Infrastructure_daily_news Daily News 01.28.11

Transportation Sector

. January 27, Associated Press – (National) Snowstorm wallops Northeast, piling on the misery. A storm that had been predicted for days caught much of the East Coast off guard with its ferocity, January 26 and 27, tearing through with lightning, thunder, and tons of wet snow, stranding thousands of road, rail, and air travelers. New York got 19 inches, while Philadelphia received 17 inches. In Massachusetts, travel was made trickier with high winds. Gusts of 46 mph were reported in Hyannis, 45 mph in Rockport, and 49 mph on Nantucket January 27. New York declared a weather emergency for the second time since the December 26 storm, which trapped hundreds of buses and ambulances. The city shuttered schools and some government offices, and federal courts in Manhattan closed. New York’s Long Island Rail Road, the nation’s largest commuter rail line, operated on a reduced schedule. At Penn Station, about half the trains listed on the Amtrak departure board were delayed or canceled. Two major New York-area airports, Newark and Kennedy, closed for snow removal but were scheduled to begin taking flights at 10 a.m. Hundreds of flights were canceled at both airports. LaGuardia Airport had 168 cancellations. About 1,500 passengers were stranded overnight at Philadelphia International Airport. Northeast of New York in New Canaan, Connecticut, a Metro-North commuter train ran off the tracks, suspending service. Its two passengers and crew members were not injured. The Philadelphia area’s transit agency, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, suspended nearly all bus service, and road crews worked through the night to gets tons of snow off major arteries. Source:

. January 27, Davenport Quad-City Times – (Iowa) Crew works to get derailed train cars back on track. A crew was expected to put two derailed train cars back on the track across the Crescent Bridge January 26, a spokeswoman for the rail bridge’s owner, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, said. The cars derailed about 7:30 p.m. January 25 on the Iowa side of the moveable span. By January 26, the other train cars had been removed from the bridge. The spokeswoman said the repairs might affect local river navigation, but barge traffic is halted for the season. The bridge crosses the Mississippi River between Rock Island, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa. The incident caused no injuries, and no hazardous materials were involved, the spokeswoman said. The Rock Island Police Department was notified. Source: 001cc4c03286.html

. January 27, Associated Press – (International) Volcano in central Indonesia disrupts flights. An Indonesian volcano is spewing towering clouds of ash, forcing several international airlines to cancel flights to the popular resort island of Bali. Mount Bromo, which sprang back to life in late 2010, did not cause any injuries or serious damage when it unleashed its powerful burst January 27. But an airport official said concerns about visibility prompted Jetstar, Virgin Blue, and Cathay Pacific to cancel several flights to Bali, 210 miles to the east. She said schedules are expected to return to normal by January 28. Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago of 235 million people, has more active volcanoes than any other country in the world. Source:

. January 26, Associated Press – (International) Cruise ships canceling Mazatlan stop, citing crime. Some cruise ship companies are canceling stops in the Pacific port of Mazatlan, Mexico, and others are considering it due to crime against tourists. Disney Wonder has dropped calls to Mazatlan from its seven-night Mexican Riviera tour and replaced them with an additional stop in Cabo San Lucas on the Baja, California peninsula. “Safety is very important to us and we believe this change is necessary to provide the best family vacation experience for our guests,” a spokeswoman said January 26. Mazatlan officials had touted Disney’s decision in 2010 to resume stops at the port as a sign of growing confidence in the city. The Disney Wonder had planned 27 port calls in Mazatlan in 2011, according to the Mazatlan port authority Web site. Mazatlan has continued to thrive as a tourist destination despite drug-gang violence in other parts of Sinaloa state, where it is located. The state is the cradle of several Mexican cartels and has one of the highest homicide rates in the country. Source: AuT9vaLkUCnclNPkUT5AQ?docId=32c5f75c42d449d5b8b7e88170d75915

. January 26, Associated Press – (Virginia) Plane hit by lightning makes emergency landing. US Airways sais an airplane with 16 people aboard made an emergency landing in Virginia after being struck by lightning January 26. An airline spokeswoman said nobody was injured. Flight 4376 operated by the US Airways subsidiary Piedmont was en route from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Lynchburg, Virginia, when it was struck by lightning 20 miles south of its destination. She said the pilot declared an emergency and landed at the Lynchburg airport without incident. There were 13 passengers and 3 crew members aboard the Dash 8-300 twin turboprop aircraft. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesman said the pilot reported an electrical failure. The FAA will investigate. Source:

. January 26, South Florida Sun Sentinel – (Utah) Man accused of in-flight tantrum en route to Fort Lauderdale. A man en route to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, his former home, was arrested after disrupting the flight and shouting, “I will take this plane down!” according to the FBI. The individual was flying from San Francisco, California to Fort Lauderdale on JetBlue Flight 278 January 24, but wound up under arrest in Salt Lake City, Utah. His reported tantrum forced the captain to make an unscheduled landing there. FBI agents took the suspect into custody on a charge of interference with a flight crew, a federal complaint said. Soon after takeoff, he became belligerent over not being allowed to buy headphones with cash, the complaint said. The airline accepts only credit card payments. Flight crew members decided the passenger was intoxicated and declined to sell him an alcoholic beverage. Source: 20110126,0,2466355.story For more stories, see items 2, 4, and 29

Postal and Shipping Sector

27. January 26, CBS News – (Texas) Sen. John Cornyn’s Dallas office evacuated for suspicious packages. At least one of a Republican Senator’s Dallas, Texas-area offices was evacuated January 26, his staff confirmed to, after two suspicious packages arrived in the mail. Bomb squad technicians detonated the two devices. An FBI official in Dallas told CBS News the Dallas Police Department “disrupted” the package, but there were no explosives, nor was there any threat. The Senator’s office said his staff has been given the all-clear. Source:

Emergency Services Sector

. January 26, Emergency Management – (National) Formidable Footprint exercise series an opportunity to assess neighborhood preparedness. A series of virtual tabletop exercises between January and June will test the capacity of neighborhood groups to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a natural disaster. A January 29 earthquake exercise will address the response to an earthquake. Disasters to be taken up in succeeding months are floods, wildfires, tornadoes, a flu pandemic, and a hurricane scenario. The Web-based Formidable Footprint exercises ask participants to answer a series of questions about their capacity to respond to a variety of situations they may be faced with following a disaster. The exercises also prompt the teams to consider what information they should report to their local emergency management officials, how to do that, and what to do in other instances, such as if a member is injured. At the end of the exercise, each of the teams completes a Web-based review and receives a copy of its responses to the prompts. The questions lead teams to develop incident action plans (IAP) even though the exercise is written in plain language. There is no cost to community groups to participate in the exercises, but registration is required so participants may receive exercise materials beforehand. So far groups representing sectors from across the economy in 38 states have registered to take part in the upcoming exercise series, according to the Formidable Footprint Web site. Source: Series.html

. January 25, Associated Press – (International) Justice Dept settles over faulty Zylon body armor. A Justice Department (DOJ) investigation into the use of defective Zylon fiber in bulletproof vests has led to a settlement with a Japanese importer. The body armor company now will cooperate in the probe of the material’s manufacturer, Toyobo Co. Ltd. of Japan. The United States will collect $1.5 million from N.I Teijin Shoji Co. Ltd and an American subsidiary. DOJ said the two Teijin companies were aware the Zylon fiber would degrade quickly, rendering bulletproof vests unfit for use. The government has sued Toyobo and several vest manufacturers, and has settled previously with eight other body armor companies for more than $59 million. DOJ’s civil division chief said providers of defective material in the vests have jeopardized the lives of law enforcement officers. Source: content/article/2011/01/25/AR2011012505216.html

. January 24, WTRF 7 Wheeling – (Ohio) Employee computer misuse investigation at correctional institution. The Ohio State Highway Patrol has launched an investigation into three officers at the Belmont Correctional Institution in St. Clairsville. According to the investigation supervisor with the Cambridge Division, allegations of computer misuse are being investigated. He said the investigation was initiated after they received information privileged data may have been released. Investigators are looking into computer records and working with other agencies that may have been involved. “Any state computer where there is privileged information is tightly controlled. We have checks and balances to make sure that information is kept secure,” he said. After the investigation is completed, the Ohio State Highway Patrol will forward results to the prosecutor’s office and they will determine if charges will be filed. Source:

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