The Logan County Multi-Jurisdictional All Hazards Mitigation
Planning Committee met on Oct. 17 for its last session. The
committee's work, which took a year, was to identify needs, define
and rank projects related to hazards that could affect lives, health
and property in Logan County.
The Logan County Hazards Mitigation
Plan is the result of a nearly five-year process spearheaded by the
Logan County Emergency Management Agency, with deputy director Terry
Storer in charge of developing the plan.
The committee's planning stage was led by consultant Greg
Michaud, an environmental specialist, and Andrea Bostwick, an
environmental analyst, both of Johnson, Depp & Quisenberry of
Storer said that contracting with a consultant for this stage was
the best way to go. It definitely saved on costs, and Storer said he
felt that they got the job done quicker and better this way. The
consulting firm had templates already developed and knew what they
were doing. Storer said it had been good to work with Michaud and
The committee consisted of representatives from governmental
jurisdictions within Logan County and other public sectors, such as
agencies associated with health care, insurance, GIS, agriculture
and emergency services, including law enforcement and fire
departments. Entities included the cities of Atlanta, Mount Pulaski
and Lincoln; the villages of Emden, Hartsburg, Broadwell, Elkhart
and San Jose; the Logan County offices of assessments, board, clerk,
EMA, 911 dispatch, highway, public health, sheriff, zoning/GIS; the
Logan-Mason-Menard Regional Office of Education; Mount Pulaski Rural
Fire Protection District 2 (Chestnut); Abraham Lincoln Memorial
Hospital; Illinois Central Management Services; Anita Frizzell; and
plan consultants from Johnson, Depp & Quisenberry.
What was put in the Logan County plan?
Projects related to the most frequent types of damage,
primarily weather-related, in Logan County.
So, what does having a plan do for Logan County?
Much like having a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy,
or CEDS, which correlates with a Comprehensive Plan of community and
county infrastructure needs, the All Hazards Mitigation Plan is
linked to the Logan County EMA's Emergency Response Plan. The
Hazards Mitigation Plan enables greater access to funding, grant
money primarily, that would aid in prevention or recovery from
disasters, with some funding that otherwise might not be accessible.
During the final half-hour meeting that took place two weeks ago,
the committee learned more about getting those funds.
Before applications can begin, the plan needs to go to state and
federal levels for approvals. Then the Logan County plan comes back
down to the local level for adoption by all the jurisdictional
participants. Committee members will be notified by email when it
After a jurisdiction has adopted the plan, it can apply for
federal mitigation grants for projects in the plan as funds become
available. In the event of a state-declared or federally declared
disaster, having a plan would also assist in recovery fund
applications to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Federal
Emergency Management Agency. In addition, for other
non-disaster-related grants, having projects in the plan would gain
favor for those requests.
Dan Fulscher, Logan County EMA director, further elaborated on
how partnering projects in the mitigation plan with other
construction needs could help everyone. He illustrated with
something he had heard during the county meeting just the night
before. The county's animal control facility is overcrowded and
needs more space. The plan is to budget each year until the saved-up
fund is adequate to build.
Fulscher suggested it might be possible to add a storm shelter
for neighbors in the office portion of the building project. A
mitigation grant could reduce the construction costs by as much as
Bundling projects this way is a good use of dollars and does more
for a community, he pointed out. Fulscher encouraged everyone to
look at their projects in the plan and "think outside the box;"
bundling mitigation needs with other community needs if possible.
Michaud complimented the participants for their work in choosing
potential projects. He observed that disasters throughout the world,
in the U.S. and in Illinois in the past year "illustrate the need
for mitigation planning if we are to reduce property damages, deaths
and injuries from severe weather."
How was the plan constructed?
The plan was divided by countywide interest and
A cross grid identified and rated how
proposed projects might address a hazard, with listed hazards being
dam failure, drought, extreme heat, earthquake, flood, severe storm,
winter storm and tornado.
Would the project
reduce or eliminate the effect of the hazard?
Type of mitigation
activity needed: regulatory actions, structural projects, public
involvement, studies, miscellaneous and property protection.
Size of population
Would the project
reduce hazard effects on new or existing structures and
Time frame to
Funding sources and a cost-benefit
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What types of projects are in the Logan County plan?
The committee began by considering past disaster records.
Since 1950, there have been 59 tornadoes verified in Logan
County. The combined damage cost $39 million and resulted in 75
injuries and one death. The average tornado is 3 miles long and 145
Since 1951, records available show there have been 46 floods,
causing at least $3.5 million in damage. While potential damage from
stream flooding can be calculated (at least a quarter of a million
dollars, depending on location), flash flooding is unpredictable.
Natural and man-made hazards included
in the Logan County All Hazards Mitigation Plan include:
Severe storms with
hail, lightning or heavy rain.
storms with snow, ice and extreme cold.
The committee identified that in Logan County, high wind and
tornado damage should be of greater concern than flooding.
Below is a small sampling of actual projects in the drafted plan:
In the county: Storm siren systems, safe shelter in the Logan
County Courthouse, backup generators at the airport, grounding
system at the courthouse to protect critical systems from a lighting
strike or an electromagnetic pulse event.
For Beason and Chestnut: Fire hydrants in Beason, and a water
storage tower to aid in suppressing fires in the Chestnut-Beason
In the countryside: Various flood management and relief actions
were proposed, particularly to prevent flooded roadways. Examples
included increasing the culvert size to prevent roadway flooding at
875th Street, and cleaning brush and debris out of waterways at
bridge and culvert locations within the township.
Elkhart's plan included potential hazards related to the Viper
mine, such as if the dam would be breached. The plan proposes
creating flood plains.
To protect our children, hardening materials are proposed for
Logan County school windows. This would include window safety films.
And, make the buildings resistant to natural and man-made hazards.
Following the last meeting of the committee, there was an open
house for the public to review and comment on the proposed document.
A two-week comment time concluded on Oct. 31.
Now, any public comments that were submitted would be added by
the consultants, and Storer said that within the next few weeks, the
document would be submitted to IEMA. If approved by IEMA, it will go
on to FEMA for approval.
What's in the future planning?
A subgroup will meet annually to update any project status, and
add or amend projects for jurisdictions that are already part of the
A full review of the plan and the opportunity to add
jurisdictions would take place every five years.
At the conclusion of the meeting, all those who had participated
were recognized with a certificate for their dedication and
All Hazards Mitigation Committee: Terry Carlton, Barb Kline, Fred
Finchum, Mike Harrison, William Kennett, Joe Ryan, Margaret Lee,
Arnold Collier, Ivan Rademaker, Tom Anderson, Dean Leesman, Mark
Miller, Gene Rohlfs, Sally Litterly, Shana Altman, Dan Fulscher,
Terry Storer, Cheryl Hedrick, Alana Sorrentino, Bucky Washam, James
Drew, Bret Aukamp, John Bunner, Rosanne Brosamer, Will D'Andrea,
Jean Anderson, Mike Patridge, Reynold Goff, Anita Frizzell, Kirby
Rogers, Chris Miller.
[By JAN YOUNGQUIST]
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