Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: West Virginia Is Being Investigated for Misuse of Federal Disaster Funds
EDM Wednesday Briefing: West Virginia Is Being Investigated for Misuse of Federal Disaster Funds

EDM Wednesday Briefing: West Virginia Is Being Investigated for Misuse of Federal Disaster Funds

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for May 1, 2019: Two are dead and multiple people wounded after a gunman opened fire at the UNC at Charlotte campus; people scrambled for safety and were forced to rooftops after a temporary flood barrier failed near Davenport, Iowa; authorities have filed multiple charges against the UNC at Charlotte gunman in the wake of Tuesday's deadly shooting; multiple law enforcement agencies thwarted an alleged bombing that was to take place at a white supremacist gathering; intelligence information suggests that another attack is being planned in Sri Lanka ahead of Ramadan; Glasgow Airport was briefly shut down Tuesday following a security threat on an inbound aircraft from London; an attack on Sunday at a church in Burkina Faso left a pastor and six congregants dead; West Virginia is under investigation by federal prosecutors for the misuse of federal disaster funds following the massive flooding in the state in 2016.

1) Two people were killed and multiple people were wounded, including three who were listed in critical condition, after a gunman opened fire on the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Charlotte on Tuesday evening. Police received a call at about 5:42 p.m. on Tuesday, saying that several students had been shot. Once they arrived on scene, the shooter was quickly disarmed and apprehended. UNC at Charlotte texted students to "Run, Hide, Fight, Secure Yourself Immediately" and placed the campus on a lockdown that lasted for several hours as police cleared buildings and secured the area.

2) People in Davenport, Iowa, fled to the rooftops of buildings to seek shelter after a temporary flood barrier failed Tuesday afternoon and inundated the downtown area with water. At around 4:00 p.m., the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flash flood warning for the city of about 100,000 that is located on the West Bank of the Mississippi River, telling everyone to seek higher ground immediately. Rescue crews launched boats to evacuate those stranded by the floodwaters, which had flooded the first level in some buildings and also submerged vehicles. No injuries were reported due to the flooding.

3) The gunman that opened fire at UNC Charlotte, Trystan Andrew Terrell, 22, was allegedly a student at the university, and police are searching for a motive that may have prompted the shooting. Three of the four people wounded during the shooting remain in critical condition at Atrium Health Carolina's Medical Center in Charlotte. The suspect has been charged with two counts of murder, four counts of attempted murder and other charges in relation to the shooting on campus Tuesday. Police have yet to identify those killed and injured in the shooting, although a campus fraternity posted on Facebook Tuesday that one of its members was among those wounded.

4) Authorities allegedly thwarted a bombing by an Army veteran who converted to Islam and planned to attack a Nazi rally on Sunday in Long Beach, California. The Federal Bureau of Investigation learned of the planned attack after the suspect, Mark Domingo, 26, who had posted an online message about America needing another attack like Las Vegas, bought bomb-making materials and shrapnel, and then surveyed the rally site last week. The suspect was arrested on Friday. According to officials, Domingo supported violent jihad, planned the use of a weapon of mass destruction to commit murder, and was consumed with hate and committing mass murder.

5) Security remains tight in Sri Lanka and authorities are maintaining a high alert level amid intelligence information that suggests another attack is being plotted ahead of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The Saudi embassy has advised Saudis to leave Sri Lanka to ensure their safety, as law enforcement and military personnel pursue suspects in the wake of the Easter Sunday suicide bombings at hotels and churches that killed at least 253 people. Sri Lankan authorities are being assisted by the the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in their investigation of the bombings, and the U.S. Department of State has issued a travel advisory for American citizens and suggests that those planning to visit the nation should consider alternative travel plans.

6) The Glasgow Airport in Scotland was closed temporarily  on Tuesday for a security alert regarding an inbound easyJet flight from London's Gatwick Airport. Security personnel were alerted by the crew of Flight EZY883, possibly regarding a suspicious package, that raised concern. Once the plane landed, the runway was shut down for at least 30 minutes and all inbound and outbound flight traffic was halted. Police conducted a thorough search of the aircraft, collected detailed information from passengers who had been bussed to a holding area, and found that no threat existed, although an investigation into the incident was continued by authorities.

7) A pastor and six congregants, which included two of the pastor's sons, were killed by gunmen that attacked a church in the West African nation of Burkina Faso on Sunday. The attackers arrived on motorbikes at the end of the service at a church in the small town of Silgadji, near Djibo in the Soum province, at around 12:00 p.m. local time. The nation reported that it has seen an uptick in Islamist violence this year as groups based in neighboring Mali seek to extend their influence into Burkina Faso.

8) West Virginia is under investigation by federal prosecutors for the misuse of disaster relief funds following the massive flooding that occurred in the state in 2016. Following the flooding disaster, which damaged large swaths of West Virginia, killed 23 people, and destroyed homes and infrastructure, the city of Richwood still cannot account for a large portion of the money that it was awarded -- more than three million dollars. Multiple current and former officials in Richwood were charged with several criminal counts after a state-led audit was conducted into the city's misuse of the federal funds.

 

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.