What local services do during severe weather

Photo by Bruce Voigts

Last Monday and Wednesday – June 16 and 18 – Wright County experienced thunderstorms, winds up to 90 miles per hour, two tornados, and as many as 10 inches of rain total for the week. When severe weather hits, local services spring into action to keep area residents safe, and help them clean up in the aftermath.

Emergency Management

On sunny June 19 – after the worst of the storms – the Wright County Supervisors declared a State of Emergency. The designation itself is dramatic-sounding but bureaucratic, enabling funds to be released from a variety of sources and mutual aid agreements to go into effect. The area is subsequently assessed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Homeland Security.

“My role, as Emergency Management Coordinator, is to help the city and the county get the resources they need to respond,” said Jim Lester. “I’m in communication with all the cities in the County, the Sheriff, and the Board of Supervisors. As they have needs that come up, I try to fulfill those by contacting my counterparts at the state level.”

According to Lester, the mutual aid agreements enable cities and counties to share needed equipment. “If, for instance, one city is having trouble with a pump, another city can provide one,” he said. “We try to take care of issues locally first, then we go to other resources from neighboring cities.”

Read about Storm Spotters, County Roads Crews, and the Police and Sheriff’s Departments in the June 26 issue of the Monitor!