A Hazard Mitigation Planning Meeting was held on Monday at the Cherokee County Supervisors Room at the Cherokee County Courthouse.
The Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council (SIMPCO) organized the meeting. SIMPCO is contracted by Cherokee County to complete a Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Such plans are helpful after a disaster to quickly allocated funds from the government to repair infrastructure damaged that was identified within the plan.
Monday's meeting was the second in a series of meetings that will be held throughout Cherokee County communities. Those who attended Monday's meeting had the opportunity to fill out a risk assessment survey ranking the most commonly found hazards in Iowa.
Those hazards are grouped into priority areas, the first priority group consisting of river flooding, tornados, severe winter storms, levee failure, thunderstorm and lightning, flash flooding, hailstorms and animal-plant-crop disease.
Hazards identified in the second priority group were: dam failure, radiological, terrorism, hazardous materials, drought, human disease, transportation incidents, and infrastructure failure.
The third hazard priority group was: extreme heat, grass and wildfire, windstorms, sinkholes, landslide, earthquakes, and expansive soils.
Part of the assessment survey was to rank if these problems are common to the area, if any have happened in recent memory, whether it affected the County as a whole, and what level of risk they are to the County?
In the previous Hazard Mitigation Meeting, a list was made of shelter points and local critical sites for each community in Cherokee County.
Cherokee: Cherokee Post Office, Cherokee City Hall, Cherokee County Courthouse, Washington High School, Cherokee Middle School, Roosevelt Elementary School, Bright Beginnings and Early Childhood Development Center, Cherokee Head Start, Wiese Oil, First Coop, Western Iowa Tech Community College, Cherokee Fire Station, Cherokee Regional Medical Center, Cherokee Mental Health Institute, Hy-Vee Distribution Center, Clover Leaf Storage, Tyson Food, American Natural Soy. U.S. Highway Department and Harvest International, R.J. Thomas Manufacturing, Cherokee County Landfill, Mid America.
Washta: Washta City Hall, Washta Post Office, Washta Fire Station, River Valley Elementary School, Washta elevators.
Quimby, Quimby City Hall, Quimby Post Office, Quimby Fire Station.
Larrabee: Larrabee Post Office, Rick's Tank Service, First Coop.
Cleghorn: Cleghorn Post Office, Cleghorn Fire Station, Cleghorn Elevators, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn Elementary School.
Aurelia: Aurelia City Hall, Aurelia Post Office, Aurelia Fire Station, Alta-Aurelia Elementary and Middle School, First Coop, GeoLube.
Marcus: Little Sioux Ethanol Plant, Sands Seeds, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn High School.
This was just the first draft of the list of shelter points and local critical sites and is incomplete. SIMPCO is looking for more community involvement to expand the list.
Laycey Kirchmeir Community Development Planner with SIMCO said she would like to see more residents of Cherokee County get involved, epically senior citizens and school personal.
The next Hazard Mitigation Planning Meeting will be announced in the coming weeks. If you like to attend these meetings contact SIMPCO at 712-279-6286 or the Cherokee County Emergency Management Office in the Cherokee County Courthouse at 225-6721.