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Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 20, 2018: More than a dozen people are dead following a tragic boat sinking on a lake near Branson, Missouri; Iowa was struck by several unexpected tornadoes that injured at least 17 people; a steam pipe explosion in New York City displaces 500 people from their homes; a Berkeley High School graduate pled guilty to federal charges that he sought to assist ISIS in killing 10,000 people in the Bay Area; a Salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey has now affected 26 states and hospitalized at least 40 individuals; firefighters struggle to contain 35 raging wildfires in Sweden amid prolonged drought and extreme heat; the opioid crisis may be impacting much-needed drug supplies at hospitals nationwide; and storms likely to produce severe weather move east toward the Ohio River Valley and southward to Tennessee.
- Tragedy struck a popular attraction in Branson, Missouri on Thursday when a duck boat capsized amid high winds and choppy, violent waves on Table Rock Lake, killing at least 13 people. Rescuers and first responders said the mass casualty incident occurred when a Ride the Duck Boat flipped, then sank, killing 13 and sending seven people to the hospital--four adults and three children--including two adults that were listed in critical condition. Dive teams from multiple law enforcement agencies searched for victims, but the search was suspended overnight and was set to resume sometime Friday morning.
- Strong storms moving through Iowa Thursday unexpectedly spawned several tornadoes that injured 17 people and caused widespread damage to several towns, including seven people at a factory near Pella. One of the tornadoes ripped through Marshalltown, the city that appeared to be the hardest hit, injuring ten people and damaging its small hospital. Patients were evacuated to another hospital, although the emergency room was able to be kept open to treat those injured during the tornado.
- A centuries-old steam pipe exploded in New York City on Thursday, sending a plume of white vapor nearly 10 stories high. Five people suffered minor injuries from the blast which left a crater about 20 feet by 15 feet in the street, impacted nearly 50 buildings, and temporarily displaced at least 500 people from their homes. There are about 28 buildings that are situated close to where the blast occurred, and concerns are high that the steam from the blast likely carried cancer-causing asbestos.
- A Berkeley High School graduate in California pled guilty to federal charges on Thursday after he reportedly told authorities in 2016 that he wanted to help ISIS kill 10,000 people in the San Francisco Bay Area. Amer Sinan Alhaggagi, 23, pled guilty to charges that he tried to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, possession of equipment to make a device, and identity theft. Alhaggagi also allegedly opened several social media accounts for ISIS in 2016, and told an undercover FBI agent how he would kill the 10,000 people in the Bay Area--with rat-poison-laced cocaine.
- A Salmonella outbreak that is being linked to raw turkey has now affected 26 states and hospitalized at least 40 people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that a total of at least 90 people have been affected by the bacteria, which has been found in raw turkey in various products and pet food, but a single source has yet to be identified. The highest number of cases have been reported in Illinois, Minnesota, New York and Texas and it has also been linked to live turkeys, indicating that the disease may be widespread throughout the turkey industry.
- Authorities in Sweden stated that 35 wildfires are currently burning across the country and noted that firefighters have struggled to contain the blazes amid a prolonged drought and exceptional heat. Wildfires across the nation have scorched nearly 49,500 acres of heavily forested lands, and are being fought by soldiers, coastguards, and civilian groups with the help of air support from Italy and Norway. In Ljusdal, the hardest hit municipality in south-central Sweden, several villages were evacuated overnight as wildfires threatened their homes.
- As the nation tries to get a grip on the opioid crisis, anesthesiologists and doctors in hospitals across the United States are facing a significant injectable opioid shortage. The drugs, which are regularly used in critical-care settings such as surgery, intensive care units, and emergency departments, have been in short supply, partly due to a lack of manufacturing facilities. In addition, these highly effective medications may have been impacted by recent efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) efforts to limit supplies in light of the ongoing epidemic. A production issue at one of the largest pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer--which has since been resolved--was also cited as recently contributing to the shortage of these effective medications.
- Residents in the eastern United States should remain alert as storm systems that spawned severe weather and tornadoes across the Midwest now push East. The highest chances of severe weather exist in the Ohio River Valley southward through Tennessee and into the Mid-Mississippi River Valley. These storms are likely to produce large hail, damaging winds, and flooding, while also bringing with them the possibility of tornadoes. Residents in these areas should remain alert to changing weather conditions and be aware of any watches or warnings issued by the National Weather Service (NWS).
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 20, 2018
Here is a look at the visible satellite loop of the destructive tornadoes in Iowa towns tonight. Heartbreaking situation here. pic.twitter.com/Olvf6Q0aWd
— Jim Cantore (@JimCantore) July 19, 2018
— Daniel Lizio-Katzen (@djlk) July 19, 2018
Salmonella outbreak linked to a variety of raw turkey products includes 90 people from 26 states. Always handle raw turkey carefully and cook it to 165°F. More info: https://t.co/y3ST5ODD5R. pic.twitter.com/S84VTJO8Fj
— CDC (@CDCgov) July 19, 2018
Sweden is battling dozens of severe, drought-fueled forest fires -- and they're not the only ones. Finland, Norway and Russia are also facing fires amidst record-breaking temperatures that have spread all the way to the Arctic https://t.co/Nh6b1uN49V pic.twitter.com/6mgNuuecJz
— CNN International (@cnni) July 18, 2018
Catch 22 - DEA tries to get a grip on opioid addiction and overdoses, while the FDA is hearing from doctors, hospitals and senators about injectable opiate shortage. https://t.co/EgmC4LS68u
— Crawford Library (@CrawfordLibrary) July 20, 2018
Storm Prediction Center now including Cincy in Moderate Risk due to better chance for large hail/tornadoes later today. Storms will weaken as they move to the east. Columbus and Central #OhioWX still in Slight Risk, mainly hail/wind. pic.twitter.com/jp5CGBrAOr
— Andrew Buck Michael (@AndrewWSYX6) July 20, 2018