Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: NHC Issuing Advisories for Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine
EDM Wednesday Briefing: NHC Issuing Advisories for Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine

EDM Wednesday Briefing: NHC Issuing Advisories for Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 29, 2020: President Trump approved a federal disaster declaration for Texas in the wake of Hurricane Hanna; talks between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia regarding the Blue Nile dam began again on Monday; four family members in Texas are dead from generator fumes; two new wildfires erupted in the Boise National Forest; the NHC has begun issuing advisories for Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine churning in the Caribbean; the Caldwell Fire exploded on Monday amid Red Flag Warnings; Red Flag Warnings have been issued for several regions in multiple states, including areas involved in the July Complex Fire; and emergency management officials are urging residents at-risk for wildfires and hurricanes to have an emergency plan in place that includes their pets and/or livestock.

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1) President Trump has approved a federal disaster declaration for Texas for those affected by Hurricane Hanna this past weekend. Hurricane Hanna wreaked havoc in south Texas when it came ashore on Saturday as a Category 1 storm, causing widespread flooding and power outages. According to poweroutage.us, just over 29,000 people remained without power as of Wednesday morning in Texas, with the majority of those outages in Hidalgo, Willacy, and Cameron counties.

2) Talks between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia regarding the Blue Nile Dam began again Monday, but quickly devolved. Concerns over water security from the two countries downstream, Egypt and Sudan, voiced displeasure at the unilateral filling already taking place at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam without an agreement being in place. Among the issues being debated regarding the dam are its unilateral filling, how the dam will be controlled during reduced rainfall years or droughts, and mechanisms for resolving disputes. Ethiopia strongly maintains that the dam is necessary to supply electricity for its people, while Egypt and Sudan rely on the Blue and White Nile as their primary water source.

3) Four family members are dead and a fifth one is in critical condition after being exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning. The family, who lives in Edinburg, Texas, was without power after Hurricane Hanna, when they were apparently overcome by fumes from using the generator inside the home. Emergency management officials caution residents to use generators outside the home, where adequate ventilation is available, in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

4) Two new wildfires erupted in the Boise National Forest Monday evening, and fire officials say that one of them was caused by lightning. The Warm Fire grew to about 15 acres, prompting the evacuation of Bull Trout Campground and locations east toward Idaho Highway 21. Fire officials are currently investigating the cause of the second blaze, the Golden Fire, which quickly consumed 10 acres just east of Pioneerville. Ground crews are being supported by air tankers who are working diligently to control the two wildfires, which remained at 0% containment as of Tuesday evening.

5) The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is issuing advisories for what it believes will be the ninth named tropical cyclone of the 2020 hurricane season. Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine is forecast to become Tropical Storm Isaias by the end of the day Wednesday. Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings have already been issued for many of the islands throughout the Caribbean, including the Bahamas, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Turks and Caicos. The system is traveling to the west-northwest at about 23 mph with sustained winds of 45 mph and a minimum central pressure of 1006 mb, or 29.71 inches of mercury.

6) Storms and high winds caused an explosion of the Caldwell Fire — part of the July Complex Fire — amid Red Flag Warnings in Northern California on Monday. The blaze has now grown to over 70,600 acres and the Lava Beds National Monument remains closed, although some evacuation orders have been lifted. As winds receded on Tuesday, crews gained some control of the wildfire. However, they expect to be fighting the blaze for another month as it continues to burn through dry grass and timber.

7) Red Flag Warnings are in effect for areas of California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, including areas of the July Complex Fire in Northern California. The warning is in place until 8:00 p.m. Wednesday night, due to hot, dry, and unstable weather conditions that include gusty winds and low humidity levels throughout the regions. Under these conditions, fire behavior can become erratic, causing fires to spread swiftly. When combined with the drought-stressed fuels that are present, that could create unpredictable fire conditions.

8) Hurricane and wildfire seasons are in full swing, and evacuations may be required at a moment's notice. Emergency management officials would like at-risk residents to ensure they have an emergency plan in place for their pets and/or livestock. While some shelters do accept certain breeds of domestic pets with the proper paperwork and restraints such as crates, others do not, so preparedness is key. Livestock evacuations often involve more pre-planning due to specialized transportation needs and enough space to house larger animals or those that require specialized care. Be sure to check with local emergency management agencies and shelters, who are able to provide information on groups or organizations that can assist with the care and housing of pets during disasters.

 

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.