I. Documentation of the Planning Process



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Profile of Hazard Events


(see Exhibit D for NCDC thunderstorm/windstorm history)
Thunderstorms and Windstorms are common and very destructive hazards in Hocking County with 66 reported incidents since 1950 with major destruction being associated with them. (See Exhibit N for Wind Zones map)
Wind Storm: A violent wind usually with little or no precipitation.
Thunderstorm: A thunderstorm that produces a tornado, winds of at least 58 mph and/or hail at least 3/4” in diameter. Structural wind damage may imply the occurrence of a severe thunderstorm. A thunderstorm wind equal or greater than 40 mph and/or hail of at least 1/2” is defined as approaching severe. (National Weather Service)
July 8, 2003 – Numerous trees and powerlines were knocked down.
May 31, 2002 –Several trees and power poles were downed. A tree fell on a house on Burns Road causing minor damage. Property damage estimate was $20,000 for the event.
July 26, 1997 – Hundreds of trees were downed of which many fell across power lines. Sixteen telephone poles were broken during the storm. A warm front which was across central Ohio at peak heating on the 26th, became the focus for a Mesoscale Convective System that lasted well into the early morning hours on the 27th. Severe thunderstorms moved repeatedly over the same areas causing substantial damage. The continuous rainfall also caused flash flooding in Licking County. Over 400 homes received damage from the combined severe thunderstorm and flooding event.
Vulnerability and Estimate Losses
Thunderstorms/Windstorms have been linked to two deaths and 2.773 million dollars in damage. The entire county is at risk where people and structures are very vulnerable. Windstorms and thunderstorms lead to fallen trees and downed lines, flooding, lightning fire as well a variety of other hazards. Hocking County is located in Wind Zone IV where winds can exceed 250mph. There are five mobile home parks with a total of approximately 200 mobile homes and randomly scattered mobile homes throughout the county for a total of approximately 2500 mobile homes in the county. With an 8% estimated loss to this hazard, costs would be around $62,160,000.
2.8 Wildfire
Profile of Hazard Events
Hocking County has a low observed fire danger classification at the current time due to the above average rainfalls during the last several springs. (See Exhibit O for Observed Fire Danger Class Map and Exhibit P for Forecast Experimental Fire Potential Map.) Each year an average of 1,000 wildfires burn 4,000 to 6,000 acres of forest and grassland within Ohio’s forest fire protection district, which corresponds mostly to the state’s unglaciated hill country (which includes Hocking County). In a typical year it is estimated that more than 15,000 wildfire and natural fuel fire occurrences are encountered statewide. These wildfires are attributed primarily to the careless burning of debris and household litter and arson and result in untold damage to trees and landscape, water quality, improvements such as fences and outbuildings, and place people and their homes at significant risk. Ohio’s fire/wildfire seasons occur primarily in the spring (March, April and May) before vegetation has “greened-up”, and the fall (October and November) when leaf drop occurs. During these times and especially when weather conditions are warm, windy and with low humidity, cured vegetation is particularly susceptible to burning. Fuel (vegetation, woody debris), weather (wind, temperature, humidity) and topography (hills and valleys) when combined present an unpredictable danger to unwary civilians and firefighters in the path of a wildfire. Hocking County has a huge amount of fuel and the topography of the county is very hilly. There are no NCDC records of wildfires in Hocking County from 1/1/1950 through 6/30/2003; however, from 1974 through 2003, Hocking State Forest records show there were 486 fire reports.
Wild Fire: An uncontrolled fire spreading through vegetative fuels, exposing and possibly consuming structures.
Vulnerability and Estimate Losses
Wildfires pose a significant risk to Hocking County. Most areas where fires would occur are in the areas where there are numerous rental cabins, bed and breakfasts, inns, etc. as well as the State Parks and Forests and National Forest. There are approximately 165 cabin operators in the County with more than 500 cabins. This greatly increases the risk of loss of life due to the large number of tourists who visit these areas each year. The majority of the rental cabins, state parks, etc. are located in very heavily forested, vulnerable, isolated areas. The tourists are not familiar with the area and a large number of the rental cabins, etc. are located on small county and township roads (many that are dead end) surrounded by forest. The biggest threats would be the loss of life and property damage at the time of the fire. The average value of the structures is $50,000 each. With a loss of 2 percent of the structures in the area due to wildfire, property damages would be near $500,000. After the fire, with a 2 percent loss of the income from the tourism in the area (destroyed businesses, as well as the loss of tourists visiting the area due to the destruction of the scenic area), the damages would be estimated at $15,360,000. (See Exhibit Q for the locations of cabins, etc. and locations of existing dry fire hydrants)
Mitigation Strategy
This section of the plan will list the mitigation goals, activities and action plans for the NHMP for Hocking County. The CORE Group discussed and unanimously agreed on the different activities.
A. Core Group Activities
The activities are based upon the CORE group’s input and decisions. The following criterion was used to rate the action plans: Cost effective, technically feasible, environmentally sound, social impacts, activity addresses the problem, politically acceptable, and activity reduces the risk.
After discussion, research, etc., the Core Group, in meeting 3, recommended that the group concentrate on the three most prevalent natural hazards in Hocking County. They selected the following from Task B that was discussed in Section II B:

Wildfire


Flooding

Winter Storms/Thunderstorms/Windstorms.


Wildfire was chosen as the number 1 hazard, even though it is infrequent, it has the highest potential for loss of life and the loss of structures if it should occur. Flooding and Winter Storms/Thunderstorms/Windstorms are more chronic events. Flooding is more frequent than Winter Storms/Thunderstorms/Windstorms. Thus they were ranked as 2 and 3 respectively.

B. Action Plans

The action plans are listed in the order of priority and implementation.


1.) Wildfire
Applicable Jurisdictions: Hocking County, Laurelville, Logan, Murray City
Goal: Protect the residents, visitors and firefighters of the county and protect and reduce the damage to property through better fire protection.
Activity: Provide the local fire departments with the brush fire equipment and training necessary for them to fight wildfire and meet their requirements.
Lead: Hocking County Firefighters Association
Project Time Frame: As soon as possible
Task 1: Identify the equipment and training needed by each fire department in the county

Task 2: Prioritize equipment and training needs

Task 3: Identify local match

Task 4: Purchase equipment

Task 5: Set up and provide training for fire department personnel on the use of the equipment and techniques for fighting wildfires
2.) Wildfire
Applicable Jurisdictions: Hocking County, Laurelville, Logan, Murray City
Goal: Protect the residents and visitors of the county through education, preparedness and sufficient warning systems.
Activity: Hold workshops for local residents and cabin rental businesses to educate them on fire safety, evacuation, and ways to protect their property; prepare brochures for distribution to residents and tourists on fire safety and awareness; and publish news articles on appropriate topics.
Lead: Hocking Hills Tourism Association and Hocking State Forest
Project Time Frame: One Year
Task 1: Identify at risk areas and the residents and business owners in these areas

Task 2: Plan topics for workshops and develop materials

Task 3: Develop a brochure on fire safety and awareness

Task 4: Print brochure and distribute to Welcome Center, cabin rental businesses, restaurants, and other local businesses

Task 5: Schedule workshops, secure location and speakers

Task 6: Publish notice of the workshop in the local newspaper and Hocking SWCD, Hocking County Tourism, OSU Extension, etc. newsletters

Task 7: Hold the workshop
3.) Wildfire
Applicable Jurisdictions: Hocking County, Laurelville, Logan, Murray City
Goal: Protect the residents and visitors of the county and protect and reduce the damage to property through better fire protection.
Activity: Expand the number of dry hydrants in the County.
Lead: Hocking Soil and Water Conservation District and Hocking County Regional Planning Office
Project Time Frame: One Year
Task 1: Identify areas where water sources are needed for fire protection and ponds that meet the requirements for dry hydrant installation

Task 2: Prioritize dry hydrant sites

Task 3: Secure pond owner’s agreement for installation of hydrant

Task 4: Identify local match (design)

Task 5: Purchase dry hydrant kits and hire contractors

Task 6: Install dry hydrants

Task 7: Provide fire departments with information and maps of locations of dry hydrants and rental cabins, etc.
4.) Flooding
Applicable Jurisdictions: Hocking County, Laurelville, Logan, Murray City
Goal: Improve the detailed information for flood plain identification.
Activity: Schedule detailed studies for flood plain delineation in certain areas and update County Flood Hazard Maps in urbanizing areas.
Lead: Hocking County Regional Planning Office
Project Time Frame: One Year
Task 1: Identify locations – Logan, Laurelville, Murray City, Rockbridge, Enterprise, Carbon Hill and Haydenville

Task 2: Request funding and coordination by FEMA, ODNR

Task 3: Conduct studies

Task 4: Update maps


5.) Flooding
Applicable Jurisdictions: Hocking County, Laurelville, Logan, Murray City
Goal: Eliminate repetitive loss and claims for flood damage by returning land to green space.
Activity: Buyout repetitive loss structures located in Murray City, Rockbridge, and other areas of the County. These projects would include the demolition of existing structures, grading of the land and replacement of grass. The property could then be used as a park or green space depending on which use would best serve the community where the property is located.
Lead: Hocking County Commissioners and Hocking County Emergency Management Agency
Project Time Frame: Two Years
Task 1: Identify areas that flood and have repetitive loss structures which meet the requirements for buyout

Task 2: Prioritize areas with repetitive loss

Task 3: Purchase property

Task 4: Evaluate property and decide whether it would best serve the community as a park or as green space

Task 5: Advertise and accept bids for the demolition, removal and regrading of property.

Task 6: Hire Contractor

Task 7: Conduct work
6.) Flooding
Applicable Jurisdictions: Hocking County, Laurelville, Logan, Murray City
Goal: Decrease storm water runoff and erosion thus reducing flooding.
Activity: Re-size culverts/bridges that are undersized.
Lead: Township Trustees and County Engineer
Project Time Frame: ongoing
Task 1: Identify culverts/bridges that are undersized.

Task 2: Prioritize culverts/bridges that are undersized.

Task 3: Identify local match (design).

Task 4: Upgrade culverts/bridges


7.) Flooding
Applicable Jurisdictions: Hocking County-Rockbridge
Goal: Provide safe water supplies for the residents of Rockbridge
Activity: Extend well casings above the flood level or install a public water system for the residents of Rockbridge.
Lead: Hocking County Commissioners and Hocking County Health Department
Project Time Frame: Two Years
Task 1: Identify water supplies that are contaminated during flooding

Task 2: Evaluate the problem and decide best plan of action, i.e. extend well casings or install public water system

Task 3: Identify local match

Task 4: Proceed with necessary steps to plan extension of well casings or installation of public water system

Task 5: Design the projects and prepare necessary documents

Task 6: Advertise and accept bids from contractors

Task 7: Hire Contractor

Task 8: Conduct work


8.) Flooding
Applicable Jurisdictions: Hocking County- Good Hope Township-Rockbridge
Goal: Reduce the amount of damage to structures in Rockbridge
Activity: Flood-proof existing structures
Lead: Hocking County Emergency Management Agency
Project Time Frame: One Year
Task 1: Identify structures that flood on a repetitive basis

Task 2: Prioritize structures

Task 3: Flood proof structures
9.) Flooding
Applicable Jurisdictions: Hocking County, Laurelville, Logan, Murray City
Goal: Decrease storm water runoff and erosion thus reducing flooding.
Activity: Install Water and Sediment Control Basins (WASCOBS), ponds and wetlands with ample free board to increase storage capacity.
Lead: Township Trustees and County Engineer
Project Time Frame: Two Years
Task 1: Identify areas that flood and receive damage for possible sites

Task 2: Prioritize areas with damage

Task 3: Identify local match (design).

Task 4: Secure land to install projects on

Task 5: Design the projects and prepare necessary documents

Task 6: Advertise and accept bids from contractors

Task 7: Hire contractor

Task 8: Conduct work


10.) Flooding
Applicable Jurisdictions: Hocking County-Perry Township and Falls Township
Goal: Decrease flooding caused by beaver dams obstructing the creek and culverts
Activity: Hire a nuisance trapper to remove the beaver from the creeks where they have built dams and caused flooding and then remove the beaver dams.
Lead: Perry Township Trustees and Falls Township Trustees
Project Time Frame: Six Months
Task 1: Identify areas that flood due to beaver dams in the creek or blocking culverts

Task 2: Prioritize areas with damage

Task 3: Secure the necessary permits from the wildlife officer and hire a nuisance trapper

Task 4: Trap and remove the beaver.

Task 5: Remove the beaver dams from the creeks and culverts

Task 6: Monitor these areas to make sure more beaver do not move into the area


11.) Flooding
Applicable Jurisdictions: Starr Township
Goal: Keep Wolet Road accessible for traffic during heavy rains.
Activity: Raise approximately 100 yards of the road near the river. A portion of this road is next to the Hocking River and it floods whenever there are heavy rains – long before other areas in the county flood. This road is a dead-end road and is the only access to one residence and a cell tower. Every time the power goes out, the cell tower maintenance crew must get to the tower for repairs.


Lead: Starr Township Trustees



Project Time Frame: undetermined
Task 1: Determine how much of road needs to be raised.

Task 2: Determine best way to raise the road to the correct elevation

Task 3: Conduct the project

12.) Flooding
Applicable Jurisdictions: Hocking County, Laurelville, Logan, Murray City
Goal: Protect the lives of citizens in flood prone areas by providing equipment for emergency evacuation.
Activity: Purchase boats for use to evacuate victims of floods.
Lead: Hocking County Emergency Management Agency
Project Time Frame: Six Months
Task 1: Identify areas that have a history of flooding and the need to evacuate residents

Task 2: Prioritize areas needing equipment

Task 3: Identify local match.

Task 4: Look at equipment available and get price quotes

Task 5: Purchase boats
13.) Flooding
Applicable Jurisdictions: Hocking County-Green Township-Haydenville
Goal: Reduce flooding of basements and yards for 20 residences in Northern Haydenville along Haydenville Road.
Activity: Evaluate and design a storm sewer system for Haydenville
Lead: Hocking County Commissioners and Green Township Trustees
Project Time Frame: 2 years
Task 1: Identify problem areas through field surveys.

Task 2: Design satisfactory storm sewer

Task 3: Request funding (possible community block grant funds)

Task 4: Implement project.
14.) Flooding, Winter Storms/Thunderstorms/Windstorms.
Applicable Jurisdictions: Hocking County, Laurelville, Logan, Murray City
Goal: Minimize the impact that severe weather and other hazards have on Hocking County through education, preparedness and sufficient warning systems.
Activity: Install 12 Severe Weather Warning Sirens
Lead: Hocking County Emergency Management Agency and 911
Project Time Frame: ongoing
Task 1: Identify areas where sirens are needed and will warn the most people

Task 2: Prioritize areas where sirens are needed

Task 3: Identify local match

Task 4: Purchase and install 12 Severe Weather Warning Sirens

Task 5: Educate the public through newspaper articles, brochures, etc.

15.) Flooding, Wildfire, Winter Storms/Thunderstorms/Windstorms Etc.
Applicable Jurisdictions: Hocking County, Laurelville, Logan, Murray City
Goal: Minimize the impact that severe weather and other hazards have on Hocking County and protect the residents through education, preparedness and sufficient warning systems.
Activity: County-Wide Reverse 911 System
Lead: Hocking County 911
Project Time Frame: ongoing
Task 1: Gather necessary data for project

Task 2: Identify local match

Task 3: Purchase and install Reverse 911 System

Task 4: Educate the public on the system through newspaper articles, brochures, etc.


16.) Insect/Pest Damage
Applicable Jurisdictions: Hocking County, Laurelville, Logan, Murray City
Goal: Minimize the impact of insect damage and pests on our forests and protect our tourism and forestry industries through education.
Activity: Hold workshops for local residents and landowners on the insects and pests (such as Gypsy Moth, Emerald Ash Borer, and Sudden Oak Death) that can adversely affect the forests of Hocking County.
Lead: The Ohio State University Extension and Hocking State Forest
Project Time Frame: ongoing
Task 1: Plan topics for workshops and develop materials

Task 2: Schedule workshops, secure location and speakers

Task 3: Publish notice of the workshop in the local newspaper and Hocking SWCD, Hocking County Tourism, OSU Extension, etc. newsletters

Task 4: Hold the workshop



C.Implementation, Monitoring and Updating Policies



A. Plan Incorporation/Existence
The Hocking County Pre-Disaster Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan will be kept as a separate document but will be used along with all other plans, studies, reports and technical information of the County.
B. Mitigation Strategy
A mitigation strategy that provides the jurisdictions a blueprint for reducing the potential losses identified in the risk assessment, based on existing authorities, policies, programs and resources, and its ability to expand on and improve these existing tools.


C. Implementation Through Existing Programs

Plan Maintenance Procedures:

Currently there are no such plans to address this issue, however any planning efforts in the future we would encourage.
The Regional Planning Commission (RPC) administers Subdivision Regulations and Floodplain Regulations for the unincorporated areas of the County. Currently there is no zoning in the unincorporated areas of the County.


D. Monitoring and Updating Policies

The Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan will be distributed to different county agencies on an as needed basis. Mitigation recommendations will be given to local officials and county planning departments and they will be strongly encouraged to address the NHMP activities in the following: comprehensive plans, capital improvement plans, zoning and building codes, site reviews, permitting, and other planning tools. Notices and articles containing NHMP information will be published in the Logan Daily News informing the public of NHMP opportunities, updates and activities etc.


The NHMP will be reviewed on an annual basis. The Hocking County Emergency Management Agency along with CORE Group members will make recommendations, adjustments etc. to the plan as needed. Information that becomes available or changes relevant to areas of the plan will be added. At the time of the evaluation, the following items will be assessed:

Do the goals and objectives address current and expected conditions?

Has the nature or magnitude of risks changed?

Are the current recourses appropriate for implementing the plan?

Are there implementation problems, such as technical, political, legal or coordination issues with other agencies?

Have outcomes occurred as expected?


These adjustments will take place during the annual review. The NHMP will be addressed as mitigation funds become available to Hocking County. When applying for a mitigation project, the NHMP will be used as a guide for possible activities.
The public will have the opportunity to view the document and make suggestions, comments etc. at the HCEMA per request. The person(s) wanting to review the NHMP will be scheduled to do so by appointment. There will be a meeting held once a year with the CORE Group members and public involved. Postings on the web and local paper will give the date and time of the meeting.


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