Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Scalise Still in Critical Condition, Near Record Heat

EDM Friday Briefing: Scalise Still in Critical Condition, Near Record Heat


Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 16, 2017: House majority whip Steve Scalise is still in critical condition after being shot Wednesday morning, a homeowner in Tennessee holds escaped inmates at gunpoint until they are arrested, the death toll in the Grenfell Tower fire rises to 30, investigators are puzzled over the motive in the UPS workplace shooting that killed 3, a near record heat wave is forecast for California and the Southwest, officials urge caution to residents where extreme temperatures are forecast, a pilot parachuting to safety from a burning blimp sustains serious injuries, and severe weather persists across the Plains and Midwest placing people and communities at risk.

  1. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, is recovering following surgery for a gunshot wound he sustained during a shooting on Wednesday morning while practicing for the annual charity congressional baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia. The bullet ripped through his hip, fractured bones, injured internal organs, and caused severe bleeding, leaving him in critical condition. Matt Mika, a lobbyist, was shot multiple times and is also listed in critical condition, while the gunman, James T. Hodgkinson, shot during the incident by Capitol Police, has died from his injuries. A total of six people were injured during the shooting, which is currently under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
  2. On Thursday, a homeowner in Tennessee, along with his neighbor, held escaped Georgia inmates at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived to arrest the individuals. The inmates had crashed a car while being chased by police and ran into the woods on foot along Interstate 24 in the rural community of Christiana, Tennessee. During a prison bus transport on Tuesday, the inmates shot and killed two prison guards then hijacked a car to escape, sparking an intense three-day manhunt.
  3. The number of victims killed in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower fire in London continues to rise, with the latest count reaching 30, as fire officials continue the arduous task of combing through ashes and charred debris. The intensity of the blaze incinerated nearly everything in its path, creating hazardous conditions for fire fighters working in the tower and making victim identification extremely difficult, or likely impossible in some cases. 24 people remain in four area hospitals, 12 of which are in critical condition and up to 76 people are still missing
  4. A UPS driver in San Fransisco opened fire on his fellow drivers on Wednesday right before they left on their routes, killing three people and wounding two others. As workers fled the building and police closed in on the scene, the driver, Jimmy Lam, turned the gun on himself, ending the violence. Lam appeared to struggle with depression and had several off-duty driving violations, but investigators are puzzled as to his motive for killing his colleagues.  
  5. Near record heat is being forecast for inland and desert areas of the West and Southwest beginning this weekend and extending into next week. Forecasters are calling for temperatures in some areas to reach 5 to 15 degrees above average, pushing inland temperatures near 110 and desert temperatures near 120. Elsewhere, including in Los Angeles, expect temperatures to reach into the 90s, while Southern California beaches will remain anywhere from 10 to 30 degrees cooler than the inland areas. 
  6. The record heat being forecast in the West and Southwest has officials urging residents to be aware of heat stroke and heat exhaustion, both of which can be deadly if not treated promptly. The elderly and young children are the most susceptible, and alcohol increases dehydration, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and notes that drinking plenty of water is necessary to avoid dehydration, while the National Weather Service (NWS) recommends that midday strenuous activities be avoided to prevent becoming overheated. High energy demands are also likely due to increased air conditioner usage, and individuals can conserve energy by closing vents in unused rooms or turning off the unit if no one is home. 
  7. The pilot operating a blimp at the opening round of the U.S. Open on Thursday had to parachute to safety after the airship burst into flames and crashed near the Erin Hills Golf Course in Erin, Wisconsin. The crash might be attributed to a catastrophic failure of the blimp's skin, and the pilot, Trevor Thompson, who was wearing a fireproof flight suit, sustained serious injuries during the accident, including being burned over 40 percent of his body. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are currently investigating the incident.  
  8. The severe weather that has pounded states from Wyoming to Wisconsin and spawned more than 50 tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail will persist at least into the weekend across various states. The severe weather will continue to place people, homes, and communities at risk as the threat of heavy rains, flooding, damaging winds, hail, and dangerous lightning continue to impact states in the Plains and Midwest. Missouri and Arkansas are likely to see the most volatile weather systems beginning on Friday, but the system will push into Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and parts of Ohio over the weekend.

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.