EDM Friday Briefing: Tornadoes Likely Shifting To Mid-South Region, Increasing Disaster Risk
Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 19, 2018: Residents return for their first view of the devastated Mexico Beach, Florida after Hurricane Micheal swept through the area, severe turbulence in flight injures 15 passengers onboard a flight headed to Buenos Aires, officials in Scotland confirm a single case of Mad Cow disease, thousands of pound of ready-to-eat salads have been recalled by major retailers across the nation, authorities say that a missing 13-year-old Wisconsin girl is likely in danger, and a new study suggests an eastward shifting of tornadoes--increasing the disaster risk for mid-South states.
- Residents were finally allowed to return home to Mexico Beach, Florida, for the first time since Hurricane Michael came ashore and devastated the town as a near Category 5 hurricane. Majority of the homes were completely destroyed by the hurricane, leaving a pile of rubble, and so far, 35 deaths have attributed to the disaster. Infrastructure is still interrupted, including water, and power, and as a result, autopsies to identify some of the deceased have been delayed due to the lack of running water, although the facility does have a generator.
- At least 15 passengers were injured when an Aerolineas Argentinas flight encountered severe turbulence inflight while en route to Buenos Aires. Flight AR1303 took off from Miami International Airport Thursday morning, and during the cruise phase of the flight, hit severe turbulence, injured passengers--eight of whom were taken to the hospital--and caused some minor damage to the interior of the plane. Social media pictures show debris strewn about the cabin and oxygen masks hanging from the overhead compartments.
- Officials in Scotland have confirmed the presence of Mad Cow disease on a farm in Aberdeenshire. The single incident poses no threat to the public, and government officials noted that the disease, known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) did not enter the food supply. The disease can be contracted by humans who eat infected meat, and is fatal to both humans and cows, and officials were unsure how the the farm became infected, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicated that it likely comes from contaminated feed that is fed to the cows.
- Thousands of pounds of ready-to-eat salads are being recalled due to the possible contamination of Listeria and salmonella. Three major retailers--Trader Joe's, Walmart, and Whole Foods--along with 7-Eleven, issued a recall for a combined 2,811 pounds of salads on Wednesday, citing concerns of Listeria or salmonella contamination of the corn used in the salads. Seven different salads were identified in the recall, all of which were produce earlier in October, and the USDA recommends the product not be consumed and instead be discarded or returned for a refund.
- The 13-year-old girl from Wisconsin--whose parents were found shot to death--is reportedly not a suspect, but is still missing and according to authorities, is still in danger. At least 100 volunteers were coordinated in a major search on Thursday that saw searchers combing through fields and ditches, but they ultimately came up empty. No tips or information have been received by authorities to warrant another ground search, and a plan of action going forward was to be outlined on Friday by law enforcement officials.
- A new study suggests that the part of the country made famous as "Tornado Alley" may be losing that distinction as the threat of tornadoes appears to be spreading eastward. The study identified a significant increase in the trend of tornadoes in portions of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, and Missouri. Since the mid-South is more densely populated, and homes in the area are considered more weak-framed, there is an increased risk of disaster in the region. Trees are more prevalent, and wetter, rain-wrapped storms make tornadoes harder to spot.