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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — It’s one of those things you hope you never need, but if you do, you’re glad it’s there.
The Colfax Village Board approved an updated Emergency Operations Plan at the July 8 meeting.
The Colfax Village Board’s public safety committee met for an hour and a half July 1 to review the Emergency Operations Plan.
Many of the changes involved updating names and telephone numbers, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer.
The plan will help if there is a disaster, and it will help expedite obtaining disaster funds, said Chad Berge, village trustee and chair of the public safety committee.
Those who were at the meeting went over the plan page by page, said Scott Gunnufson, village president.
In addition to Gunnufson, Berge and Niggemann, Colfax Fire Chief Don Logslett, Colfax Police Chief William Anderson and Rand Bates, director of public works, also attended the public safety committee meeting to discuss the Emergency Operations Plan.
The 96-page updated Emergency Operations Plan includes a number of new maps and forms for making reports as well.
One section added to the Emergency Operations Plan is a checklist the public works department should consider during an emergency or disaster situation.
The check list includes reviewing the disaster situation with field personnel and reporting the situation to the village’s emergency management director and ensuring that all personnel have been alerted and that they should report as the situation directs.
The checklist also includes maintaining proper transportation routes; coordinating road closures and travel restrictions with law enforcement; ensuring that all municipal utilities, water and sewer are operating; assisting with locating private utilities for gas and electrical services; coordinating flood activities, such as as sandbagging, emergency dikes and pumping operations; assisting with travel control; providing emergency generators and lighting; and assisting with search and rescue.
Stormwater and flooding
Another new section was added to the plan pertaining to stormwater and flooding.
The section describes the difference between stormwater and flooding and indicates that in the case of flooding, the village board will declare a state of emergency and contact the Dunn County emergency manager for sandbags for dikes and other assistance.
Under this section, the fire department or rescue squad may also activate the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) for rescue or sandbagging.
Mutual aid agreements with other municipalities may be activated, too, and evacuations may be ordered.
Stormwater run-off and snow melt are typically handled by the municipality.