Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Widespread UK Flooding from Storm Dennis
EDM Monday Briefing: Widespread UK Flooding from Storm Dennis

EDM Monday Briefing: Widespread UK Flooding from Storm Dennis


Emergency and disaster management briefing for February 17, 2020: An avalanche in Colorado's Muddy Pass kills two men; days of heavy rainfall prompt a landslide that collapses two homes into the Tennessee River; Storm Dennis produced hurricane-force winds, heavy rainfall, and widespread flooding across the United Kingdom; passengers evacuated from the quarantined cruise ship off Japan arrived home to another 14 days of quarantine; a shooting at a nightclub in Hartford, Connecticut, leaves four injured and one dead; 24 people are dead, 18 are injured, and an unknown number of victims have been kidnapped after gunmen attacked a church in Burkina Faso; Boeing halts production of its 737-MAX aircraft at its Renton facility as grounding of the aircraft continues at least until mid-2020; and the CDC has issued interim guidance for EMS and 911 amid the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).

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1) An avalanche in Muddy Pass near Vail, Colorado, on Saturday killed two of three snowmobilers. Authorities believe that the three men snowmobiling in the high country -- who were in an area marked moderate to considerable risk for avalanches -- triggered the deadly avalanche. The third man was able to free himself and then contacted authorities who launched a search for the remaining two victims. Their bodies were recovered on Sunday beneath 20 feet of snow and debris.

2) A landslide just north of Savannah, Tennessee, caused two homes to collapse into the Tennessee River over the weekend. The Hardin County Fire Department arrived at the homes in an area known as Chalk Bluff and helped evacuate the one home that was occupied. Officials noted that the river was at flood stage when the landslide occurred, and days of heavy rainfall contributed to the landslide that destroyed the two homes.

3) Storm Dennis, as named by the U.K. Met Office, became one of the most powerful bomb cyclones in history. It dumped more than five inches of rain in South Wales and produced waves up to 80 feet west of the United Kingdom. In Ireland, the strong, hurricane-force winds caused The Devil's Chimney waterfall to flow backwards. A red warning, the Met's highest warning level for rainfall, was issued. Torrential rainfall caused widespread flooding as rivers overflowed and evacuations were carried out across numerous communities.

4) Fourteen United States citizens who were quarantined on the Princess cruise ship anchored just off the coast of Japan have tested positive for the coronavirus. The 14 people who tested positive for the virus were flown home in an isolation box onboard the airplane. Health officials noted that anyone else who showed signs or symptoms of the virus would also be isolated on board the plane. Citizens aboard the ship were evacuated and flown home Monday on two separate flights to Travis Air Force Base in California and Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. They face an additional 14 days in quarantine once they arrive in the U.S.

5) Four people were injured and one was killed during a shooting at a Hartford, Connecticut, nightclub on Sunday. According to reports, police officers were already stationed outside the nightclub due to recent incidents when the shots rang out. The officers were able to enter the facility quickly and provided medical assistance to victims until paramedics could arrive and transport the victims to the local hospital.

6) An attack by unidentified gunmen at a church in Burkina Faso has left 24 people dead, including the pastor. The incident occurred on Sunday during a church service in the northwestern village of Pansi, in the Yagha region. According to reports, an unknown number of individuals were kidnapped and at least 18 people were also injured during the attack.

7) Production of the 737-MAX has officially halted at the Renton, Washington, facility at least temporarily. Due to its worldwide grounding in March of 2019, testing and recertification are still ongoing. Boeing has scrambled to restore confidence in the once-popular aircraft before two fatal crashes revealed issues with an automated angle-of-attack sensor. According to a statement on January 20 from the company, the 737-MAX is expected to return to service sometime in mid-2020.

8) Interim guidance for 911 and EMS has been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for COVID-19. The new guidance recommends that all medical and 911 dispatchers screen callers for signs, symptoms, and risk factors for the 2019 novel coronavirus. Interim guidelines suggest modifications to patient assessment, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and aerosol-generating procedures, including intubation and CPR. The recommendations also note that patients can be transported as a Person Under Investigation (PUI) if necessary.


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.