Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Harvey's Third Landfall Shifts Rainfall Threat

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Harvey's Third Landfall Shifts Rainfall Threat

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By Kimberly Arsenault
Contributor, EDM Digest

Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 30, 2017: Harvey makes its third U.S. landfall as a tropical storm, shifting the heavy rainfall threat eastward, mandatory evacuations are issued for residents as the Horse Prairie Fire rapidly expands, heavy monsoon rains inundate Mumbai, India with floodwaters, overwhelming city infrastructure, 42 children are dead in 48 hours at a government hospital in India, pet turtles are being blamed for a multi-state outbreak of salmonella, the Ponderosa Fire rapidly expands and consumes at least 9 homes amid mandatory evacuation orders, a shooting spree in a New Mexico library leaves two dead and four injured, and London evacuated its Euston Railway Station Tuesday evening after a small explosion occurred.

    1. Harvey made its third U.S. landfall early Wednesday morning east of Port Arthur, Texas near Cameron, Louisiana, this time as a tropical storm, and shifted its relentless rains into the far eastern areas of Texas and into portions of Louisiana. Current forecasts indicate that heavy rains from the storm are also likely to trigger flooding from Louisiana up to the Ohio Valley as Harvey moves to the northeast on its projected track. Harvey has likely broken tropical cyclone rainfall records with nearly 52 inches of rainfall recorded in Cedar Bayou, Texas, and officials warn that flood conditions are likely to persist for up to one month in some areas.
    2. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office issued a Level 3 "GO!" mandatory evacuation order Tuesday for residents at risk from the Horse Prairie Fire that is burning in Camas Valley, Oregon. The blaze has scorched nearly 2,500 acres and is burning in steep, rugged terrain with plenty of available fuel, making containment difficult and dangerous for firefighters. The wildfire was only 15 percent contained as of Tuesday, and sustained winds from the north and west have pushed the fire east over Table Mountain and south towards Lower Cow Creek, prompting the area evacuation.

    1. In Mumbai, India, monsoon rains have dumped nearly 5 inches of rain across the area, inundating the city with floodwaters and collapsing its infrastructure. As the streets became rivers, public transportation ceased, including busses and trains, stranding workers and residents. The airport also flooded, resulting in flights being diverted to other cities, and more heavy rainfall is expected throughout Wednesday. Monsoon rains this year throughout Southeast Asia have resulted in wide-scale flooding and landslides that have wiped out infrastructure, inundated farmlands, and washed away homes.
    2. According to Dr. P.K. Singh, the medical director of a government hospital in Gorakhpur, India, at least 217 children have died in August at the hospital, with 42 dying in the last 48 hours. The director noted that seasonal infection was cited as the primary cause of deaths, not a lack of care or medical negligence, but seven deaths were attributed to encephalitis, which always peaks during monsoon season. The facility came under fire earlier in the month for running out of oxygen.

    1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated that pet turtles are responsible for a multi-state outbreak of salmonella. Since March, a total of 37 cases, including 12 children 5 years old and under, have been reported by 13 states, with 16 of the individuals affected being hospitalized. According to the CDC, reptiles account for more than 70,000 cases of salmonellosis each year, and officials strongly recommend good hygiene practices, including avoiding cleaning turtle habitats in the kitchen sink and thorough hand washing immediately after handling pet turtles.
    2. A wildfire burning in Butte County, California near Lake Oroville consumed at least 9 homes as it rapidly expanded on Tuesday. Fire officials stated that the Ponderosa Fire broke out around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, and quickly spread to 600 acres, with a large plume of smoke visible over the Lake Oroville Dam Tuesday afternoon. By around 11:00 p.m. Tuesday night, the fire had consumed more than 1,000 acres and resulted in multiple mandatory evacuation orders and warnings.

    1. Two people are dead and four injured following a shooting spree at a public library in a small city in New Mexico. An armed individual entered the Clovis-Carter Public library in Clovis, New Mexico, an agricultural town of about 40,000, and began shooting around 4:00 p.m. central time. The shooter, a 16-year-old boy who was arrested immediately following the incident, shot and killed two library employees and injured four patrons, including one 10-year-old child listed in good condition, and three adults that are listed in serious condition.
    2. London officials evacuated the Euston Railway Station Tuesday after a small explosion occurred at around 7:40 p.m. No one was injured in the explosion, however the station was closed for about 90 minutes while British Transport Police investigated the incident. Police believe that an e-cigarette in a suitcase was responsible for the small explosion.

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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.