Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 7, 2017: Floodwaters inundated New Orleans and Jefferson Parish after pumps failed to keep pace with rainfall amounts, thirty people were injured when tornadoes touched down in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a mosque is bombed in Minnesota, an investigation reveals the cause of the deadly ride failure at the Ohio State Fair, officials condemn two more homes as the Pasco County, Florida sinkhole widens, Tropical Storm Franklin forms in the Caribbean Ocean, a cat and mouse game with stolen vehicles turns deadly for three teens, and Typhoon Noru kills 2 and injures at least 12 before making landfall near Osaka, Japan.
- Much of New Orleans and some parts of Jefferson Parish were inundated when powerful storms swept through the area on Saturday dumping as much as 8-10 inches of rain in some locations and flooding the city, streets, and interstates. Flood waters stranded people in their homes and forced individuals to abandon their cars on roadways, including some portions of I-10 and I-610. City officials said the pumps in the area were working, but rainfall amounts exceeded their capacity, which was about a half an inch an hour.
- A rapidly moving storm spawned several tornados in Tulsa, Oklahoma, one that traveled nearly seven miles, in the early hours of Sunday and caused minor injuries to about 30 people and left more than 14,000 homes without power. Warning sirens failed to sound before the fast moving storm produced the tornado that ripped through the midtown section, southeast of the city, damaging multiple businesses and leaving a path of destruction in its wake. The tornado also caused a TGIF restaurant to collapse, trapping people inside, eight of whom required hospitalization.
- An explosion at a mosque in Minneapolis, Minnesota over the weekend, caused by what authorities believe was an IED, shattered windows and damaged a room while worshippers were beginning preparations for prayer. Although no one was injured in the blast, Gov. Mark Dayton is calling the alleged bombing an act of terrorism and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is trying to determine if the incident was a hate crime. Previously, the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center had been the target of threatening calls and emails, but this attack was the first since the center opened in 2011.
- An investigation into the catastrophic failure of the Fireball ride at the Ohio State Fair by the Dutch manufacturer, KMG, has determined that the cause of the accident that killed one person and injured seven others on July 26 was a result of excessive corrosion. The manufacturers did a metallurgical inspection of the ride, which was 18 years old, and found that the main interior gondola support beam suffered from excessive corrosion which led to a drastic reduction in the beam’s wall thickness over the years, resulting in its catastrophic failure. Documents show the ride had been inspected multiple times prior to the opening of the fair.
- The sinkhole that opened up in Pasco County, Florida mid-July is still widening and as a result, officials condemned two more homes on Sunday after tiles inside the home began bubbling and popping up, foundations shifted, and exterior cracks appeared. The newly condemned homes increased the number of houses that have now been deemed uninhabitable from five to seven from the expanding sinkhole. Costs to stabilize the sinkhole have reached $700,000, and excavators dumped at least 110 loads of uncrushed lime into the widening hole over the weekend in an attempt to stabilize the base.
- Another tropical storm is now churning in the Caribbean Ocean and its sights are set on the Yucatan peninsula and Mexico. Tropical Storm Franklin was situated about 265 miles east of Belize City early Monday morning, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. The storm is predicted to move to the west-northwest at about 13 mph and multiple watches and warnings have been issued in front of and along the storm’s forecasted path.
- A cat and mouse game with police by teenagers inside two vehicles stolen from a Clearwater, Florida car dealership late Saturday ended in tragedy early Sunday morning. The three teenage occupants of the vehicle were killed in a high speed crash after deputies stopped chasing the stolen SUV, a Ford Explorer, when it accelerated to excessive speeds. Shortly after they ended their pursuit, the SUV struck a car in an intersection, sending it airborne and causing it to roll several times and catch fire.
- Typhoon Noru made landfall near Osaka, Japan early Monday morning following extensive evacuation orders by officials and the cancellation of both international and domestic flights at area airports. The slow moving storm is expected to dump copious amounts of rain over extended time periods as it moves across the area, likely leading to flooding and mudslides throughout the affected region. Typhoon Noru, which has been a hurricane-strength typhoon for 13 days, has already left two people dead and at least 12 others injured after impacting the nation’s southern islands.
— Tulsa World (@tulsaworld) August 6, 2017
Police are investigating explosion at Minneapolis mosque in which no one was injured https://t.co/0zjRGiYE7K
— Des Moines Register (@DMRegister) August 5, 2017
— Dan Griffin WLWT (@DanGriffinWLWT) August 6, 2017
Each of the teens had criminal histories including car thefts like those chronicled in recent Times stories.https://t.co/zmqieF57T7
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) August 7, 2017