Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: New Orleans, Plane Crash, California Dams and Flooding

EDM Monday Briefing: New Orleans, Plane Crash, California Dams and Flooding


Emergency and disaster briefing for February 27, 2017: 28 people are injured after a pickup truck plowed into parade spectators in New Orleans on Saturday evening, a plane crash kills two and injures one in New York, another Jewish cemetery is vandalized in Philadelphia, questions are raised as to the continued safety and stability of the damaged main spillway at the Oroville Dam for the remainder of the rainy season, San Jose residents are permitted back home as clean up looms larger for the city, an EF1 tornado causes widespread damage in two towns in Massachusetts, the National Weather Service issues a severe weather outlook for the state of Alabama for Wednesday, and overdoses attributed to heroin have skyrocketed over five year period.

  1. On Saturday evening, a pickup truck plowed into crowd of people watching a parade in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. 28 people were injured in the incident, with 21 individuals being transported to area hospitals, including five to trauma centers. Some of the individuals being transported were as young as 3 or 4 years-old. A police officer was also injured during the incident, however officials do not believe terrorism was involved, indicating that the individual driving the vehicle is suspected of being highly intoxicated.  
  2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating an accident  where a small plane with three people on board crashed into some trees in Suffolk County, near Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach, New York on Sunday morning. Officials indicated that the Navion F aircraft was practicing take offs and landings at the airfield when it crashed. A New York National Guard helicopter flying in the area assisted in the rescue of the passengers, two of which have been confirmed dead, and one individual, listed in stable condition, was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital.
  3. Another Jewish cemetery has been the target of vandals in a string of recent anti-Semitic attacks across the nation. At least 75-100 headstones were knocked over at the Mount Carmel Cemetery in northeast Philadelphia on Sunday, following a similar incident that occurred in St. Louis just days before. Bomb threats targeting Jewish Community Centers (JCCSs) have also been on the rise this year, with a total of 69 threats against various JCCs across the United States and Canada since January.
  4. Questions are now being raised as to the ability of the Oroville Dam's main spillway to last through the end of rainy season, which continues for another five weeks. Continued use of the damaged 3,000 foot main spillway has created massive canyons on both sides even as it has split the concrete spillway in two. The Department of Water Resources was forced to begin using the damaged spillway again after water from the overly full lake began cascading over the emergency spillway and rapidly washed away the hillside below. The event prompted the evacuation of the 188,000 people downstream.
  5. Residents of San Jose, California were permitted back into their homes after intense rains overflowed nearby Coyote Creek, but some residents in Rock Springs and other areas were still under evacuation orders as of Saturday night. Residents have been pumping out water, opening walls, and attempting to decontaminate their homes. A newly opened local assistance center is helping by directing residents where to get food, how to handle insurance, and with finding access to rental assistance.
  6. A tornado caused widespread damage in two towns in Massachusetts on Saturday night. The tornado first touched down in Goshen, then lifted and shortly after, touched down in nearby Conway, ripping a five-mile path of destruction through the town. The National Weather Service confirmed the EF1 tornado touch down, with winds of 80-100 mph, after a survey of the damage on Sunday and also confirmed that there were no injuries or deaths from the twister.
  7. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a severe weather outlook for Alabama for Wednesday, noting that the entire state is at risk for strong storms, but areas from central Alabama to the north of the state are most at-risk. The storms are likely to produce straight-line winds and hail, although the possibility of a tornado or two cannot be ruled out. The NWS has issued some sort of severe weather risk for the entire state for Wednesday,  noting that a cold front moving into the state will result in the storms breaking out ahead of, and along the front.
  8. Heroin overdoses have skyrocketed in the last five years, which researchers attribute to its cheaper cost and its increased purity. Reports indicate that many opioid users are moving to heroin use due to its significantly lower cost. According the National Center for Health Statistics, 3,036 deaths were attributed to heroin overdoses in 2010 and that number jumped to 12,989 just five years later in 2015.

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.