Oct. 28, 2003 – All government departments and agencies have been told to prepare flood hazard vulnerability impact statements.
An executive order to that effect was issued by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull in compliance with federal flood hazard mitigation regulations, according to a Government House release distributed on Tuesday.
The territory "has repeatedly suffered extensive damage to its human and physical resources as a result of flooding," and it will continue to do so "unless decisive action is taken," the release quoted the executive order as saying.
The impact statements are to address "the safety of all existing public buildings and facilities." They are to include "an assessment of the impact of current government activities and policies on the risk of flooding in the territory" as well as "the anticipated effect of proposed government actions on the vulnerability to flooding."
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Marilyn and Bertha, one of the primary focuses of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the territory was on hazard mitigation — the taking of steps to reduce the likelihood of loss of life and property in natural disasters to come. Enforcement of a beefed-up building code and of flood hazard rules and regulations were a major emphasis of the effort.
Based on the information provided in the impact statements, the release said, "it is hoped that decisions that affect development will be made to best serve the needs of the public, which includes adequate protection from the hazards of flooding."
Most of the flooding in the territory has been in connection with hurricanes or tropical storms. Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. This year, the territory so far has been spared any damage due to tropical weather systems.
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