Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: San Francisco Terminal Closes, Mauna Loa Recall
EDM Wednesday Briefing: San Francisco Terminal Closes, Mauna Loa Recall

EDM Wednesday Briefing: San Francisco Terminal Closes, Mauna Loa Recall

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By Kim Arsenault
Contributor, EDM Digest

Emergency and disaster management briefing for September 26, 2018: San Francisco shuts down its new transit terminal, causing a major disruption to its transportation infrastructure; Mauna Loa issues a recall for all its products distributed in Hawaii due to E. coli contamination concerns; Typhoon Trami is forecast to remain a major storm as it makes landfall in Japan sometime Friday; an outbreak of Hepatitis A in Massachusetts killed one and sickened 64 others; residents of Georgetown, South Carolina were evacuated amid fears of flooding from Hurricane Florence; a strong weather system produced powerful thunderstorms and strong winds across Chicago that downed trees and power lines; and Tropical Storm Rosa churning in the Pacific Ocean is forecast to become a hurricane later Wednesday.

1. San Francisco's new transit terminal was shut down Tuesday after workers doing maintenance found a crack in a support beam. The transit building, dubbed the Grand Central of the West, took nearly 10 years to build at a cost of over $2 billion and was anticipated to handle at least 100,000 passengers daily. A major part of the city's infrastructure, the transit system was completely disrupted as buses were rerouted. A street underneath the building was closed to vehicles and pedestrians, causing additional traffic jams.

2. The Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation in Hawaii is recalling all of its products produced at its Keaau plant earlier in the month due to possible E. coli contamination. State health officials determined that the Island well water and distribution system that supplied the production plant was contaminated with E. coli, raising concerns that the food may also be contaminated. The products being recalled were produced between September 6 and September 21 and include a variety of packaged Mauna Loa macadamia nuts and shortbread cookies that were only distributed to Hawaiian retailers.

3. The Roosevelt Fire, burning in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, continues to grow. It has now consumed more than 50,500 acres and is only 30 percent contained. The wildfire, which began on September 15 from an unknown cause, is burning in heavy fuels and is being fought by more than 900 personnel, 10 helicopters, and multiple fixed-wing aircraft. Red Flag warning conditions are expected to return to the fire area today, as relative humidity levels fall below 15 percent with wind speeds of 15 mph, gusting to 25 mph beginning this afternoon and into the evening.

4. Typhoon Trami, equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane, has its sights set on Japan. The typhoon will likely make landfall on Japan's Ryukyu Islands Friday and into the weekend. Trami, categorized as a super typhoon Tuesday, had sustained wind speeds of 155 mph. It weakened slightly on Wednesday, although it was forecast to remain a powerful storm until the typhoon makes landfall in Japan sometime this weekend. The slow movement of the typhoon is allowing residents in the path of this powerful cyclone to make preparations and evacuate at-risk areas ahead of its approach.

5. An outbreak of Hepatitis A in Massachusetts has left one dead and at least 64 sickened since it began in April. The majority of the cases were reported over the last part of August and the first part of September, with Boston seeing 45 percent of those cases. The cases were reportedly most prevalent among the homeless community and in patients with substance abuse issues, similar to the outbreaks in other states. Health officials states that the best way to avoid contamination is to engage in proper hand washing, especially after using the toilet.

6. Residents of Georgetown, South Carolina were urged to evacuate on Tuesday as rivers, swollen from Hurricane Florence, threatened to submerge neighborhoods under 10 feet of water. The National Guard was deployed to assist residents in evacuating and shelters were opened at local hospitals to house the evacuees. Georgetown is a port city of about 9,000 people that is situated at the confluence of three rivers: the Waccamaw, Great Pee Dee, and Sampit Rivers.

7. Chicago and its surrounding areas were hit with severe thunderstorms on Tuesday that downed trees and power lines and produced a tornado near Galesburg. Nearly 65,000 customers lost power across multiple counties and roads were closed throughout the area in the aftermath of the strong storms. The strong weather system that impacted the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions, including Chicago, has now moved into the Northeast and New England. It is likely to produce damaging winds, hail and even a few tornadoes throughout Wednesday and into Wednesday evening.

8. Tropical Storm Rosa, which formed in the Pacific Ocean Tuesday, was packing winds of up to 65 mph as it continued to intensify on Wednesday. Weather officials anticipate the storm will become a hurricane later in the day. The storm is located about 470 miles west-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and is forecast to strengthen into a major hurricane, likely by sometime Thursday. According to officials at the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Rosa is not likely to pose a threat to land areas. However, swells generated by the storm are likely to produce life-threatening surf and rip current conditions along southwestern Mexico and the southern Baja California Peninsula later this week and into the weekend.


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.