Montgomery County opens new flood proof emergency operations center

October 19, 2016 06:41 PM

FULTONVILLE - They battled flooding for years, now workers at the public safety building in Montgomery County can put their mops away, hopefully for good. The new emergency operations center is now out of the flood zone.

The facility is filled with new technology officials say will better serve residents in the case of the next major disaster.

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It was all smiles at the opening of the new Montgomery County Public Safety Facility, a $3.9 million project. Inside, a new emergency operations center.

"We’ve seen our major incidents," explained Jeffrey Smith with the Emergency Management Office. "In 2006, we had a drastic flood that affected the entire county. In 2011 and 2013, we had floods that affected certain communities in our county. Also in 2013, we had a large train derailment actually a few days before the flood took place. So, we certainly are not unfamiliar with large scale incidents in this county and having to deal with them."

When it comes to the next emergency, officials believe this facility and the new technology will help them respond even more effectively and efficiently.

One priority in building it was to move emergency services out of the basement that was in a flood zone.

"This building is earthquake proof, tornado proof and really can be that hub for all of our first responders to make sure we’re getting the resources out in a timely fashion where they need to go," explained Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort.

The new building, which is attached to the sheriff’s department, also has a probation department, public defender’s office, the coroner and mental health.

Officials say in the past, flooding even hampered their efforts to get to and from the emergency services headquarters where they needed to the most.

"The first incident that the county executive was actually elected into office and came to the Emergency Operations Center, he was mopping up flood water while we were trying to handle the incident," recalled Smith.

An open house for the new facility on Wednesday evening was set to go until 8 p.m.


WNYT Staff

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