Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Tropical Storm Cristobal Makes Landfall Sunday
EDM Monday Briefing: Tropical Storm Cristobal Makes Landfall Sunday

EDM Monday Briefing: Tropical Storm Cristobal Makes Landfall Sunday

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 8, 2020: Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday; a Santa Cruz sheriff's deputy was shot and killed and another wounded in an ambush; Orlando is cleaning up from an EF-1 tornado that was spawned by severe weather from TS Cristobal; the Bighorn Fire burning uncontrolled to the north of Tucson was one of several wildfires ignited by lightning Friday night; a man was seriously injured when a manhole opened up in Marion County, Florida, on Sunday; heavy rainfall produced by Cristobal caused widespread flooding in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida over the weekend; DHS has updated its CARD system to help law enforcement identify chemical substances; and CISA has released the first in a six-series cyber toolkit meant to help equip small organizations to improve their cybersecurity.

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1) Tropical Storm Cristobal has been downgraded to a tropical depression and is moving into the central United States after making landfall in Louisiana late Sunday afternoon. The leading edge of the storm spawned bands of severe weather that impacted Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi and prompted multiple tornado warnings in Florida. The storm had sustained winds of about 50 mph and produced heavy rainfall, along with a storm surge that flooded streets in coastal Louisiana and Mississippi. Residents of New Orleans were warned to avoid travel outside the levee system unless absolutely necessary.

2) A Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy was shot and killed and another was injured in an ambush in California during an investigation Saturday afternoon. Officers were responding to a call about a van with guns and explosives parked in a turnout area in Boulder Creek. The van was departing the area and they followed it to a home, where a suspect opened fire on the officers, killing Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, 38 and wounding another deputy who was listed in critical condition. A California Highway Patrol officer was also shot in the hand, and the suspect, Steven Carrillo, was later apprehended.

3) Severe weather produced by Tropical Storm Cristobal spawned a tornado that ripped through downtown Orlando and Orange County, Florida, on Sunday. The EF-1 rated tornado displaced about 40 people and caused an estimated $870,000 in damages in a Central Florida neighborhood. At least eight homes sustained major damage, and many trees and power lines were also down as a result of the tornado and severe weather.

4) Lightning ignited a wildfire in the Catalina Mountains to the north of Tucson Friday night. The Bighorn Fire ignited in the Coronado National Forest, and a Type 3 Incident Management Team, assisted by air support, assumed command of the wildfire as of Sunday morning. As of Sunday evening, the fire had consumed at least 1,700 acres and was burning in very rugged terrain with a total of 175 personnel assigned to fight the wildfire. The fire is now 10% contained and being fueled by gusty winds, high temperatures, and low relative humidity.

5) A man was seriously injured after hitting cables strewn across the road after a massive sinkhole opened up in Marion County, Florida, early Sunday morning. The sinkhole toppled a concrete pole that held traffic signals and cables at the intersection of Dogwood Road and State Road 35. Severe weather spawned by Tropical Storm Cristobal impacted the area;  heavy rains falling on already saturated ground caused the large sinkhole to occur.

6) Storm surge from Tropical Storm Cristobal breached a levee in the St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana Sunday afternoon. The storm prompted mandatory evacuations in at least three Louisiana communities, including Grand Isle in Jefferson Parish. In Florida, flood warnings were issued for Jacksonville and for Duval and St. Johns counties. In some locations, floodwaters stood three feet deep across streets.

7) The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has updated its Chemical Agents Reactions Database (CARD) that has been designed to help identify harmful chemicals. The CARD system was designed to help law enforcement identify what is being produced using chemicals of interest, including those found in clandestine laboratories. Law enforcement officers enter the chemicals into CARD and are then able to tell if suspects are making illicit drugs, poisons, or warfare agents.

8) The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released its first toolkit that helps governments and small businesses to address cybersecurity. There are a total of six in the series of Cyber Essential Toolkits, which follow the November 2019 release of the Cyber Essentials, meant to equip smaller organizations with basic steps and resources to improve their cybersecurity. The toolkits are designed with actionable items that allow anyone to reduce cyber risks, including the protection of critical assets and applications and how to limit damage and quickly restore normal operations.

 

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.