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Westerly, Be Prepared for Flooding and Other Natural Hazards
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By Chief John Mackay
November 29, 2022

2023 Hazard Mitigation & Flood Management Plan (HM&FMP)

While there are many aspects of coastal life in Westerly to celebrate, it does leave us vulnerable to several natural hazards. Tides are pushing waters onto our streets with more regularity and we are on the frontlines for sea level rise. More frequent and intense rainfall is becoming the norm resulting in increased inland and street flooding. Westerly is home to the mouth of the Pawcatuck river which drains approximately 300 square miles of the Wood-Pawcatuck River Watershed through the heart of the Town’s economic center. The next Flood of 2010 or Superstorm Sandy could be around the corner.

The Town is working hard to be prepared and to that end is developing a 2023 Hazard Mitigation & Flood Management Plan (HM&FMP) to strengthen our resilience to a number of natural hazards, including flooding and hurricanes. The HM&FMP will update the Town’s 2018 Hazard Mitigation Plan (FEMA requires a 5-year update), and expand the focus on flood management (helping with our CRS score). The Plan is being overseen by an Advisory Committee comprised of Town staff, residents, and other stakeholders. The Advisory Committee meetings are posted below and are open to the public.

The Plan will assess the likely impacts of natural hazards that historically have or are reasonably anticipated to impact the people and property of the Town (examples include flooding, ice storms, drought, fire, hurricanes, etc.). The Plan will establish updated goals and objectives and develop a mitigation strategy and action plan with a list of prioritized projects. It is being developed in accordance with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements, and includes Community Rating System (CRS) Flood Management provisions.

We need to work together to understand local risks, make solid choices, and invest in long-term community well-being.

Your Input is Important!

Community involvement is central to the planning process. We hope you will consider engaging in one or more of the following:

PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY: November 22, 2022 - December 15, 2022

To help ensure the Plan reflects community priorities and concerns, please take this quick online survey. Click here to take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PDTD5DP

Please see the linked website for more details.

Questions regarding the Plan update can be directed to Alyse Oziolor, Principal Planner (401-348-2550; aoziolor@westerlyri.gov)

Attachments:
Attachment Hazard Mitigation.pdf  (81k)
 
 

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