Dallas County Becomes Alabama's and the Nation's Second FloodReady County
From left to right: Dallas County EMA Deputy Director Pam Cook, EMA Assistant Rhonda Abbott,
National Weather Service Meteorologist Michael Garrison, and EMA Director Brett Howard
(September 27, 2006) – Dallas County was recognized by the National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office in Birmingham as the second FloodReady County in Alabama and the nation.
This recognition followed several months of work by the county to satisfy criteria necessary to obtain this designation. Spearheading the effort was the Dallas County Emergency Management Agency, which included Director Brett Howard, Deputy Director Pam Cook and assistant Rhonda Abbott.
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.
Participants 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.
The official recognition ceremony took place in the County Commission Room in the Dallas County Courthouse Annex. At that time, Meteorologist-in-Charge Jim Stefkovich and FloodReady Chairman Michael Garrison of the Birmingham National Weather Service Forecast Office and the other partners of the FloodReady program, presented a plaque to Director Howard recognizing Dallas County as FloodReady. The Dallas County Commission and citizens of the county were present for the ceremony.
Partners present for the ceremony included Bob Allen of the Water Management Section, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Charles Stover, Supervisor of Reservoir Management, Alabama Power Company; Stephanie Gibson, Region Three Coordinator for the Alabama State Emergency Management Agency; Michael Garrison, FloodReady Program Leader, National Weather Service, Birmingham, Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist-in-Charge, National Weather Service, Birmingham, and Roger McNeil, Senior Service Hydrologist, National Weather Service, Birmingham.
Partners that were unable to attend the ceremony included Ron Newsome of the Alabama State Department of Transportation, John Feldt, Hydrologist-in-Charge, Southeast River Forecast Center, 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 (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org), Roger McNeil, Senior Service Hydrologist (e-mail email@example.com) or Michael Garrison, FloodReady Program Leader (email firstname.lastname@example.org) at 205-664-3010.