Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Severe Weather Across the Southeast Spawns Tornadoes and Kills at Least Two

EDM Friday Briefing: Severe Weather Across the Southeast Spawns Tornadoes and Kills at Least Two


Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 2, 2018: Severe storms that spawned tornadoes in the southeast U.S. killed at least two people, emergency management officials warn the failure of a private dam in Arlington, Texas is imminent, severe storms kill at least 10 and bring torrential rainfalls and flooding to Venice, Italy, a sheriff's deputy in Texas is in critical condition after being shot while trying to serve a warrant, landslides have trapped at least 30 people in rubble in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Yutu, prosecutors now say the alleged pipe bomb sender committed a domestic terror attack, Southern California Edison announced its equipment may have been an ignition point for the deadly Thomas Fire in 2017, and a driver hits five children and two adults at a bus stop in Tampa, Florida.

  1. Severe storms rolled through the south and into the southeastern United States beginning Wednesday night, producing high winds, heavy rainfall, and tornadoes in various states.  Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi experienced tornadoes that damaged homes and businesses, and downed trees and power lines. Two deaths have also been blamed on the severe weather, including a sheriff's deputy who died after her car flipped into a rain swollen ditch, and a university student who died when she hit a downed tree that fell across the road.  
  2. Heavy rainfall across eastern Texas on Wednesday led to flooding in Arlington, where a private dam, the Prestonwood Dam, is now in imminent danger of failing. High winds and heavy rains knocked out power to thousands of people across the region, and caused flooding in Houston and Dallas, which resulted in swift water rescues near Houston. Several tornadoes touched down across the area, including two tornadoes in Fort Bend County, although no injuries or damages were reported.  
  3. Eleven people are dead in Italy after severe storms that brought high winds and torrential rainfall rolled through the nation. On Monday, amid the city's fourth highest recorded tide, an estimated three-fourth's of the streets of Venice flooded, resulting in multiple water rescues. In recent years, the low-lying city has been experiencing serious flooding about four times a year, an issue many are blaming on climate change and rising sea levels.  
  4. A Fayettville County, Texas, Sheriff's deputy is in critical condition at a hospital in Austin, Texas after being shot in the head while trying to serve a felony warrant to a suspect. Officers arrived at a store in La Grange to serve the warrant, but the suspect resisted arrest, so a stun gun was used, but he cut an officer with a buck knife before escaping and barricading himself in his apartment. Officers went to the apartment to try to serve the warrant again, but were fired upon immediately, and one deputy was struck in the head.   
  5. Typhoon Yutu slammed into the Philippines main island of Luzon on Tuesday, bringing high winds and heavy rainfall that triggered flooding and deadly landslides. Seven people have died and rescuers are racing to free about 30 people trapped in a building that collapsed in a landslide in a remote area in a mountainous region. Yutu was the second typhoon in just six weeks to impact the nation--super typhoon Mangkhut swept through northern Luzon on September 14, causing multiple landslides and killing 70 people
  6. Prosecutors now say that Cesar Sayoc, 56, the man accused of sending pipe bombs to high level politicians and other high profile targets, conducted a domestic terror attack. Sayoc was arrested last Friday in Florida, and according to investigators, a search of his laptop revealed he began planning the attack as early as July--and he had a list of more than 100 potential targets. None of the bombs exploded, however, investigators state that the bombs held shards of glass that were likely meant to maximize harm to the intended targets.  
  7. In a recent announcement, Southern California Edison stated that its equipment may have ignited the second-largest wildfire in the state's history--the Thomas Fire in December of 2017. The announcement comes after dozens of lawsuits have already been filed against the company, and witnesses reported flames near the company's power poles in Ventura County last December. The Thomas Fire killed two people, scorched 440 square miles, and destroyed more than 1,000 buildings in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.  
  8. Five times over a three day span, children at bus stops have been hit by drivers, the latest incident occurring in Tampa, Florida on Thursday. Two adults and five children were injured when a vehicle struck them while they were on the side of the street in a residential area. Drivers have also hit children in Mississippi, in another Florida city, and in Indiana--where three children were killed, and in Pennsylvania--where one child was struck and killed.  

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.