The City of Bridgeport Office of Emergency Management, in conjunction with Region 21 Emergency Management, the Morrill County Sheriff’s Office, and Panhandle Public Health District have scheduled a public flooding preparedness meeting for Wednesday, June 8th at 7 p.m. at Prairie Winds Community Center in Bridgeport.
The purpose of the meeting is to get accurate, current information out to residents regarding the possibility of flooding in Bridgeport, update the public on steps that emergency officials are currently taking, and preparedness steps that residents and business owners should take in case of flooding.
Officials are preparing for increased water flows in the North Platte River. Based on conditions known at this time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s peak probable flows would raise the river stage to or slightly above flood stage. Officials are monitoring the situation around the clock.
The City, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has inspected and repaired major breaches in the levee system. However, it is impossible to completely predict where water levels will rise first, due to substantial changes in the river channels over the past 40 years.
Barring any torrential rainfall, officials are confident that peak flows would not arrive until late next week at the earliest. Therefore, no emergency measures are anticipated prior to the public meeting.
Due to all of the unknown factors, the City wants residents to be prepared in the event that flooding is imminent and evacuations are ordered. Officials are currently anticipating 24 to 48 hours advance notice before any evacuations would be ordered. Evacuation orders would come through the City’s reverse 911 system (Vital Call), and door to door notifications. All members of the public are encouraged to update their Vital Call contact information by going online to www.cityofbport.com, or stopping in at City Hall.
In preparation for higher water levels, the City will likely begin filling additional sandbags next week. This is precautionary only, and should not be seen as a sign that the flooding is imminent.
The City would like to develop a list of volunteers who are willing to help with sandbagging and other flood protection measures, when needed. Any members of the public who wish to volunteer are asked to stop by City Hall and fill out their release form. These volunteers will be contacted when and if they are needed.
The City is asking all residents to begin to prepare by thinking about where they would go if evacuated, and where they would relocate any animals or pets in an evacuation order. There will be more preparedness information available at the public meeting. Information can be obtained in advance from FEMA’s Ready.gov website.
Additional information and updates are posted on the City’s website at www.cityofbport.com, where a link to the Emergency Management blog can be found.