Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: New Evacuation Orders for Cameron Peak Fire
EDM Friday Briefing: New Evacuation Orders for Cameron Peak Fire

EDM Friday Briefing: New Evacuation Orders for Cameron Peak Fire

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 9, 2020: Cybersecurity vulnerabilities are increasing as more people work remotely; residents along the northern Gulf Coast are bracing for an impact from Hurricane Delta; state government offices and many schools are closed Friday across Louisiana due to Hurricane Delta; major wind damage from severe weather across the northeastern United States may have been caused by a rare derecho; Duke Energy signed a fixed-price contract for decommissioning of its Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida, which raised safety concerns; the Glass Fire has destroyed more than 635 homes and hundreds of other structures, including wineries, resorts, restaurants, and lodges; the FDA announced a recall of whole and cut cantaloupe sold by Meijer due to potential salmonella contamination; and new emergency evacuation orders were issued overnight by the Larimer County Sheriff's Office for the Cameron Peak Fire due to imminent danger from active fire behavior.

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1) Cybersecurity vulnerabilities have increased as more people work remotely due to the coronavirus. Recent research indicates that ransomware attacks in the United States have nearly doubled in the last three months. Home networks lack the security measures corporate networks employ, and phishing emails, along with malware attacks, are easy ways cyber criminals are able to exploit those often unsecured networks. The ability to monitor devices for malicious activity is also difficult, which could allow hackers to conduct business unnoticed, sometimes for weeks or months.

2) Portions of the Gulf Coast are bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Delta — including life-threatening storm surge — on Friday. The storm,  currently a major Category 3 hurricane, is moving to the north at about 12 mph, with sustained winds of 120 mph and higher gusts. Delta will make landfall along the Louisiana Gulf Coast sometime Friday evening, but is forecast to weaken slightly as it moves over the northern Gulf and gets closer to shore.

3) As Louisiana braces for the impact of Hurricane Delta, schools across the hurricane warning area have been closed and the National Guard has been activated to support emergency operations. State government offices all across Louisiana are also closed on Friday, and preparations for the storm should be rushed to completion. Officials are requesting that residents in the line of the storm do not venture out onto roads, avoid driving through standing water, and to closely monitor official watches and warnings and other information regarding the storm as it affects them.

4) Severe weather rolled through the northeastern United States on Wednesday, with wind damage occurring from Lake Ontario to Cape Cod. According to meteorologists, a rare derecho — a type of severe wind storm — may be responsible for the damages that occurred throughout the region. The National Weather Service (NWS) is surveying the damage from the storm, which cut a swath of about 130 miles wide and approximately 450 miles long. It also knocked down trees and power lines, which led to a broad expanse of power outages across the region.

5) Duke Energy is set to begin demolition of its crippled Crystal River nuclear power plant in Florida, a process that is now expected to take only seven years instead of nearly six decades. An advancement in technology has reduced demolition costs and Duke has signed a $540 million fixed-price contract with a newly formed company, Accelerated Decommissioning Partners, which raised concerns over safety should the deconstruction hit a snag. The plant, whose containment building was damaged during a construction accident during a 2009 upgrade project, was deemed beyond economic repair and shut down.

6) The Glass Fire has consumed a retreat on the site of one of the oldest resorts in California, the White Sulphur Springs Resort. It opened in 1852 and is listed as the first hotel resort in the state. According to reports, only two of many buildings remain standing on the property, which is located outside St. Helena in the North Bay Area. The Glass Fire has consumed hundreds of structures, including nearly 640 homes, 31 wineries, restaurants, and lodges, since it began on September 27. The blaze has scorched over 67,480 acres, has 1,963 personnel assigned to the fire, and continues to threaten over 20,300 structures. However, CalFire reports that full containment is expected by October 20.

7) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a voluntary recall from a grocery store for whole cantaloupe, along with select cut cantaloupe trays and bowls, due to a potential salmonella contamination. The grocery store chain, Meijer, sold the products at stores in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The products contained fruit that originated from Eagle Produce, LLC, in its store-made products. Whole cantaloupes under the recall include the Kandy Brand label from Eagle Produce, LLC, and cut fruit trays and bowls in clear packaging with the Meijer brand label.

8) New evacuation orders were issued for Pingree Park and Monument Gulch businesses and residences very early Friday morning by the Larimer County Sheriff's Office in Colorado, due to an imminent threat from the Cameron Peak Fire. Officials are urging those under the new evacuation order to leave immediately to protect their lives, and not to take time to gather personal belongings or attempt to protect homes or businesses. According to the National Weather Service, active fire behavior began around 1:30 a.m. Friday, and the blaze continues to remain active Friday morning.

 

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.