Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Plane Missing, Street Drug Overdoses

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Plane Missing, Street Drug Overdoses


Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 7, 2017: Officials warn street buyers of prescription pain medicines about a dangerous drug that has potentially life-threatening outcomes, an already soggy Florida braces for at least several more days of very wet weather, seven wildfires were ignited by lightning in Idaho, a Myanmar military aircraft has gone missing over the Andaman Sea, officials identify victims from the workplace shooting in Orlando, Florida, water levels in the Great Lakes hit near record highs, Maine identifies two new cases of the tick-borne Powassan virus, and Oklahoma County in Oklahoma has confirmed the presence of West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitoes.

  1. A street drug being sold in central and south Georgia as Percocet is allegedly the cause of at least four overdose deaths and dozens of hospitalizations. When taken, the drug severely reduces a person's level of consciousness and causes respiratory failure. An alert has been issued warning individuals of the dangers of taking pain medications bought on the street, and law enforcement is working to catch the individuals who are selling this very dangerous street drug.  
  2. Heavy rainfall across much of Florida led to flood warnings in Broward and Palm Beach counties on Wednesday morning, with much of south Florida under a flood watch until 8:00 p.m. A strong weather system moving east from Louisiana dumped six to 10 inches of rain across Broward and Palm Beach counties, causing Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach to break rainfall records on June 6. Forecasters are indicating that heavy rains are likely to remain in the area for up to nine more days due to the current weather pattern.
  3. Seven wildfires were ignited by lightning in a rural area of southern Idaho on Sunday, with one fire, Kinyon Springs, burning more than 1,466 acres of land. Another fire dubbed the Glenns Ferry fire, burned over 642 acres, and while it was not the largest fire, it caused the most damage and disruption, closing a portion of a nearby interstate and destroying outbuildings and vegetation. According to the Bureau of Land Management in Boise, all seven fires were contained by late Monday.
  4. A Myanmar military plane carrying 104 people onboard went missing on Wednesday between Myeik in southern Myanmar and the capital city of Yangon. Majority of the plane's route took was over the Andaman Sea, and the country has launched a sea and air search. The search was launched when the plane suddenly lost contact around 1:30 p.m about 20 miles west of Dawei. 
  5. Victims from the workplace shooting in Orlando, Florida on Monday have been identified by authorities and include four men and one woman. According to reports, on Monday morning, a disgruntled former employee, John Robert Neumann Jr., 45, shot and killed several of his former co-workers at the Fiamma, Inc. RV accessory company after being fired from the organization in April. Reports indicate that Neumann then killed himself when he heard the sound of an approaching siren
  6. Water levels in the Great Lakes have hit near record highs as recent heavy rains and snowmelt have surged into the lakes. Lake Erie received 150 percent of its rainfall in May causing rising tides and its highest water levels since 1998, anywhere from 4 to 9 inches above normal. Lake Ontario has seen the greatest increase in its water level, an increase of over 30 inches, which has caused major flooding and other issues along its coastline, including flooding and shore erosion that has threatened dozens of homes in both New York and Ontario, Canada. 
  7. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed two new cases of the dangerous and potentially fatal tick-born illness known as the Powassan virus in Maine. Unlike Lyme disease, which is a bacteria that with early detection can usually be eradicated by antibiotics, Powassan is a virus and fewer options exist for its treatment. The disease can also be transferred from the tick to a human in less than an hour, and includes symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, confusion, seizures, and memory loss.
  8. Officials from the Oklahoma City-County Health Department have confirmed the presence of mosquitoes that are carrying the potentially fatal West Nile Virus in Oklahoma County. So far, there have been no reports of human's contracting the disease, even though mosquitoes in the area have tested positive for the virus. Officials are pointing to the recent warm and wet weather, along with standing water, as favorable breeding conditions for the virus-carrying insects. The virus is spread by the Culex mosquito, and in 2015, there were 10 recorded deaths in the state of Oklahoma from the disease.

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.