Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Bitter Cold to Follow Nor'Easter, Bird Flu in USA

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Bitter Cold to Follow Nor'Easter, Bird Flu in USA

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 15, 2017: A late season nor'easter dumps over two feet of snow and kills seven in the northeast as arctic winds set to overtake the area and plummet temperatures, officials investigating a possible outbreak of the bird flu in Alabama have ordered a stop movement for poultry, Vulto Creamery has added four cheeses to its nationwide recall and is named in wrongful death suit, charges by U.S. officials now pending for hackers involved in Yahoo breach, garbage clean-up costs tax-payers $1.1 million at now vacant pipeline protest camps, and ranchers and farmers survey  devastating damage from wildfires that swept through Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas earlier this month.

  1. Rain, sleet and more than two feet of snow in some areas pounded the entire Northeast on Tuesday, with inland areas getting the brunt of the storm.  A total of seven deaths are being attributed to the storm that resulted from a late season nor'easter that pushed ashore, causing above hurricane-force winds with gusts on Mount Washington in New Hampshire being recorded at 138 mph yesterday afternoon. The storm also caused flooding for coastal residents, including those in Atlantic City. Thousands of people lost electricity and some public transit services were modified or shut down, including Amtrak, while more than 5,900 flights were cancelled, 3,300 of them in New York City.
  2. The snow may be over for most of the Northeast and New England today, but winter is not over for the region. As drier air moves into the area, winds are expected to remain steady at 11 to 13 mph, with gusts of 25-30 mph.  In New England, temperatures are expected to plummet, with lows dropping into the teens over most of the region. The northern most parts of Vermont and New York will still experience snow squalls and showers for most of the day, and officials caution that as temperatures plummet, remaining snow and ice may cause lingering travel difficulties.
  3. Officials in Alabama investigating poultry over suspected bird flu concerns have ordered a stop movement for some types of poultry. Three separate locations are being investigated within the state for avian influenza, and officials said the stop movement order was meant to be proactive to remove the potential for spreading the suspected disease. Aviagen, the nation's second largest poultry producer, has culled at least 15,000 chickens in Alabama out of an abundance of caution after detecting the presence of antibodies for the flu virus.
  4. Vulto Creamery has expanded its cheese recall to include at least four more of its soft-wash rind raw milk cheeses. Four other varieties were recalled last Tuesday, bringing the total number of recalls to eight varieties. The cheeses are reportedly being linked to a multi-state Listeriosis outbreak that since September, has caused six hospitalizations and two deaths. The widow of an individual who allegedly died after eating one of the Vulto Creamery cheeses infected with Listeria moncytogenes has named the company in a wrongful death suit.
  5. According to reports, hackers that stole data on more than 500 million people from Yahoo accounts in late 2014 are set to be charged by U.S. officials sometime on Wednesday. One report indicates that a total of four people are to be charged, including three suspects from Russia and one individual suspect from Canada. In recent years, Yahoo has suffered two major breaches, the one in 2014, and another breach dating back to 2013 that the company revealed this past December.
  6. More than 800 roll-off dumpsters full of garbage were hauled away from the Sacred Stone campsite that is now vacant - 835 to be exact. The clean-up across the three now-vacant camps has cost American tax-payers $1.1 million. The Army Corps of Engineers said that a total of 8,170 cubic yards of garbage left behind by protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline was removed from the three campsites. A total of twelve dogs were also rescued from the abandoned camps and after receiving veterinarian care, will be posted for adoption.
  7. Ranchers and farmers in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas are returning home to survey the damage from intense wildfires fueled by high winds and rain-parched vegetation. Damages from the fire include charred pastures, dead cattle, hogs, deer and other wildlife, and fence lines that are destroyed or missing for miles. Estimates of damages are still being calculated, but one farm lost at least 4,300 hogs, while cattle losses in Texas are estimated at 1,500. Costs to restore pastures and replace fencing in Texas alone are likely to exceed $10 million, with the lost number of cattle so far being valued at over $2 million.

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.