one of three female Marines to die as their was bombed and rushed by rebels as it headed to Camp Fallujah.

“This is a very emotional day,” Valdez’ sister, Fiorela said. “She was my hero.”

There’s work for you bored retired pilots out there:

According to a release issued on Friday, the Air Force is now looking to have retired pilots return to the service for up to 12 months in positions that require qualified pilots, an initiative called Voluntary Rated Return to Active Duty, or VRRAD.

The service is looking for up to 25 retired fliers of any pilot specialty code — which includes bomber, fighter, helicopter, tanker, and remotely operated aircraft pilots — to fill “critical-rated staff positions” and allow active-duty pilots to stay with units where they are needed to meet mission requirements, the release said.

“Our combat-hardened aircrews are at the tip of the spear for applying airpower against our nation’s enemies,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. “We continue to swing away at this issue and we’re looking at multiple options to improve both quality of life and quality of service for our pilots.”

Incentive pay, also called flight pay, will increase for all officers, with those who have over 12 years of service potentially seeing the biggest boost, up to a maximum of $1,000 a month. Incentive pay will also increase for enlisted aircrew members — up to a maximum of $600 for those with over 14 years of service.”

Conflict journalism is inherently dangerous:

JUBA, South Sudan — An American journalist has been killed in civil war-torn South Sudan, the U.S. Embassy said Saturday, while South Sudan’s army and opposition said the man was caught in the fighting between the two sides.

The embassy confirmed the death of Christopher Allen and said his family had been notified. His body was taken to the military hospital in South Sudan’s capital, Juba.

South Sudan army spokesman Col. Domic Chol Santo told the Associated Press that the man was killed Saturday morning when opposition rebels attacked the town of Kaya near the borders with Uganda and Congo.

He was “caught in the fighting” that also left 15 rebels dead, the army spokesman said.

Opposition spokesman William Gatjiath Deng said Allen and two other journalists had spent two weeks with rebel forces in Bazi, near Kaya, and were in the barracks there when South Sudanese troops attacked.

Allen was shot dead, and two opposition fighters were killed, Deng said. He said the other journalists were still with opposition forces Saturday night and may have returned to Uganda.”

Damn you Justin Verlander:

The U.S. Marines put supermodel Kate Upton through her paces on Tuesday during a workout in Detroit to promote the upcoming Marine Week celebration in the city.

Upton struggled a bit at the end, but was able to complete the training routine that involved a series of aerobic exercises and running as her fiancé, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, watched from afar. Upton joined several other Tigers players’ wives and significant others in the session at Wayne State University’s athletic complex that was led by Gunnery Sgt. Sara Pacheco, a Marine Corps fitness instructor.”

It was (a) very hard workout,” Upton said following the exercise session, which she concluded by collapsing to the grass in an exhausted embrace with a fellow workout warrior. “I knew it was going to be hard. The Marines are very tough.”…

…Upton, a world-famous model who has appeared three times on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, was on hand to promote Marine Week, which runs Sept. 6-10 and is designed to provide the public with a better understanding of the Corps and its mission, and the chance to connect with hundreds of Marines.”

Seems it would be tough to get the right people: 

They appeared to be on the move as recently as last winter, but it seems the ROTC programs at Brigham Young University aren’t going anywhere.

“We have made zero plans at this point,” Maj. John Young, the assistant operations officer at Air Force ROTC Detachment 855 at BYU, said when asked earlier this month if a move to Utah Valley University was underway due to issues surrounding BYU‘s honor code.

A conflict between the two ROTC programs, which train undergraduates to be officers in the U.S. military, and BYU emerged in the summer of 2016. The Air Force assigned Col. Timothy Hogan to be the new commander of the program at BYU — Detachment 855. The detachment, as well as an Army ROTC program, is headquartered at BYU’s Provo campus but also oversees the training of students at UVU in Orem.

Hogan, an A-10 pilot and veteran of the post-9/11 wars, refused to sign the BYU Honor Code. The code sets standards for conduct and includes prohibitions on alcohol, coffee, tea, premarital sex, and physical intimacy among LGBT students.

The minutes and other documents about the conflict showed the issue was not just about Hogan’s apprehensions, but that the Defense Department was worried about applying a religious test to a military appointment.

Neither Carroll, Haverstick nor representatives of BYU or UVU would explain last week why the changes weren’t made or if the decision to keep the status quo could be traced to different philosophies between appointees from President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump.”

Our last SecNav’s highest priority was females in combat arms & trans troops:

Constant deployments, a shrinking number of ships and high demands on crews have frayed the U.S. Navy, according to naval experts and current and former Navy officers, leading to four major incidents at sea this year and the deaths of 17 sailors.

The collision of the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker on Aug 21 — which left 10 sailors dead — was the culmination of more than a decade of nonstop naval operations that has exhausted the service.

Government reports, congressional probes and internal concerns have all pointed to systemic problems related to long deployments, deferred maintenance and shortened training periods within the Navy’s surface fleet that seem to have coalesced in the Pacific, specifically at the Japan-based 7th Fleet.

Bryan McGrath, a former destroyer commander and deputy director of the Center of American Seapower at the Hudson Institute, said there’s no “silver bullet” for the Navy’s issues and that for the past 15 years, the surface fleet has been in decline.

In January, the guided missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground in Tokyo Bay, leading to the commander’s dismissal. In May, the cruiser USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing boat. And roughly a month later, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship in the approach to Tokyo Bay. Seven sailors died and the destroyer’s commanding and executive officers were relieved.

In a written message to his officers, Adm. Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, pointed out that the rash of incidents occurred during “the most basic of operations.”

Fort Carson live fire exercise turns deadly:

The Fort Carson soldier killed early Wednesday during a training exercise on the Colorado Army post was fatally shot, Army officials said Thursday.

Spc. Matthew R. Turcotte was shot during a nighttime combined-arms, live-fire training exercise, according to a Fort Carson statement. He died about 2:30 a.m. after receiving extensive medical treatment.”

Drill sergeants behaving very badly:

A number of United States Army drill sergeants at Fort Benning in Georgia have been suspended amid an investigation into sexual misconduct, the Army said in a statement on Wednesday.

The investigation began after a female trainee at the fort recently leveled assault allegations against a drill sergeant there. That led to a review that “revealed indications of additional allegations of sexual misconduct involving trainees and drill sergeants,” the Army said.

“Our initial actions are to ensure the safety and welfare of all of our Soldiers,” the statement said. “The drill sergeants have been suspended from drill sergeant duties, and will have no contact with trainees during the course of the investigation.”

Ben Garrett, a spokesman for Fort Benning, would not disclose how many sergeants had been suspended because the investigation, led by the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command and Fort Benning’s Maneuver Center of Excellence, is underway.”

Those eyes are giving me nightmares:

A woman was arrested after she was found naked on South Main Street in Manchester, New Hampshire Tuesday evening.”

(Manchester PD)

Manchester police responded to 569 South Main Street for a report of a naked woman inside of a vehicle. Police located an empty 2004 Ford Focus with its tail lights on, and soon found Hydie Surprenant, 26 of Derry, New Hampshire walking in the middle of the street naked.

Police say they approached Surprenant while she attempted to get into the passenger side door. The officer detected a strong odor of alcohol on her breath.

Officers also located a small bag of marijuana on top of her purse.”

Stay safe out there, Texans. @BKactual

Featured image courtesy of NASA