WADLEY, ALABAMA BECOMES NATION'S
FIRST FLOODREADY COMMUNITY

(June 5, 2004) -- The town of Wadley, Ala. was recognized by the National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office in Birmingham as the first FloodReady community in Alabama and the nation.

This recognition followed several months of work by the community to satisfy criteria necessary to obtain this designation. Spearheading the effort was the Wadley FloodReady Group, which included Dale Knight, Greg and Debbie Roberts, Keith McGuire, Police Chief Larry Lacy, Mayor Frank Reeves and Town Councilman Elliot Cotney.

The FloodReady program is being developed by the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Birmingham and partners -- including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Geological Survey, the Alabama State Emergency Management Agency, the Alabama Department of Transportation, Alabama Power Company and the NWS Southeast River Forecast Center -- to help communities minimize the loss of life and property during flood events. With the assistance of the NWS and its partners, local communities, develop Flood Action Plans, educate the local community about flooding and flood safety and work to increase public awareness.

Communities must satisfy a set of criteria to be recognized as FloodReady. The criteria includes developing a local flood action plan and communications network, identifying flood prone areas, establishing an Emergency Operation Center and 24 hour point of contact and establishing a local spotters network. They must also conduct public flood education on an annual basis once the community has been recognized as FloodReady.

As part of the recognition activities, Wadley held a fair where booths and exhibits by the FloodReady partners and other groups and agencies were on display in the downtown area. Some of the participants included the Abanda Volunteer Fire Department, the Corinth Volunteer Fire Department, the Wadley Fire Department, the Randolph County Sheriff's program and the Randolph County DARE program.

The official recognition ceremony took place on the steps of the Wadley City Hall. At that time, Senior Service Hydrologist Roger McNeil, representing Meteorologist-in-Charge Ken Graham of the Birmingham National Weather Service Forecast Office and the other partners of the FloodReady program, presented a plaque to Mayor Frank Reeves recognizing Wadley as a FloodReady community. Officials present for the ceremony included Randolph County Commissioner Lathonia Wright, Wadley Police Chief Larry Lacy and Wadley Fire Chief Dale Knight.

Partners present for the ceremony included Memphis Vaughan, Chief, Water Management Section, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Charles Stover, Supervisor of Reservoir Management, Alabama Power Company; John Feldt, Hydrologist-in-Charge of the Southeast River Forecast Center in Peachtree City, GA.; Dave Poundstone, Region Four Coordinator for the Alabama State Emergency Management Agency; and Michael Garrison, FloodReady Program Leader, National Weather Service, Birmingham. Randolph Co. Emergency Management Director Donnie Knight, who coordinated many of the activities between Wadley and the FloodReady partners, was also present.

Partners that were unable to attend the ceremony included Ron Newsome of the Alabama State Department of Transportation and Rick Treece and Vic Stickland of the United States Geological Survey.

If you are interested in your community becoming the next FloodReady community, you can obtain more information by contacting Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist-in-Charge (jim.stefkovich@noaa.gov), Roger McNeil, Senior Service Hydrologist (roger.mcneil@noaa.gov) or Michael Garrison, FloodReady Program Leader (michael.garrison@noaa.gov) at 205-664-3010.

Image of FloodReady ceremony
Front Row: Memphis Vaughan, Chief, Water Management Section, Mobile COE
Roger McNeil, Service Hydrologist, NWS, Birmingham, AL
Frank Reeves, Mayor, Wadley, AL
Middle Row: Lathonia Wright, Randolph County Commissioner
Dale Knight, Wadley Fire Chief and Wadley FloodReady
Back Row: Charles Stover, Supervisor of Reservoir Management, Alabama Power
Keith McQuire, Wadley FloodReady Group
Greg Roberts, Wadley FloodReady Group
Debbie Roberts, Wadley Flood Ready Group
John Feldt, Hydrologist-in-Charge, NWS Southeast River Forecast Center

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