Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Catastrophic Hurricane Iota to Make Landfall in Nicaragua Today
EDM Monday Briefing: Catastrophic Hurricane Iota to Make Landfall in Nicaragua Today

EDM Monday Briefing: Catastrophic Hurricane Iota to Make Landfall in Nicaragua Today

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 16, 2020: The NHC is warning that Hurricane Iota could make landfall today in northeastern Nicaragua as a catastrophic Category 5 storm; damaging high winds and heavy rain cut power to hundreds of thousands of residents across the Great Lakes; extremely adverse weather conditions prompted the closure of the Loveland Pass and I-70 in Colorado; a chemical accident killed one and injured four at a chemical plant in Bradley County, Tennessee; DHS cybersecurity officials are urging users to update Google Chrome due to zero-days vulnerabilities found in the web browser; the TVA has been fined $900K by the NRC for an incident that violated nuclear procedures; a rare tornado warning was issued for Manhattan and the Bronx amid high winds and heavy rainfall; and the successful launch of SpaceX Crew Dragon makes history as commercial space flight is now operational.

  1. Nicaragua and Honduras are bracing for the impact of Hurricane Iota, which the National Hurricane Center says could be a catastrophic Category 5 storm at landfall. The storm rapidly intensified into a Category 4 storm over a 6-hour period, with intense lightning and hail in the southwestern quadrant, a central minimum pressure at around 7:00 a.m. of 925 mb (inches of mercury), and sustained winds near 155 mph. According to the NHC, near-zero vertical wind shear, along with warm, moist air conditions will remain and be conducive for continued strengthening of the storm--possibly into a Category 5 hurricane-until it makes landfall later today in northeastern Nicaragua. https://twitter.com/NHC_Atlantic/status/1328306057060380672
  2. A line of severe weather brought high winds and heavy rainfall to the Great Lakes Region, toppling trees and power lines and cutting electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers. Michigan reported nearly 200,000 people were without power in the Detroit-Metro area as of Sunday evening, while over 100,000 residents in the greater Cleveland area in Ohio, had their power cut. The line of high winds toppled at least 1,000 power lines in Detroit, and a fire started in Troy, Michigan after a tree fell on a utility pole. https://twitter.com/WWJ950/status/1328321782655430657
  3. On Saturday, a winter storm prompted white-out conditions and a snow slide near I-70 in the mountains of Colorado that shut down Interstate 70--in both directions between Silverthorne and Georgetown. The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) was forced to close the I-70 interstate, due to extremely adverse weather conditions, along with many multiple-vehicle pile ups and spin outs. The extreme weather conditions also forced the closure of Loveland Pass, including Highway 6, while the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) also conducted avalanche mitigation work to minimize danger to drivers near Loveland Pass. https://twitter.com/DenverChannel/status/1327754966228877313
  4. A chemical accident at a plant in Charleston, in Bradley County, Tennessee, killed one person and injured four others. The incident occurred at the Wacker Polysilicon Plant at around 10:00 a.m. on Friday, when a small mixture of steam and hydrochloric acid were released during a maintenance operation being conducted by contract workers. Bradly County Emergency Management officials noted that the situation was immediately contained, no additional chemicals were released, and the public was never in danger. https://twitter.com/MYMIX1041/status/1327380535883276290
  5. U.S. Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity officials are urging users to update Google Chrome due to exploited vulnerabilities within the web browser. According to reports, Google has patched at least 5 zero-days vulnerabilities in the span of three weeks. Two recent potentially dangerous vulnerabilities discovered include an incorrectly handled security check and a memory corruption vulnerability.   https://twitter.com/HPKennie/status/1328328425103298561
  6. In a letter dated November 6, 2020, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was fined $900,000 by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for violating nuclear procedures and for covering up the incident that occurred during a reactor start-up. The fine dates back to an incident that occurred in 2015 where an improper start-up was initiated while the main pressurizer system was out of service. Those involved in the incident and subsequent cover up, were stripped of their licenses, and although the NRC indicated that the issues from 2015 were addressed, it was also noted that TVA did not articulate or document substantive or comprehensive corrective actions.   https://twitter.com/knoxnews/status/1326563349216301057
  7. A rare tornado warning was issued for Manhattan and the Bronx, among other locations in New York, overnight Sunday to Monday. Strong winds and heavy rainfall moved through the area, and at around 8:40 p.m., the National Weather Service (NWS)  issued the tornado warning after radar indicated a rotation in the clouds near Fort Lee, indicating that a tornado was possible. The high winds sent debris flying across the city, and over 100,000 customers were left without power in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/1328310367613751299
  8. A new, successful launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon was completed Sunday night from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The spacecraft successfully launched at 7:27 p.m., propelling four crew members, including one astronaut from Japan, into orbit for a nearly six-month stay on board the International Space Station. The launch makes history because, according to reports, it moves the SpaceX program from development and testing, into operational flights--as a commercial service. It also ends a nine-year gap in spaceflight that occurred when the Space Shuttle (SS) program was retired--a program that saw two catastrophic disasters--an explosion of the SS Challenger after lift off, and an explosion that occurred during SS Columbia's re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere. https://twitter.com/NPR/status/1328133560960741376

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.