Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 4, 2021: The NHC states that there is a 20% chance or less of development for two tropical waves in the Atlantic Ocean; nearly 300,000 pounds of raw beef has been recalled due to potential E. coli contamination; firefighters continue to gain ground on the wildfire burning on Hawaii’s Big Island; the NWS has issued Red Flag Warnings for portions of northern California; severe weather disrupted flights in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area from Sunday into Monday, resulting in thousands of stranded passengers; a new demurrage charge on private railcars is proposed by four rail shipper associations; development of the new Port of West Virginia continues to move forward; and the Dixie Fire jumped control lines amid Red Flag weather that is predicted to continue through Thursday evening.
1. The National Hurricane Center shows a zero to 20% chance of development of two separate tropical waves in the eastern Atlantic. Though there is little chance for development, the systems are producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms, and some heavy rainfall and gusty winds will accompany the disturbance near the Cabo Verde Islands. The Lesser Antilles could see some impacts from the southernmost system as early as Sunday.
2. Great Omaha Packing is recalling nearly 300,000 pounds of beef products due to potential E. coli contamination. Four states – Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Nebraska – received the raw beef for processing. The meat was produced on July 13 and has the number EST. 960A inside the USDA inspection stamp.
Omaha meat processor recalls 295,000 pounds of raw beef over possible E. coli contamination https://t.co/vBMLQOYNMM— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) July 31, 2021
3. Firefighters continue to gain ground against the wildfire burning on Hawaii’s Big Island. The more than 40,000 acre wildfire is burning in South Kohala and prompted evacuation orders for several communities at its outset. Officials noted that the historic Parker Ranch has seen the greatest impact, with at least 32,000 acres of ranch land being burned.
Fire is largest recorded on Hawaii's Big Island https://t.co/ZUTqxn4OdM— Laurie Kimsey (@lkimsey69) August 4, 2021
4. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued Red Flag Warnings for parts of Northern California due to forecasted weather conditions. Conditions in the northern Sierra will include gusty winds, very low humidity levels and extremely dry fuels. The Red Flag Warning goes into effect at 1 p.m. on Wednesday and will extend through Thursday until 8 p.m. It includes parts of Plumas and Shasta counties, along with Lassen National Park and the northeast foothills.
Red Flag Warnings for high fire danger will be going into effect for the valley, foothills, and mountain areas across northern California today due to gusty winds, hot temperatures, low humidity, and dry fuels. Some areas are set to stay under this warning through Thursday night. pic.twitter.com/0QdVoTyBJR— Cort Klopping (@CortKlopping) August 4, 2021
5. Severe weather that rolled through the Dallas/Ft. Worth area on Sunday disrupted travel for thousands of passengers on American Airlines and other airlines. American Airlines diverted about 80 flights to other airports, delayed more than 2,000 flights and cancelled at least 850 flights through Monday due to the severe weather, which impacted their system through Tuesday. The airline is also reportedly struggling to ensure it remains fully staffed after encouraging employees to take early retirements, buyouts, and leaves of absences to cut labor costs in 2020.
Woke up this morning to 7am flight canceled. Booked a flight online only to wait 3hrs at DFW for 2 flt attendants to show up for the flight.— John F (@JKFodge) August 2, 2021
AA says their horrendous delays are weather-related but they’re not. Here’s the real story. @AmericanAir is awfulhttps://t.co/yXFJ9lyHG2
6. Nearly 73% of freight railcars are privately owned or leased, including 100% of rail tank cars, 100% of railcars that transport dried distillers grain, 90% of coal hoppers, and about 85% of processed grain hoppers. Railroads operate the privately owned and leased railcars. Currently, four shipper associations want to leverage demurrage charges against railroads to ensure they engage in the efficient movement of the railcars through their systems.
7. The development of a new port on the Ohio River is moving forward. The Port of West Virginia is to include a multifunctional, transmodal and inland port terminal in Follansbee, West Virginia. The company developing the port, Empire Diversified Energy, indicated that the 1,000-acre public port would have five miles of rail – along with at least 8,000 contiguous feet of river frontage – and could be a Midwest-shipped goods hub.
Empire Diversified Energy is developing the Port of West Virginia, a multifunctional, transmodal inland port terminal on the Ohio River in the city of Follansbee. https://t.co/KO5XoWqWvd #TheWaterwaysJournal #WJ #Port #Terminal #WestVirginia #OhioRiver— Waterways Journal (@WaterwayJournal) August 2, 2021
8. The Dixie Fire reportedly jumped containment lines and grew to the north due to Red Flag weather conditions on Tuesday. Steep terrain, abundant fuels and wind within canyons is hindering firefighter efforts to control the wildfire. Ongoing Red Flag weather conditions are lending to active uphill runs, flanking and single tree torching. Active fire behavior is likely to continue due to strong and gusty winds forecast through Thursday evening. Due to the likely increase in fire behavior and spread, area officials have ordered additional evacuations and warnings in the Lake Almanor and Chester areas.
#DixieFire off Above the Cresta Dam, Feather River Canyon in Butte County is 274,139 acres and 35% contained. Unified Command: @CALFIRE_ButteCo and @LassenNFhttps://t.co/vMYsruB5cn pic.twitter.com/2NRsweSobX— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) August 4, 2021