EDM Thursday Briefing: Pacific Northwest Storms, Chicago Protests, New Focus in San Bernardino
Emergency and disaster management Thursday Briefing for December 10, 2015: Storms pummel the Pacific Northwest, Chicago Protests call for Mayor's resignation, the San Bernardino investigation focuses on neighbor, and various parts of world continue bracing for and recovering from historic flooding.
- Record-breaking storms continued in the Pacific Northwest, leaving at least two dead and thousands without power. Torrential rain led to damage from floods, landslides, mudslides and sinkholes.
- More than five inches of rain have fallen in Portland since Sunday, resulting in landslides and high water that have closed parts of many state highways and knocked out power to many homes in the region. Portland General Electric said that service had been restored to at least 55,000 customers across seven counties as of yesterday night.
- The Washington governor declared a state of emergency on Wednesday. Governor Jay Inslee's declaration also specified that the Washington National Guard could be activated if necessary. The most severe damage in Washington has occurred in Cowlitz, Lewis and Snohomish counties. Counties in the southern part of the state, near the Oregon, have also been hit hard.
- New protests in Chicago are again calling for the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel amidst allegations of a cover-up of misconduct by the Chicago Police in cases such as the Laquan McDonald shooting.
- Emanuel officially apologized for the Laquan McDonald police shooting on Wednesday and said that Chicago needs a painful and honest reckoning into what went wrong in the McDonald case and other cases that are currently under scrutiny. But Emanuel's calls for police reform did little to quell protests.
- Authorities have a new focus in the San Bernardino shooting -- suspect Syed Riswan Farook's former next-door neighbor Enrique Marquez. Officials said that Marquez supplied at least some of the guns used by Farook his wife Tashfeen Malik -- the other shooting suspect -- in the deadly attack.
- Marquez reportedly checked himself into a psychiatric hospital following the San Bernardino attack, and authorities are now investigating whether Marquez and Farook planned a previous terrorist attack in the Los Angeles area as early as 2012 that never came to fruition.
- Authorities identified another Paris attacker, naming Foued Mohamed-Aggad as one of three gunmen who killed 90 people at the Bataclan. A text message to his mother reportedly announced Mohamed-Aggad's death and identified him as a "martyr." Mohamed-Aggad's DNA was also matched, further confirming his role in the attacks.
- Weather experts are predicting that this year’s El Nino will be the strongest ever recorded, and FEMA is sounding an early alarm in some western states like California and Nevada. San Francisco and other California cities are bracing for storms and taking steps to minimize the toll.
- Experts are referring to the historic Chennai floods as an effect of both climate change and failed planning. The rains were the heaviest in a century and resulted in at least 280 deaths. Some are calling the floods symbolic of a global warming apocalypse for India, while others are calling the floods largely a man-made disaster.