Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Sewage Spill, Bird Flu in US, North Korea Missiles

EDM Monday Briefing: Sewage Spill, Bird Flu in US, North Korea Missiles


Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 6, 2017: Some California beaches plagued by sewage spill from Mexico reopen, the Hyatt Power Plant at the Oroville Dam in California went back online Friday, WHO reports 1.7 million child deaths result from unhealthy environments, researchers predict Lyme disease outbreak for Northeastern United States, four banned ballistic missiles launched by North Korea, TSA deploying new pat-down procedures in airports across the United States, HPAI strain of bird flu found at Tyson Foods contracted poultry farm in Tennessee, and Colorado issues a red flag warning amid high winds and extremely dry conditions.

    1. California state officials gave residents and visitors the go ahead to use beaches on Coronado after being closed for weeks due to a sewage spill.  The spill resulted when a sewage transmission line in Tijuana was shut down for maintenance and raw sewage was diverted into the Tijuana River. Flows from the Tijuana River enter the United States in San Isidro and as a result, more than 14o million gallons of diverted sewage has contaminated beaches along the southern coast of California.
    2. The Hyatt Power Plant at the Oroville Dam in California is back on line after workers successfully removed enough debris to lower the level of water in the Diversion Pool. The plant restarted on Friday with two of its six turbines beginning operation, and was gradually ramped up throughout the day. Once the plant is fully operational, it will divert 14,000 cubic-feet of water per second, helping to lower lake levels without using the damaged main spillway.

    1. The World Health Organization reported that living in an unhealthy environment results in child deaths of approximately 1.7 million each year globally. A large number of those deaths occur in the one to five month age group with the primary causes of deaths being diarrhea, malaria, and pneumonia. The report indicates that these are preventable deaths and points to poor environmental practices that contaminate drinking water sources, and the use of cooking fuels that result in heavy air pollution, as primary factors in creating unhealthy living environments.
    2. Researchers studying Lyme disease and its transmittal patterns say after an overrun of mice in 2016, they are expecting an outbreak of Lyme in the Northeastern United States in 2017. Mice transmit Lyme with a high efficiency, so up to 95 percent of the ticks that feed on mice will become infected with the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that since 2001, the number of Lyme disease cases has more than doubled and part of the reason is the reduction in large forests that limit natural predators for mice.


    1. In a display of military power, North Korea launched four banned ballistic missiles on Monday, coinciding with joint military exercises being conducted by South Korea and the United States. The launch also follows China's decision to stop importing coal from North Korea which has major economic implications for the nation. According to the U.S. Strategic Command who tracked the missiles, the North Korean launch did not pose a threat to North America.
    2. A new pat-down procedure is set to replace the various methods currently used by Transportation Security Administration screening employees in airports across the nation. The new procedure has prompted a request that local law enforcement departments be notified of the new method in case they receive passenger complaints. So far, no concerns or reservations regarding the new pat-down procedures have been voiced by U.S. Airports.

    1. Strong winds and dry conditions have resulted in a red flag warning for extreme fire danger on Monday along the Front Range and on the Plains in Colorado from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Weather forecasters blame a lack of winter moisture and low humidity for the bone-dry conditions and warn that blowing dust across the Plains will reduce driving visibility. Blowing snow is also forecast for mountain areas, where a winter weather advisory is in effect.
    2. A strain of bird flu, the highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza (HPAI), has been found on a chicken farm in Lincoln County, Tennessee. The poultry farm is contracted with Tyson Foods, and it, along with approximately 30 other farms in about a six mile radius, have been placed under a quarantine. Tyson Foods said in a statement that it will work with federal and state officials and all 73,500 birds will be culled to contain the virus.


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.