Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: E. coli Cases Grow and Expand to New States

EDM Monday Briefing: E. coli Cases Grow and Expand to New States

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for Aril 30, 2018: A man driving a stolen tractor-trailer intentionally rams vehicles in Colorado and injures 5, members from a caravan of immigrants seeking asylum attempted to cross the border into the U.S. on Saturday but were denied access, a TSA agent finds a knife in the shampoo of a Florida man's carry-on bag in Charlotte, North Carolina, the E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce has now sickened 98 people in 22 states, an under-reported New Mexico wildfire is growing by thousands of acres a day, flooding from the St. John River in Canada has forced city closures and the evacuation of residents from their homes, training at the Salvation Army has a strong focus on safe food handling, and an off-duty Arkansas police officer was killed in his home on Saturday.

  1. Five people were injured, including one police officer, when a stolen tractor-trailer was used to ram into vehicles on Saturday in Colorado, as law enforcement pursued it for nearly 20 miles before the driver abandoned the vehicle and fled into a house where he was taken into custody. The driver, known to law enforcement, intentionally rammed the tractor-trailer into ten vehicles, four of which were completely destroyed, including two police cruisers. Police reportedly also fired on the vehicle several times in an attempt to get the driver to stop, causing some injury to driver from shrapnel fragments. 
  2. In what is being said to be a deliberate attempt to clog the nation's legal system, a caravan of asylum seeking immigrants arrived at the Mexican/U.S. Border crossing in California and began their attempts to enter the United States on Saturday. Immigration officials, along with Customs and Border Patrol authorities at the San Ysidro port have noted that the crossing is at capacity and they are unable to take any more immigrants until space becomes available. Many of the migrants attempting to present at the border have come from as far away as Guatemala, and insist that they are attempting to enter the United States and seek asylum due to a credible fear for their lives in their home countries.  
  3. A man was arrested in North Carolina after attempting to take a knife onboard an airplane inside a mini shampoo bottle. The Florida man, Gonzalo Gonzalez, 72, was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina noticed something suspicious in his carry-on bag and found the knife. Passengers are permitted to transport firearms and knives when traveling via air, but only in checked luggage and they must be declared.  
  4.  The E. coli outbreak from romaine lettuce has now sickened at least 98 people in 22 states with the addition of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, in what is said to be the largest E. coli outbreak since 2006. A total of 46 people have been hospitalized so far, due to the outbreak, with 10 of those individuals suffering from a form of kidney failure known as HUS - hemolytic uremic syndrome. Although there have been no deaths, health officials believe that there will be more cases reported and are warning people to avoid any romaine lettuce unless they are 100 percent certain it was not grown in the Yuma, Arizona growing region, where they believe the contamination occurred.  
  5. A wildfire in New Mexico that began April 22, grew by nearly 8,000 acres on Sunday, but remains largely unreported according to an article in Wildfire Today. The OK Bar wildfire, which is burning in primarily remote area in southern New Mexico, has consumed over 37,000 acres and is now just about 8 miles north of the international border with Mexico. The area is under a red flag warning for Monday, with forecast winds between 25-35 mph, and humidity levels in the single digits. The article also notes that the fire is not being fully suppressed and has yet to be listed on InciWeb or the official fire information site for New Mexico. Although it has grown by several thousand acres each day, a national report also states that information about the fire will not be updated unless "significant activity occurs."  
  6. https://twitter.com/wildfiretoday/status/990224381099085824

  7. A rapidly rising St. John River in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada late last week caught residents and emergency management officials off guard. The area has recently been inundated with heavy rains and melting snow and although water levels have stabilized at just over 26 feet, more rain forecast for Monday could push the river even higher-causing it to rise by at least another foot. Much of the city was closed on Monday, including roads, schools, and government buildings, and many residents have been forced to evacuate their homes as a result of the rising floodwaters.  
  8. In Amarillo, Texas, advanced disaster training certification classes were offered over the weekend for those wishing to volunteer with the Salvation Army. Food handling is at the forefront of the training that is required for volunteers for the Salvation Army's disaster training, and the two modules offered centered on safe food handling and sanitation. These types of training classes are especially important since the Salvation Army is one of the first volunteer agencies to respond during a disaster and part of their services include providing food to those impacted by a disaster.  
  9. An off-duty Arkansas police officer was killed in his home Saturday by a stray bullet. Officer Olive Johnson of the Forrest City Police Department in Arkansas, was playing video games with his children at his home in West Memphis, when an argument outside his apartment turned violent and shots were fired. One of the bullets pierced the apartment and struck and killed Johnson.  

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.