AMU Emergency Management Original Public Safety

EDM Friday Briefing: CPUC Approves Increased Gas Storage at Aliso Canyon

Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 12, 2021: The CPUC approves increased natural gas storage at Aliso Canyon; the NWS confirms the touchdown Wednesday evening of an EF-0 tornado in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, and Catoosa; Whitefish Bay High School was evacuated Thursday due to a bomb threat; Kroger is recalling 19 bakery products for potential metal contamination; I-40 in NC is to close for a new bridge beginning November 13 and NCDOT is warning of lengthy delays; nearly 100,000 pounds of raw ground chicken patties are being recalled for contamination by bone pieces; salvage of the Golden Ray cargo ship from the St. Simon Sound in Georgia has nearly been completed; and Raleigh-Durham International Airport suffered a power outage in Terminal 2 that halted the majority of inbound and outbound flights early Friday morning.

1. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) agreed last week to allow an increase in the amount of natural gas storage at the Aliso Canyon storage facility. The approval will allow the facility to store about 10% percent more natural gas, an increase from 50 to 60% of its total capacity. This increased storage will help boost fuel supplies in periods of high demand. Located near Porter Ranch, California, the facility sustained a leak in 2015 that lasted for months. The leak incident ended when SoCalGas was able to seal the well in February 2016; the well was later plugged and abandoned.

2. The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed at least one EF-0 tornado touched down in Tulsa, Broken Arrow and Catoosa, Oklahoma, on Wednesday evening. Severe weather spawned the tornado, which downed trees and power lines, leaving thousands without power throughout the area. Crews worked to clear fallen trees and other debris from multiple roadways, and emergency workers asked drivers to avoid debris-strewn areas while the work was ongoing.

3. Students, faculty and staff were evacuated from Whitefish Bay High School in Wisconsin on Thursday morning after the school received a bomb threat. Local authorities were notified about the threat around 10:40 a.m. When police arrived, the evacuation was already underway. Specially trained K-9 dogs with the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department were used to search the school and its grounds, and the all-clear was given at around 2:20 p.m.

4. Kroger is recalling 19 of its bakery goods due to the potential contamination of the products with metal fragments. The products are marketed under the name Country Oven and were distributed across the nation to 29 states, including South Carolina, Nebraska, Idaho, Tennessee, and Washington. According to the recall notice, the metal fragments were allegedly in the starch used to make the various products under recall.

5. The Thanksgiving holiday is less than two weeks away, and I-40 travelers need to be aware of a major construction project with a detour that begins on November 13. The bridge over Cold Springs Creek at I-40’s Harmon Den Road (Exit 7), in Haywood County, North Carolina, is being replaced. Vehicles will be taken off the highway at Exit 7 and allowed to re-enter the highway at the same exit. The change in the traffic pattern is likely to cause backups – of at least eight miles or more – in both directions. TDOT and NCDOT are urging drivers to use alternate routes or otherwise face lengthy delays.

6. Over 97,000 pounds of raw ground chicken patties are being recalled for potential contamination with bone pieces. The recall, announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), notes that Innovative Solutions, Inc., recalled the raw ground chicken patties due to potential foreign matter contamination. The recall included two separate products. One product is Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers. Another product, sold at various grocery stores, was labeled as Spinach Feta Chicken Sliders.

7. Recovery of the Golden Ray cargo ship is now largely complete, although other, smaller pieces of the wreckage still need to be removed. The VB-10,000 – a salvage lift vessel used to recover the sunken ship – was recently released from St. Simon’s Sound, near Brunswick, Georgia, where the Golden Ray capsized while carrying 4,200 vehicles. The salvage vessel worked for a year to hoist up large pieces of the Golden Ray and put them on barges, with the final large piece loaded onto a barge on October 25.

8. Crews worked diligently to restore service in Terminal 2 at Raleigh/Durham International Airport after a power outage. The outage was reported at about 4 a.m. and allegedly impacted airline operations throughout Terminal 2, halting outbound flights and causing inbound flights to divert to other airports. According to airport officials, the power outage was caused when water began leaking onto an electrical box, disrupting power to ticketing and security systems and to jet bridges.


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.

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