EDM Monday Briefing: Chicago Deaths, Severe Weather

Emergency and disaster management briefing for May 8, 2017: A car careens head-on into a public transit bus in Chicago killing four, Idaho braces for unprecedented flooding from higher than average temperatures that are rapidly melting record-level snowpack, Alaska experiences its third weekend earthquake, Canadian provinces hit with torrential rains sees emergency declarations in several cities over record flooding, a memorial in Chicago turns deadly after a shooting kills two and injuries eight, a teenager is in custody following a multiple stabbing incident in Massachusetts, floodwaters from the Mississippi crest at near record-level highs, and a developing severe weather system is set to impact the waterlogged Midwest late Wednesday or Thursday.

  1. A deadly crash occurred in Chicago early Sunday morning when a car traveling westbound struck a parked car, lost control, and careened head-on into a city bus. All four individuals in the car, including the driver, were killed in the crash, and eight other people were injured, including the bus driver, with four of them reportedly having serious injuries. Those injured in the crash were taken to local area hospitals and authorities are investigating the accident, which is thought to involve alcohol. 
  2. As warmer than average temperatures impact areas in the northwestern United States, severe flooding is inundating several counties in Idaho. Evacuation orders have been issued in Elmore County, including residential areas and popular campgrounds, due to rapidly rising waters from the Boise River. In Blaine County, the runoff from earlier and faster melting snowpack is causing major flooding of the Big Wood River that has resulted in a call for voluntary evacuations as many homes are cut off from roads and towns. Officials in both counties have closed off roads which have been washed away by floodwaters and are urging residents to heed warnings and obey signs to ensure their safety during this unprecedented flooding event.
  3. On Sunday night, Alaska was hit by another earthquake, this one measuring a 3.8 magnitude. The earthquake was the third quake to hit the state over the weekend, and one of several to impact Alaska in the recent week. The quake struck just 27 miles north of the town of Pleasant Valley, which has about 700 residents. Just a few hours prior, a magnitude 4.9 earthquake hit the Fox Islands region of the Aleutian Islands and on Saturday, a 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit the Kenai Peninsula, with shaking felt in Anchorage.  Officials stated that no damages were reported from any of the recent quakes.
  4. A recent severe storm system that dumped torrential rainfall amounts across eastern Canadian provinces, including Ontario and Quebec, along with melting snow, is causing massive flooding across the region. Throughout the Quebec province, 140 towns reported almost 1,900 homes being flooded, and military troops were deployed to evacuate residents. In Montreal, officials declared a state of emergency after three dikes failed just north of the city, while the mayor in Rigaud, a town west of Montreal and one that was especially hard hit by flooding, has ordered mandatory evacuations and also declared a state of emergency.
  5. Two people are dead after gang members opened fire at a memorial for a man killed earlier in the day in Brighton Park in Chicago. A total of ten people were shot during the incident, all of them adults, and police believe the shooting was in retaliation for an earlier fatal shooting of a rival gang member. Gang related violence has plagued the city for years, with several of its poorest neighborhoods most heavily impacted as their homicide rates have risen significantly. 
  6. A nineteen year-old man is in custody after being charged with the stabbing of multiple individuals in a Massachusetts neighborhood. One person has died from injuries sustained during the stabbing in Milford, Mass., and another person is reportedly in critical condition at UMass Memorial Medical Center. A total of four people were involved in the incident, one woman and three men, and police indicate the motive which may have prompted the multiple stabbings is not clear yet. 
  7. Flooding along the Mississippi, including its tributaries, is being blamed for the deaths of six people in Missouri and seven in Arkansas before the river crested at 45.8 feet late Saturday morning. That level was just three feet lower than the river’s highest-ever recorded crest of 48.9 feet. The flooding was expected to impact communities across at least six states, including Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee. The Governor of Arkansas is estimating businesses losses of at least 21 million, not including agricultural losses, and on Wednesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will begin damage assessments for affected areas.
  8. Weather forecasters are calling for another round of severe storms to impact the waterlogged Midwest as early as Thursday. The system will begin with an impact across the southern Plains, with southern Kansas and the western and central portions of Oklahoma and Texas also being affected. Forecasters estimate the system moving into the Midwest by Thursday, with the cold front approaching Arkansas and into southern Missouri by the afternoon, bringing large hail and damaging wind gusts, with the threat of tornadoes also being present. 

American Military University

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 … learn more


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