EDM Friday Briefing: Brooklyn Officer Shot, Wildfire Smoke Chokes Montana Town
Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 11, 2017: A police officer in Brooklyn is shot several times while responding to a call, officials urge residents of a Montana town to leave due to air pollution levels from wildfire smoke, New Orleans braces for more flooding amid ongoing pump issues, a train plows into a semi-trailer truck in Georgia, tropical weather is poised to dump heavy rain on Florida’s east coast, and a norovirus outbreak sickens hundreds near Toledo, Ohio.
- A police officer responding to a call about an emotionally disturbed individual in Brooklyn was shot several times when the officer entered the man’s apartment. The man had a rifle and shot the officer twice in the chest and once in the arm, before barricading himself inside and then taking his own life. The mother of the emotionally disturbed man had called police indicating that her son was acting erratically, but allegedly told police he was unarmed and not violent.
- Officials in Montana are urging residents to leave Seeley Lake due to air pollution levels registering 38 times above what the World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed a safe level. Smoke levels are so bad that the Missoula City-County Health Department recommended that the entire community evacuate the area because such thick smoke was unhealthy for anyone to live in and breathe. A nearby wildfire, burning approximately two miles away but not currently threatening the town, has created heavy layers of smoke that have become stuck in the scenic valley where the town is located.
- More rain is in the forecast for the City of New Orleans and residents are concerned that flooding may return as ongoing issues with the city's water pumps have left the city vulnerable. Recent power outages to one of the city’s turbines has impacted power pumping stations servicing the East Bank. Prior to the recent rainfall and flooding, only two of the six turbines were operational, and only 38 of the 58 pumps are currently operational. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency for New Orleans on Thursday, in a precautionary measure to ensure the state is ready assist with flooding should it be required.
- Late Thursday morning in Henry County, Georgia, a Norfolk Southern train plowed into a semi-trailer truck carrying a load of candy. The incident occurred in Locust Grove after the truck became stuck on the tracks at around 11:00 a.m. Officials indicate that the driver of the truck ignored warning signs at the crossing regarding low ground clearance, causing the truck to become stuck on the tracks.
- Thunderstorms between the islands of the Bahamas and Florida have begun to develop a circular motion, which, according to forecasters, could produce a tropical system with little notice and impact land areas in close proximity. Even without further development, the tropical system could drop heavy rainfall on the area from gusty thunderstorms, increasing the flood risk, and officials are urging residents along the east coast, from Florida to the Carolinas, to closely monitor the weather for further developments. The National Hurricane Center is also monitoring another disturbance in the Atlantic, dubbed 99L, for its potential development into a tropical system over the next several days.
- A norovirus outbreak linked to a doughnut shop in Maumee, Ohio has sickened nearly 270 people. Health officials became aware of the outbreak after a local hospital notified them about the number of people who had become ill over the course of four days, from August 4, to August 7 after eating food from the area doughnut shop. Health department officials tested specimens obtained from foods served at Mama C’s Donuts & Coffee, and three of the samples tested positive for norovirus. Officials are urging anyone that recently ate at Mama C's and became ill to contact the health department.