Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Tropical Storm Gordon; Cereal Recall Update

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Tropical Storm Gordon; Cereal Recall Update


Emergency and disaster management briefing for September 5, 2018: Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall Tuesday west of the Alabama-Mississippi border, severe storms across the Midwest prompt a state of emergency across 5 counties due to flooding, remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon will dump heavy rainfall and increase flooding threats across a large swath of the United States through early Saturday, an officer was shot and a suspect is dead after an exchange of gunfire at a Georgia Walmart, an active Alaskan volcano prompts an aviation threat level change from yellow to orange, Hurricane Florence now has the potential to strike the East Coast of the United States, the CDC is urging consumers to throw away any Kellogg's Honey Smacks they may still have as the multi-state salmonella outbreak continues, central Japan is hit with its strongest storm in 25 years as Typhoon Jebi kills seven, injures more than 300, and causes widespread damage, and an Emirates Airlines flight is in quarantine at JKF after it declared a medical emergency before landing after multiple passengers report feeling ill inflight.

  1. Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall west of the Alabama-Mississippi border late Tuesday night, as powerful winds prompted tornado warnings across south Alabama and into Florida. One child was killed in Pensacola, Florida, when winds knocked down a tree that fell on a mobile home, killing the child. The storms 70 mph winds knocked down trees and power lines throughout the area, and as of Wednesday morning, utility companies reported that at least 21,000 customers, most of whom were in the Mobile, Alabama area, remained without power.
  2. Severe storms battering the Midwest have led to dangerous flooding across the area, including in Riley County, Kansas, where towns have turned into lakes. Residents scrambled to evacuate when nearby Wildcat Creek flooded their town at 21 feet above its crest level. According to reports, hundreds of residents had to be evacuated by boats when rains that were a once-in-500-year-event flooded Manhattan, Kansas, and a state of emergency was declared by the governor of Kansas for five counties due to flooding--Jewell, Kingman, Marshall, Pratt, and Riley counties. 
  3. The remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon are likely to impact the Midwest, along with the Plains, the Mississippi Valley, and possibly even the Great Lakes region with heavy rain and flash flooding along its path. Forecasts call for anywhere from 2 to 5 inches of rainfall, with localized higher amounts possible, which will also increase the potential for flooding within these areas. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted that continued rainfall across Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa is possible through early Saturday, with some areas potentially seeing up to 12 inches of rainfall.  
  4. One of the officers responding to a shoplifting call at a Walmart in Covington, Georgia on Monday afternoon, was shot by a suspect and remains in serious condition at Atlanta Medical Center. Matt Cooper, 34, was shot when he and the other responding officers grabbed two suspects and a third suspect opened fire at them. Cooper was shot in the head as police exchanged gunfire with the third suspect, Aaron Damonte Fleming, and Fleming was shot and killed at the scene.  
  5. Scientists increased the aviation threat level on Tuesday for an Alaskan volcano that again has become active. Mount Veniaminof, which is located on the Alaskan Peninsula--about 430 miles southwest of Anchorage--became active on Saturday and is currently spitting small and sparse ash emissions. Scientists indicated recent changes could spark sudden explosions that spew ash above 20,000 feet--threatening international air planes, which prompted the warning level increase from yellow to orange.  
  6. Hurricane Florence is still far from land as is churns across the Atlantic Ocean, but forecasters now say that the first major hurricane of the 2018 season may shift east, increasing its potential for impacting the United States. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has shifted the path of Hurricane Florence to the left after a subtropical ridge weakened that was previously steering the storm away from land. Earlier tracks showed a recurving of the storm out to sea, but the new track increases the potential for an East Coast landfall, albeit not until next week. The NHC noted that it will be this weekend before they are able to determine if the hurricane will make landfall in the U.S., but cautioned that residents should remain alert for any changes in the storm's track and watch for updated forecasts.  
  7. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is cautioning consumers to avoid eating Kellogg's Honey Smacks as the salmonella outbreak continues across multiple states. The company issued a voluntary recall of the product in June, however the CDC noted that since mid-July, at least 30 people from 19 states have become ill. Retailers are being urged to stop selling any of the product they have remaining on hand, and consumers are being told to throw away any of the product that they may still have, regardless of the best-by-date, or return it to their place of purchase for a refund. Kellogg's states that it has not shipped any of the product to retail outlets since it ceased production in June--when it first learned of the potential salmonella contamination--and an investigation into the outbreak is still being conducted by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  
  8. Typhoon Jebi, the strongest storm to impact Japan in 25 years, left a path of destruction across parts of Japan's main island when it made landfall on Tuesday, downing power lines, ripping roofs off buildings, and damaging businesses. Stranded passengers at Japan's Kansai International Airport, which serves Osaka, were finally transported to the mainland, primarily by boat--and some by busses across a partially damaged bridge. The bridge was damaged during the storm when a tanker that was moored broke loose and slammed into the bridge, causing significant damage. The typhoon killed at least seven people and injured more than 300 as it packed winds of up to 130 mph and brought heavy rainfall to central Japan.  
  9. An Emirates Airlines flight carrying about 521 people declared a medical emergency and landed at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport Wednesday morning with multiple sick passengers on board the aircraft. First responders treated 10 passengers when they were called to the scene of Flight #EK203, which was traveling from Dubai to New York, after receiving reports that up to 100 passengers had taken ill onboard the airplane. The flight reportedly made a stop in Mecca, which is experiencing a flu outbreak, which could have contributed to the illness outbreak on board the airplane, which was quarantined once it landed at JFK.  

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.