Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Hurricane Lorenzo Weakens to a Category 2
EDM Monday Briefing: Hurricane Lorenzo Weakens to a Category 2

EDM Monday Briefing: Hurricane Lorenzo Weakens to a Category 2


Emergency and disaster management briefing for September 30, 2019: A knife-wielding suspect was shot and killed by police after he stabbed five people at mall in Baltimore, Maryland; authorities have arrested an arsonist who set 13 wildfires in California before he attended his high school reunion; CVS suspended sales of the heartburn drug Zantac; a storm dropped heavy hail and spawned a rare tornado in Davis, California; Montana declared an emergency after a severe early winter storm dumped feet of snow across the state; Hurricane Lorenzo has weakened after breaking the record as the easternmost Category 5 storm; a bridge collapsed after heavy rainfall prompted severe flooding in Scotland; and the death toll in Maluku, Indonesia following the earthquake that struck Thursday has now risen to 30.

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1) A knife-wielding suspect stabbed five people at an outdoor mall in Maryland on Saturday before being shot and killed by authorities. Police were responding to a call about a man who had already been escorted off the Hunt Valley Towne Center property earlier when the situation escalated. The suspect demanded money and then began stabbing people. Police shot and killed the suspect -- identified as Jamaal Ramone Taylor, 31 -- when he refused to drop the knife after after being asked repeatedly to do so by the officers.

2) Authorities arrested a man who is suspected of starting more than a dozen wildfires in California before he attended his 50-year class reunion. The man, Freddie Owen Graham, 68, traveled from Missouri to California to attend his class reunion. Over two days, Graham set 13 fires by tossing flaming pieces of paper onto the side of the road. The fires, dubbed the Reservoir Fire, scorched 128 acres near Milpitas. It took firefighters hours to extinguish the blaze using aircraft, bulldozers and other equipment.

3) As the investigation into the presence of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in the heartburn drug Zantac continues, another store in the United States has now suspended sales of the drug. CVS Pharmacy has suspended the sale of Zantac, including its generic version, CVS Health brand ranitidine. CVS Pharmacy is following suit with Walgreens, Walmart and Rite Aid, which  recently stopped selling the drug over concerns that it contained the probable human carcinogen, NDMA. Canada and France have removed the drug from their shelves. Voluntary recalls are underway in several countries. In the U.S., the FDA has not recalled the drug nor has it recommended that patients stop taking it.

4) A storm dropped heavy hail on Davis, California, late Saturday afternoon, before spawning a rare tornado early that evening and a record low temperature on Sunday morning. No damages were reported from the tornado, which occurred due to unstable weather caused by a cold front over the Pacific Northwest. Although unusual, the area does occasionally see tornadoes -- about 10 a year -- those tornadoes are typically much weaker than those that plague the Midwest.

5) Following a severe early season winter storm, the governor of Montana issued an emergency declaration for the state on Sunday. Emergencies were also declared by local governments and tribal nations. Snowfall amounts ranged from one foot to over three feet. The heavy, wet snow and high winds downed trees and power lines, cut power, forced road closures and interrupted cellular service. Schools were closed in at least eight counties on Monday. The Montana State Emergency Coordination Center was working with all affected counties to identify critical life needs, including emergency food, water, and shelter, along with power, communications, and transportation needs.

6) Hurricane Lorenzo became the easternmost Category 5 storm on record Saturday, packing winds of 160 mph. The storm has since weakened to a strong Category 2 hurricane, with winds of 105 mph and a minimum central pressure of 957 mb, or 28.26 inches of mercury, with a large wind field. The storm is expected to brush very near the Azores on Wednesday, with much of the North Atlantic basin already being impacted by swells generated from Lorenzo.

7) Heavy rain caused severe flooding in parts of northeast Scotland over the weekend, wreaking havoc on the area. The floodwaters caused one bridge to collapse, cut power to some areas and forced road closures. A total of 58 flood warnings and 146 alerts were in place on Sunday across the United Kingdom due to the heavy rainfall. Additional rainfall is set to impact England and Wales on Monday.

8) The death toll following the 6.5 magnitude earthquake that struck Indonesia's eastern province of Maluku has now risen to 30 people. The quake struck last Thursday, damaging hundreds of homes along with dozens of public facilities and infrastructure, including the main bridge in the city of Ambon. Many of those who died were killed by collapsing houses and buildings. At least 150 others were injured, and around 200,000 people still remain in shelters following the earthquake.


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.