Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Emergency Declaration Signed for American Samoa
EDM Monday Briefing: Emergency Declaration Signed for American Samoa

EDM Monday Briefing: Emergency Declaration Signed for American Samoa


Emergency and disaster management briefing for February 12, 2018: Three British nationals died in a helicopter crash during a tour of the Grand Canyon, a gunman is dead after killing four people in a Kentucky crime-spree, President Trump signs an emergency declaration for American Samoa following Tropical Storm Gita, two police officers were shot and killed in Ohio when responding to a 911 hang-up call, an unexploded World War II bomb was found in the River Thames, Puerto Rico municipalities lose power after an explosion and fire at its main power plant on Sunday, a gas canister explosion kills eight during a Bolivian Carnival Parade, and the CDC states that 63 flu-related child deaths have occurred so far this season.

  1. Three people were killed and four people were in critical condition after a helicopter crashed in a remote location in the Grand Canyon. The pilot, and a total of six passengers, all British nationals, were on board the tourist helicopter operated by Papillion Grand Canyon Helicopters when it crashed at around 5:20 p.m. along the west rim of the Grand Canyon, a difficult to reach location known as the Quartermaster Canyon. Specially trained first responders had to be airlifted into the canyon then walk to the crash location in order to assist the victims. 
  2. A gunman in Johnson County, Kentucky killed four people at two separate locations on Saturday before turning the gun on himself. Police were alerted to a shooting in the McKenzie Branch neighborhood at around 4:00 p.m. via a 911 call and when they arrived, found two people dead. They had begun looking for the shooter when another 911 call about a shooting at an apartment in Paintsville was received, and police found the bodies of three more people, including the gunman, who appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 
  3. On Sunday evening, President Trump signed an emergency declaration for the South Pacific Islands of American Samoa after the territory was hit by Tropical Storm Gita last week. Located about 2,550 miles southwest of Hawaii, the islands suffered damages after the storm caused widespread power outages and forced at least 300 people in Apia, the capital city of Samoa, to flee their homes to escape flooding. The declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate relief efforts and assist residents, many who are without clean, running water.  
  4. Two police officers were shot and killed by Quentin Smith, a convicted criminal, in the Westerville community–located just outside Columbus, Ohio–after responding to a hang-up 911 call from the home. Upon arriving at the home and making contact with the suspect, police officers exchanged gunfire with Smith, who was also wounded during the exchange, before being killed. The wife of the suspect was hiding in the bushes when she again called and spoke to 911 and told them her husband had shot the two police officers. 
  5. An unexploded World War II bomb was discovered in London's River Thames on Sunday morning when pre-planned work on the London City Airport was set to begin. The Royal Navy confirmed the ordnance to be an unexploded WWII device, and the discovery led to an immediate closure of the airport and perimeter in order to protect the public. All flights in and out of the airport have been suspended until the device can be properly removed and disposed of by the Metropolitan Police in conjunction with the Royal Navy.  
  6. An explosion and subsequent fire at the main power plant in Puerto Rico on Sunday cut power to several municipalities on the island. No one was injured in the blast, and as of late Sunday evening, the fire was nearly extinguished and power was slowly being restored to affected municipalities. Crews have been struggling to restore power across the island following a devastating Category 4 hurricane that hit five months ago and nearly wiped out the aging and outdated power grid, but more than 400,000 people still remain without power. 
  7. A gas canister exploded during a Bolivian Carnival parade, killing at least eight people and injuring 40 others. The explosion occurred on Saturday in the city of Oruro, Bolivia, about 155 miles south of La Paz, Bolivia’s capital, when hot oil spilled and burned through a hose connected to the gas, releasing it and causing the explosion. At least three children were killed in the blast.  
  8. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that influenza-type activity is still on the rise across the nation, and this season’s outbreak has the highest flu hospitalization rate during a flu season. The season has not been particularly bad for deaths, but a total of 63 flu-related deaths in children have occurred. The CDC expects this season to break records and encourages people to get the flu shot and to stay home and rest if they become ill

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.