A proposed update to New London’s hazard mitigation plan suggests that the city pursue numerous actions in anticipation of natural disaster threats to the city.
The proposal, which is going before the Public Works Committee tonight at 6 p.m. at City Hall, would update the current plan that was adopted in 2005. The recommendations were developed by Milone & McBroom Inc., a Cheshire-based consulting firm, with assistance from municipal employees in the Department of Public Works, Office of Development and Planning, and Building Department.
The stated goal of the five-year plan’s update is to “identify particular vulnerability to natural hazards and potential mitigation measures for such natural hazards in order to reduce the loss of or damage to life, property, infrastructure, and natural, cultural, and economic resources.”
If adopted, municipal officials would be instructed to pursue their relevant recommendations and an annual progress report would be made to the mayor and City Council by Oct. 1 of each year. The plan would be administered by the Department of Public Works under the authority of the mayor and council.
The plan gives priority to 67 new recommendations and 12 existing recommendations. New recommendations include:
- Encourage municipal officials to attend trainings sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Consider a prohibition on development activities with potential storm surge areas identified by FEMA
- Ensure that development at Fort Trumbull is “resilient to flooding, hurricane surges, and sea level rise”
- Ensure that the emergency operations plan provides up-to-date and detailed instructions on the timing of evacuations
- Replace sand and vegetation at affected beaches to keep up with erosion
- Develop contingency plans for areas that are hard to reach during winter storms
- Consider elevating portions of Pequot Ave. and other coastal roads to keep ahead of rising sea levels
- Upgrade stormwater collection and discharge system to keep up with rising sea levels
Existing recommendations given continued priority in the revised plan include improvements to the Shaw’s Cove pumping system to improve flood control, drainage improvements to Pequot Ave. near Greens Harbor Beach, requiring utilities to be installed underground for all new development, and reviewing and updating the city’s emergency operations plan at least once a year.
The plan also provides an analysis of the city’s emergency resources as well as vulnerabilities to inland flooding and coastal flooding, hurricanes and tropical storms, winter storms, summer storms, earthquakes, and wildfires.