EDM Wednesday Briefing: Hurricane Florence Flooding Impacts Road and Rail Shipments
Emergency and disaster management briefing for September 19, 2018: Officials in North Carolina warn against the use of GPS apps to navigate road closures in the state, a tornado likely spawned by Hurricane Florence killed one in Virginia on Monday, Minnesota reports its third travel-related measles case in just six weeks, flooding from Hurricane Florence has disrupted the food supply chain and major truck and rail routes across North Carolina, a routine call for responding officers turned deadly for one deputy in California, a Michigan resident has been diagnosed with EEE, the bodies of 12 babies were found stuffed in boxes and plastic bags in a maternity hospital in Kenya, and the deadline to apply for state grant funds for eligible families impacted by the July 19 tornado in Marshalltown, Iowa, has been extended.
- Officials in North Carolina are cautioning residents against using GPS applications to navigate the flooded roadways around the state. In a recent Tweet, officials warned that apps such as Waze, which relies on data input from users, cannot keep up with the constantly changing conditions, including road closures and flash flooding events--which could cause someone to drive directly into floodwaters or be at risk from flash flooding. Hurricane Florence dumped more than three feet of rain in some areas around the state, and flooding remains a concern, along with uprooting and falling trees due to ground saturation.
- A tornado that National Weather Service (NWS) officials believe was sparked by Hurricane Florence, touched down near Richmond, Virginia on Monday, killing one person, Ronnie Bishop, 60. The tornado, an EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, ripped through the town of Wakefield, just south of Richmond, and caused significant damage in the area, overturning cars, ripping off roofs, and downing power lines. According to the NWS, a total of five tornadoes were spawned in the Richmond area from the storm, with one other tornado impacting Mecklenberg County, bringing the total tornadoes across the state to six.
- Minnesota has reported its third case of travel-related measles in less than six weeks, and cautions anyone who traveled or may have encountered the infected two-year old child between Sept. 6 and Sept. 14 to monitor themselves for measles symptoms. One state health official noted that a plane ride is all it takes to contract the disease, because the virus can live for up to one to two hours in airspace where an infected person has coughed or sneezed. So far this year, over 100 measles cases have been reported in 21 states and Washington, D.C., and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) states that vaccination, which is 97 percent effective against the disease, is the best prevention.
- Impacts from Hurricane Florence have swept across North Carolina and include interruption of the food supply chain, delayed shipments, and significant beach erosion and dramatic changes to inlets that dot the states barrier islands, including the New River inlet. Catastrophic flooding across the state resulted in the death of nearly 2 million chickens, the flooding and collapse of hog manure pits, and major road closures, which has interrupted supply routes for major trucking companies. CSX Corp, a U.S. railroad operator, also warned suppliers that due to flooding and damages from the storm, rail shipments via the I-95 corridor were also being delayed.
- A dispute between a store customer and an employee quickly turned deadly for one deputy in California when the customer opened fire without warning on two responding officers. Deputy Mark Stasyuk, 27, was killed when he and another deputy, Julie Robertson, 28, who was shot in the arm, answered what they thought was a routine call at an auto parts store in Rancho Cordova. The deputies approached the customer to speak with him but he turned around and began firing at them without warning, striking Stasyuk in the upper body and killing him.
- Officials from Michigan's State Department of Health and Human Services stated that a resident in Lansing has been diagnosed with EEE--Eastern equine encephalitis,a neurological illness that is usually deadly--the first in the state since 2016. The disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, with transmission primarily by mosquitoes that reside in and near hardwood swamps and bogs in the Atlantic, Gulf Coast, and Great Lakes regions. Although rare in humans, the virus kills one-third of those diagnosed with the disease, and those who survive have permanent neurological damage which ranges anywhere from mild to severe.
- The governor of Nairobi made a surprise visit to a maternity hospital in Kenya where he discovered the bodies of 12 dead infants stuffed into boxes and plastic bags. The governor reportedly made the unannounced visit after receiving information that up to six babies had died at the hospital, when he encountered a worker who said that there had only been one death, then ordered the employee to open nearby boxes and bags, revealing the bodies of the 12 infants. The governor suspended several top hospital officials and the ob-gyn physician on duty while an investigation into the deaths and other allegations, such as baby swapping and child trafficking, is conducted.
- Eligible families in Marshalltown, Iowa that were impacted by the EF-3 tornado on July 19, have more time to request assistance from the state as the deadline to apply for a state funded grant has been extended to October 29. The Individual Disaster Assistance Grant is administered through MICA, and is for amounts of up to $5,000 to cover disaster-related costs such as debris removal, structural repairs, electrical repair, and temporary housing costs. The grant is for eligible families that meet the specific income eligibility requirements, which for a family of three would be a maximum of $41,560.
If you decide to travel after the storm, remember trees, debris, and flooding have closed many NC roads. Your GPS may not pick up on these closures, so please use the resources below and follow @kimdeanerabc11 for updates. Let's stay safe TOGETHER. #FlorenceNC #abc11 pic.twitter.com/h7k311gsE3
— ABC11 Together (@ABC11Together) September 16, 2018
Public information statement regarding the Chesterfield tornado surveys today...one was rated EF2 and the other was an EF1 https://t.co/dejuikwtDM
— NWS Wakefield (@NWSWakefieldVA) September 18, 2018
Third Minnesota Measles Case Prompts Travel Warning - Fox21Online https://t.co/PJVyMhjSph
— The Daily Disease (@TheDailyDisease) September 19, 2018
Flowers fill the community room at the Rancho Cordova Police Dept. Many expressing their sympathies for @sacsheriff Deputy Mark Stasyuk, 27, who was killed Monday in the line of duty. pic.twitter.com/H55EamnkLt
— Emily Maher (@KCRAEmily) September 19, 2018
For the first time since 2016, a Michigan resident has been diagnosed with a case of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), a mosquito-borne virus that can lead to “lasting brain damage” and even death, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services said in a Monday pic.twitter.com/nARrRCLt2X
— Current News 360 (@akashbangla77) September 19, 2018
Nairobi governor suspends several top Pumwani Maternity Hospital officials as authorities investigate 12 dead babies stuffed in boxes and plastic bags https://t.co/lIv5Oqpbwk
— CNN Africa (@CNNAfrica) September 19, 2018