Miami and area developing hurricane evacuation and response plan
| 10.26.2006 | 04:23:03 | Views: 4587 | ID:
October 26 '06: Should a Category 5 hurricane strike the Florida coast, federal officials working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are developing a plan to help state officials prepare for mitigation or response in the even that Miami is hit or that elderly and weakened levees on Lake Okeechobee break, the Miami Herald reported Wednesday.
More than $4 million in federal funding will target the development of "precise, laser-based flood maps around the lake and the hiring of seven planner to develop strategies aimed at lessening the chaotic process of picking up the pieces - a yawning hole in disaster planning exposed by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans last year," the Herald reported.During a news conference at the National Hurricane Center in West Miami-Dade County, FEMA Director David Paulison said, "we know how to move people and get them out of harm's way, but what do we do with them afterward?" Currently, the project will include the cooperation of FEMA's Florida field devision, Governor Jeb Bush and the Army Corps of Engineers. The laser-based flood mapping, the Herald reported, "known as Light Detection and Ranging or LiDar, is billed as accurate within a foot of elevation, far more precise than ground-based surveys done a decade ago. ... The Lake Okeechobee mapping plan is expected to be completed before next hurricane season ... and the Miami plan within the next few years." The Associated Press reported that the data obtained from the LiDar mapping will "be used by state and local planners to determine which areas to evacuate and how to provide recovery resources if a breach of the 143-mile Herbert Hoover Dike appears likely in the future." To date, about 45,000 people live in the dike's area. The AP continued: "Disaster planners also will develop new evacuation and recovery plans for the possibility of a major hurricane striking in Miami-Dade County, the state's most populous. This plan would include how and where to house people who might be displaced for long periods after the storm."
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