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3 floods/365 days: How Emergency Planning Saved the Day

The Brazos River has long served as the hydraulic master of Fort Bend County, Texas. With rapid growth in development and population during recent years, much was at stake during Brazos River flooding in 2015 and 2016. Few non­jurisdictional levees have developed full Emergency Action Plans, but the Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District No. 2 (LID No. 2) was determined to be prepared for any high-water events. The District began preparation for flood fighting with the development of a plan in 2013. Annual updates and tabletop exercises provided the groundwork for appropriate response to the rising flood waters during the Memorial Day Flood of 2015, the Tax-Day Flood of 2016 and the Memorial Day Flood of 2016. Ongoing review and improvement of the LID's emergency plan is on-going. The journey to develop a document for on-site operators that also provides guidance for decision-makers during emergencies has been long and sometimes arduous. Coordinating emergency actions for various consultants and contractors proved challenging. This presentation describes LID No. 2's emergency preparedness program development from defining trigger points for action, determining who should respond for the District, development of an interim plan and participation in multiple tabletop exercises and drills to the current flexible document, which coordinates with the Operations consultant's Standard Operating Guidelines for Operating Under Duress.

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