EDM Wednesday Briefing: Police Shooting, Earthquake, Wildfires, Flooding
Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 2, 2017: A Las Vegas police officer is shot responding to a suspicious vehicle call, Santiago, Chile, is struck by a strong earthquake overnight, the last fugitive from the Alabama county jailbreak is apprehended, severe drought conditions increase wildfire risk in Bastrop County, Texas, damage assessment begins for 11 West Virginia counties impacted by flooding, the Suiattle Fire rapidly expands due to hot and windy conditions, at least 3,700 personnel are battling wildfires currently burning across British Colombia, and Grandview, Missouri begins its clean-up after floodwaters inundate the town.
- A Las Vegas police officer is in stable condition and a man is dead after an exchange of gunfire late Tuesday afternoon. Police officers were responding to the call of a suspicious vehicle outside a business when according to reports, gunshots were exchanged between the officers and the driver of a vehicle. The man who died was allegedly struck once by police and had one self-inflicted gunshot wound.
- In the early morning hours on Wednesday, an earthquake struck near the Chilean capital of Santiago, waking residents from their sleep with reportedly strong shaking. The earthquake, which registered a 5.5 magnitude according to the U.S. Geological Survery (USGS), was about 54 miles deep, with its epicenter 15.5 miles east-northeast of Lampa, Chile. No damages or injuries have been reported from the quake.
- The last fugitive still at large after an Alabama county jail break, Brady Kilpatrick, was apprehended Tuesday evening in Tequesta, Florida. Two individuals found with Kilpatrick were also taken into custody and all three will be extradited back to Walker County in Alabama. The jail break was facilitated by inmates who used peanut butter to change the numbers of a cell door and a door to the outside of the jail, and then got an inexperienced guard to open the 'cell' door.
- According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, parts of Bastrop County in Texas have now entered into severe drought. It joins Comal County, the only other county in the state with the same dry conditions and officials are concerned because the lack of rain, combined with the kindle dry conditions, leaves the area vulnerable to wildfires just before the peak of the fire season. In order to help prevent fires, a burn ban has been in place since July 6, but the area has already fought several recent wildfires, including a blaze in Bastrop State Park that began from a lightning strike.
- In West Virginia, officials have begun to estimate the damages from recent flooding that has struck areas in the north and north central part of the state. Of the 11 counties affected by flooding, eight of them are currently under a state of emergency and officials would like that number to be expanded to include all 11 counties. Early estimates are already in the millions, which includes damages to at least 200 roads, 5 schools, and 600-700 homes, with damages also incurred to area infrastructure including water and sewer lines.
- The Suiattle Fire continued to grow in Washington State, expanding to nearly 180 acres by late Tuesday, as dry conditions and increased winds fueled the fire throughout the day and into the afternoon. Although the fire is moving towards U.S Forest land and away from homes and structures, the smoke is decreasing air quality levels in and around Darrington. Weather conditions are also carrying smoke from wildfires burning in British Colombia into the area, further impacting air quality levels, which have moved to moderate, or unhealthy for sensitive individuals such as those with emphysema or asthma.
- Over 840 wildfires in British Colombia have already scorched nearly 1.7 million acres (2,647 square miles) since the beginning of April, and fire officials believe record-breaking temperatures amid hot and dry weather will worsen current and near future conditions. Smoke from the fires is also hindering visibility for crews and inhibiting the use of aircraft to fight the fires, making it difficult firefighters to gain control of the flames. Currently, 138 fires are burning across the province, with nearly 3,700 personnel fighting the fires that have also destroyed at least 300 structures--including homes, outbuildings, and businesses.
- Clean-up continues in Grandview, Missouri following flooding from the Little Blue River after heavy rains caused it to overflow its banks last Thursday. According to city officials, floodwaters damaged at least 38 residential and business structures, many without insurance, and flooded two parks, but damage assessments for roads, bridges, and city owned structures has not yet been completed. City officials estimate that so far, damages likely exceed $1.6 million, and are encouraging residents to report related floodwater damages in the hopes the city may qualify for state or federal disaster funding assistance.
Update: The man involved in the exchange of gunfire with police is dead https://t.co/96FRxLSB0z
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