February 26, 2009

City prepares for spring thaw

Recent warm temperatures may have cleared the frost from the Hazen City Commission’s crystal ball.

In reaction to recent warm temperatures and rain that have already caused water to leak into a few garages and basements, the commission approved the purchase of 10,000 sandbags and reviewed the city’s flood insurance policy at their regular monthly meeting Tuesday evening.

Regularly Mondays, the meeting was moved to Tuesday to honor Presidents Day.

The commission agreed to spend $1,200 for the 10,000 sandbags, and charge $2 per filled sandbag and 15 cents each for empty bags. Beulah also purchased 10,000 sandbags. Hazen Street Commissioner Mike Peterson said the city might seek out a hopper bottom structure that would serve for filling the bags.

Regarding flood insurance, the commission reminded residents that it takes 30 days after policy purchase for flood coverage to kick in.

Hazen participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, which qualifies both homeowners and renters for National Flood Insurance.

Hazen City Planner Steve Frovarp said that he has learned flood insurance is not liability insurance, meaning the city must protect lift stations from being inundated. Though the lift stations themselves wouldn’t be damaged, an inundated lift station might cause sewer backup in the Hazen homes it serviced.

"We’re going to have to prepare to sandbag our lift stations and a number of our manholes," Water and Sewer Commissioner Ken Link said. "Though I don’t anticipate anything worse than 1997."

The Weather Network