Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Tropical Storm Sally Forecast to Become a Hurricane
EDM Monday Briefing: Tropical Storm Sally Forecast to Become a Hurricane

EDM Monday Briefing: Tropical Storm Sally Forecast to Become a Hurricane

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for September 14, 2020: Two L.A. Sheriff's deputies are in critical condition after being shot in an ambush; a systemwide computer issue brought the BART train service in the Bay Area to a complete halt on Sunday morning; Tropical Storm Sally is forecast to gain hurricane strength prior to making landfall along the northern Gulf Coast; Spokane air quality levels were nearly indexed-out on Sunday and hazardous levels are expected to continue due to wildfires; nearly 9,000 customers still remain without power in Utah as fire risk prevents power restoration in some locations; Red Flag Warnings are in place for northeastern California as over 16,700 firefighters continue to battle 29 major wildfires; heavy rainfall across Middle Tennessee led to flash flooding in and around Nashville and closed a portion of I-24; and the NHC is monitoring multiple systems in the Atlantic Basin, including two Tropical Storms.

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1) In an unprovoked attack, two Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies were ambushed and shot on Saturday evening while sitting in their police vehicle in Compton, California. The officers, a 31-year-old mother and a 24-year-old man, were both shot multiple times by the suspect and taken to the hospital, where both underwent surgery and remain in critical condition. A $100,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect, who was described only as a dark-skinned male between the ages of 28-30 wearing dark clothing.

2) A systemwide computer issue halted BART service in the San Francisco Bay Area on Sunday morning at around 8:00 a.m. and finally ended around 12:30 p.m. According to reports, the computer system went into fail-safe mode after a communication problem, immediately and effectively shutting down the entire BART system and stopping all trains. The disruption in service impacted thousands of people, leaving them stranded for hours or forcing them to take lengthy bus rides to their final destination.

3) Tropical Storm Sally is slowly moving to the west-northwest as it gradually strengthens and is forecast to reach hurricane strength by Monday night. The storm is expected to slow down, make a turn to the northwest and then make another turn more northward on Tuesday. Sally will likely be a hurricane prior to making landfall somewhere along the northern Gulf Coast, and interests within the forecast path should monitor local authorities for changing conditions.

4) The Spokane Clean Air Agency recorded hazardous air quality levels in the city over the last several days. Smoke from wildfires burning in California, Oregon, and Washington have created the hazardous air quality, which is heavy with particulates that can cause asthma attacks, chest pain, coughing, and other upper respiratory issues. Although the Agency forecasts a slight improvement in air quality this week, levels are expected to remain in the hazardous range.

5) Nearly 9,000 customers in Utah are still without power following hurricane-strength winds that whipped through the state last Tuesday. Neighborhoods near South Ogden and Salt Lake City were hardest hit, with four communities still having the most reported outages, including Holladay, Federal Heights, Millcreek, and Upper Avenues. Cities have also made collection sites for heavy debris from downed trees and damaged buildings available until September 20, but times and locations vary.

6) Wildfires in California have scorched over 3.15 million acres, killed at least 22 people, and destroyed or damaged over 4,700 structures. CalFire reported on Sunday that more than 16,750 firefighters are working to contain the 29 major wildfires currently burning across the state, many of which have prompted evacuations that are in progress or remain in place. A Red Flag Warning is also in effect through this evening for northeastern California due to low humidity and gusty winds, which are likely to hamper firefighting efforts in that region.

7) Heavy rainfall led to flash flooding across Middle Tennessee and closed a portion of I-24 near Bell Road. Roadways were inundated in and around Nashville after rainfall of between two and six inches fell across the area Sunday morning. Multiple water rescues were reportedly conducted by first responders in Nashville, Lawrence, and Williamson Counties, with flooding affecting cars, homes, and roads throughout those counties and several others.

8) The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is watching multiple systems in the Atlantic Basin, including Hurricane Paulette, Tropical Storm Teddy, two tropical depressions and one tropical wave just off the coast of Africa. Hurricane Paulette has sustained winds of about 95 mph and is expected to move off Bermuda and turn to the northeast later today. Teddy is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane over the next several days, and Tropical Depression Twenty-One is forecast to possibly gain Tropical Storm status for a short time over the next 24-hours, before it begins to steadily weaken.

 

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.