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Local News

April 19, 2013

Mitigation Plan takes shape

DUNCAN — After months for work, an updated project list for the updated City of Duncan has been completed and will be used for the city’s portion of the county Hazard Mitigation Plan.

City and county officials met for the third mitigation plan meeting Thursday. During that meeting, the list of items previously discussed, added or altered on the list were prioritized by the people who’s jobs would benefit from the items discussed.

The series of meetings has been directed to develop and form the city’s Hazard Mitigation Plan so it can be added to the county’s plan.

“This is the last meeting,” Steve Somerlott, with Hazard Mitigation Specialists LLC, said. “We will take the information we’ve gathered and establish a plan. Once we get approved, pending adoption by FEMA, we will get everyone together for one final meeting.”

Somerlott said the final meeting probably would several months out and may not even happened until next year, depending on how quickly it moves through FEMA. He said this process could be delayed even more if there is a disaster FEMA has to react to.

As a result, there isn’t a time frame set on getting the plan rolling.

“When we send a plan to the state, we usually hear back from them within a couple of months,” Somerlott said. “With FEMA, it’s really hard to tell what is going to happen.”

The meeting began with additional plan options the city and county officials could decide to opt out of. Most of these options were items the officials were favorable for, including surge protection and red cedar eradication.

Other items, including elevating road beds, were deemed unnecessary or didn’t go with what the city had in mind for its plan list.

From there, the officials looked at the list of projects previously discussed and retained on the list. Those items were prioritized by the officials individually.

“This prioritization is something FEMA says we have to do,” Somerlott said.

Brief descriptions were provided to help the officials better made priority decisions. In all, there were 41 items on the list. These items ranged from a Special Needs Action Plan to covered shelter for government vehicles to earthquake insurance public information.

Somerlott said the mitigation plan will come together smoothly because of the work put in by the various community representatives and officials.

“I want to thank everyone for your help,” Somerlott said. “God knows we couldn’t do it without you. You’re the ones who live in this area.”

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