Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 31, 2018: CalFire announces that the Carr Fire is 100 percent contained in California, a tire blow-out may have contributed to the deadly crash that killed at least 7 people on a New Mexico highway Thursday, officials in Detroit order the water shut off to its city public schools after high levels of lead and copper are found in water supplies, a Florida-based manufacturer issues a massive recall for nasal sprays and baby oral gels for potential microbial bacteria contamination, K2 may be linked to the deaths of 5 prisoners in Arkansas over the last four days, Pennsylvania initiates a lockdown of prisons statewide after a mysterious illness that may be linked to K2 is reported by multiple employees, the Coast Guard responded to an oil spill from an overloaded barge in the Port of Corpus Christi on Thursday night, and a recent report identifies a lack of planning, preparedness, and training by officials in Puerto Rico for natural disasters prior to Hurricane Maria.
- The massive California wildfire that killed 8--including 3 firefighters--destroyed 1,079 homes, and charred nearly 229,700 acres in and around Redding, is now fully contained. The Carr Fire, noted to be the sixth largest wildfire in California history, also damaged another 190 residences, 26 commercial structures, and 61 outbuildings. The massive blaze began on July 23 as a result of a spark from the mechanical failure of a vehicle and rapidly spread throughout Shasta and Trinity counties.
- A tire blow-out may be the cause of the deadly head-on collision that occurred on a New Mexico highway between a semi-trailer and a Greyhound bus on Thursday that left at least seven people dead. There were 49 people on the bus, and 39 people, including at least 4 children, were taken to area hospitals, where the conditions of some were listed as good (two), serious (two), and critical condition (one). Authorities noted that the semi-trailer was headed east when it crossed the median and hit the Greyhound bus--traveling westbound from Albuquerque to Phoenix--head on.
- Officials in Detroit ordered the drinking water to be shut off at city public schools on Wednesday after elevated levels of lead and copper were found in the water supply at 16 buildings. Reports indicate that the buildings where the elevated levels were found have antiquated plumbing systems, which is likely the source of the contamination, not the public water supply. Bottled water was delivered to all the schools, until water coolers can be installed and a long-term solution can be identified.
- Florida-based Quest Manufacturing, LLC, has recalled all of its nasal sprays and baby oral gels out of an abundance of caution after a 12-hour CVS brand nasal spray was found to be contaminated with a potentially deadly bacteria. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Lot#173089J of CVS Health 12 Hour Sinus Relief Nasal Mist was recalled after it was found to contain Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a microbial bacteria. Officials warned that repeated use of contaminated products can be potentially life threatening for young people or those with weakened immune systems.
- A total of five deaths in four days have been reported at a prison in Arkansas and officials suspect the deaths are drug-related and may be linked to the synthetic marijuana, K2. Three of the deaths occurred Sunday and Monday, of which two deaths occurred in the Varner Supermax section of the prison, and one prisoner died who was in the prison's general population. The two inmates who died on Wednesday were found unresponsive in their cells in the Supermax section of the prison, and officials have stepped-up a prison-wide search for illicit drugs.
- Arkansas is not the only state struggling with the illicit K2 drug, as employees at 10 state prisons in Pennsylvania have reportedly become ill since August 6. The widespread mystery illness has prompted a lockdown that began Wednesday of all prisons across the entire state while new measures are employed to protect employees, including hazmat procedures. The deaths of prison inmates possibly due to drugs is also being investigated in Mississippi, after 13 prisoners died this month at several prisons across the state.
- The Coast Guard responded to an oil spill Thursday evening that occurred at the Flint Hills East Dock in Corpus Christi, Texas. An overloaded barge dumped 1,176 gallons of oil into the Port of Corpus Christi, leaving a 100 by 450 yard sheen of oil across the water. A boom was placed around the overloaded barge, and clean up efforts continued into Friday and were being conducted by an Incident Management Division from the Coast Guard, along with Flint Hills and barge crews, and the Corpus Christi Oil Spill Association.
- The recent study that found the deaths attributed to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico were under reported also found that the island was grossly unprepared and lacked significant planning and training for disasters. The report specifically noted that officials on the island had no "written, updated, agency crisis communication plans" in place prior to the storm--which led to ineffective communication that hampered response and recovery efforts island-wide. The report also stated that doctors were unaware of guidelines in existence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to appropriately count the number of deaths related to the storm and its aftermath.
— KRCR News Channel 7 (@KRCR7) August 31, 2018
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) August 31, 2018
— WBTV News (@WBTV_News) August 29, 2018
With K2, "you get this dizzying array of clinical toxicity that you see reported."https://t.co/RLA14nx1FW
— John Moritz (@JohnMoritz18) August 30, 2018
— High Times (@HIGH_TIMES_Mag) August 31, 2018
Coast Guard responds to oil spill near Corpus Christi, Texas https://t.co/7ZwM0W6mKK
— U.S. Coast Guard (@uscoastguard) August 31, 2018
Puerto Rico lacked disaster planning, communications strategy, hurricane study found https://t.co/DEm37ZV4Df via @NBCNews,Puerto Ricans are American Citizens,PR doesn't look like 45, He dropped the Ball ,2,975 died,1833 died in katrina,where is logical math,45 said 64
— Faye Brooks (@TheDemocrat63) August 30, 2018