Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: NWS Confirmed Nine Tornadoes Tore through Dallas
EDM Wednesday Briefing: NWS Confirmed Nine Tornadoes Tore through Dallas

EDM Wednesday Briefing: NWS Confirmed Nine Tornadoes Tore through Dallas

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 23, 2019: British police found the bodies of 39 people inside the container of a truck believed to have originated in Bulgaria; PG&E is warning residents of another PSPS that is likely to impact 17 counties through Thursday; Seoul is warning people to avoid vaping as concern grows worldwide over health risks; curfews are in place and schools remain closed as clean up from nine tornadoes continues in Dallas; three schools in Dallas will remain closed indefinitely due to major tornado damage; Indonesian investigators gave a briefing to families that cited contributing factors in the deadly Lion Air 737 MAX 8 crash; the wildfire that threatened homes in the Los Angeles Pacific Palisades community is under investigation; and developing countries may use mobile phone towers to fill a weather equipment gap and to assist in forecasts for farmers.

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1) A truck was found by British police with the dead bodies of 39 people inside the container in an industrial complex in England. The truck is believed to have originated in Bulgaria, and it entered England through the North Wales port of Holyhead via Ireland. The driver, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, was arrested. The investigation into the deaths of the 38 adults and one teenager continues.

2) Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is once again warning residents of potential Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) that may be initiated on Wednesday evening and continue into Thursday due to critical fire weather and high winds. The shutoffs are anticipated to occur in parts of Napa, San Mateo, and Sonoma counties, as well as 14 other counties, including Alpine, Mendocino, Sierra, and Yuba. PG&E has updated their PSPS website with locations that may be affected, and users can type in a specific address to see if it is part of the shutoff.

3) On Wednesday, health officials in Seoul, South Korea, advised people to stop vaping as growing health concerns prompt countries around the world to stop selling e-cigarettes. Vaping is facing increased scrutiny, and many countries are restricting advertising of the products and pulling the electronic cigarettes from markets. The United States has 33 reported deaths, and 1,479 confirmed and probable cases of a mysterious respiratory illness health officials believe is directly related to vaping.

4) Nearly a dozen schools remain closed in Dallas on Wednesday, as power outages persist and debris removal continues. The National Weather Service confirmed that a total of nine tornadoes tore through the Dallas area on Sunday. The strongest tornado, an EF3, packed winds of up to 140 mph. It ripped through North Dallas, leaving a 15-mile trail of destruction in its wake.

5) Dallas Fire-Rescue completed a second search of the tornado damaged areas Tuesday morning, with preliminary assessments showing 104 buildings destroyed, 286 with major damage and 344 with minor damage. Remarkably, there were no known casualties resulting from the tornadoes, and only three people were hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries from the storm. Three Dallas Independent School District (DISD) schools are closed indefinitely due to major damage -- Thomas Jefferson High School, Cary Middle School and Walnut Hill Elementary School. Classes will be held in other locations once power and transportation issues have been resolved.

6) Indonesian investigators held a briefing on Wednesday and told families that mechanical and design issues were contributing factors in the Lion Air 737 MAX jet crash last October. Deficiencies in the flight crew's communication and manual control of the aircraft were also noted as contributing factors in the deadly crash that killed all 189 people on board. Citing reliance on a single angle-of-attack sensor for the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) as making it more vulnerable to failure, investigators also noted that the sensor had been mis-calibrated during an earlier repair.

7) Evacuations have been lifted after a wildfire threatened to consume homes in the upscale Pacific Palisades community in Los Angeles, California, on Monday. The wildfire began at the base of Palisades Drive and raced uphill, coming within feet of homes along Vista Grande Drive and Charmel Lane. Firefighters attacked the fire by hand and used water drops from helicopters to help protect homes and prevent the fire from damaging the homes.

8) In developing countries, such as India and Sri Lanka, mobile phone towers could provide valuable data to give farmers more accurate rain forecasts, filling in for expensive equipment such as ground-based radar and rain-gauge networks. Radio signals transmitted by mobile phone towers are disturbed when rainfall occurs, which then provides data to local weather agencies to assist in improving rainfall prediction accuracy. Accurate forecasting assists farmers in knowing when to plant seeds or to use fertilizers, helping to ensure sustainability and preventing losses.

 

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.