EDM Wednesday Briefing: California Flooding, Carbon Monoxide, Terror Plot
Emergency and disaster management briefing for February 22, 2017: Record rainfalls end California's drought but prompt evacuations, cause widespread flooding, a levee break prompts evacuations near Manteca, California Monday night, delayed evacuation orders for low-lying areas in San Jose, California strands people in their homes, carbon monoxide poisoning kills one, hospitalizes seven others in Anchorage, Alaska, New York City braces for seven years of delays from the construction schedule of the new Hudson River Tunnel, a Kansas City man is charged with plotting a terrorist attack, Nevada seeking to ban hydraulic fracturing statewide.
- Record rainfalls throughout the state of California on Sunday caused widespread flooding, inundating areas and shutting down roads and freeways. The Los Angeles International Airport saw a record rainfall amount of 2.78 inches, while Long Beach Airport had an all-time daily record amount of 3.87 inches of rain. This seasons rains have ended the years-long drought the state had been experiencing, but the record rainfalls also posed threats of debris and mudslides for recent wildfire burn areas, prompting some cities and locations to issue evacuation orders for its residents. Another strong storm is expected to move through the state this weekend.
- Hundreds of people were forced to evacuate an area just southwest of Manteca on Monday night after a levee broke on the San Joaquin River. Emergency Services of San Joaquin County were able to quickly repair the damage and some residents were allowed to return home Tuesday evening. The swollen river was a result of recent strong storms that moved through California over the weekend, dumping record amounts of rain across the state.
- The City of San Jose, California declared an emergency after at least 300 homes were damaged by flooding when a rain-swollen Coyote Creek overflowed its banks. City officials ordered the evacuation of the low-lying Rock Springs area, which was inundated with floodwater, but agreed the order came too late. The late order stranded many residents in their homes requiring firefighters to use inflatable boats to evacuate people to dry land.
- One person has died and seven have been hospitalized as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning in an Alaskan home on Monday morning. Police and firefighters responded to the report of a deceased individual in an Anchorage, Alaska home around 8:30 a.m. Upon further investigation it was determined that the home's boiler, located in the garage, had malfunctioned, causing dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide to build up. The individual who died, Trevor Noble, had been sleeping above the garage.
- New York City braces for travel delays as Amtrak begins construction on its new multi-billion dollar train tunnel under the Hudson River. The project is part of Amtrak's $24 billion Gateway Program that will help repair and improve infrastructure and service in the northeast transportation corridor. The new Hudson River tunnel is considered one of the most important transportation upgrades in the nation, but it comes with a seven year construction schedule and is most likely to impact a single block that is just east of the West Side Highway.
- A Kansas City man is being charged with planning an ISIS terrorist attack after he offered to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. An Army veteran, Robert Lorenzo Hester, Jr., a 25-year-old of Columbia, Mo., told FBI-undercover agents that he was willing to assist in a jihadist attack that would target trains, a train station, and buses in Kansas City on President's Day. If Hester is found guilty of the charges, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
- Nevada may become the third state to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of natural gas and oil from the ground. A bill introduced in the state in 2014 imposed some of the strictest regulations for fracking in the nation, but a new bill would ban the practice completely within Nevada. In defense of the new bill, Justin Watkins, D-Las Vegas cited research highlighting the risks to natural resources and human health that are caused by the hydraulic fracturing practice.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 22, 2017
— KCTV5 News (@KCTV5) February 21, 2017