EDM Monday Briefing: Tropical Storm Arthur Becomes First Named Storm of 2020 Hurricane Season
Emergency and disaster management briefing for May 18, 2020: Tropical Storm Arthur becomes the first named storm of the 2020 hurricane season; HHS secretary says no spike in coronavirus cases as states have begun reopening; hundreds of residents were evacuated as a wildfire near Phoenix quickly raged out of control Monday; telemedicine visits are likely to be a permanent part of healthcare going forward; an explosion in a building on fire in Los Angeles injured at least 11 firefighters; 2020 is likely to be a more active hurricane season than average; a troubling new criminal reality is emerging with required mask use; and Cyclone Amphan rapidly intensifies to Category 5 hurricane strength in the Bay of Bengal as it aims for impoverished areas of India and Bangladesh.
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1) The first named storm of the 2020 hurricane season formed Saturday off the coast of Florida. Coastal North Carolina is bracing for a brush from Tropical Storm Arthur, which is expected to douse the Outer Banks with one to three inches of heavy rainfall and rough surf. On Monday morning, TS Arthur was just 50 miles south-southwest of the Cape Hatteras with sustained winds of 45 mph
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) May 17, 2020
2) As states reopen, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar states that there has not yet been a spike in coronavirus cases. Secretary Azar says it is still early and that it will take time and monitoring of flu-like symptoms and other hospital admissions data to identify any new cases. The Secretary also noted that reopening strategies were in the hands of local governments, which would allow for specific community needs to be addressed.
The secretary of health and human services isn't concerned by photos of people without masks crowding together in large groups. ″You’re going to see people doing things that are irresponsible. That’s part of the freedom that we have here in America.”https://t.co/AqzB25wChq
— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) May 18, 2020
3) A brush fire that quickly raged out of control on Monday near Phoenix, Arizona, forced the evacuation of at least 150 homes. The wildfire ignited in the desert hills near the community of Cave Creek north of Phoenix, and it has consumed at least 1,500 acres. Hot and windy weather remains a challenge for nearly 400 firefighters assigned to fight the wildfire, which includes six hotshot crews and 10 engines, with a request for aircraft to be on standby for Monday.
— FoxNashville (@FOXNashville) May 18, 2020
4) In an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, doctors across the nation implemented telemedicine visits for patients. This new virtual visit with doctors is likely a permanent part of healthcare — one that is now covered by most insurance companies — and has already become a common practice among physicians. According to reports, many patients, even those who are older and less technologically adept, really enjoy telemedicine/telehealth visits, because they are convenient and can be conducted from their homes.
— Joel Kahn MD, FACC (@drjkahn) May 17, 2020
5) Firefighters were responding to a one-story building fire in Los Angeles on Sunday evening when an explosion occurred. The explosion set multiple nearby buildings on fire and injured 11 firefighters, some of whom who fought through a wall of fire to escape the roof via an aerial ladder. All of those injured were hospitalized with serious and varying degrees of burns to their bodies, including two who had to be placed on ventilators due to internal burns after they inhaled superheated gases.
Sobering video shows aftermath in LA as 11 firefighters were injured & buildings destroyed following explosion; The blaze is believed to have started at a business that makes ‘butane honey oil’
A criminal probe has been launched
( h/t @bayareafire343)
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 17, 2020
6) Overall conditions are likely to make the 2020 hurricane season more active than an average season. Warmer than average waters in the Atlantic Ocean, along with La Niña conditions in the Pacific, set the stage for a more active hurricane season. La Niña reduces wind shear, while warmer waters provide the fuel for tropical storms and hurricanes. The temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit is the critical number for storm development to occur.
Colorado State University has issued its 2020 hurricane season outlook and calls for an above average season with slightly higher chances of Carolina impacts compared to normal. Let’s hope it’s wrong, but remember it only takes one storm to make it a bad season. pic.twitter.com/aeV45wkDZW
— Jamie Arnold WMBF (@jamiearnoldWMBF) April 2, 2020
7) A troubling new reality and an unintended consequence may be emerging as a result of required mask use during the coronavirus pandemic. Law enforcement officials say that the protective masks provide a way for criminals to hide their faces, helping them blend in while they commit crimes. According to reports, wearing masks allows criminals to blend in with others and makes security videos much less useful because half the face is hidden.
Now that many people are wearing masks, police say criminals are able to blend in with others and avoid identification while committing crimes. https://t.co/Q6XWk8myJm
— WSYX ABC 6 (@wsyx6) May 17, 2020
8) Cyclone Amphan recently formed in the Bay of Bengal and rapidly strengthened to the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. The cyclone's path is set for the Ganges River Delta in India and Bangladesh. Although it is projected to weaken before making landfall, the storm will still be strong enough to cause significant damage to communities situated in the area. The cyclone is projected to make landfall among impoverished communities that are densely populated and have weak, unreliable infrastructure systems. These communities' resources are already stretched thin due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tropical Cyclone #Amphan has rapidly intensified into a Category 5 equivalent. A major storm surge threat is headed for parts of India and Bangladesh: https://t.co/DQI6qw2O52 pic.twitter.com/02x4maw6cN
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) May 18, 2020