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EDM Monday Briefing: Tropical Depression Two Forms In the Atlantic

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 14, 2021: Tropical Depression Two has formed off the coast of North Carolina; 41 of California’s 58 counties are in drought, bringing an early start to the 2021 wildfire season; the NHC continues to watch the nearly stationary Invest 92-L, in the Bay of Campeche; the NWS has issued a Red Flag Warning for much of Southern California through Wednesday morning; FedEx gave 1,400 LTL freight customers less than 24 hours notice before they were dropped; Excessive Heat Warnings were issued by the NWS for much of California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah; expanding drought conditions in eastern Washington State increase its wildfire danger; and the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in China allegedly may have a radioactive leak.

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1. A low-pressure system sitting off North Carolina has now been upgraded to Tropical Depression Two by the National Hurricane Center. The tropical depression is located approximately 90 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and is expected to develop into a tropical storm later tonight. The system, which is moving northeastward, is forecast to move over colder waters later in the week, decreasing the chance for further development.

2. According to state officials, 41 of 58 counties in California are in drought, accelerating the start of the 2021 wildfire season. CalFire noted that at least 17,000 acres have already burned this year due to dry vegetation. To help protect against wildfires, PG&E is allegedly spending about $4.9 billion on wildfire safety, including specialized equipment to narrow Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS), along with vegetation management.

3. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) continues to watch an area of low pressure off the coast of Central America. Located in the Bay of Campeche, Invest 92-L now has a 60% chance of development as it moves to the north-northeast. Invest 92-L has the potential to become a tropical depression later this week, and portions of Central America and southern Mexico are likely to receive heavy rainfall from this system.

4. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Red Flag Warning for the Greater Los Angeles/Oxnard area beginning Monday night at 6 p.m. The warning extends through Wednesday at 6 a.m. and was issued amid a forecast of extremely low relative humidity levels of 6-12% on Tuesday. The low humidity levels will be coupled with higher winds, and the worst winds are forecast to be in the Santa Ynez Range.

5. In an attempt to reduce bottlenecks and increase flow, FedEx made a last-minute decision to drop 1,400 of its less-than-truckload customers. The decision was made with a less than 24-hour notice, going into a weekend, when FedEx began to notify its customers on Friday they would stop picking up their goods on Monday. The decision appears to affect less-than-truckload customers located in capacity-constrained freight service centers, such as Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

6. Officials are asking residents across California to use caution as a heat wave moves into the region beginning on Tuesday. Excessive Heat Warnings have been issued for large swaths of the state, with temperatures expected to reach between 108-115 degrees Fahrenheit in the valleys and foothills. Extreme caution is being urged when using ignition sources. The threat of wildfire starts is high amid these conditions, which will lead to rapid fire spread coupled with extreme fire weather behavior.

7. Washington State is heading into fire season with a large portion of its eastern counties under severe or extreme drought conditions. The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) issued its Wildland Potential Fire Outlook for June through September and noted that fuel dryness is two to four weeks ahead of schedule. Forecasts for above-normal significant fire potential beginning in June and lasting through September were predicted for eastern Washington amid its expanding drought conditions.

8. U.S. government officials allegedly spent most of last week trying to determine if the threat of a nuclear leak at a Chinese nuclear power plant was credible. The French company, Framotome, which is the part owner and operator of the plant, asked for assistance from the United States amid what it reportedly declared to be an “imminent radiological threat.” The company also allegedly believes that the Chinese safety authority was raising acceptable limit levels of radiation in order to avoid shutting down its Taishan Nuclear Power Plant, located in the Guangdong Province. A statement issued Monday by Framotome stated that it believed the nuclear plant was operating within normal limits, and that the company was supporting efforts to resolve the situation.

  

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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