AMU Emergency Management Public Safety

EDM Friday Briefing: WEA Fails During Severe Weather Outbreak Near Chattanooga

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for May 29, 2020: A WEA alert failed during a severe weather outbreak near Chattanooga on Easter Sunday night; the NHC is closely watching another system in the central Atlantic for potential development; a police officer was shot and killed in Utah while responding to a domestic violence call; officials in Delhi call on residents to make a lot of noise to hopefully avoid an invasion by locusts; unrest has led to violence in Minneapolis and the suspension of almost all public transportation; a police officer who was also a National Guardsman was shot multiple times and killed in Grand Forks; after a six-day manhunt, murder suspect Peter Manfredonia has been captured; and an active-duty soldier saved countless lives when he stopped an active shooter with his vehicle.

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1) The National Weather Service (NWS) in Morristown confirmed that one of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) sent during an outbreak of deadly tornadoes on Easter Sunday night near Chattanooga, Tennessee, did not go through. The failed alert was sent out at 11:16 p.m. for the East Brainerd area as the first tornado warning issued and was to be sent to residents within the polygon warning area, including those within 300 feet of the warning area. The NWS sent out a total of 60 alerts that evening due to the severe weather, and it was the only alert that failed.

2) Hurricane season does not officially start until June 1; however there have already been two named storms that have developed off the East Coast of the Carolinas. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is now monitoring a third disturbance for potential development — Invest 92L — located in the central Atlantic. The system, which is in the shape of a semi-circle, has been producing gusty winds and scattered thunderstorms. Currently, it is moving northwestward. If Invest 92L develops into a subtropical or tropical system, the storm would be called Cristobal.

3) A police officer was shot and killed in Ogden, Utah, Thursday afternoon while responding to a domestic violence call. Officers were responding to a 911 call where a woman said her husband was trying to kill her and encountered the suspect on the porch of the home. The suspect went inside his home and opened fire, striking the officer who was killed and a parole officer, who survived. Police found the suspect dead in the home after the exchange of gunfire.

4) A city in India is bracing for the potential invasion of millions of locusts. The locusts, which have already ravaged towns to the north, along with several African nations in the worst invasion in years, are expected to swarm into Delhi. Their path has been altered by the westerly winds of Cyclone Amphan. Officials have warned residents to “make a lot of noise” to ensure the locusts continue to fly by without settling in the area.

5) Unrest in Minneapolis has halted all light rail and bus service in the city, including Metro Transit bus, light rail, and Northstar service through the weekend. An outbreak of violence due to the death of George Floyd while in police custody, led to the decision to suspend service to ensure the safety of riders and employees. Transit officials noted that, as long as it remains safe to do so, Metro Mobility is still scheduled to operate.

6) A police officer was killed in Grand Forks, North Dakota, when a man opened fire at officers after barricading himself inside his bedroom in his apartment. Officers were sent to serve eviction papers to Salameh Pendleton on Wednesday, when he began shooting at the officers, who then called for backup. The arriving officers met a hail of gunfire, which struck two officers and killed one. Officer Cody Holte, 29 — also a decorated first lieutenant in the Army National Guard — was struck multiple times and killed in the exchange of gunfire.

7) University of Connecticut student and murder suspect, Peter Manfredonia, 23, has been captured in Hagerstown, Maryland, after a six-day manhunt. At a truck stop, an investigator being briefed on the suspect’s description pointed to a nearby man that fit that description and also wearing red sneakers, a clue to his identity. Officers were able to surround and arrest Manfredonia without incident. Manfredonia is accused of killing two people and kidnapping one other person.

8) A man with a rifle got out of his vehicle on the Centennial Bridge near Kansas City, Kansas and began randomly shooting at cars Wednesday morning. An active-duty soldier assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Master Sgt. David Royer, saw what was happening and used his vehicle to strike the shooter, pinning him beneath the vehicle and bringing a halt to the shooting. Prior to being stopped by the active-duty soldier, the gunman shot several vehicles, striking one person who sustained serious injuries.


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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