Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 17, 2017: Nine people are dead following a flash flood in Arizona, a massive recall is issued for Sabrett brands, wildfires rage in Montana after area weather sparks new blazes, the Wolf Creek fire nearly doubles in a single day due to weather conditions, a sinkhole in Florida rapidly swallows two houses and a boat, a police shooing in Minneapolis leaves one woman dead, a teen flash mob in Philadelphia attacks police with bottles, and a heat wave is poised to grip states in the central Plains.
- Nine people are dead and one person remains missing near Payson, Arizona following a flash flood that swept through the Cold Springs swimming hole in the Tonto National Forest on Saturday. Officials say that a monsoon rainstorm upstream sent a wall of water six-feet high and 40 feet wide filled with tree trunks and logs crashing down the stream and swept away at least 14 people, all of whom were related family members. Recent wildfires destroyed area vegetation and affected the ability of the ground to absorb the heavy rainfall, increasing impacts from the flash flood.
- Over 7 million pounds of hot dogs and sausages, primarily distributed under the Sabrett brand name, have been recalled after customer complaints that small pieces of bone and cartilage have been found in a portion of the products. One customer suffered a minor oral injury, but there have been no reports of any other injuries associated with the product. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a Class I recall for the product, which was has a sell by date ranging from June 19, to October 6, 2017.
Recall Alert: 7 million pounds of Sabrett hot dog products may be contaminated with "extraneous materials": https://t.co/OlZB7e66Hd
— #NBC7 San Diego (@nbcsandiego) July 15, 2017
- Firefighters are scrambling to contain wildfires in Montana that erupted over the weekend and the end of last week from a combination of low humidity, high winds, and lightning strikes. Western Montana has been hardest hit with two fires in the Lolo National Forest, which have burned a combined 185 acres, and firefighters are working hard to protect at-risk structures. The wildfire burning in Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, known as the Whetstone Ridge fire, nearly doubled in size on Sunday, jumping from 195 acres to 371 acres.
- A separate Montana wildfire burning near Wolf Creek in Lewis and Clark County, dubbed the Lookout fire, started on Saturday and rapidly spread to over 200 acres by Sunday. Fire access has been difficult due to narrow and very winding roads and the steep, rugged terrain in the area, resulting in the heavy use of air support. Evacuations were ordered for at least 46 homes on Saturday, and critical weather conditions caused red flag fire warnings and watches on Sunday for the area and a large portion of the state.
— Parker Snowe (@ParkerSnowe) July 16, 2017
- On Friday, in Pasco County, Florida, a sinkhole nearly 50 feet deep and at least 225 feet wide rapidly swallowed two homes and a boat as residents scrambled to grab critical belongings and escape their homes before they crumbled. Residents in the nine homes surrounding the sinkhole were placed under a mandatory evacuation, while a voluntary evacuation order was issued for other homes in the area. Emergency managers now considered the scene to be a hazardous materials site since mud and toxic waste from septic tanks and household materials have contaminated the sinkhole.
- A woman in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Justine Ruszczyk, called 911 late Saturday night to report a disturbance, and was later shot and killed by a police officer reporting to the scene. The incident sparked area protests on Sunday as residents demanded answers as to why the woman was shot. The shooting is under intense scrutiny because officers responding to the incident had not turned on their body cameras and the police vehicle’s camera also did not capture the shooting.
— Ivory Hecker (@IvoryHecker) July 16, 2017
- Philadelphia police say they were attacked and taunted by about 500 teens who formed a flash mob in Germantown then jumped on cars and threw bottles at officers outside the Lonnie Young Recreation Center on Sunday night. No injuries were reported by police or civilians and to prevent tensions from escalating, police decided against make any arrests. Police closed area businesses at one point after several teens ran into the businesses.
- Temperatures are set to soar across the central Plains this week as a heat wave grips the area, including the states of Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Forecasters warn that the extended heat wave can increase the instances of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and special attention needs to be given to the elderly, children, and pets during the hotter than normal temperatures. Residents of North and South Dakota and the lower Great Lakes region will see intense thunderstorms and torrential rainfalls ahead of the mass of hot air, which could cause localized flash flooding.