A regional disaster exercise will occur on Saturday, Sept. 8 in Jefferson County and the surrounding region. Citizens are advised that they may see or hear exercise activities on Saturday, as a “river rescue” using Jefferson County’s Swift Water assets will test plans, procedures, and capabilities as they pertain to a severe flooding and dam release incident on the Potomac River. Additionally, the Jefferson County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be activated throughout the day exercising their plans, procedures, and capabilities to activate, staff, operate and deactivate the EOC in response to such an event. Be advised that is only an exercise.
The scenario is that remnants of a hurricane will cause rain and flooding conditions throughout the region. At the height of the flooding in the exercise, there will be a problem with the Jennings Randolph Lake Dam. The dam is located on the borders of Mineral County and Garrett County, Md. on the North Branch of the Potomac River. It is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Don McLaughlin of the Environmental Protection Agency in Philadelphia is the Coordinator for the exercise, which is being conducted in accordance with HSEEP (Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program).
“Jefferson County is looking forward to participating in what will be our 12th exercise during the 2012 calendar year,” said Barbara Miller, Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in Jefferson County. “This exercise is evidence of the growing public safety partnership between federal, state, and local governments, Non-Governmental Organizations, businesses, and the whole community approach to response and recovery efforts that our communities face.”
To ensure an effective exercise, subject matter experts and local representatives from numerous agencies have taken part in the planning process and will take part in the execution and evaluation of the exercise.