Lake County mitigation planning underway

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Participants of the first public meeting for an update of the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan discuss when various documents in Lake County were adopted. (Ashley Fox/Lake County Leader)

Nearly 20 people from different disciplines attended the first “kick-off” meeting to update the Lake County mitigation plan.

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, a meeting at the Lake County Office of Emergency Management was held, where those in attendance recapped the process for updating the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan (MHMP).

Leading the two-hour meeting was Daphne Digrindakis, of Tetra Tech, Inc., whom the county has a contract to assist in the process.

An MHMP is required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), so that the county may receive disaster mitigation funds and apply for mitigation grants in the evenet of natural and man-made hazards.

Officials have six months to complete the project.

During the meeting, Digrindakis jotted down potential hazards, as those who attended also gave some dates of when documents that will help with the MHMP update were adopted.

The next step, Digrindakis explained, is to continue with planning team meetings and conference calls that will begin the week after Thanksgiving on Thursday, Nov. 29.

Those meetings will continue bi-weekly through the middle of February, she added.

Digrindakis said that during the first planning team meeting, those who attend will prioritize hazards and determine which will be profiled in the MHMP.

In February, a draft MHMP will be drafted and a second public meeting will be held.

A 45-day review period will take place in February and March, where the public is encouraged to provide officials with comments.

The MHMP update will re-examine a range of hazards that could affect Lake County as well as recent hazard events, the probability of future occurrences and vulnerabilities of structures and population within Lake County.

Tetra Tech, Inc. will complete a Plan revision at the end of the comment period, submitting the updated document to FEMA for review and approval.

A second opportunity for review and comments will take place in April and May 2019, during which time Tetra Tech will complete another updated version of the plan, and then submit the final document to county officials as well as the cities of Polson, Ronan and St. Ignatius for adoption.

Lake County and its incorporated communities will remain eligible to receieve FEMA funding for mitigation projects once the plan is adopted.

Digrindakis encourages anyone interested in joining in next week’s meeting, which will take place at 10 a.m. at the OEM office, 25A Regatta Road, Polson.

Those interested but unable to attend can call the conference line. Details, she said, will be on the project website, on the planning team page: The Lake County password is Polson.

Anyone with questions can contact Stanley at 406-883-7253 or Daphne Digrindakis with Tetra Tech, Inc., at 406-475-2648.

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