Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Austin on High Alert Following Another Blast that Injures Two

EDM Monday Briefing: Austin on High Alert Following Another Blast that Injures Two

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 19, 2018: A trip wire likely set off a blast in Austin that injured two bicyclists, a Tampa police officer was shot multiple times while trying to serve an arrest warrant early Monday, a strong storm system is poised to deliver severe weather to the southeastern United States today, a civil lawsuit is to be filed Monday after the deadly FIU bridge collapse, travelers at three airports may have been exposed to the measles, and a major 20 vehicle crash on I-270 in Maryland injures four.

  1. Austin, Texas police say that two bicyclists were injured in a blast that may have been detonated by a trip wire. Authorities are frantically trying to determine if this incident is related to the three recent package bombings that have sparked widespread fear among residents. The alleged trip wire blast occurred in a suburban neighborhood known as Travis Country at around 8:30 p.m., and police are cautioning area residents to be extra vigilant and avoid going near or picking up suspicious/unattended packages, backpacks, or bags, and to immediately alert authorities.
  2. A Tampa, Florida police officer was shot multiple times while attempting to serve an arrest warrant to a suspect at around 2:40 a.m. Monday. Officials said that the suspect opened fire on Officer Rich Lehr when he attempted to serve the arrest warrant, striking him multiple times. A standoff ensued, until the suspect, Walter Jeziorski, 35, called his mother, who was finally able to convince him to surrender
  3. A strong weather system is poised to move through the southeastern United States on Monday, bringing high winds, damaging hail, and even tornadoes. Weather forecasters state that the storm is likely to impact areas from Nashville to Chattanooga, and Birmingham, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa in Alabama, from Monday afternoon in the evening as warm, moist, and unstable air is pulled into the region. Hail the size of tennis balls, winds of near 70 mph, and tornadoes are most likely to occur in the central and northern parts of Alabama with this strong storm system.  
  4. The first civil lawsuit is set to be filed after the deadly pedestrian bridge collapse at Florida International University last Thursday. The bridge, which had been put into place in just a short time the previous weekend, suddenly collapsed onto the roadway below, crushing eight vehicles and killing six people. Earlier in the week, an engineer had called the Florida Department of Transportation, noting that a crack was in the bridge's concrete, but indicated it was not a safety risk. 
  5. Individuals traveling through the Newark, Memphis, and Detroit airports may have been exposed to the measles, after two separate international travelers were diagnosed with the highly contagious disease. One individual, who had been traveling abroad, landed at Detroit Metro Airport on March 6, while the other individual, a child, traveled from Brussels, Belgium, and connected in Newark to a flight bound for Memphis. Health officials urge anyone recently traveling through these airports to watch for any signs of the measles, which can be life-threatening, including rash, high fever, or cough, that could occur up to April 2.  
  6. Twenty vehicles were involved in a crash on Interstate 270 in Maryland early Monday morning after a tractor-trailer carrying stones and gravel lost its load. The major crash occurred in Germantown, a town about 24 miles northwest of Washington, DC, injuring 4 people, although a total of 24 individuals were evaluated at the scene. The crash closed all the lanes of the interstate for several hours as first responders provided medical care and multiple law enforcement agencies worked together to investigate the crash. 

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.