AMU Emergency Management Public Safety

EDM Wednesday Briefing: 770 Mile Long Derecho Causes Widespread Damage in Iowa

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 12, 2020: Some citrus and potatoes have been recalled for potential listeria contamination; I-70 and the Cottonwood Pass remain closed as new evacuation orders were issued for the swift moving Grizzly Fire; an earthquake swarm that began Monday near the Salton Sea is likely to continue; the NWS has issued Red Flag Warnings for large swaths of Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming through Wednesday night; a 770 mile long derecho is responsible for widespread damage in Iowa; the NHC forecasts TD 11 will become a tropical storm sometime Wednesday; the WHO announces another Ebola outbreak has begun in the DRC; and a recall for 200,000 pounds of meat and poultry produced by Mr. Wok, has been issued due to undeclared and potentially deadly allergens.

  1. A voluntary [link url=”” title=”recall has been issued for some lemons, limes, Valencia oranges, and potatoes”] by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), due to possible listeria monocytogenes contamination. The produce was processed at Freshouse II LLC, where [link url=”” title=”a piece of equipment was found to be contaminated with listeria”]. Potentially contaminated produce was shipped to retail distribution centers in North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and to some wholesalers in Maryland and North Carolina.
  2. [link url=”” title=”New evacuations were ordered Tuesday night for the Grizzly Creek Fire which began in Eagle County, Colorado on Monday”]. Residents in Coulter Creek, No Name, and Lookout Mountain were told to evacuate, and authorities closed the Cottonwood Pass in both directions between Garfield and Eagle counties. [link url=”” title=”I-70 remains closed between Glenwood Springs and Gypsum, due to extreme fire conditions from dry fuels combined with hot, dry, and windy conditions”].
  3. An earthquake swarm that began Monday morning in Southern California is still ongoing. [link url=”” title=”Most of the temblors have been located near the Salton Sea”], along its eastern edge and near the end of the San Andreas fault. A [link url=”″ title=”public statement issued by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)”] noted that some temblors could be moderately sized–4.5 to 5.4– and there was an 80 percent chance that the [link url=”” title=”earthquake swarm would continue over the next seven days”].
  4. The [link url=”” title=”National Weather Service (NWS) issued a Red Flag Warning for large swaths of Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming beginning Tuesday through Wednesday night at 9:00 p.m”] for critical fire weather conditions. The combination of forecast strong winds, low humidity, and higher temperatures contribute to extreme fire behavior, increasing the risk of fire ignition and spread. Winds in some areas are forecast to be anywhere from [link url=”” title=”10-20 mph, with gusts of up to 35 mph, and some humidity levels are predicted to be as low as 6 percent”].
  5. [link url=”” title=”A derecho that whipped through Iowa and into Illinois, then Indiana and Ohio”] on Monday, cut a 770 mile long swath and caused widespread damage across the region. Two people are dead, winds of over 100 mph were recorded in Iowa, and [link url=”” title=”” title=”about 10 million acres of crops–mostly corn and soybeans–were heavily damaged and possibly destroyed”], from the weather phenomenon. The derecho also damaged millions of bushels of commercial and on-farm grain storage, barns, and other farm structures and equipment, and toppled power lines and trees, which cut power to thousands.
  6. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a Public Advisory on Tropical Depression 11 at 5:00 a.m., Wednesday morning noting [link url=”” title=”the expected development of the system into a tropical storm today”]. The new storm, should it develop, will be named Josephine, and is currently to the east-southeast of the Leeward Islands, with [link url=”” title=”early model predictions showing the storm tracking to the west-northwest”]. The system is forecast to remain a tropical storm at least through Monday, and its present forward movement is at 13 knots or 15 mph.
  7. After announcing an end on June 25th to the second largest Ebola outbreak that began 22 months prior in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the World Health Organization (WHO) has now confirmed a new outbreak of the virus. [link url=”″ title=”Nearly 80 new cases of Ebola have been confirmed in the DRC, with a reported 33 deaths”]. The outbreak includes cases in scattered, remote areas of dense rain forests, but the geographic region is dangerously close to the urban mecca of Kinshasa, which houses over 11 million people and is the capital of the country.
  8. A voluntary recall has been issued for [link url=”″ title=”200,000 pounds of meat and poultry used in foods produced by Mr. Wok Foods, Inc. due to misbranding and undeclared–and potentially deadly–allergens”]. The recall warns that products were found to contain milk, soy, peanuts, wheat, or oysters that were not included on the labels. The products, a full list of which can be accessed [link url=”” title=”on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website”], may also contain MSG, sulfites, and sesame products.

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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