Boone County anticipates disaster

Next time you’re looking for a history of natural disasters in Boone County, you might want to refer to the Boone County Hazard Mitigation Plan.

As of 2003, FEMA requires local jurisdictions to have such a plan on file in order to qualify for certain types of grants. The roughly 180-page document catalogs the types of disasters likely to occur in Boone County as well as projects that could offset future costs incurred in the wake of such events.

The plan also catalogs natural disasters that have occurred here. For example, Boone County:

  • Ranks fourth in the state in the number of tornadoes between 1950 and 2008 with 32;
  • Suffered 41 winter storms between 1993 and 2008;
  • Experienced its first known dam failure in March 2008 when Moon Valley Lake Dam in Columbia failed;
  • Has recorded 97 heat-related deaths since 1994;
  • Waded through 48 flood events since 1993 (including the devastating floods of 1993 in which all of the levees in Boone County failed).

There’s also this terrifying tidbit: according to the 2002 United States Geological Survey, there is a 25 to 40 percent chance of a magnitude 6.0 and greater earthquake along the New Madrid fault line in the next 50 years and a 7 to 10 percent chance of an 8.0 magnitude quake.

The New Madrid fault line, located south of St. Louis, was responsible for some of the strongest quakes on record between 1811-12 and were said to be felt as far away as Boston.

Officials from Boone County, Ashland, Sturgeon, Pierpont, Hallsville, Centralia and Columbia are contributing to the document’s writing. The Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission is coordinating the process and a draft plan can be found on their Web site.

Click here to read the whole story.

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