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The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
September 19, 2012     The Adams County Record
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September 19, 2012

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Page 16 Wednesday, September 19, 2012 The Adams County Record BY DALE FXSK Few people get involved in the day-to-day bureau- cracy that it takes to keep a society going. And it's no wonder; it can be mind- numbingly boring. I don't know how many people should be done to prepare for them. Of course in the plan itself, the writers take several pages of mind- numbing government-speak tosay what I just did in that last sentence. The reason for the public weather, which, historically, have caused the most dam- age here. The plan states, "Projects were ranked on a 'High 'Moderate" or 'Low' scale with emphasis on project feasibility and the benefit/ • Designate and maintain helipads for evacuation. Town priorities Priorities for both Council and New Meadows includ- ed better posting and use of house numbers and updat- ing school evacuation plans. read the legal notices in the Record. Many people prob- ably assume they have noth- ing to do with them, but fairly often public notices do affect us in some way. A recent public notice was about disasters. Disasters themselves are not boring, of course, but thank good- ness there are people who are willing to spend the time to sit in meetings, read long documents and plan the details of what it takes to deal with events like floods, earthquakes, fires, etc. -- county and city elected offi- cials and staff, fire protec- tion districts, law enforce- ment, hospital and school district representatives, pub- lic health districts, irrigation districts, and local interest groups. Every few years, local authorities are required to revaluate the disaster plan for the county. What is being updated is the Adams County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan, which is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The plan evaluates the likelihood of disasters and outlines what notice was so the public can get involved in the planning. cost correlation. Once corn- A priority unique to Council pleted, the individual juris- was: Begin preparing air- BY FRED ERLAND Saturday afternoon, some one tossed a smoke out their window near the milepost 151 corner and started a blaze that could have been a disaster for Meadows "i-he final comment period • goes until September 28. So, if you want your input to be heard, time is short. I would recommend reading the Adams County Multi- Hazard Mitigation Plan here: http://www, consulting-for- Several planning meetings were held this year, start- ing in April. Those meetings were attended by about 32 people representing various public and private organiza- tions such as the ones listed above. The Hazard Mitigation Plan that those people worked to update identi- fies the disasters that could happen in Adams County: flood, landslide, earthquake, severe weather, wildland fire, terrorism/civil unrest, mas- sive crop failure, drought and extended power outage. Some of these are less likely than others, so they receive less attention. Terrorism and civil unrest, along with crop failure, are not given much attention in the plan. It tends to concentrate on floods, fires and severe dictions rankings were dis- cussed and approved at the committee leveE' Priorities are listed for the county, Council and New Meadows. County priorities Some of the highest pri- ority "action items" for the county included: • Public education pro- grams. • Continued participa- tion in the National Flood Insurance Program. • Forming a flood hazard advisory committee. • Encouraging residents to use address signs (house numbers) to help EMS, fire departments and law enforcement to find homes. • Promoting a "72-hour" pack for self-reliance during a crisis. • Surfacing of secondary access routes for all weather use. Indian Valley to Emmett road would be a priority. • A program to main- tain portable generators throughout the county. • Maintain communica- tion towers and put a new repeater on Lyons Saddle. Valley. Passerby's stopped and were actively fighting the fire when Meadows Fire arrived. Fire was quickly extinguished. The USFS firefighters arrived and were mopping it up as all left the scene. Without the instant volunteers that stopped and fought the fire I do not even wish to think of the consequences. Thank you to them, and all others who responded so quickly. port for alternative access use. Perform maintenance and upgrades as necessary. This same measure was considered as a low prior- ity for New Meadows. New Meadows has a much lon- ger list of priorities, which may put the town in a favor- able position for future grants since they can point to expenditures they would like to fund as listed in an official planning document. Priorities unique to New Meadows: • Establish a flood hazard advisory commission and formulate a flood response and mitigation plan. • Control water drainage with complete storm drain- age system. • Purchase new road grad- er to mitigate road damage from flooding and snow events for evacuations and to create a fire line to pro- tect the city. • Obtain fire pumps that meet current fire codes and store fuel for reserve in case of power outage. • Obtain diesel gen- erators'to run Well #3, Booster Station and Sewer Treatment Plant, and hard wire those facilities for use with generators. • Chlorination system in the Booster Station in case of contamination from flood, terrorism or natural occurrence. • Formulate public infor- marion plan to reduce con- taminants in local water- sheds and drinking water aquifers. • Develop and maintain a dust abatement plan. • Develop an emergency evacuation plan. The public can send comments to Brad Tucker, Northwest Management, Inc., at or PO Box 9748, Moscow, ID 83843 You can also contact Don Horton at 253-6125 or Interesting info in the plan The Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan is 176 pages long, and has some inter- esting maps showing: where earthquakes have happened in Idaho, how much pre- cipitation various parts of the state receive, where fires have historically happened in Adams County; areas of the county prone to land- slides and floods; an Idaho Average Wind Speed Map. The following are some of the more interesting quotes from the plan. "All of Adams County is at risk to severe winter weather events and there is a high probability of their continued occurrence in this area. From high winds to ice storms to freezing temperatures, there are all types of winter storms that take place during the course of any given year. Winter conditions can change very rapidly. The probability of Adams County experiencing a severe weather event on an annual basis is very high." "According to the Tornado Project and the National Climatic Data Center, there were 2 reports of torna- does in Adams County between 1880 and 2000. They occurred in August 1983 (FO) and July 1992 (F1). No injuries or deaths were reported as a result of these events. There was an F3 tor- nado that touched down in the community of Bear that happened after the 'Tornado Pro) ect." "Adams County and the entire region are at increased risk to wildfires during high wind events. Ignitions can occur from a variety of sources including downed power lines, light- ning, or arson. Once ignit- ed, only wfldftre mitigation efforts around the commu- nity and scattered homes will assist firefighters in con- trolling a blazC' "Nearly all areas of the State are vulnerable to drought7 "Council can provide potable water for 1-3 days without electricity to run pumps. The city'has access to a portable generator to replenish, storage tanks, power sewer treatment facilities, and provide other basic and emergency ser- vices. The probability of short term power outages continuing to occur rela- tively frequently in Council is very high. The probabil- ity of long term outages of three days or more is very low. Idaho Power's. response to incidents causing outages is typically immediate; thus, only a severe, widespread event would likely cause this type of hazard." "Most residents in New Meadows are connected to the municipal water system or have drilled personal wells. City wells and water storage tanks are located outside of the floodplain. The city's ability to provide clean drinking water during flood events should not be compromised. The storage capacity of New Meadows' water tanks are 250,000 gal- lons, so this could last the town 3 to 4 days if power was lost due to a flood. 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