Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 3, 2017: Severe weather spawns multiple tornadoes in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, the Department of Homeland Security set to support Jewish community centers after recent threats and vandalism, debris removal at the Oroville Dam may see Hyatt power plant restart midday on Friday, a water main break in Brooklyn causes massive flooding of a subway station just before rush hour, at least 2 confirmed cases of mumps have been diagnosed in a high school nearby Chicago, Mount Etna volcano eruption produces spectacular lava flow, and three more locally acquired Zika cases have been confirmed in Florida.
- A strong bout of severe weather on Wednesday impacted areas from Tennessee to Ohio spawning at least 3 tornadoes in the Tri-State area near Cincinnati, Ohio, with a confirmed five tornadoes having touched down in middle Tennessee. One tornado, designated as an EF1 by the National Weather Service, touched down in Cool Springs, Tennessee, between Brentwood and Franklin, causing widespread damages and power outages. A total of four fatalities occurred over the multi-day severe weather outbreak that reached from Texas to Michigan and Ohio.
- In light of recent threats to Jewish Community Centers and instances of vandalism to cemeteries, the Department of Homeland Security will be assisting local law enforcement efforts in their support of the Jewish Community. More than 120 bomb threats have been received by Jewish Community Centers in the last two months, often forcing repeated evacuations and unnerving communities across the nation. Part of the outreach by DHS has included "active shooter workshops" and "contingency planning and response" to help enhance preparedness, which will continue to be a part of the support outreach.
- As of Thursday, California state officials indicated that at least 110,000 cubic yards of debris lying beneath the main spillway of the Oroville Dam had already been removed. Electrical crews are also working to reconnect the electric grid and the power plant. Should the current rate of removal continue, officials indicate that the Hyatt Power Plant may begin operations by midday on Friday, helping inflows to the reservoir by allowing the release of 14,000 cubic feet per second through the power plant.
- A water main break caused massive flooding of the Court Street subway station in Downtown Brooklyn in New York on Thursday just as the evening rush hour was about to begin. Emergency responders waded through calf-high water to assess the full scope of the incident. Officials launched an investigation into the incident and worked on removing the water, but did not expect the station to re-open until later in the evening.
- Barrington High School in Lake County, Indiana near Chicago confirmed on Thursday its second case of mumps in just a week. Individual doctors have diagnosed eight other suspected mumps cases, which is causing concern among Lake County Health Department officials. Health officials have categorized the two mumps cases as a cluster, a less severe indication than an outbreak. According to health officials, an outbreak occurs when within 50 days, there are three confirmed diagnoses/cases.
- After a relatively quiet year in 2016, one of the world's most active volcanos began erupting earlier this week in a spectacular display of lava. The Mount Etna volcano in Italy began erupting with a moderate strombolian eruption, or an explosive eruption that occurs when gas-rich magma reaches the surface, causing lava to flow over the volcano's summit. The volcano is situated on the island of Sicily, near the east coast, is 10,900 feet high, and though the eruption was spectacular, it posed little threat to people or property and had no impact on nearby Sicily's Catania airport operations.
- The 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant disaster in Japan is still impacting the local area due to high radiation levels that many fear are still present. Jeju airlines, a low-cost charter carrier based in South Korea has abandon its planned use of the Fukushima Airport. Instead, the carrier will move its charter operations to Sendai International Airport in the Miyagi Prefecture due to concerns voiced by employees about perceived radiation levels. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant suffered a triple meltdown after a devastating 9.0 earthquake spawned a tsunami that compromised the cooling system for the plant's nuclear reactors.
- Three more cases of the Zika virus have been reported in Miami, Florida that were locally acquired. Two of the cases diagnosed were from October of 2016 - cases which had to undergo further testing with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and one case was diagnosed early this year after an individual donated blood. In all, there have been 13 cases of Zika so far in 2017, four of which have been pregnant women, and all were acquired while the individuals were traveling outside the country.
Sec. of DHS, re threats to JCCs: "I have directed DHS to heighten our outreach and support to enhance public safety" https://t.co/iBXtdfdx9g
— RJC (@RJC) March 2, 2017
— CA - DWR (@CA_DWR) March 2, 2017