Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Federal Disaster Funds for California, Texas Manhunt Intensifies

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Federal Disaster Funds for California, Texas Manhunt Intensifies

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for April 5, 2017: President Trump approves disaster relief funds for California after winter storms and Oroville Dam disaster, authorities release footage and offer a reward as the manhunt intensifies in Baytown, Texas, severe weather Monday caused widespread damages and spawned multiple tornadoes across several states, another round of severe weather on Wednesday to impact Southeastern United States, Alabama declares state of emergency ahead of severe weather, a suspected chemical attack in Syria kills dozens on Tuesday, a missile launch by North Korea deemed a failure by the Pentagon, and a military jet crashes just south of Joint Base Andrews.

    1. President Trump announced Sunday that $274 million in federal funding would be made available to California for repairs on the Oroville Dam. A total of half a billion dollars will go to California to assist the state with damage sustained from winter storms. A major disaster declaration over the weekend by President Trump for affected counties in California regarding the storms that occurred on Feb. 1-23, along with a presidential emergency and a disaster declaration for the Oroville Dam, made the funding possible.
    2. The manhunt for the individual responsible for the shooting death of a deputy county constable, Clinton Greenwood, in Baytown, Texas has intensified. On Tuesday, police released surveillance video of a possible suspect, including footage of a dark-colored vehicle that might be associated with the case. A $65,000 reward is being offered by authorities for information regarding the shooting.

    1.  On Monday severe weather impacted areas in Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina causing widespread damages from high winds and multiple confirmed tornadoes. The storms damaged homes and vehicles, knocked down trees and power lines, and dumped heavy rain across much of the region. One man in South Carolina died when an EF-1 tornado flipped his mobile home, and the roof of a fire station in Carrollton, Georgia was torn off during the storms. Two EF-1 tornadoes were also confirmed in St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana.
    2. Another round of severe weather is in store for the Southeastern United States on Wednesday including tornadoes, thunderstorms, high winds, and hail, placing nearly 55 million people at risk. According to the National Weather Service, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, along with the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys will be affected, with Alabama possibly receiving base-ball sized hail. Forecasters are urging residents at risk to stay informed about changing weather and be alert for updated watches and warnings.

    1. The statements issued by the National Weather Service prompted Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama to declare a state of emergency in advance of the anticipated storm. Throughout the state, school closings or early dismissals were planned for at least 30 schools and colleges.  The first round of what could be several severe storms throughout the day are already moving through the state and tornado watches have been issued for areas from Birmingham to Tuscaloosa and southward to the coast.

    1. In what was a suspected chemical attack in Syria on Tuesday, a total of 72 are dead, including at least 11 children, and more than 400 injured, with almost 80 percent reported as being women and children. Shortly after the suspected chemical attack occurred, a hospital in the same Idlib province was reportedly bombed, causing debris to strike medical personnel assisting those who were already injured. Due to symptoms being exhibited, doctors in the region suspect that more than one type of agent was used, possibly including sarin.
    2. On Wednesday, North Korea launched another missile that landed in the sea, a test which occurred just one day prior to the summit meeting between leaders of the United States and China.  According to reports, the Pentagon deemed North Korea's missile launch that flew about 40 miles and was fired from Sinpo on Wednesday as a failure. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe quickly condemned the launch, and South Korea stated that any further provocations could result in a strong response from them.

  1. Early Wednesday morning, a military jet that took off from Joint Base Andrews crashed in Clinton, Maryland, approximately two miles south of the base. Prince George County fire fighters were responding to the crash which has closed Piscataway Road between Tippet and Steed Roads. Reports indicate that first responders have reached the two pilots, who appear to have ejected from the F-16 airplane safely.

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.