Virginia Graziani

Redwood Times

The Humboldt County board of supervisors will review the final draft of Humboldt County’s hazard mitigation plan update at their regular meeting next Tuesday, Dec. 10, according to a press release from Cybelle Immitt, natural resources planner for the county Department of Public Works (DPW).

DPW is asking the board to approve and adopt the updated plan so that it can be forwarded to the California State Office of Emergency Services (OES) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

”The Hazard Plan will serve as a coordinating document for the risk reductions efforts of 32 planning partners for the next five years,” DPW’s press release states. “.... The Hazard Plan is also a key to funding under FEMA hazard mitigation grant programs.”

Six public agencies in Southern Humboldt are partners in the plan. Redway Community Services District, Garberville Sanitary District, Briceland Fire Protection District, and the Shelter Cove Resort Improvement District participated in the initial plan, which received final approval from FEMA in January, 2008.

Weott Community Services District and the Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District are joining the plan as part of this update.

Each jurisdiction that participates must prepare an “annex” describing risks to critical infrastructure from such natural disasters as earthquake, wildfire, severe floods, tsunami, landslides, drought, and dam failure.

The agencies must then provide a list of potential mitigation measures, the estimated cost of the mitigation project, and potential funding sources.

For example, Weott CSD’s list of mitigation measures includes replacement of the pipeline that brings raw water from its source to the treatment plant. This project has already been funded by the California Department of Public Health and work is underway.

Weott’s list of mitigation projects also includes replacement of its existing water tank, estimated at $186,000; development of a back-up water source at $75,000, and replacement of its entire drinking water treatment plant at $2.5 million.

Planning and construction of a new facility to meet state seismic standards, which SHCHD must complete by 2013, tops the healthcare district’s list of mitigation projects. Cost of this project is estimated at $35 million.

Areas not included within districts or incorporated cities are covered by the county’s overall plan. Some jurisdictions have collaborated with others to develop mutually beneficial plans.

The entire Hazard Mitigation Plan Update, which was released in two volumes that total over 600 pages, is available on the county website at co.humboldt.ca.us/natural-resources/hazardmitigation/. Hard copies are also available at the board of supervisors’ office in the county courthouse. For more information contact Cybelle Immitt at cimmitt@co.humboldt.ca.us or by phone at 267-9542.