Rice County, Kansas Touched by Wildfires | 1

RICE COUNTY, KANSAS

Photo Credit | Hutchinson Fire PIO

Incident Summary |  Three active wildfires are burning in Rice County.  Fire #1 has entered McPherson County from Rice County with other counties beginning to report additional fire starts.

Kansas Division of Emergency Management has activated the KS EOC in Topeka, Kansas to a partial Level 2 due to very high and extreme fire weather conditions across the State.  the State EOC will be staffed with personnel from the KDEM, KS National Guard, Office of the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Kansas Forest Service.

Location | The fire is located on Buhler Road in SE Rice and SW McPherson Counties, about 8-10 miles southeast of Lyons, Kansas.

Cause | Unknown.  There has been a known drought.

Units working south of Ave Q during firing operations. Photo Credit | Hutch Deputy Fire Chief Hanen

Incident Cooperators | Hutchinson FD, Reno County TF, Kansas National Guard,  Kansas Governor Jeff Coyler’s Office, Rice County EMA, Kansas State Police, Rice County Sheriff Office, KS EMA, State Fire Marshal and the KS Forest Service, Sterling Police Department.

Resources | Resources from the Hutchinson Fire Department and the Reno County Task Force.   UPDATE | The Reno County TF has been released from the fire as of 2058 CDT and will return back to the fire at 0800 on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

Photo Credit | Hutch Deputy Fire Chief Hanen

UPDATE -1154 CDT | Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer issued an emergency declaration for three fires in Rice County. Kansas National Guard along with several Black Hawks were deployed to the incident.

Air Assets | One UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter (KSNG) with one out of Salina.  Three helicopters on standby with one in Salina and two in Topeka, Kansas.

Photo Credit | Hutchinson Municipal Airport (HUT)

Damage Assessment | No injuries reported.  One abandoned home was destroyed.

Social Media | Though there is no known name of these wildfires, we have dubbed them the #RiceCountyFires #KansasFires #KSwildfire2018

(c) 2018 NW Fire Blog – 2215 PDT / 0014 CDT

TX Reeling From Post-Storm Affects – 2

POST SUMMARY State of Texas, known as The Lone Star State was hit extremely hard from by a Category 4 Hurricane (Harvey) that made landfall late evening on Friday, August 25, 2017.  It was downgraded to a Category 2 later but not before the storm unleashed its fury of downpours.  

This storm is due to produce ever more water than the areas can even hold flooding structures, infrastructures, threatening the State’s economy.    The storm reached its peak intensity slamming into Rockport sustaining much of the extreme amount of damage.  Many parts of the State have been devastated beyond recognition.

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” It is the first time since 9/11 that all 28 FEMA Urban SAR teams have been mobilized.”

– Jeff Stern, VA State DEM Coordinator

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DISTRESS CALLS

Call 9-1-1.  The US Coast Guard says do not report Distress calls over Social Media. You must report by calling 911.  Keep trying until you get through.

EVACUATIONS

Rosenburg, TX.  Mandatory evacuations for homes on Huntington Road. Unknown if bridge into area will hold as river levels are rising. Bridge is only escape out of area. (Posted by RPD 2202 Hours CDT). 

Bay City, TX. Mayor announces entire City is under a mandatory evacuation by 1300  hours on Monday, 8/28/2017, due to 10-foot flood expected. https://www.facebook.com/footstepsforthefallen/posts/645510148987649

Sugar Land, TX. Two LIDs are under mandatory evacuations. http://abc13.com/judge-mandatory-evacuations-for-two-sugar-land-lids/2349438/

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As of Aug 27, 2017,  there is NO evacuation orders in place for the City of Pearland. (This was fake news)

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(Credit: Rosenberg PD)

RESCUE TIPS

What to Do to Be Rescued.  The USCG is urging residents, people to be rescued to call the Houston # at 281-464-(4851) or (4852) or (4853) or (4854) or (4855).  Get on your roofs.  Tips:  Stay calm; don’t panic. Don’t go to the attic as rescuers cannot see you. Get to high ground immediately. Mark the roof to be seen from the air. Wave sheets, towels to be noticed.

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Houston 911 received 56,000 calls (from 2200 hours Saturday, 8/26/2017 through 0100 hours on Sunday, 8/27/2017).  During an average day, they usually handle about 8,000 calls.  

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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS

No Drones in Disaster Recovery Zones.  TX Military Department has seen a rise of

Drone operators trying to get in on some action of their own, but did you know that it is extremely dangerous for those on the ground and in the air?  Did you know it is illegal and can not only net you a ticket, but some hefty jail time? It is true.  Here are some of the problems and where rescuers are working.

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FAA, DOD asking people not to fly drones in and around Houston, TX.  There have been reports of close calls by pilots.

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CLOSURES

WB I-10. Westbound I-10 being closed at mile marker 655 or about 40 miles east of Seguin due to flooding. (TxDOT – Yoakum)

Ben Taub Hospital, MD Anderson. Shutdown as of 1913 hours CDT.  These are the two trauma hospitals in the City.

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As of 0600 Hours CDT 8/27/2017, Houston TranStar logged 174 high-water road closures in the area. This included I-10, I-45, I-610, I-69, US 290, TX 225, TX 288,  Beltway 8 and TX 3 in Galveston, Texas.

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HOW TO HELP

Volunteers Needed.  City of Dallas, TX.  http://www.voly.org/join/index.html

Boats Needed.  Houston Police Department.  Call 713-881-3100.

Blood Donations. Austin hospitals need blood donations at We Are Blood, A Blood  Center in Central Texas.  https://weareblood.org/

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 Social media rumors tell of hundreds dead, thousands of rooftop rescues and millions of people stranded is #FakeNews. 

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SAFETY

Boil Water Alert.  City of Corpus Christi is under a WATER BOIL ALERT. Do not drink the water. Caused due to the Storm’s destruction. Effective 8/25/2017, until further notice.

American Red Cross.  Safe and Well.  Register today so your loved ones can find you, or use as a way to find those who may be missing.  https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php

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Turn Around, Don’t Drown campaign is critical in saving lives more than ever. 

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Facebook Safety Check.  Activated for this event. Log in to your Facebook page and register ASAP.  https://www.facebook.com/safetycheck/hurricane-harvey-aug24-2017/about/

Emergency Alerts.  Sign up for Pearland, TX Residential Alerts here –> https://www.pearlandtx.gov/residents/get-connected/e-alerts  Government offices currently shutdown on 8/28/2017 and 8/29/2017 with a possibility of longer says their website.

Wading Through Flood WatersAVOID DRIVING, WALKING through flood waters.  6 inches of swiftly moving water can knock an adult over.  (NWS Houston)

INCIDENT COOPERATORS

Incident Cooperators are those who act as Partners and as in this State of Emergency – work together on Federal, State and Local levels to ensure resources are able to assist the area’s needs of the government, its people, property and its communities. Due to the vast amount of resources, we apologize ahead of time if we missed anyone!

American Red Cross.  100’s of volunteers are/have traveled all over the U.S. to lend their time, talents and compassion to victims and evacuees. 

LA Cajun Navy.  State of Louisiana sending the LA Cajuna Navy. 

TX Governor Greg Abbott  

Houston OEM

Houston PD.  SWAT team conducted several hundred high-water rescues and were still actively searching and conducting more rescue operations. (1713 CDT)

(Credit: Houston PD)

INTF-1 HAZMAT Support.  Indiana Task Force 1 arriving in Katy (near Houston), TX. (1834 PDT)

LAFD TF1.  70 members en route says LAFD Fire Chief Terrazas.

MA-TF1.  A FEMA Task Force is en route from Massachussetts and will soon joining others. (1810 PDT)

Miami-Dade Fire.  FL-TF1 en route to Texas to assist with SAR effects in affected areas.

(Credit: MDFR)

National Guard.  Multiple military trucks, Humvees and other vehicles that can tread water were seen driving down City streets.

New Jersey.  SAR crews were deployed.

FDNY – NYPD USAR NY TF1.  The Joint FDNY and NYPD USAR NY Task Force-1 deployed earlier today.

(Credit: FDNY)

PA TF-1.  40 members.  Leaving the PA Fire Academy and heading to South Texas.  (1917 PDT)

Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies.  Hotline setup for people with Disabilities. 800-626-4959.

Sacramento Fire.  USAR TF7 sends 14-member water rescue team.  Crews drove 2,000 miles to their destination.

Salvation Army.  Previously shipped extra pallets of water and food on 8/23/2017.

Save The Children.  Setting up Child Friendly Spaces in evacuation shelters to help kids and families.  DONATIONS. Text “HURRICANE” to 2022 to donate $25 to the “Save the Children’s Hurricane Harvey  Relief Fund”.

TX State, Emergency Management Department Is the main hub of activity that will coordinate Federal, State and local resources pouring into their State.

US Coast Guard Heartland.  The USCG is urging residents, people to be rescued to call the Houston # at 281-464-(4851) or (4852) or (4853) or (4854) or (4855).  Get on your roofs.  Tips:  Stay calm; don’t panic. Don’t go to the attic as rescuers cannot see you. Get to high ground immediately. Mark the roof to be seen from the air. Wave sheets, towels to be noticed.

USCG makes sure no Family member is left behind. Rescuing pets and their people. (Credit: USCG Heartland)

WA TF1 Urban SAR.  FEMA team from Pierce County, Washington State is sent to assist along with other FEMA units.

SHELTERS

American Red Cross Shelters.  Shelter Locator here –> http://www.redcross.org/get-help/disaster-relief-and-recovery-services/find-an-open-shelter?utm_source=arctwitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=harvey

Harris County, TX.  Compiled list of open shelters. http://readyharris.org/News-Information/Ready-Harris-News/Post/26637

Katy ISD.  The Morton Ranch HS (MRHS) located at 21000 Franz  Road 77449 and the Cinco Ranch HS (CRHS) located at 23440 Cinco Ranch Blvd, both in Katy, TX will be opening at 0730 CDT on Monday.  They will be offering shelter, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to those in need.  DONATIONS of blankets, pillows, towels will be accepted at either High School beginning at 0730 hours.  SOCIAL MEDIA Channels are Katy ISD “OnTheGo” app. Website:  www.Katyisd.org.  Twitter:  @katyisd 

 

WEATHER TRACKERS

Storm Surge Tracker.  The NWS  created the first-ever operational storm surge watch. Twitter @NHC_Surge. https://twitter.com/NHC_Surge/status/900376620543823872 Shows the current conditions. 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

There are multitudes of photos, storm images and other unimaginative descriptions of what those are truly seeing, hearing and experiencing.  We will share with you what they are feeling, see and what they are hearing.  Some photos are copyrighted so we will try to explain the best way we can as to what is being posted out there in the Social Media world.

(Credit: USCG Heartland)

USCG Heartland.  Sector Corpus Christi IMD members assess damage in Port Aransas, TX. 

Disaster Assistance & Recovery Info.  The City of Austin (TX) Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management have a wealth of info.  Go to their site here –>  http://austintexas.gov/help (8/26/2017 @ 0417 CDT

Gas Prices.  National news media reporting gas prices are set to spike due to #HurricaneHarvey wreaks havoc on our vital energy facilities.  It is time to focus on rescues and saving lives.  This something that can easily be put back on the back burner.

Roadblocks.  I-10 freeway is now closed due to heavy flooding. Police are using multiple cruiser to keep motorists out of harm’s way.  A photo by a news media outlet shows mostly semis (approximately 8 semi rigs across and unknown how long the back-up is but there is no getting off this freeway by turning around.

Pet Rescues.  Social media reporting dog rescues are coming in at 60 per hour. 

Countries Pray for  Our U.S. Texas.  Canadian President: “Canadians are keeping the people of Texas in our thoughts – we’re ready to offer any assistance needed to help recover from this disaster.” – Justin Trudeau

(c) 2017 The NW Fire Blog – Updated 8/27/2017 

Canton, Texas: At Least 5 Tornadoes Hit Area

Canton, Texas (Van Zandt County)

Disaster Incident Summary | Sources are saying that there were at least 5 tornadoes that touched down in Van Zandt County, hitting Canton the hardest.  One tornado destroyed I-20 Jeep Dodge dealership tosses its cars into the air and leaving a path of its aftermath.

Other parts of Texas were also hit hard like Fruitvale, TX and others.  We are working on getting additional reports on these towns and cities.

Damage Assessments | The NWS Fort Worth team is out today surveying the damage and will have a preliminary damage rating on Sunday.

“4 Confirmed Tornadoes: Latest preliminary map of likely tracks and other damage. Our storm survey will take days!” – NWS Ft. Worth

“Emergency Management reporting homes destroyed near Emory with injuries.”

“Emergency management reports multiple homes with major damage around Highway 69 and FM779 from earlier tornado.”

“I-20 east of Canton TX. Dozens of cars flipped; severe damage.”

(Image above is from last night’s Tornado activities – Courtesy:  Internet)

Life Impacts | 5 deaths.  50 injuries.

INCIDENT COOPERATORS

Shelters | American Red Cross, First Methodist Church Life Center, USAR, ITDRC,  NWS Ft. Worth, TX Task Force 2 (DFW), Dallas Fire with 1 Type III US&R Team 2, Texas Game Wardens (including search and rescue and K-9 teams),

LOOKING THROUGH THE EYES OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Here are some of the postings from Spotters, Weather sources and others talking about the Tornadoes and what they were seeing.

Storm Chasers | Weather 

“Observed damage on TX Hwy 64, including one vehicle tossed approx 200 ft off the road. 1 confirmed fatality in that vehicle.”

“Emergency management report plywood falling from the sky near FM 779 and US69 near Golden. Folks – that debris is from ~25 miles away.” 1853 CDT

“Tornado 5 miles south of Canton has debris signature up to 13,000 feet. This is a MAJOR TORNADO heading right into Canton!” 1756 CDT

“Very strong tornado now 2-3 miles west of Tundra, 5 miles south of Canton – moving north at 30 MPH. Life-Threatening Situation!” 1755 CDT

“Significant Tornado 4 miles southwest of Tundra, moving north at 30 MPH toward Canton. Wrapped in rain and may be strong! ” 1752 CDT

” Confirmed Tornado Moving toward Tundra and Canton!” 1749 CDT

“Circulation near Canton has weakened while one approaching Eustace quite strong. Both remain capable of producing tornadoes.” 1719 CDT

“5 miles E of CANTON, TX @ 22:12 UTC Funnel>-Cone funnel half way to ground.”

” Possible tornado very near Highway 19 and Highway 64 just southeast of Canton. Very strong rotation indicated by radar.” 1707 CDT

“Damage from Canton, TX tornado is extensive. We are actively searching for people in the wreckage just south of town.”

Damage in Jackson Community in SW Canton, TX. Photo Credit: NWS Ft. Worth

“These are V E R Y powerful high-end tornadoes.”

“Significant tornado-caused damage southwest of Canton, TX”

“This is not what you want to see at night, radar confirmed tornado just NW of Cameron, OK. Debris signature evident.”

“Blizzard in Texas on April 30….How rare is this for Texas?”

” Search and Rescue continues in Canton and other communities.”

Residents

“Second tornado warning here in Canton TX. Taking cover with my boys. Hunkering down in the hallway way.”

“Tornado ripped through a Farm in Canton, TX trapping a pony in the debris. Owners frantically saved their baby!”

Eyewitnesses

“From 45 (5pm central) minutes ago near Canton, TX. Probable tornado touchdown due to damage spotted.”

“Just observed rain-wrapped tornado just E of Canton, TX. Lots of trees down, one barn had minor damage so far.”

“Wedge Tornado causes widespread damage in NE Texas south of Canton.”

“4:45 pm we crammed into bathroom shelter as first of many tornadoes went over us in Canton Tx. We were at the Trade Days.”

“Snowing sideways in Amarillo!! Yes it’s still April 29th!”

Media Coverage

“Damage at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Emory. No injuries, but there were people in parish hall when tornado hit.”

GOVERNMENTAL 

“Texas Task Force 2 has been sent to help the Canton & Van Zandt areas respond to weather.” – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

EVACUEES

Red Cross Shelter(s)

  • First Methodist Church Life Center, 600 S Buffalo, Canton, TX.

Mobile Feeding Station(s)

  • Salvation Army.

Tech Assistance

  • The ITDRC is on site identifying and assisting unmet tech needs in the community.

TX Resources

TX Disaster Recovery Group page created by the Texas Storm Chasers communities  to offer help to each other after natural disasters in Texas. Examples include returning lost/lofted personal items to victims, offering volunteer assistance, etc.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/121556905065713/   Requires approved membership but is a Public Group.

Lost & Found Pets (Including Injured)

 

(c) 2017 The NW Fire Blog

Hurricane Matthew Widespread Damage | Update 8

Updated 1950 PM EDT

STORM FACTS

  • Weather – Hurricane Matthew is downgraded from Cat 1 to Tropical Storm
  • More Storms – While Matt is downgraded, Nicole does a hairpin and is due to hit Bermuda later in the week. – The NWS

Credit: NWS

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT

  • Haiti – 900-1500 killed directly from storm
  • Cholera Breakout – 15 killed from disease breakout
  • U.S. – 4 killed.
  • VA Beach – Major flooding.
  • Wrightsville Beach – suffers significant dune and beach erosion
  • Oak Island (NC) – Waves break off large section of the Island pier
  • Charleston (SC) – Flooded streets told it will get worse when high tide comes

INCIDENT COOPERATORS

  • Red Cross – 2700+  workers support relief efforts in 5 different States
  • NY Task Force 1 – helping with flood rescues in Fayetteville (NC)
  • Jacksonville (SC) Police Department 
  • SCE&G (SC) – restored power to 100,000 homes after the Hurricane left
  • NC National Guard – evacuations and rescues
  • Daytona International Speedway – Staging site for utility trucks
  • US Coast Guard – Assisting with recovery supplies
  • Miami Beach Fire – 
  • FEMA

EVACUEE RESOURCES

  • Verizon Wireless – Unlimited domestic talk, text and data relief being offered to qualified customers in Florida,Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina between October 7-1  https://www.verizonwireless.com/featured/relief/

STORM IMAGES

Assessing the Damage – 2 Florida Senators tour the damage left by behind by Hurricane Matthew from inside a USCG aircraft. Credit/USCG

Assisting with evacuations and rescues – NC National Guard.  Photo Credit:  NCNG

University of North Florida (also photo credit) – Statute holds in place while surrounding landscaping unfortunate.

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Facebook’s Hurricane Matthew Safety check is working.

HASHTAGS

  • #HurricaneMatthew
  • #Matthew
  • #HurricaneNicole
  • #Haiti

Thank you for reading and following our Posts!  We will be on Hurricane storm watch and providing updates throughout the day.  Be safe friends.

(c) 2016 The #NWFireBlog