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EDM Friday Briefing: Tropical Storm Fay Impacting Atlantic Coasts

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 10, 2020: Tropical Storm Fay is lashing coastal Atlantic cities as it moves northward toward New York City; one person is dead after multiple tornadoes ripped through central Minnesota on Wednesday; the search for missing “Glee” actress Naya Rivera on Lake Piru resumed Friday morning in California; the Numbers Fire is now under the command of a Type 2 IMT; CalFire is seeking additional seasonal firefighters, some of them as permanent positions; underground water storage to help fight drought amid climate changes is planned for Sacramento; the St. Petersburg Police Department will no longer send officers to allegedly non-violent 911-calls; and a 15-year-old boy is rescued after spending 30 hours lost in the Tahoe National Forest after his dad was shot and killed during a camping trip.

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1) Tropical Storm Fay formed off the coast of North Carolina on Thursday near the Outer Banks. The storm, which has sustained winds of 50 mph and is tracking north at about 10 mph, is expected to make landfall in New York sometime Friday evening. Forecasts include tropical storm warnings for coastal areas of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Long Island, with thunderstorms, localized heavy rainfall, gusty winds, and poor beach conditions.

2) Multiple tornadoes ripped through west central Minnesota on Wednesday and killed at least one person. One of the tornadoes cut a path of at least six to nine miles through Dalton, killing one person and injuring two other people. Farmsteads and homes were destroyed, trees were uprooted, and power lines were toppled, with damage assessments likely rating the tornado an EF-3.

3) The search for Naya Rivera, a former actress on “Glee,” is set to resume on Friday morning out on Lake Piru in California. The actress was reported missing Wednesday after her four-year-old son was found sleeping alone on the pontoon boat they had rented earlier in the day. Authorities stated that conditions made the search difficult due to strong rip currents and murky waters, and they do not suspect foul play in her disappearance.

4) The Numbers Fire, burning just south of Gardnerville, Nevada, has grown to more than 18,000 acres. The wildfire began on July 6 and spread swiftly, consuming  three structures and 37 outbuildings. A Type 2 Incident Management Team, Great Basin Team 4, assumed command of the fire Thursday morning. The team is coordinating efforts between multiple local, state, and federal agencies, along with various resources, including air support and heavy equipment.

5) Amid the ongoing coronavirus, CalFire is seeking to hire an additional 858 firefighters, 172 of which will be permanent positions. The state of California usually relies on inmates to handle some of the toughest duties, but since the coronavirus pandemic, that resource has been reduced. A depleted budget derailed plans to hire a total of 600 additional permanent positions, although the governor reportedly stated that the state does have enough money to add the additional 172 professional firefighters.

6) To help fight drought amid ongoing climate changes, Sacramento is planning to store water underground. Currently, Folsom Lake is the water reservoir for the Sacramento region, and the plan seeks to hold double and possibly triple the amount of water the lake holds. The plan will require the cooperation of 20 water agencies, cost nearly $300 million and will take more than ten years to create.

7) The St. Petersburg Police Department, in St. Petersburg, Florida, has formed the Community Assistance Liaison (CAL) division, which is slated to begin responding to non-violent 911-calls on October 1. Deemed a social service agency, CAL officers will respond to, among others, suicide crises, mental health crises and intoxicated individuals. The department will also increase its de-escalation and self-defense training for its regular police officers to twice per year.

8) A 15-yer-old boy was rescued Saturday after surviving on his own in the Tahoe National Forest for at least 30 hours. A gunman shot and killed Ari Gershman during a camping trip, but his son, Jack, managed to hide and escape the shooter, later becoming lost in the forest. Two other people in the general vicinity were reportedly shot by the same gunman, and police were able to apprehend the suspect after an ATV chase.


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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