Central City is part of Columbia County. The Roaring River is located in Columbia County and runs through downtown Central City. On March 8, after several days of unusually heavy rain and melting mountain snow, the Roaring River overflowed, flooding Central City’s downtown business area and the state’s utility complex. The entire downtown area is underwater and without basic utilities (electric and water). Business in the area has come to a standstill with many small storeowners fearing the worst once night sets in. Also affected by the power outage is a nearby senior assisted living facility with more than 500 elderly residents unable to leave and in need of medical care. A low-income community located along the river’s edge has been isolated from the rest of the city due to the rising floodwaters. Storm and sewer drains are beginning to back up and garbage can be seen floating in the streets.
Due to the lack of transportation, many city residents were unable to leave the area when initial flood warnings were posted and are now stranded. There have been numerous requests for medical attention in the area, and several fires can be seen burning in the distance. Because the river twists and turns throughout Columbia County, other cities within the county are experiencing similar flooding conditions. The rain is expected to continue for the next 12-24 hrs, followed by a drying out and turning windy and cold.
- Once the floodwaters recede and the conditions return to normal, city council members will be looking for suggestions to avoid this type of disaster in the future. What mitigation recommendations can you make?
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