Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Sewage Spilled into Catawba River during North Carolina Flooding
EDM Friday Briefing: Sewage Spilled into Catawba River during North Carolina Flooding

EDM Friday Briefing: Sewage Spilled into Catawba River during North Carolina Flooding


Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 14, 2019: North and South Carolina reel from flooding that caused over 100,000 gallons of raw sewage to spill into the Catawba River; all charges were dropped against Flint, Michigan, officials implicated in the water crisis amid reports of a faulty investigation; firefighters in Oregon began initial attacks on wildfires amid severe thunderstorms and gusty winds that fanned flames; the CDC reported a large uptick in the number of salmonella cases from backyard poultry flocks; 24 officers and deputies were injured and multiple police cruisers were damaged during protests in Memphis; the Boeing 737 MAX remains grounded, forcing airlines to adjust their schedules through at least early September; the WHO called an emergency meeting to address the cross-border outbreak of Ebola in Uganda; and a jail in Houston has now reported an outbreak of the mumps among inmates and staff members.

1) Flooding has decimated the Midwest. As torrential rainfall moved to the East, North and South Carolina were also impacted by flash floods and flooding, and officials say cleanup and recovery could take a month or more. New information released also reveals that an overflow at a sewage pump station in Huntersville, NC, led to 103,702 gallons of raw sewage being spilled into the Catawba River at the height of the flooding. Charlotte Water officials stated that testing for E. coli levels began Thursday. Until further notice, swimmers should stay out of Mountain Island Lake.

2) All criminal charges are being dropped against the eight officials implicated in the Flint water crisis scandal amid grave concerns about the previous investigation. According to a new team of investigators, who assumed control of the investigation in January, "all available evidence was not pursued" and a new investigation will be launched. According to reports, previous prosecutors allowed private law firms help determine what information would be given to law enforcement from the organizations they were representing, including the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

3) Severe thunderstorms developed over Eastern Oregon on Thursday, fanning the flames of wildfires that were sparked by lightning strikes on Wednesday. Firefighters were engaged in initial attacks to contain the multiple wildfires that were started across the area, and their firefighting continued amid gusty winds, heavy rain, and hail. The torrential rainfall also poses a risk to the burn scars from the Cornet and Windy Ridge fires, which could result in mudslides.

4) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated on Thursday that since May 16, 227 people have been sickened with salmonella by backyard poultry flocks, including from ducks and chickens. According to reports, the chicks or ducklings were purchased from hatcheries, agricultural stores, and online sources, with about a third of victims sickened being younger than age five. A total of 279 cases of salmonella have been reported, and 40 of those cases required hospitalization. Health officials state that good hygiene practices can help prevent salmonella contamination.

5) Officials state that at least 24 police officers and deputies were injured when protests broke out in Memphis, Tennessee, after a suspect was shot and killed when he attacked federal officers while they were trying to arrest him. The suspect, Brandon Webber, 20, was wanted by authorities for allegedly shooting a man in Hernando, Mississippi, five times at point blank range, while viewing a car the man had for sale. The shooting of Webber set off protests on Wednesday night, where at least 24 officers and deputies were injured, including six who were hospitalized. Several police cruisers were damaged.

6) In association with the ongoing worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX, Southwest -- along with other U.S airlines -- have been forced to extend the removal of the aircraft from their flight schedules, at least until the first part of September. Two deadly crashes of the aircraft within six months for similar issues related to the Angle of Attack (AOA) sensor prompted the global grounding of the 737 MAX. Boeing has been working on a software fix, but has yet to conduct its certification test that is required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to approve the aircraft's return to service.

7) Officials in Uganda have stated that they are now in Ebola response mode following the death of a five-year-old Ugandan boy who contracted the disease while visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Health officials also confirmed the death of the boy's grandmother. After mutual agreement with the DRC, Ugandan officials sent the remaining family members back to the DRC. A total of at least 30 other people had contact with the now-deceased boy, his family, or the suspected cases. The border-crossing of the disease has prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to call an emergency meeting.

8) Multiple cases of the mumps have been confirmed at the Harris County Jail in Houston, Texas, just days after a jail in New Jersey reported a mumps outbreak. Those who tested positive for the disease were six inmates and one staff member. An additional seven people are exhibiting signs of the disease, although they have not yet tested positive for the virus. Another 300 inmates have been quarantined because of their contact with those individuals that tested positive for the disease. The Houston Health Department helped coordinate the response to the outbreak, including vaccinations, isolation and quarantine guidelines.


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.