Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: First Responders Rescued from Deadly Floodwaters
EDM Friday Briefing: First Responders Rescued from Deadly Floodwaters

EDM Friday Briefing: First Responders Rescued from Deadly Floodwaters

Start an Emergency & Disaster Management degree at American Military University.

Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 15, 2019: A mass shooting killed 49 at two mosques in New Zealand; Denver International Airport has reopened after a winter bomb cyclone produced near zero visibility and cancelled flights; 20 people are dead -- most of them schoolchildren -- after a building collapse in Nigeria; a Colorado state trooper was killed assisting a driver Wednesday during the blizzard; authorities in Florida are investigating how a handgun was brought to school after a student committed suicide; a Class I recall has been issued for over 78,000 pounds of raw ground turkey products; the USDA is urging residents affected by power outages and flooding to ensure food safety to avoid illnesses; and seven first responders had to be rescued from deadly floodwaters on Thursday night after their boat capsized.

1) A mass shooting in New Zealand has left 49 people dead and more than 20 seriously injured, in an attack on two mosques in Christchurch. Law enforcement also found two improvised explosive devices in a vehicle that may have been driven by the suspect involved in the shooting. A 28-year old man who claimed responsibility is in custody, along with three other people, and the commissioner of New Zealand ordered mosques nationwide to shut their doors until they heard from officials.

2) Denver International Airport was forced to close all runways Wednesday afternoon, after carriers cancelled all inbound and outbound flights due to weather conditions generated by a winter bomb cyclone. Denver was hit hard by blizzard conditions as the airport recorded 79 mph wind gusts and received several inches of snow, much of which was blowing sideways -- in whiteout conditions that produced near zero visibility -- and icy, snow-covered roads. As of Thursday midday, Interstates 25 and 70 remained partially closed as crews worked to clear stranded vehicles and drifted snow from the highways. At least 28,000 customers remained without power Friday morning.

3) A school building collapse on Wednesday in the West African nation of Nigeria, left 20 people dead, most of them children. According to officials, the three-story building that collapsed was marked for demolition and the school was operating illegally on the top two floors. The search for victims was halted Thursday, as rescuers stated they reached the foundation without finding any other victims.

4) A Colorado state trooper was assisting a driver during Wednesday's blizzard when he was struck and killed by another vehicle. Cpl. Daniel Groves, 52, was in Weld County assisting the driver of a vehicle that slid off Interstate 76, when another vehicle, allegedly driven by John Carpenter, 58, lost control and struck Groves, who was outside his patrol car. Groves was pronounced dead at the hospital and the other driver sustained moderate injuries during the incident.

5) A 17-year-old Florida student shot and killed herself in her school's auditorium after requesting permission from her teacher to use the restroom. The incident occurred at Lake Mary High School in Seminole County, where the young lady reportedly was in eleventh grade. The school was placed on a brief lockdown, and authorities are investigating how the student got access to a handgun and was able to bring it to school.

6) A Class I food recall has been issued for 78,164 pounds of raw ground turkey products due to the possible contamination by Salmonella schwarzengrund. The prepackaged, raw ground turkey is being recalled by Butterball, LLC., of Mount Olive, North Carolina, and was produced on July 7, 2018. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with other public health partners, is investigating a multi-state outbreak of the disease which involves five cases and two states, including Wisconsin, where samples of the product were collected.

7) As customers remain without power after the winter bomb cyclone that swept through the Plains states, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) urges everyone to ensure food safety to prevent illnesses as lengthy power outages continue after the storm. The USDA recommends keeping the doors to refrigerators and freezers closed to help maintain temperatures and notes that a full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours. Other safety tips include being sure to separate freezer foods -- by placing meat and poultry on one side to avoid contamination of other frozen foods by thawing raw meat juices -- and checking the temperature of raw meats before preparing them for consumption.

8) In a dramatic rescue, seven first responders had to be pulled from deadly floodwaters in Nebraska on Thursday night after their boat capsized. The first responders were attempting to rescue a family trapped in their home in eastern Nebraska by floodwaters from the Elkhorn River. A plan was devised by other responders and a National Guard helicopter rescued the first responders after they spent nearly an hour in the deadly floodwaters.


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.