January 9, 1998 – The Frozen East – The Failed Balloon Attempt – The Indonesian Money Crisis
January 9, 1998 – If you lived on the East Coast, you would know most of it was frozen this morning. A killer storm swept through much of the East, leaving downed power lines, ice and flood waters making millions miserable in the process. The hardest hit areas made more than 4,000 homeless. In Maine, Mississippi, Vermont and Virginia the storm left behind a mess. At least sixteen were dead, an unknown number were missing and more rain was expected to hit parts of the South which were inundated by flooding. In Pittsburgh, winds gusted to 60 mph, blowing golf-ball sized hail horizontally. The Ohio River was expected to crest a half-foot above flood stage later on in the afternoon. In Vermont, ice blanketed the state leaving many communities in a state of emergency as was the entire state of Maine as millions were left without power all the way up into Canada. Officials said it could take up to ten days before things returned to anything resembling normal.
Ironically, New York City was expected to be warmer than Los Angeles this day, with highs in the mid-to-upper-60s.
Meanwhile, in Albuquerque New Mexico, the latest attempt to circle the earth in a balloon got off to a good start, but went quickly south as, forty miles from the launch site a helium cell burst, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.
In Indonesia, currency rebounded from its record low after a near-economic meltdown. President Clinton sent an emissary to Jakarta to help sort things out. The situation was deemed so serious and dire that Clinton placed an urgent phone call to Indonesian President Suharto. The U.S. feared that a financial collapse in Indonesia could bring down other Asian economies. Clinton said he saw both encouraging and troubling signs in the Asian financial crisis, but he told a political fundraiser the evening before that he remained hopeful.
And that’s just a little of what went on, this January 9th 1998 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.