Local Emergency Planning Committee Learns About Hydrology
Mitch McAdoo, hydrologist with the United States Geological Service, recently informed the Local Emergency Planning Committee about monitoring hydrology and water flow.
McAdoo explained that there are 149 continuous stream gauges, 90 full discharge gauges, 41 stream only gauges,18 reservoir gauges, and 13 crest-stage gauges around the state that measure water flow and usage. All of the information is then used by the National Weather Service for their continuous water-quality monitoring network.
McAdoo also explained that there is project coming up in which the USGS is researching groundwater quality in the wet-gas areas of West Virginia to establish a baseline for groundwater quality, which will include Tyler County.
McAdoo spoke about coal mine aquifers which cover approximately 15 percent of the state. He advised some aquifers contain clean water, while others do not. The southern part of the state usually has the clean water while the northern part often needs treated.
It was explained that wells are often fractures or cracks in the ground that produce enough water to provide for a home. These fractures can be monitored to determine where fractures are and how much water they produce.
The USGS provides results from their projects and hydrology analysis on their website. For more information you may go to www.usgs.gov.In other news, the LEPC will be having hazmat and radiation training with the HMEP.
WVU will provide the training along with necessary equipment. The training will cover Hazmat Awareness, Hazmat Operations, Hazmat Technician, Hazmat Technician Refresher, and Hazmat Awareness and monitoring. Hazmat Awareness will be held July 12 at the Senior Center in Middlebourne and the dates for the other classes have yet to be determined.
The Office of Emergency Management has applied for a 2018 Homeland Security Grant and with that funding, all law enforcement will receive trauma kits. There will also be funding set aside for search and rescue training. The breathing air compressor issue is moving along. There was an issue with the compressor being too large for the trailer, but the OEM received funding to purchase a larger trailer and so that project is nearing completion.
The OEM also conducted a traffic incident management training. They were supplied road cones and emergency signs for the OEM along with four stations.
Paperwork for the EMPG grants have been finished. Leftover funds from 2014 have arrived; reimbursement for 2016 has been sent in and the paperwork for 2017 is completed.
The OEM is still waiting to hear back from FEMA for the approval of the sheriff’s office generator. The Code Red public notification system is moving along with continuing preparation and testing. The Tyler/Wetzel Health Department is currently submitting all of its information to be included in the system.
The OEM is also waiting to hear back from the state to receive the proposed bid sheet. The project has been approved, it is waiting on the okay to be bid out. There was a Search and Rescue training held in May titled “Managing the Initial Search” that went very well. The instructors were very familiar in their filed of expertise and most of them have instructed all over the nation. One instructor even commented they have only seen approximately five other search and rescue teams in the country that is as well established as Tyler County’s .
There was also a Wilderness First Aid training held for search and rescue that included 12 participants.
There will be a K9 training workshop scheduled for June 24. The OEM would like to hold workshops to familiarize first responders with the SIRN radios. The workshops would explain how to use talk groups, as well as other features, so that departments are aware of all the functions available with the radios.
The search and rescue teams were called out for six search calls in an eight week period.
There is some progress in regards to the stream cleanup project. Workers will be working by hand with chainsaws to clean up stream areas that have been affected by recent floods. Anyone that knows of any areas needing trees and debris removed from the stream may contact the Office of Emergency Management at 304-758-5155. Local fishermen and kayakers are asked for their help in the matter as well for locating areas of flood damage.
The next LEPC meeting is scheduled for July 5 beginning at 9 a.m. and located at the Senior Center in Middlebourne.