Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 13, 2020: Florida cleans up after Eta produces large waves and widespread flooding; the NHC says the new disturbance in the central Caribbean is likely to develop later today or tonight; a sinkhole from a water main break in the Bay Area swallows two cars; upgrades are underway for the dike and dam system around Lake Ockeechobee in Florida; Typhoon Vamco is the 21st typhoon to hit the Philippines this season and has killed at least 26 people; electricity production began again at the Puna Geothermal Venture in Hawaii which was heavily damaged from the eruption of the Kilauea Volcano; heavy rainfall from Tropical Storm Eta caused widespread flooding, road closures, and bridge collapses across the Carolinas; and officials in Washington are cautioning travelers about a potential measles exposure on November 5 at Sea-Tac Airport.

  1. As Eta moved through the Gulf of Mexico and across Florida, it inundated the state with heavy rainfall that led to widespread flooding. In South Florida, [link url=”https://www.yoursun.com/puntagorda/news/punta-gorda-port-charlotte-ok-after-eta-flooding/article_765649fe-250b-11eb-bbb8-3f3fed26a3e2.html” title=”flooding forced road closures throughout Ft. Myers and Punta Gorda”], where floodwaters also led to a sewage spill at a wastewater treatment plant. [link url=”https://www.winknews.com/2020/11/12/businesses-recover-from-eta-caused-flooding-on-fort-myers-beach/” title=”High waves and storm surge also swept into businesses along the beach in Ft. Myers”], in some cases leaving behind a foot of sand–which volunteers helped put back on the beach. https://twitter.com/SaraGirardNews/status/1326720230576582656
  2. The [link url=”https://www.nhc.noaa.gov” title=”National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted that the area of disturbance”] that is now over the central Caribbean Sea, has become much better organized and is producing strong showers and thunderstorms. Favorable conditions give it a high chance of development into a tropical depression or tropical storm–likely by today or tonight–with additional development over the weekend. If the storm develops, [link url=”https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2020-11-12-tropical-disturbance-central-america-flood-threat-iota” title=”it will be the 30th named storm of the 2020 Hurricane Season, Iota”], surpassing the 2005 record by two storms. The NHC is cautioning interests in Honduras and Nicaragua to closely monitor the system and its development, including its potential track. https://twitter.com/WeatherdotUS/status/1327223778166923264
  3. Two vehicles parked in a commuter lot near Levi Stadium in the Bay Area in California, were [link url=”https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/south-bay/sinkhole-swallows-vehicles-near-levis-stadium/2396246/” title=”swallowed by a large sinkhole”]. The incident occurred after a water main break occurred Wednesday night in Santa Clara, and officials noted that the break is also responsible for some localized urban flooding. The [link url=”https://www.ktvu.com/news/street-sweepers-clean-up-urban-flooding-near-levis-stadium-in-santa-clara” title=”broken pipe disrupted water service to some area residents”], and crews anticipated that repairs would be completed sometime on Friday. https://twitter.com/KPIXtv/status/1327135369230491650
  4. The Herbert Hoover Dike system–along with the earthen dam that was completed in the 1960s–protects residents near Lake Okeechobee in Florida from floodwaters. As water levels in Lake Okeechobee rise, it adds additional pressure to the aging structures, which can lead to internal erosion in the dike, known as piping. [link url=”https://www.winknews.com/2020/11/12/lake-okeechobees-new-cutoff-wall-adding-an-extra-layer-of-safety/” title=”A new cutoff wall–being constructed around the entire lake by the Army Corp of Engineers–will go 40-70 feet underground and protect the dike from further erosion”]. The construction project is expected to last approximately two years, and monitoring, surveillance, and inspections of the system have been increased by the Corps until the project is complete. https://twitter.com/USACEHQ/status/1267109846547038209
  5. The [link url=”https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/11/13/philippines-death-toll-rises-as-typhoon-clean-up-begins” title=”Philippines was slammed by Typhoon Vamco on Thursday–the 21st typhoon to hit the nation this season”]. Key highways turned into rivers, submerging homes and cutting off power and water supplies, and the heavy rainfall prompted landslides. [link url=”https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/147525/vamco-thrashes-the-philippines” title=”Rapidly rising floodwaters swept through the Manila area”], taking many residents who had ignored evacuation orders by surprise, which forced thousands to take refuge on their rooftops until they could be rescued. The death toll rose to 26, and authorities expect that number to rise further as dozens of people are still reportedly missing or injured. https://twitter.com/ajplus/status/1326863049190469632
  6. More than two years have passed since the eruption of the Kilauea Volcano began in Hawaii. The [link url=”https://www.staradvertiser.com/2020/11/12/breaking-news/puna-geothermal-back-in-action-more-than-2-years-after-kilauea-eruption/” title=”eruption buried several wells and destroyed transmission lines, along with other equipment, at the Puna Geothermal Venture plant–which uses geothermal gas from the volcano to produce electricity”]. The company announced that it has once again resumed electricity generation, currently producing approximately 1 to 2 megawatts, with production expected to increase to 15 megawatts by the end of the year. Puna Geothermal was producing about 38 megawatts of electricity when the eruption of Kilauea began in May of 2018. https://twitter.com/pacificbiznews/status/1327249948233125888
  7. Widespread flooding in North Carolina from [link url=”https://abc11.com/nc-weather-radar-raleigh-doppler/7889447/” title=”Tropical Storm Eta forced the closure of both North and Southbound lanes of I-95 at two separate exits”]. The storm dumped 3 to 7 inches of rain across the Carolinas as it approached, leading to widespread flooding that is being blamed for the deaths of at least three people in North Carolina and a bridge collapse in South Carolina. Multiple roadways were washed out in North Carolina, [link url=”https://apnews.com/article/floods-weather-north-carolina-charlotte-55202a57f24c7128516bc6b7ca001b64″ title=”floodwaters shut down a portion of I-85 near Charlotte”], and the state also had several bridges collapse due to flooded streams and rivers. https://twitter.com/NewsNationNow/status/1327160171743875072
  8. A child from King County, Washington, who traveled through Sea-Tac Airport, allegedly had the measles and potentially caused exposure to others in the airport. According to officials, [link url=”https://www.foxnews.com/health/measles-case-child-washington-state-airport” title=”exposure would likely have occurred in the N-11 Gate area, along with Baggage Carousel 13 between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 12:30 a.m on November 5″]. The measles virus can remain airborne for two to four hours after the infected person has been in the area, and officials noted that exposure to other individuals could have occurred during this time. https://twitter.com/KCPubHealth/status/1326676006887845889