County, municipalities update mitigation plan

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

A mitigation plan for handling environmental hazards like floods, tornados and erosion across the county is almost complete.

The plan itself has been created. It now needs to be approved by all municipalities.

It was approved by the Dubois County Commissioners on Monday and the Huntingburg Common Council on Tuesday. Tammy Humbert of the Dubois County Emergency Management Agency and Lisa Gehlhausen of Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission will present the plan to the councils in Jasper, Holland and Birdseye this month.

The plan compiles 60 different instances of environmental hazards that impact different areas in the county. Should an agency want to request funding for a project to rectify a hazard, the agency can point out that the hazard and action is on the mitigation plan to support the request, Humbert explained to the commissioners and Huntingburg council.

For each hazard, an area is named, a prevention action is listed and potential funding sources and coordinating agencies are listed. The hazard’s priority is also identified as high, medium or low.

For instance, structural improvement for flooding in Dubois County is listed as a high priority. The action listed with that is floodgates, and the coordinating agency is the county highway department. Potential funders are the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Various projects are also on the list. Example of high-priority projects are the Huntingburg Street Department’s relocation out of the floodplain, installing new sirens in unincorporated areas of the county and adding address signage on houses in the Dubois Volunteer Fire Department coverage area.

Past mitigation plans included work on Beaver Lake dam for Jasper and the community of Dubois’ stormwater system, Gehlhausen said.

This is the third mitigation plan for this area. They are good for five years, but can be updated annually, Gehlhausen said. FEMA has already consented to the plan, she said.




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