EDM Monday Briefing: Winter Weather, Cyclone Vardah, Salmonella, Terror Attacks
Emergency and disaster management briefing for December 12, 2016
- On Sunday, nearly 1,400 flights were cancelled at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports amid winter storm forecasts, as the area braced for seven to twelve inches of snow. By 6 p.m. Sunday, nearly seven inches had fallen, making travel treacherous, and more snow was expected throughout the night as winter storm warnings were extended until at least midnight in the Chicago area. Bitter cold is set to follow the first winter storm of the season, Winter Storm Caly, with temperatures forecasted to drop into the single digits.
- Winter Storm Caly wreaked havoc on air travel over the weekend, and deteriorated runway conditions contributed to a Delta airplane sliding off the runway at Detroit Metro Airport on Sunday afternoon. Delta Flight 724 from Buffalo was making its way from the runway to the taxiway after safely landing when icy conditions caused the McDonnell-Douglas MD-88 to slide off the runway. Passengers were deplaned using the stairs located in the airplane’s tail. No injuries were reported and airport authorities are investigating the incident.
- Cyclone Vardah made landfall late Monday near Chennai, India, killing two people and dumping heavy rains across the area. The prolonged heavy rains are expected to impact the same area in Chennai that was devastated by severe flooding last December. Schools were closed and low lying areas were evacuated in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh early Monday in anticipation of the storm making landfall. Winds ahead of the approaching storm were reaching speeds of 87 mph, uprooting trees and downing power lines, and most flights at the Chennai airport were delayed or cancelled.
- A voluntary recall of potato chip and tortilla snacks has been issued by Shearer’s Foods LLC in Massillon, Ohio due to salmonella contamination. Recalled food brands include Deep River, Delish, Larry the Cable Guy, Essential Everyday, and Market Essential. The recall was issued after U.S. Marshals seized more than 4 million pounds of powered milk from the Valley Milk Products facility in Strasburg, VA at the request of the Food and Drug Administration who allege the company knew its milk powder products and its facility were contaminated with salmonella. Shearer's Food is just one of several companies recalling foods due to the contaminated powdered milk products. Others include Publix, Stonewall Kitchen, and several macaroni and cheese mixes, including Great Value (sold at Walmart).
- As Winter Storm Caly pushed through the upper midwest, Minnesota was hit with blustery winter weather after a relatively mild November. The winter weather made road travel particularly difficult, with the Minnesota State Patrol reporting 600 vehicle crashes and another 227 that spun out or off the road in a 24-hour period. At least 62 people were hurt, although no serious injuries were reported, and there were no fatalities resulting from the more than 800 vehicle incidents.
- An alleged terrorist bombing targeting Egypt’s Christian minority population occurred during a church service on Sunday, killing 25 people and injuring dozens. The bomb detonated in a smaller chapel next to St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo during the morning mass, mostly killing women and children. A memorial service was held Monday for immediate family members of the victims. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, now the nation’s most deadly attack against Christians, surpassing the number killed in the New Year's Day 2011 bombing in the city of Alexandria.
- At least 155 people were wounded and 38 killed in twin bombing attacks near a soccer stadium in Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday night. The bombs allegedly targeted police officers, with one bomb detonating near police special forces, with a riot bus the suspected target. The other blast occurred near Macka Park, less than a mile away, when an individual stopped there triggered explosives and committed suicide. Of those individuals killed, thirty were police officers, seven were civilians, and one individual has not yet been identified.
- In London, England, six people have been arrested on suspicion of terrorism. The arrests included five men and one woman and occurred Monday morning after police conducted a series of raids across England. The raids were led by the north-east counter-terrorism unit, and were a part of an investigation that was the strength of three units. The individuals are being held under the suspicion of engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism.
Snow caused a plane to slide off the runway in Detroit today. https://t.co/ZcMHoc2RAU
— Brian Basham (@TheBigBashonFox) December 12, 2016
— Harshavardhan (@Harsha_JTCBE) December 12, 2016