Paradise reviews plans for power, drinking water in emergencies

This article was originally posted March 4, 2010 by the Hard News Café.

By Paul Lewis Siddoway

PARADISE–Town Council members decided Wednesday to set up a Sunday evening meeting to review the emergency operations plan with the fire department and members of the community.

“I went to a FEMA meeting and I was kinda disappointed,” Jay Rinderknecht said, expressing his desire to see something more pertinent to Paradise. Council members all expressed interest in securing water and power to citizens in the event of an emergency, like an earthquake and other subsequent problems.

“Watching the news these past couple months, you just sit there and think, ‘Well, when’s our turn?’” Mayor Leland Howlett said, referring to the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.

Troy Fredrickson, chief of the volunteer fire department, told the council the fire trucks all hold potable water, in case emergency situations endanger the town’s drinkable water supply. He said in such an emergency, first priority is the lives of citizens. Structure fires which do not threaten lives may be allowed to burn until a source of drinkable water is secured.

Fredrickson assured the council water from reservoirs can be pumped out either by pumps run by generators or by the fire engines themselves.

Although the basics were covered, the council knows it has other areas where it needs to review and potentially update existing emergency systems, like in the event of flooding.

Speaking of the irrigation canals, Fredrickson said, “Those canals are built big at the top and narrow out. They’re irrigation canals. Not flood control.”

The council decided to make plans to review and consider revising the emergency operations plan, then sharing it with Paradise residents.

“I want to make sure our citizens are protected,” Councilman Kyle Smith said.

In other business, the council announced they will continue to meet on the first and third Wednesday of the month, but will be changing their starting time to 7:30 p.m.

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