Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 14, 2018: Flooding in Michigan; charter bus full of teens crashes; third nor'easter in a row hits Northeast; record snowfall amounts; and Red Cross preparedness initiatives in the Northwest.
- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder declared disasters in 17 counties and 2 cities on Monday, after heavy rains and melting snow and ice have caused devastated flooding. The declaration makes available state resources, including grant money to reimburse local responses. Damage recovery efforts are being coordinated by the state police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division and they are working with local emergency management agencies to address areas affected by the February 19-21 flooding.
- A charter bus full of teens returning home to Texas from Disney World in Florida early Tuesday morning, crashed into a ravine off Interstate 10, outside of Mobile, Alabama, killing one person and injuring at least 37. Six helicopters airlifted the injured to area hospitals, including one student who was critically injured, and first responders had to cut free some students from the wreckage. Law enforcement officials reported that the bus hit the median, and crossed to the wrong side of the road before going down about 50 feet into a ravine and overturning, killing the driver of the bus.
- The third major storm to strike New England over the last two weeks was officially declared a blizzard Tuesday at noon with Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Connecticut bearing the brunt of the storm. The blizzard left nearly a quarter of a million people without power in Massachusetts, while more than 1,550 flights were canceled, and most schools remain closed again on Wednesday. Officials reported that whiteout conditions due to heavy snow made driving extremely dangerous, causing tractor-trailers to jack-knife on roadways.
- As the blizzard slowly winds down along the New England coast, winter storm warnings remain in effect from North Carolina to Maine. Total snowfall amounts have varied across the storm's path, with the highest recorded snowfall being 29.5 inches in Wilmington, Massachusetts. Weather forecaster's are calling for blustery conditions through this evening, with the lingering of light snow over parts of Appalachia and in the Northeast, but parts of New England are likely to see up to a foot more of snow, while areas around the Great Lakes may see accumulations of up to six inches.
- Recently, in Spokane, Washington, a program for teaching third through fifth grade children about emergency preparedness was offered through the Pillowcase Project by the American Red Cross. The pillowcases are given to students by the Red Cross, which they can decorate and then take home to fill with emergency supplies that will help them in an emergency or disaster situation. The personalized pillowcase makes it more likely that children and families will use it and the program allows volunteers to teach children about disasters that may strike their communities, and communicate what they should do.
Our property now floods every time we get one of those massive drenching storms. That's changed in the 4 years we've lived here. I can't imagine what will happen in the future. #ActOnClimatehttps://t.co/RHXM0hbjUr
— Michigan Moms (@CleanAirMoms_MI) March 13, 2018
A #GOESEast visible satellite view of the nor'easter intensifying southeast of Cape Cod and pushing bands of heavy snow back across New England and Long Island. On the back side of the storm, snow squalls are moving across the Great Lakes and central Appalachians. pic.twitter.com/rEyxQJKIKy
— NWS Eastern Region (@NWSEastern) March 13, 2018