Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Ill Children at a Camp in Lake Placid, Florida Taken to Area Hospitals

EDM Friday Briefing: Ill Children at a Camp in Lake Placid, Florida Taken to Area Hospitals

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 22, 2018: More than 30 children and several adults fell ill at a 4-H camp in Lake Placid, Florida; a former sales rep for Purdue Pharma alleges the company continued its misleading sales tactics for opioids after 2007 ruling; disaster declarations are issued for six counties in Texas that were inundated by floodwaters; search and rescue operations in the country's national parks—and their costs—have increased significantly in recent years; flooding at a Montana children's camp forces the airlift rescue of 140 children; protestors in East Pittsburgh shut down a major interstate Thursday night; Oregon enters it wildfire season early amid dry conditions as evacuation are ordered for a wildfire-threatened community; the NWS issued a critical fire weather statement for portions of the southwestern United States for Friday and Saturday.

  1. In Florida, more than two dozen children fell ill late Thursday at a summer camp in Lake Placid and were taken to two area hospitals. Officials stated that 33 children and 3 adults from the Clover Leaf 4-H Camp at Lake Placid started to feel nauseous, some were vomiting, others had headaches, and one child allegedly fainted, which prompted the call to 911. Highland County Fire and Rescue indicated that no cause had yet been determined and the last EMS units left the scene around midnight.
  2. Purdue Pharma may have continued its deceptive sales tactics after pleading guilty to a felony charge of misbranding in 2007 by the Justice Department and paying more than $630 million in fines. According to reports, Purdue's entire sales team was laid off this week and one former sales representative for the company alleges that the deceptive practices, meant to increase sales, still continued beyond 2007. Purdue and its competitors are being sued by 24 states and more than 400 counties for their part in fueling the opioid crisis that grips the nation and has resulted in the deaths of more than 200,000 people.
  3. Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued disaster declarations for six counties along the coast on Thursday after heavy rainfalls that began Tuesday, inundated the area. More than 200 water rescues were conducted in the city of Mission, Texas, along with several dozen in McAllen, where floodwaters reached as high as ten inches. Rainfall amounts were anywhere from 5 to 10 inches, with some locations receiving up to 15 inches of rainfall, which has caused the worst flooding in Texas since Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
  4. Search and rescue (SAR) missions at the country's National Parks have jumped considerably over the last 3-5 years, to a reported 2,890, and according to a new report, so have the costs to operate those rescue efforts. Search-and-rescue (SAR) operations cost taxpayers more than $3 million in 2017, with the Grand Canyon leading the nation for the most SAR missions at 10 percent of those conducted, with Yosemite trailing behind just slightly at 8 percent of the total rescues across the nation. Park service employees spent 71,000 hours involved in those SARs, while another 12,300 hours were spent by non-employees, such as volunteer SAR groups, military personnel or other resources.
  5. Children camping in Montana were rescued via the National Guard and Chinook helicopters after torrential downpours caused flooding that washed out the only access road to the camp. With only enough supplies to last until Friday, the decision was made to airlift 140 children to safety on Thursday from the Montana Wilderness Camp of the Bible near the small town of Augusta. The area was just beginning to dry-out after flooding from near-record winter snowpack when severe storms moved through the area, dumping significant rainfall across the region for three days, leading to the area flooding.
  6. Protestors in East Pittsburgh shut down the Parkway East, a major interstate in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania on Thursday night after hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the shooting of a teenage boy by police. The incident occurred when police stopped a vehicle they suspected had been involved in an earlier shooting. The boy who was shot, Antwon Rose, Jr., fled from police with another one of the vehicle's passengers and was shot three times by one of the police officers as he fled.
  7. Evacuations were ordered for the Three Rivers community in Jefferson County as strong winds whipped through the area Thursday night, quickly spreading the flames of the Graham Fire, which has now consumed at least 2,000 acres. On Thursday morning, a fire agency coordination center noted that multiple small fires were reported in Oregon after hundreds of lightning strikes occurred across the state from a lightning storm on Wednesday. Firefighters were able to quickly contain most of the 21 fires, but officials cautioned residents that Oregon is entering its wildfire season early this year due to an unseasonably dry spring.
  8. A critical fire weather statement has been issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) for parts of northern New Mexico and south-central Colorado for Friday. Strong surface winds, accompanied by very low relative humidity levels, will be affected by mid-level winds during peak afternoon heating, producing winds of 20-25 mph, with stronger gusts. Some areas of Colorado may also see dry thunderstorms, and the NWS predicts the critical fire conditions to shift to portions of the Great Basin and into northern Arizona on Saturday.

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.