Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Winter Storm Wreaks Havoc Across Southeast

EDM Monday Briefing: Winter Storm Wreaks Havoc Across Southeast


Emergency and disaster management briefing for December 10, 2018: Lubbock, Texas receives over 10 inches of snow from same system that inundated Southern California with rain, four people have died in South Carolina in the latest winter storm to hit the Southeast, a new study reveals Seattle's water supply is at high risk for failure should a major earthquake strike the region, Alaska touts preparedness for rapid infrastructure repairs after its major earthquake, a man was arrested in Atlanta after shooting two people at a downtown hotel, the Caribbean Islands are ramping up tsunami preparedness with a new educational awareness campaign, the CDC is warning consumers about the dangers of eating raw cookie dough this holiday season, and four people are missing in West Virginia after entering an abandoned coal mine.

  1. The same weather system that dumped heavy rains on Southern California late last week wreaked havoc on Texas Friday into Saturday. The storm dropped nearly 10.5 inches of snow on Lubbock, Texas, while torrential rains caused multiple bayous in Houston to overflow, with flooding at Highway 59. The storm knocked out power for more than 1,720 customers, caused over 1,450 flight cancellations and delayed 1,596 flights before it moved off to the southeastern United States.  
  2. Four deaths in South Carolina are being attributed to the powerful weather system that moved into the Southeast late Saturday and into Sunday and brought snow and sleet to Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. According to utility companies, more than 265,000 people remained without power across the region as of Monday morning, as snow, sleet, freezing rain, and heavy rainfall continues to impact portions of the area. At least 100 school districts across the region cancelled classes for Monday due to the snowy weather, and winds along North Carolina's Outer Banks gusted up to 70 mph.  
  3. New information released from a Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) study reveals that should a catastrophic earthquake strike the region, the city's water supply would be partially devastated. According to the SPU study, a major earthquake would knock out elevated tanks, pump stations, reservoirs, and standpipes in various neighborhoods, disrupting some water supplies indefinitely. Seismic upgrades are estimated to cost $850 million for at-risk facility projects, and are slated to be completed through 2075, although some experts say the estimated cost is low.  
  4. Preparedness was the key to the limited damage and a quick recovery for Alaska after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck last week. Although the quake knocked out power and damaged multiple roadways, plans put in place by the Alaska Department of Transportation to quickly restore roadways was the key to successfully reopening roads--many of which were repaired within days. Asphalt companies, already shut down for winter, were also prepared--and had immediately switched on their plants to begin making asphalt, a process which can take at least a week. Crews battled bitter winter weather, including 65 mph winds and snow, along with hundreds of aftershocks, some of which destroyed work already completed, to make repairs and reopen roadways.  
  5. Police in Atlanta have arrested a man for shooting two men at a hotel in downtown Atlanta very early Sunday morning. According to police, the man was allegedly highly intoxicated and was being assisted back to his room by two men, when the suspect shot them. The shooting occurred at the Omni Atlanta Hotel on the 28th floor, and the two men, ages 31 and 37, who were shot, were listed in stable condition at a local hospital.  
  6. The last major tsunami to hit the Caribbean Islands was in 1946 following a major 8.1 earthquake that hit the Dominican Republic, followed over the years by just a few smaller tsunamis. Emergency management officials are concerned that majority of the islands remain unprepared for a major tsunami--even though populations on the area islands have more than doubled, and tourism has reached record numbers, surpassing 30 million in 2017. An educational push known as Caribe Wave is helping spur efforts and so far, Puerto Rico, Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis have bumped up preparedness efforts, while Grenada and Haiti have launched pilot programs.  
  7. https://twitter.com/PCivil_Ve/status/1071562571642134528

  8. As the holiday season gets into full swing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning consumers against eating raw cookie dough when making cookies. The CDC points to flour and eggs as the main culprits for carrying bacteria, noting that flour is raw and can contain E. coli, while eggs may contain salmonella. The CDC notes that eating raw dough that contains these products could make the consumer sick, and produce symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, prompting the CDC to tell consumers, "Say No to Raw Dough."  
  9. A search and rescue team (SAR) was called in to look for four people who may be trapped or lost in an abandoned coal mine in West Virginia. The SAR team entered the mine around 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, and were joined by several local agencies, including the Raleigh County Sheriff's Office, but little information regarding the incident or the missing individuals has been released by authorities. The group vanished Sunday morning, and an ATV that officials believe the four were riding, was found just outside the mine entrance, prompting the governor of West Virginia to implore everyone to stop entering the mines and placing themselves and first responders at risk

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.