Home Coronavirus EDM Friday Briefing: Eleven Cruise Ship Evacuees Test Positive for Coronavirus
EDM Friday Briefing: Eleven Cruise Ship Evacuees Test Positive for Coronavirus

EDM Friday Briefing: Eleven Cruise Ship Evacuees Test Positive for Coronavirus


Emergency and disaster management briefing for February 21, 2020: A tanker carrying jet fuel overturned and split in half on an overpass in Indiana and erupted in flames; eleven of the 13 Americans being monitored at UNMC in Nebraska tested positive for the coronavirus; two people are dead and more than 60 are injured after a more than 100-car pileup in Montreal; heavy rainfall that led to widespread flooding across the southeastern U.S. reveals hundreds of high-hazard dams that lack emergency action plans; two teens were arrested in a small city in Kansas after a series of mysterious explosions and more than 80 IEDs were found in their truck; the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 2 Travel Advisory for Hong Kong; eight counties in South Carolina are set to benefit from $157 million dollars received from the federal government for flood mitigation efforts; and data from NOAA's SPC reveals five states with the highest number of tornadoes on average each year.

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1) Two interstates were closed in Indiana after a tanker truck exploded and caught fire. The incident occurred on Interstate 465 southbound to Interstate 70 in Indianapolis on Thursday when a tanker carrying 4,000 gallons of jet fuel overturned and split in half, erupting into flames. The overpass was extensively damaged by the fire. The driver, who managed to escape with the assistance of Good Samaritans, was severely burned and listed in critical condition.

2) The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) received 13 of the Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in order to monitor them for signs of the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that 11 of the 13 being monitored tested positive for COVID-19, increasing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States to 26. The CDC commissioned the UNMC in 2005 as a biocontainment unit, and the facility successfully treated three Ebola patients in 2014.

3) Two people were killed and at least 60 people were injured in a more than 100-car pileup in Montreal on Wednesday that occurred in snowy weather. Sudden white-out conditions reduced visibility to near zero on Highway 15 along a stretch of the St. Lawrence River. First responders had to cut at least nine people out of wrecked vehicles, and the incident closed a 9.3 mile stretch of the highway in La Prairie until late Wednesday night.

4) Heavy rainfall that led to widespread flooding across the southeastern U.S. in recent weeks has highlighted another potential public safety issue. According to reports, hundreds of high-hazard dams in the South lack emergency action plans, including an earthen dam on a private Mississippi lake in Yazoo County that began eroding during recent flooding. A dam north of Jackson, known only as MS04462, is only one of the more than 1,000 dams in Mississippi that remain unclassified, with no record of state inspections and no emergency action plan.

5) In a small city in Kansas, two teens were arrested after a rash of mysterious explosions led authorities to their truck. The teens' truck contained more than 80 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) -- which they were selling to other people -- along with additional bomb-making materials. To assist local law enforcement, first responders, emergency managers, and private sector partners in addressing these types of threats, the Department of Homeland Security's Office for Bombing Prevention (OBP) offers three types of training -- in-person, virtual instructor-led, and computer-based training -- all of which is free of charge.

6) The U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 2 travel advisory for Hong Kong due to the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus. The Department of State has raised the travel advisory for mainland China to a Level 4 -- Do Not Travel -- due to the coronavirus outbreak first identified in the city of Wuhan, located in the Hubei province. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a Level 3 Warning for China -- Avoid all non-essential travel to the country.

7) South Carolina has received $157 million dollars from the federal government to help mitigate flooding across eight counties in the state. Officials are working to determine the best projects that will provide the most benefit to areas consistently prone to flooding, and the money will also be used for buyouts and to assist those who are displaced for days or weeks due to neighborhood flooding. The eight counties set to benefit from the funding include Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion and Marlboro counties. The main issues in these flood-prone counties will be presented at a public meeting in March.

8) Information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center (SPC), highlights data on how middle latitudes are the most prone to tornadogenesis. Tornadoes are more likely to develop between 30 degrees and 50 degrees North or South, because this is where cold, polar air meets warmer, subtropical air and air flow is often at different air speeds, directions, and levels of the troposphere. This facilitates the development of rotation within a storm cell, which leads to the creation of tornadoes. According to their statistics, five states see the most tornadoes on a yearly average: Texas (155), Kansas (96), Florida (66), Oklahoma (62) and Nebraska (57).


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.