Debris Management Plan adopted

Published 10:56 am Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Charlotte County Board of Supervisors has adopted a Debris Management Plan (DMP) that will specifically help with clean up after a significant storm.

The DMP identifies the actions required to plan for and respond to a natural debris-generating event. This plan is designed to identify departments and activities that are involved in debris operations to ensure a coordinated response.

Though the county currently has an Emergency Operation Plan (EOP) in place, this debris plan deals only with the debris that is left behind. “The EOP contains plans for a wide range of emergencies that could be natural or man-made of which the DMP would not usually be initiated and/or needed,” said County Administrator Daniel Witt. “The EOP covers the ‘big picture’ and a variety of emergencies. The DMP is for cleanup after a significant storm or flood that results in a lot of debris needing to be removed from roads and/or private property; such as trees, vegetation and even trash or possibly structures.”

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) a DMP is needed because disaster debris can complicate and delay disaster response activities such as medical care, transportation of victims or relief teams, firefighting and provision of shelter, food and water to disaster survivors.

Even though the county now has a DMP in place this plan would not have been deployed during the most recent storm that came through the county last fall when Tropical Storm Michael flooded the streets of Drakes Branch.

“While Tropical Storm Michael created a significant amount of flooding, I don’t recall a considerable amount of debris that VDOT and the county staff were not able to clean up,” explained Witt. “The plan presupposes that the magnitude of the event exceeds our capabilities.”

Witt went on to explained that even though Tropical Storm Michel was bad and damaged roads and crops and even some structures, it would have only minimally precipitated the need for implementing the DMP.