Infrastructure Daily News 11.26.12

Transportation Sector

November 23, Associated Press – (Pennsylvania) 5 hurt in head-on crash with SEPTA bus in Philly. Five people were injured in a head-on crash involving a bus and a car in Philadelphia November 23. They said the driver of a sedan appeared to be under the influence when he lost control and collided with a SEPTA bus. WPVI reported the driver of the car was rushed to a hospital in critical condition and was upgraded to stable condition. Four people on the bus were treated for minor injuries. Source: http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/5-hurt-in-head-on-crash-with- SEPTA-bus-in-Philly-4061649.php

November 23, USA Today – (National) Mississippi River commerce imperiled by low water. A crucial 200-mile stretch of the Mississippi River may be on the verge of shutdown to barge traffic, a move that could paralyze commerce on a vital inland waterway and ultimately drive up consumer prices. The temporary closure of the Mississippi River from St. Louis to Cairo, Illinois, could result from an Army Corps of Engineers plan to reduce water flow from a reservoir into the Missouri River starting November 23, shipping companies and industry groups warned. The Corps annually decreases water releases to ensure adequate reservoir levels and to prevent ice buildup and flooding. In 2012, already-low river levels caused by drought could shrink to the point that barges carrying grain, coal, and other products would not be able to navigate the Mississippi, said a spokesperson with the Waterways Council, which represents ports and shippers. “This is an impending economic crisis that could delay shipment of $7 billion in commodities in December and January,” she said. A Corps spokeswoman said water releases from the reservoir at Gavins Point Dam on the Nebraska-South Dakota border will drop gradually starting November 23 from 36,000 cubic feet per second to 12,000 by December 11. Due to the drought, most vessels on the Mississippi River are now limited to a 9-foot draft, said a spokesperson with Knight Hawk Coal. “If we go to 6-foot drafts, the river is effectively closed,” he said. Source: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/usworld/article/283549/6/Mississippi- River-commerce-imperiled-by-low-water

. November 22, Associated Press – (Texas) Texas highway pileup: Massive car crash shuts I-10 in Texas; at least 2 dead. Two people died and more than 80 people were hurt November 22 when at least 140 vehicles collided in southeast Texas in a pileup that left trucks twisted on top of each other and authorities rushing to pull survivors from the wreckage. The collision occurred in extremely foggy conditions November 22 on Interstate 10 southwest of Beaumont, Texas. A man and a woman were killed in a vehicle crushed by a tractor trailer, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) said. A Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy said in a news release that 80 to 90 people were transported to hospitals with 10 to 12 of those in serious to critical condition. He said 140 to 150 vehicles were involved in the pileup. According to DPS, a crash on the eastbound side of the highway led to other accidents in a dangerous chain reaction. There were multiple crashes on the other side of the highway as well. I-10’s eastbound lanes were re-opened November 22 after more than 8 hours. Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/22/texas-highway-pileupcrash_ n_2175909.html

. November 21, New York Times – (New York; New Jersey) Train service at Penn Station partially restored after switching problem. A switch malfunction brought train traffic out of New York City’s Pennsylvania Station to a standstill for over an hour November 21, causing delays and rankling thousands of holiday travelers on one of the busiest travel days of the year. All service — including Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and Long Island Rail Road trains — was shut down for about 1 and 1/2 hours, railroad officials said. Thousands of people squeezed into waiting areas, to the point where at times it was difficult to move .A spokesman for the Long Island Rail Road, said the issue was “an electrical problem that has affected a switch or switches right at the point where trains leave or enter Penn.” Amtrak and New Jersey Transit customers faced delays of 60 to 90 minutes, railroad officials said. Source: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/21/all-train-service-at-pennstation- shut-down-due-to-switching-problem/

Postal and Shipping Sector

Nothing to report

Emergency Services Sector

. November 22, Associated Press – (Pennsylvania) 49 female inmates sickened by gas at Pa. prison. Nearly 50 female inmates at a York County, Pennsylvania prison were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. A statement from York County said five inmates remained hospitalized as of November 22. The remaining 44 were returned to the York County Prison. The women fell ill November 21 in a prison dormitory. Officials said a preliminary investigation indicated the deadly odorless and colorless gas may have come from the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. That system was shut down. The county’s statement said carbon monoxide levels have returned to normal. Prisoners living in the affected unit were relocated to other areas in the facility. Source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iWnMC3qY_jBrba0wSdXlCqq aEmbA?docId=aff8ec4e6a09455fa42c48a4806acbf3

. November 22, Associated Press – (Iowa) Man accused of faking emergency calls. A man was accused of faking emergency calls and jamming or otherwise disrupting the Des Moines, Iowa police department’s radio frequency, the Associated Press reported November 22. He was charged with 28 counts of obstructing emergency communications and 8 counts of impersonating public officials. KCCI 8 Des Moines reported that police said he made calls in November that forced the dispatch of officers, vehicles, and equipment to the scenes of nonexistent incidents. Police said he would also leave his radio set on the police frequency without talking on it, tying up the channel. It is legal to monitor emergency communications, but accessing the system and making false transmissions is illegal. He was arrested November 20 at his home after police tracked his location from transmissions. Source: http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/Man-Accused-of-Faking-Emergency-Calls- 180521211.html

. November 21, Modesto Bee – (California) Calif. farm inmates set fires to get home for Christmas. Inmates at the Stanislaus County Honor Farm in California intentionally set two recent fires in an attempt to get home for Christmas, the sheriff said. The fires — one November 17 and the second November 19, both in the inmate barracks — caused only minor damage and disruption to the facility, the sheriff said November 20, crediting staff and firefighters with quick response. The sheriff said the inmates believed that if they burned down the barracks, there would not be anywhere to house them and officials would have no choice but to let them go. The inmates have been shifted to other locations and procedures were tweaked to prevent further fires. Source: http://www.firehouse.com/news/10832644/calif-farm-inmates-set-fires-to-gethome- for-christmas

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