Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Deadly Youth Football Charter Bus Crash

EDM Monday Briefing: Deadly Youth Football Charter Bus Crash


Emergency and disaster management briefing for December 3, 2018: A charter bus crash carrying a youth football team outside Benton, Arkansas killed one child and injured dozens, the NWS was able to issue ample warning for a major tornado that impacted Taylorville, Illinois, data and damages from Hurricane Michael may lead to an increase in the storm's category and overall total damages, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake caused widespread infrastructure damage when it struck near Anchorage, Alaska, an emergency declaration by President Trump will now allow FEMA to coordinate disaster relief for Alaska following its major earthquake, and a meeting is schedule between the President and New York's governor to discuss rebuilding and replacing failing major infrastructure under the Hudson River.

  1. A charter bus carrying a youth football team that was traveling back to Memphis, Tennessee from Texas early Monday morning, crashed in Arkansas. One child was killed, and at least 40 others were injured when the bus swerved off Interstate 30 and overturned near Benton, Arkansas. The injured children were taken to hospitals in Benton and Little Rock, and authorities were said to be questioning the bus driver about the accident.  
  2. Severe weather that swept through the Central U.S. on Friday into Saturday spawned tornadoes in several states, including Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, and Oklahoma. In Taylorville, Illinois, residents were warned by the National Weather Service (NWS) some 40 minutes in advance of the approaching half-mile wide tornado that stayed on the ground for at least ten miles. Initial assessments by emergency management officials in Taylorville, determined that of the 506 structures impacted by the tornado, 34 were completely destroyed, 66 had major damage, and 406, while damaged, were still habitable.
  3. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is still sifting through data from Hurricane Michael, a catastrophic Category 4 storm that struck Florida, southeastern Georgia, and the Carolinas, some of which could suggest Michael was actually a Category 5. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) also say that Michael may have been a Category 5 storm, as scientists found mini-swirl winds in excess of 200 mph in the eyewall of the storm--equivalent to an EF-3 tornado. The USGS made a final determination that the storm surge at Mexico Beach--where the storm made landfall--was 15.55 feet, a half foot higher than previously cited.  
  4. A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck just north of Anchorage, Alaska, Friday morning, at a depth of about 27.4 feet, causing widespread damage, but no fatalities. Information posted on the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) noted that many buildings in Anchorage and around the epicenter were damaged, along with major infrastructure, including roadways, phone and electrical service, water and natural gas lines, and at least one hospital. Merrill Field Airport also received some minor damage, and local fire departments reported structural fires immediately following the temblor.  
  5. A disaster declaration was issued by Gov. Bill Walker for Alaska following Friday's earthquake, allowing President Trump to declare an emergency, which allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief. Roadways and bridges took the brunt of Friday's earthquake, but although major damage occurred throughout the area, there were no collapsed buildings and no fatalities--likely thanks to stringent building codes adopted years ago. A major earthquake in 1964 prompted across-the-state use of the most stringent building codes in existence, helping buildings withstand the shaking of a major earthquake, which was evidenced on Friday.  
  6. President Trump is set to meet with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo regarding a major infrastructure project involving the replacement of a key tunnel under the Hudson River, and a rebuild of the North River Tunnel, among other projects. The tunnel--a key piece of transportation infrastructure--was heavily damaged during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and is likely in danger of failing soon in some manner, according to the Governor after a recent tour. The project focuses on the Northeast Corridor--a 10-mile section that is used by New Jersey Transit and Amtrak--to carry more than 200,000 passengers each day.  

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.