U.S. Bureau of Reclamation simulate crisis protocol
Story by Stephanie Sanchez, Reporter - bio | email
Yuma--The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation mandated a federal training exercise. The exercise is to simulate how local county, state and federal would interact with each other in case there is unusual flooding along the Colorado River.
Recently a big rain storm hit the Desert Southwest and caused lower Colorado River water levels to rise.
The beach and fishing area at Gateway Park were submerged and the boat launch at West Wetlands were also closed off.
"We have limited storage, we can be affected really quickly," Ed Virden, the exercise's incident commander said. "Exercises like this allows us to be better prepared for actual events that occur."
Weather experts to engineers participated in the event.
"We do the actual functional exercise every 6 years, we do table top exercises every 3 years and we update all of our emergency planning annually," Virden said.
Participants had to make unexpected or spontaneous decisions when reacting to an escalating flooding among the river.
"We know that two natural events in the Yuma area are earthquakes and floods, its not a question of when its going to happen or when it happens," he said. "So the more we can practice for these events, the better prepared we are for when they are actually happen."
No one participating in the event will be singled out or evaluated because of their decision but they will be assessed as to what went wrong or what went right.
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