EDM Wednesday Briefing: Hurricane Matthew, Coastal States Prepare, Hoboken Train Crash, Police Release Videos
Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 5, 2016: Hurricane Matthew makes landfall in Cuba, Matthew hits Haiti hard, U.S. officials issue watches and warnings for East Coast states ahead of storms, investigators recover a black box recorder from the Hoboken train crash, the Soberanes Fire nears full containment, both the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and Los Angeles police release videos, and protests in El Cajon, CA result in arrests.
- Hurricane Matthew made landfall near the town of Les Anglais in the western Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti early Tuesday morning as a strong Category 4 storm with wind speeds of 145 mph. After delivering devastating winds and torrential rains to the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, it made landfall about 11 hours later near Juaco, Cuba. Hurricane Matthew is back over open water, with maximum sustained winds of around 125 mph, still a strong Category 3 storm.
- In Petit-Goâve, Haiti, impacts from Hurricane Matthew caused the Ladigue Bridge to wash out. The bridge is the connection point from Southern Haiti to the rest of the country, making access to the hardest hit region extremely difficult. Landslides have already been reported in the hard hit area, and flooding has inundated towns, with one city, Les Cayes, being reported as completely under water. Several deaths have been reported, most due to drownings, but officials caution that the toll is likely to rise as response and relief efforts continue.
- On Tuesday, watches and warnings were issued by the National Hurricane Center for coastal areas of Florida, from the Keys to Jacksonville, and north into Georgia as Hurricane Matthew tracks north-northwest on its march through the Caribbean. North and South Carolina are also on alert, and evacuations are set to begin Wednesday along coastal areas of South Carolina ahead of the storms potential impact. On Tuesday, South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley, declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm and ordered an evacuation to begin Wednesday for over a million people along coastal areas of the state. The emergency declaration allowed the governor to mobilize the National Guard's 1,800 members to assist with the evacuation and preparations ahead of the impending storm. North Carolina and Florida have also declared a state of emergency and Florida Governor Rick Scott has warned residents to be prepared for a possible impact from Hurricane Matthew.
- Officials investigating the Hoboken commuter train crash that occurred last week recovered the second black box recorder from the front car. Investigators also found the train operator's cell phone and other personal belongings, along with a front facing video, crucial to reconstructing the incident to determine its cause. Access to the train has been hampered due to the asbestos laden debris when portions of the terminal collapsed as a result of the crash. The historic Hoboken Terminal station was built in 1907, after a fire destroyed the original structure.
- Firefighters have been slowly winning the fight against the Soberanes Fire near Big Sur in California, which has been burning since July 22 and began Garrapata State Park from an illegal campfire. The fire, which is now about 95 percent contained, has consumed a total of 132,092 acres - 94,898 of which burned in the Los Padres National Forest. The fire has destroyed 57 homes and 11 other structures and is currently threatening an additional 410 structures. More than 1,000 fire personnel are currently involved in the incident, including 16 crews, 23 engines, 15 helicopters, and 7 bulldozers. The fire has also caused nine injuries and one death in the 11 weeks it has been burning. Officials expect to have the fire fully contained by Saturday, October 15, 2016.
- Protests continued last night in Charlotte, NC after the death of Keith Lamont Scott on September 20, with protestors walking against the flow of traffic and holding signs. The protests were noted as being mostly peaceful and came after the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police released the video in its entirety, over 16 minutes of footage, from the police-involved shooting. A large police presence escorted the protestors in a march to Marshall Park where a moment of silence was held for the victim.
- In another video released by police, this one in California, footage shows a man, Carnell Snell, Jr., with an alleged gun aimed at police. Snell was killed a short time later in an officer-involved shooting. Protests continue in the area, and in the recent weekly Los Angeles Police Commission meeting, the victim's great-aunt stated that the "gun was never meant to be a threat to the Police Department." This was the second officer-involved shooting to occur in the state in just one week.
- In El Cajon, CA, located just outside San Diego, where police released two videos of the fatal Alfred Olango officer-involved shooting, a recent poll indicates that majority of citizens in the area believe the shooting was justified after viewing the videos. Protests have been ongoing in the area, and on Monday night, at least a dozen individuals were arrested for failing to leave the scene when police officers declared the protests unlawful after a fight broke out. Most left the scene, but after repeated warnings, 12 individuals refused to leave, resulting in their arrests.
- Ongoing drought conditions in New England have New Hampshire dairy farmers scrounging for feed for their cows to get them through the lean winter months ahead. Low milk prices and the drought have contributed to the need, as only a small portion of corn and hay was able to be grown by many farmers, reducing available feed and limiting their income. Historic losses have compelled the board of a newly funded dairy farm emergency fund to quickly act to get money to farmers by December 7, when state legislators are sworn in.
- Johnson & Johnson is warning patients with diabetes who own the J&J Animas OneTouch Ping insulin pump that it has a secret vulnerability that can be exploited by hackers. If the pump is hacked it could result in an insulin overdose to patients, although the company indicated that the risk was low. The pump attaches to a body catheter and administers the insulin directly, and anyone attempting to hack the pump would need to be in close proximity to the individual and the pump.
— Florida Storms (@FloridaStorms) October 5, 2016
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