Borough working to survey earthquake after effects

Dec 5, 2018


Borough staff are still analyzing their procedures in responding to last week’s magnitude 7.0 earthquake.

The Office of Emergency Management has been meeting with various stakeholders over the past few days, including local media, to sort out what worked and what didn’t OEM Director Dan Nelson says their response to any event will get some scrutiny.

“The borough right now is still going through its assessment and recovery process to deal with schools, deal with damage and find out what the fiscal impact is going to be. For the immediate response, Friday morning, there’s a lot of moving parts. Many different inputs, where information is coming in and immediate action is required for life safety. We want to take a look at that process and see how we could have improved, specifically on that piece before memories fade and before we get tied up with other things.”

He says after an event like this, they’re in conversations with a number of different stakeholders to do a kind of post mortem, including the cities and villages in the borough, state agencies like DOT and also among incident response staff.

Nelson says even though there wasn’t any major damage or disruption associated with the quake locally, crews continue to be busy surveying borough assets.

“We have engineers and other subject matter experts looking at our schools, looking at our fire stations and facilities. It still takes some work to manage that and then what we find will determine our next steps. If you’ve been in some of our schools in some areas you might see some new cracks, you might see where pipes have broken. Our field crews, maintenance folks, capital projects folks will still be working hard for probably a couple months to come on different things.”

Gathering all that information can also lead to new training procedures and potentially new budget items if they’re deemed appropriate. Nelson says they expect to produce a report detailing the response and after effects, but it could take several months. The borough is also asking property owners to submit damage reports for potential disaster relief funds.