Local officials set to talk about spring runoff
BASALT, Colorado ” A smorgasbord of local emergency response officials will be the hosts at a town meeting in Basalt on May 14, to discuss preparations for the anticipated higher-than-normal spring runoff.
The meeting will take place from 6-8 p.m. at the Basalt Middle School auditorium.
Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson will lead the discussion. Joining Thompson on the panel is Pitkin County emergency management coordinator Ellen Anderson; Basalt Mayor Larry Duroux; Basalt Police Chief Keith Ikeda; National Weather Service meteorologist Aldis Strautins; Red Cross volunteer Rheta Strong; and Pitkin County 911 communications director Mark Gamrat.
“Anyone from Aspen to Carbondale who has concerns about potential flooding this spring should attend this town meeting,” said Thompson. “Even though the meeting is being held in Basalt, we’re going to be talking about flooding and emergency preparedness valley-wide.”
A multi-agency Incident Management Team was formed in March to coordinate planning and emergency response should flooding occur. Officials from the city of Aspen, the towns of Snowmass and Basalt, and Pitkin and Eagle counties have been working together to supply information to the public about snowmelt conditions and emergency preparedness.
Officials will be using information supplied by the National Weather Service, Water Conservation Board, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and local river “spotters” to monitor water levels.
In the event of flooding emergencies, the priority of rescue personnel will be to respond to health and life-safety issues. Residents in low-lying areas that are able are expected to prepare themselves and their property for the advent of flooding.
Red Cross handouts with information about emergency preparedness along with tip sheets about what to do in case of flooding will be available at the meeting. A DVD about “How to Sandbag” also will be available.
The meeting will be taped and later televised repeatedly throughout spring runoff season. Those who cannot attend the meeting may watch it when it is re-broadcast on Access Roaring Fork Channel 17 in the Basalt area and on CGTV Channel 11 in the Aspen, Basalt and Carbondale areas.
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The Forest Service plans to replace the Carbondale Aspen-Sopris ranger district station with a newer, larger facility.