Cologne approves hazard mitigation plan

By Paul Downer
Community Editor

By Paul Downer

Community Editor

From searing summer temperatures to severe winter storms, it’s no secret that Minnesotans face a wide range of challenges. It simply comes with the territory.

A July 2 review of the updated All Hazard Mitigation Plan from Carver County, however, showed the Cologne City Council just how many potentially dangerous situations can occur in this area, and included a comment on how likely each scenario is.

The list was sobering. Severe summer and severe winter storms, along with hazardous material spills, were rated "highly likely."

Tornadoes, flooding, drought, lighting damage, hail, extreme temperatures, and epidemics/pandemics were rated "likely."

Less common events included wildfires, aircraft accidents, energy/fuel shortages, and failure of critical facilities and infrastructure, which all received an "occasional" rating.

On the bright side, the risk of terrorism attack and dam or levy failure were given "unlikely" ratings.

Cologne council members commented on how intriguing the information was, reflecting the weather extremes found deep in the continent’s interior. With dramatic variations in the weather over the past several years, some wondered if climate change might be happening before our eyes.

Mayor Bernie Shambour Jr. commented that 100 or 50-year weather events may become more like 25 or 50-year events if trends continue. He added that the countywide plan is based on best practices and said it could be helpful to have in place if any of the above events end up causing damage locally.

The council agreed to approve the plan, which is meant to help communities plan for disasters, reduce the cost of disaster response and recovery, put the community in compliance with federal regulations and provide eligibility for funding if the area should ever be declared a disaster area.

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