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City stages simulated flooding drill

For a couple days last week, City of Lloydminster teams were simulating a situation that involved the effects of rapid snow melt on some residential areas to test the incident management response to such a scenario.

Crews staffed a command room at the city’s Operations Centre and simulated coordination of information along with updates from field staff as they practised for the impact of rising water levels and ice jams from the large volume of snow melting too quickly.

Andrew DeGruchy, head of emergency management says they will take some time to collate their findings before delivering a full report on the lessons learned.

“I’ve been very impressed with our staff. We undergo a lot of training from year to year. When we stepped into these roles they were really able to quickly identify what needs to happen next. As a manager of emergency management, I feel the city is in a really good, strong state.”

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He adds city teams have not done these drills since before the pandemic. Next on the agenda will be a test of emergency social services on April 19.

“That is really looking at our capacity (to handle) if we have people displaced. Whereas this is more looking at how we are going to create those high level objectives, strategies and tactics. We are going to be really boots on the ground for that one and get a few hundred people in and see how can we receive them? How can we register them? What essential services and needs do they require?”

DeGruchy, who has a background as a firefighter and has worked with oil and gas stakeholders, says the flooding test was appropriate especially as we begin to see warmer spring temperatures.

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