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Great Plains Region
Billings, Mont.
Media Contact:

Mark Andersen
406-247-7610

Released On: June 27, 2003

Disaster Exercise Conducted Thursday at Foss Dam and Reservoir
What if major inflows and equipment failures at Foss Dam resulted in widespread downstream flooding and possible casualties?

On Thursday June 26, 15 local, state and federal agencies gathered to discuss how they would respond to an emergency just like that. This “make-believe” event is called a tabletop emergency exercise.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation Division Five hosted and participated in exercise activities with an impressive array of representatives from Custer County and Clinton Emergency Management, the West Central Oklahoma Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Custer County Safety Coordinator's office, Clinton Fire Department, Clinton Police Department, City of Clinton Public Works, Washita National Wildlife Refuge, Foss Reservoir Master Conservancy District, Foss State Park, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Weather Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation.

In these types of exercises worst case scenarios are contemplated so that responding agencies may be better prepared for any level of emergency that could possibly occur. The purpose of emergency exercises is to help ensure coordinated notifications are made, to promote coordinated multi-agency response, and to provide an opportunity for agencies to evaluate their emergency plans.

Exercise participants walked away from Thursday’s exercise with a clearer understanding of each agency's roles and the responsibility each would have if called upon to respond to such a disaster. Fortunately, recovery efforts for this “disaster” will amount to nothing more than updating emergency plans.

Questions regarding Foss Dam emergency planning may be directed to Mr. Lew Hall, Emergency Management Activities Director, Bureau of Reclamation, at (405) 606-2913.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov.