May 24, 2024


Think Differently

Whatcom County acquiring new machines. Here’s how it is preparing for yet another flood catastrophe

In advance of the wet season, Whatcom County has gained a $4.3 million point out grant for supplies that will aid officers respond to disasters these types of as the two rounds of flooding that devastated the region in November 2021, creating some $200 million damage.

Merchandise attained through the grant consist of a sandbagging equipment, electronic signals to show highway closures, and trailers crammed with requirements to inventory an emergency shelter.

In addition, the Sheriff’s Workplace obtained funding from the County Council on Aug. 8 to obtain two 18-foot rescue boats that could be utilised in the ocean, lakes or rivers.

With a deficiency of boats in 2021, quite a few residents of parts in the vicinity of Everson, Nooksack and Sumas were being saved by volunteers driving farm implements and design products like tractors and skiploaders via waist-deep floodwaters.

Amy Cloud, spokeswoman for the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Workplace Division of Unexpected emergency Administration, mentioned money from the point out Commerce Office are getting:

6 moveable digital information boards that can be put on streets to let motorists know about standing drinking water, detours, highway closures and other info

One sandbagging machine, with the intent to buy much more

Four all-weather drones

An alert and evacuation notification application method

Six unexpected emergency reaction trailers stocked with items these types of as hand sanitizer, garbage baggage, cleaning materials, 25 cots with blankets and pillows, chairs, turbines, a software kit, a very first assist package, basic safety vests, workplace materials, paper goods and female supplies.

John Gargett, deputy director of the Division of Emergency Administration, stated the grant will also fund a radio simulcast system.

“One of the difficulties all through the November 2021 flooding was communications in that there was only a single tower (Sumas) that carried the unexpected emergency website traffic for law enforcement and lookup and rescue,” Gargett explained to The Bellingham Herald in an email.

“While the radio did not have a total failure, it was so seriously utilised that there were radio website traffic collisions. Moreover experienced we experienced an issue with this single tower we would not have had dependable communications. The Commerce grant enabled us to improve our radio system to a simulcast system, which means that all the towers in our region are obtaining and broadcasting concurrently. For that reason, if we have been to free one particular of the towers, yet another tower would decide up the radio targeted traffic,” he mentioned.

Gargett mentioned the machines and trailers will be stored in areas where by flood damage is most very likely, allowing for a speedier reaction in an emergency.