Local Governments in Thurston County Invite the Public to Comment on the Hazards Mitigation Plan for the Thurston Region
OLYMPIA, Wash. — It’s not a matter of if, but when that an earthquake, tsunami, landslide, or a volcanic eruption will impact Thurston County. Climate science forecasts that winters in the Puget Sound Region will become warmer and wetter, altering the hydrologic cycle. Changes in the timing, type, and quantity of precipitation will create adverse conditions for coastal and riverine flooding. Rising sea level will threaten Thurston County’s shoreline and impact residents, businesses, and infrastructure. Summers will become longer, warmer, drier, and exacerbate conditions for wildfire hazards and poor air quality. Extreme heat events will become more frequent resulting in more people becoming victims of heat-related injuries.
Over the last 21 months, local governments have been working together to update the Hazards Mitigation Plan for the Thurston Region to make our communities more disaster resilient. Thurston Regional Planning Council is currently seeking public comment on the final draft plan. “The plan is a long-term strategy for communities to identify vulnerabilities and reduce risks from natural hazards,” according to Paul Brewster who is coordinating the multijurisdictional plan update on behalf of Thurston County communities and special purpose governments. “The Federal Emergency Management Agency requires states, tribes, and local government adopt plans to be eligible to obtain hazard mitigation grants that can fund projects like seismic retrofits to water systems.” The plan’s actions include developing an Extreme Heat Incident Response and Illness Prevention Plan, developing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, identifying evacuation routes for potential catastrophic dam failure and volcanic lahar, relocating and elevating structures in flood hazard areas, performing seismic upgrades to water storage reservoirs, adding backup power systems to critical facilities, and performing more public education about the effects of hazards to help people identify steps they can take to protect their property.
Ed Taylor, the City of Lacey Emergency Manager and Chair of the Emergency Management Council of Thurston County is leading the city’s update to the plan “The vision for the plan is that all sectors of the community work together to create a disaster resilient region – so it is important that community members lend their voices to our region’s mitigation strategy.” Community members and interested parties are invited to provide public comment on the draft plan through November 17, 2023, at www.trpc.org/hazards. For more information, contact Paul Brewster, Senior Planner, Thurston Regional Planning Council, email@example.com or (360) 741-2526.