Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 17, 2021: The attorney general of Texas has wiped out exorbitant electric bills from February’s winter storm; video from a doorbell camera catches a small plane crash that killed three people; police have a suspect in custody after Georgia area spa shootings leave eight people dead; the Microsoft Exchange hack is under investigation for a possible inside source leak; first responders are touted as heroes after using a Snowcat to transport doctors and save lives after the blizzard in Wyoming; satellite thermal radiation data may help detect volcanic activity indicating an imminent eruption; residents in Iceland remain on high alert for a volcanic eruption; and severe weather is forecast across the southern United States on Wednesday.
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1. Residents of Texas hit with exorbitant electric bills during February’s historic winter storm received good news on Tuesday. Griddy Energy, the company that sent out the outrageous bills, filed for bankruptcy on Monday. On Tuesday, Texas’ attorney general sued the company for deceptive trade practices, wiping out the outrageous electric bills. Those individuals who already paid their bills or a portion of their bill are also to receive relief through good-faith negotiations with the company.
Texas AG Ken Paxton ensures nearly 24,000 former Griddy customers will be forgiven their unpaid electric bills. pic.twitter.com/KWY7KaIkLz
— Joshua Skinner (@JoshuaSkinnerTV)
2. A doorbell camera captured video of a small plane crash that killed three on Tuesday in Broward County, Florida. The plane, a Beechcraft Bonanza which took off out of North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines, slammed directly into a vehicle carrying a mother and her son. The aircraft slid across the street and burst into flames. Both occupants onboard the aircraft were killed, along with the young boy in the vehicle.
Video captures deadly small plane crash at North Perry Airport in Florida (Viewer discretion advised). https://t.co/NR3LCQlu5g pic.twitter.com/OTJpiSDH9u
— Breaking Aviation News & Videos (@breakingavnews)
3. A suspect is in custody after a shooting spree that occurred Tuesday at several spas in the Greater Atlanta area. At least eight people were killed in the shootings, and police arrested Robert Aaron Long, 21, after his vehicle was identified as being in the area of all the shootings. According to reports, the suspect shot and killed four people at a spa in Cherokee County, three people at Gold Spa in Atlanta, and one person at a spa located across the street from Gold’s. A fifth person who was also shot and injured at the spa in Cherokee County, was taken to an area hospital for treatment.
At least 8 people were killed in a series of shootings at three spas in the Atlanta metro region Tuesday. Authorities said many of the victims appeared to be women of Asian descent.
The suspect, a 21-year-old white man, has been taken into custody. https://t.co/UiYFaYYvJR pic.twitter.com/olsVisZaRx
— NPR (@NPR)
4. Microsoft is investigating its Exchange cyberattack for a possible leak from inside sources, specifically from its MAPP partners. About 80 companies are involved in the Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) security partners that receive private disclosures and who received information about the hack prior to patches being released. The investigation will look at the proof-of-concept attack code that was sent privately to these firms and try to determine if it was leaked — either by accident, or intentionally — since there are similarities between the hack and the private code.
5. Wyoming and Colorado are still digging out after record snowfall from the blizzard that hit the region over the past weekend. Schools in northern Colorado and eastern Wyoming were closed again on Tuesday as many roads and highways remain impassable. The impassable roads prompted first responders to use a Snowcat to get doctors to a hospital to perform emergency surgery, and volunteers used snowmobiles to transport individuals to hospitals for crucial treatment.
Parts of Wyoming, Colorado still snarled by record blizzard https://t.co/xL6B34mTg6
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes)
6. Detecting volcanic activity is a challenge; however, a new study from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory suggests help may come from satellites. The study reviewed thermal radiation data collected from two NASA satellites launched in 2002, Terra and Aqua, which provided temperature recordings of several volcanoes and showed an increase to a peak temperature, at which time an eruption was recorded. These subtle changes, such as magma pushing u, along with steam releases, provide small temperature increases and make the area “brighter” on satellite images, which provides a simple method to identify and track volcanic activity.
A small 1ºC increase in the temperature of a volcano, detectable by thermal radiation data from @NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites, can predict a volcanic eruption within 2-5 years, better than any existing prediction technology. https://t.co/gx78F9AULJ
— Bob Brent (@BobBrentTO)
7. Residents in the small fishing town of Grindavick, Iceland, are on edge after more than 40,000 earthquakes — some with a 5.7 magnitude — have occurred since February 24. Officials warn that an eruption is likely from the 800-year dormant volcano, Fagradalsfjall, part of the Krysuvick volcanic system on the Reykjanes peninsula. Although the seismic activity has lessened somewhat, officials are cautioning residents to maintain vigilance, since magma, with a total depth of about four kilometers, has moved to a very shallow depth of just one kilometer or about 3,800 feet below the surface.
Iceland bracing for volcanic eruption after many quakes via @dwnews https://t.co/gx4fohsk1g #Iceland #Grindavik #earthquakes #volcanoes #geology #science #research #evacuations #disasters #prepare #environment #habitat
— Chuck Dalldorf (@ChuckDalldorf)
8. States across the South are on alert for severe weather on Wednesday. The majority of the most severe weather is likely to occur in Alabama and Mississippi, but could push north into parts of Tennessee and over into Georgia. This is the first time a Level 5 alert has been issued for Georgia since 2017, while Middle Tennessee is at a Level 4 alert. Forecasts are calling for damaging winds, heavy rain, hail, severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes. Officials are asking residents in the potential path of this weather to monitor local warnings and be alert for rapid changes in area weather.
It is severe weather season in the South, and for residents in several states, they’re being told to stay on alert on Wednesday for possible tornadoes. https://t.co/ket8B1Ska4
— WCPO 9 (@WCPO)
This content was originally published here.