TOWN OF BETHLEHEM NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN CENTRAL NAUGATUCK VALLEY REGIONAL PLANNING AREA NOVEMBER 2008 REVISED DECEMEBER 2008 MMI #2937-02 Prepared For: Under a grant from the Federal Emergenc y Management Agency (FEMA) through the Connecticut Department of E nvironmental Protection (DEP) Council of Governments of th e Central Naugatuck Valley 60 North Main Street, 3rd Floor Waterbury, Connecticut 06702-1403 Prepared By: M ILONE & M AC BROOM , INC . 99 Realty Drive Cheshire, Connecticut 06410 (203) 271-1773 www.miloneandmacbroom.com In Association With : Fitzgerald & Halliday 72 Cedar Street Hartford, Connecticut 06106 (860) 446-2102 www.fhiplan.com NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 ii TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ……………………………………………………………… ……………….ES-1 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background and Purpose ……………………………………………………………… ……………………. 1-1 1.2 Hazard Mitigation Goals ……………………………………………………………… …………………….. 1-3 1.3 Identification of Hazards and Document Overview ……………………………………………….. 1-5 1.4 Discussion of STAPLE E Ranking Method……………………………………………….. ………….. 1-7 1.5 Documentation of the Planning Process ……………………………………………………………… .. 1-8 2.0 COMMUNITY PROFILE 2.1 Physical Setting……………………………………………………………… …………………………….. ….. 2-1 2.2 Existing Land Use ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………… 2-1 2.3 Geology ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………….. …….. 2-4 2.4 Climate ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………….. ……. 2-11 2.5 Drainage Basins and Hydrology ……………………………………………………………… ………… 2-12 2.6 Population and Demographic Setting ……………………………………………………………… …. 2-16 2.7 Governmental Structure ……………………………………………………………… ……………………. 2-18 2.8 Development Trends ……………………………………………………………… ………………………… 2-2 2 2.9 Critical Facilities and Sheltering Capacity ………………………………………………………….. 2-23 3.0 INLAND FLOODING 3.1 Setting ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………….. ………. 3-1 3.2 Hazard Assessment ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………. 3-1 3.3 Historic Record ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………. 3-5 3.4 Existing Programs, Policies and Mitigation Measures ……………………………………………. 3-8 3.5 Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment ……………………………………………………………… ….. 3-12 3.6 Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives ………………………………….. 3-14 3.7 Summary of Recommended Mitigation Meas ures, Strategies, and Alternatives ………. 3-23 4.0 HURRICANES 4.1 Setting ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………….. ………. 4-1 4.2 Hazard Assessment ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………. 4-1 4.3 Historic Record ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………. 4-6 4.4 Existing Programs, Policies, and Mitigation Measures …………………………………………… 4-9 4.5 Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment ……………………………………………………………… ….. 4-10 4.6 Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives ………………………………….. 4-11 4.7 Summary of Recommended Mitigation Meas ures, Strategies, and Alternatives ………. 4-13 NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 iii TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued) 5.0 SUMMER STORMS & TORNADOES 5.1 Setting ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………….. ………. 5-1 5.2 Hazard Assessment ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………. 5-1 5.3 Historic Record ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………. 5-6 5.4 Existing Programs, Policies, and Mitigation Measures …………………………………………… 5-9 5.5 Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment ……………………………………………………………… ….. 5-11 5.6 Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives ………………………………….. 5-11 5.7 Summary of Recommended Mitigation Meas ures, Strategies, and Alternatives ………. 5-13 6.0 WINTER STORMS 6.1 Setting ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………….. ………. 6-1 6.2 Hazard Assessment ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………. 6-1 6.3 Historic Record ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………. 6-3 6.4 Existing Programs, Policies and Mitigation Measures ……………………………………………. 6-6 6.5 Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment ……………………………………………………………… ……. 6-7 6.6 Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives ……………………………………. 6-8 6.7 Summary of Recommended Mitigation Meas ures, Strategies, and Alternatives ………. 6-11 7.0 EARTHQUAKES 7.1 Setting ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………….. ………. 7-1 7.2 Hazard Assessment ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………. 7-1 7.3 Historic Record ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………. 7-3 7.4 Existing Programs, Policies, and Mitigation Measures …………………………………………… 7-4 7.5 Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment ……………………………………………………………… ……. 7-5 7.6 Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives ……………………………………. 7-7 8.0 DAM FAILURE 8.1 Setting ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………….. ………. 8-1 8.2 Hazard Assessment ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………. 8-1 8.3 Historic Record ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………. 8-3 8.4 Existing Programs, Policies, and Mitigation Measures …………………………………………… 8-7 8.5 Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment ……………………………………………………………… ……. 8-8 8.6 Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives ………………………………….. 8-10 NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 iv TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued) 9.0 WILDFIRES 9.1 Setting ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………….. ………. 9-1 9.2 Hazard Assessment ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………. 9-1 9.3 Historic Record ……………………………………………………………… …………………………………. 9-3 9.4 Existing Programs, Policies, and Mitigation Measures …………………………………………… 9-4 9.5 Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment ……………………………………………………………… ……. 9-5 9.6 Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives ……………………………………. 9-8 10.0 RECOMMENDATIONS 10.1 Additional Recommendations……………………………………………………………… ……………. 10-1 10.2 Summary of Specific Recommendations …………………………………………………………….. 10-2 10.3 Sources of Funding ……………………………………………………………… ………………………….. 10-7 11.0 PLAN IMPLEMENTATION 11.1 Implementation Strategy and Schedule ……………………………………………………………… . 11-1 11.2 Progress Monitoring and Public Participation ……………………………………………………… 11-2 11.3 Updating the Plan……………………………………………………………… …………………………… .. 11-3 11.4 Technical and Financial Resources……………………………………………………………… …….. 11-4 12.0 REFERENCES ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………….. 12 -1 NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 v TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued) TABLES Table 2-1 Land Use by Area ……………………………………………………………… …………………… 2-4 Table 2-2 Soils by Taxonomic Class……………………………………………………………… ………. 2-10 Table 2-3 Drainage Basins ……………………………………………………………… ……………………. 2-13 Table 2-4 Population Density by Munici pality, Region, and State, 2005 …………………….. 2-17 Table 2-5 Critical Facilit ies in Bethlehem ……………………………………………………………… . 2-24 Table 3-1 FIRM Zone Descriptions ……………………………………………………………… …………. 3-3 Table 4-1 Hurricane Characteristics ……………………………………………………………… …………. 4-5 Table 5-1 Fujita Scale…………………………………………………… ……………………………………… .. 5-2 Table 5-2 Enhanced Fujita Scale ……………………………………………………………… ……………… 5-4 Table 5-3 Tornado Events in Litchfield County Since 1950……………………………………… … 5-7 Table 5-4 NOAA Weather Watches……………………………………………………………… …………. 5-9 Table 5-5 NOAA Weather Warnings ……………………………………………………………… ……… 5-10 Table 6-1 NESIS Categories ……………………………………………………………… …………………… 6-3 Table 8-1 Dams Registered with the DEP in the Town of Bethlehem…………………………… 8-2 Table 8-2 Dams Damaged Due to Fl ooding from October 2005 Storms……………………….. 8-5 FIGURES Figure 2-1 Bethlehem Location Map……………………………………………………………… …………. 2-2 Figure 2-2 Bethlehem in the CNVR ……………………………………………………………… ………….. 2-3 Figure 2-3 Bethlehem Ge neralized Land Use …………………………………………………………….. 2-5 Figure 2-4 Bethlehem Bedrock Geology ……………………………………………………………… ……. 2-7 Figure 2-5 Bethlehem Surficial Geology……………………………………………………………… ……. 2-9 Figure 2-6 Bethlehem Elderly Population ……………………………………………………………… … 2-19 Figure 2-7 Bethlehem Linguistical ly Isolated Households …………………………………………. 2-20 Figure 2-8 Bethlehem Di sabilities Map……………………………………………………………… ……. 2-21 Figure 2-9 Bethlehem Critical Facilities……………………………………………. …………………….. 2-25 Figure 3-1 FEMA Flood Zones in Bethlehem …………………………………………………………….. 3-4 Figure 8-1 High Hazard Dams in Bethlehem ……………………………………………………………… 8-4 Figure 8-2 Long Meadow Pond Subset Area ……………………………………………………………… 8-5 Figure 9-1 Bethlehem Wildfire Risk Area……………………………………………………………… ….. 9-2 NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 vi TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued) APPENDED TABLES Appended Table 1 Hazard Event Ranking Appended Table 2 Hazard Effect Ranking APPENDICES Appendix A STAPLEE Matrix Appendix B Documentation of Plan Development Appendix C Record of Municipal Adoption NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 ES-1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Town of Bethlehem Natural Haza rd Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan 1. The primary purpose of a Natural Hazard Pr e-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Plan is to identify natural hazards and risks, existing capabilities, and activities that can be undertaken by a community to prevent lo ss of life and reduce property damages associated with identified hazards. The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires local communities to have a FEMA-approved mitigation plan in order to be eligible to receive Pre-Disaster Mitigation program grants a nd post-disaster Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds. 2. The hilly, elevated terrain of Bethlehem make s it particularly vulnerable to an array of natural hazards, including small areas of inland flooding; hurricanes and high winds; tornadoes; earthquakes; summer storms in cluding hail and lighting; wildfires; dam failures; and winter storms with ice, extreme cold, and blizzard conditions. 3. One inactive Jurassic-era fault is mapped tr aversing south to north through the eastern part of Town. While Bethlehem is unlikel y to experience a damaging earthquake in any given year, areas underlain with sand and gravel are at increased risk due to amplification of energy and collapse if one should occur. 4. The Town of Bethlehem drains to seven major watersheds: Bantam River, Branch Brook, East Spring Brook, Nonne waug River, Shepaug River, Sprain Brook, and the Weekeepeemee River. Over 80% of the to wn drains to the Weekeepeemee River and East Spring Brook, and then to the Pomperaug and Housatonic Rivers. There are also a number of water bodies in Town incl uding Long Meadow Pond, the Bronson E. Lockwood Reservoir, and the Watertown Reservoir. 5. The Town considers its police, fire, gove rnmental, communication utilities, and major transportation arteries to be its most important facilities as well as its elderly housing, NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 ES-2 group homes, and educational institutions. None of these critical facilities are regularly impacted by flooding. Route 132 is a major eas t-west thoroughfare which has occasional flooding issues near Long Horizon Road and Sky Meadow Road. 6. The Town has a number of measures in place to prevent flood damage including regulations, codes, and ordinances preventing encroachments and development near floodways. 483 acres of land are locate d within the 100-year flood boundary and additional indirect and nuisance flooding occu rs near streams and rivers throughout town due to inadequate drainage a nd other factors. Some of these areas include: Arrowhead Lane, Crane Hollow Road, Double Hill Road, Fa lls Road, Hickory Lane, Hard Hill Road North, and Route 132. 7. The Town may wish to identify floodprone area s for potential acquisition as stated in the Plan of Conservation and Development. Si te plan and subdivision regulations might consider the requirement that a lot have a buildable area above the flood level. 8. The Fire Department is currently the primar y shelter for small, short term events with police and fire departments serv ing as staff. Memorial Hall can use used as a shelter during larger hazard events but has limited ba throoms. Both facilities meet specific American Red Cross (ARC) guidelines for shelters. Amenities and operating costs are the responsibility of the comm unity, not the ARC. Wisdom H ouse in Litchfield has also been used as a shelter by families in Bethlehem. Bethlehem Elementary School serves as an emergency supply distribution center. 9. The Town’s emergency communications syst ems are outdated and mostly incompatible with those in surrounding towns. A communi cations study is underway that will likely recommended an upgrade to these systems. The Town plans to apply to various grants to help fund the new equipment. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 ES-3 10. For a variety of purposes, literature on appropriate design standards would be useful at the Building Department during the permitting process. Literature on how the public can prepare and protect themselves and their proper ty for natural disasters would be useful on the web or at various locations su ch as the Town Hall and library. 11. The likelihood of a nor’easter is considered high and considered very high for other winter storms. Icing due to poor drainage occurs in the hillier sections including several areas along Route 132. 12. The Town of Bethlehem is the first res ponder to the Horace Mann Nature Center in Washington. The access road is unpaved, narro w, and steep which could result in the facility becoming isolated in a winter emergency. 13. Evacuation routes, plow rout es, and shelter information should be made available on the Town’s web page and at municipal buildings. 14. Based on potential hazard, Bethlehem has six Class BB dams (Addie Road Pond Dam, Benjamin Pond Dam, Watertown Reservoir Dam, Long Meadow Pond Dam, Zieglers Pond Dam, and Kasser Road Pond Dam), one Class B (Bird Pond Dam), one Class C (Bronson Lockwood Dam) and one undefined (Newman Pond Dam). Some dam names registered with the Department of Environm ental Protection do not reflect current road names. Failure of Classes BB, B, or C dams can cause moderate to great economic loss. 15. The Town of Bethlehem may wish to c onsider adopting a Flood and Erosion Control Board to oversee local flooding and erosion problems and re pairs of municipal dams. Such a Board can be established by updating th e Town charter and would consist of the Board of Selectmen. 16. The Town has been requested by DEP to reta in an engineer to perform a hydraulic and hydrologic analysis of Long Meadow Pond Dam, and implement improvements needed NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 ES-4 to pass the 100-year storm event. The Town should review and update the Emergency Operation Plan for the dam when these modifications are complete. 17. Bethlehem is at a low risk for wildfires. Those areas at the highest risk are limited access conservation properties and adjacent resident ial properties. Narrow and one-way roads hinder emergency access for firefighting. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 1-1 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background and Purpose The term hazard refers to an extreme natural ev ent that poses a risk to people, infrastructure, or resources. In the contex t of natural disasters, pre-disaster hazard mitigation is commonly defined as any sustained action that permanently reduces or eliminates long-term risk to people, prope rty, and resources from natural hazards and their effects. The primary purpose of a pre-disaster hazard mitigation plan (HMP) is to identify natural hazards and risks, existing capabilities, and activities that can be undertaken by a community or group of communities to preven t loss of life and reduce property damages associated with the identified hazards. This HMP is prepared specifically to identify hazards in the Town of Bethlehem, Connecticut (“Bethlehem” or “Town”). The HMP is relevant not only in emergency management situations, but also should be used within the Town of Bethlehem’s land use, environmen tal, and capital improvement frameworks. The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA), commonly known as the 2000 Stafford Act amendments, was approved by Congress and si gned into law in October 2000, creating Public Law 106-390. The purposes of the DMA are to establish a national program for pre-disaster mitigation and streamline administration of disaster relief. The DMA requires local communities to have a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-approved mitigation plan in order to be eligible to receive post-disaster Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) grants a nd Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program project grant funds. Once a community ha s a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan, the community is then eligible to apply for PDM project funds for m itigation activities. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 1-2 Mitigation Funding Note that starting in 2008, applications for hazard mitigation grant funding are administered under the Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance program. More information on this and the following programs can be found at FEMA’s website, http://www.fema.gov/ The subject pre-disaster hazard mitigation plan was developed to be consistent with the requirements of the HMGP, PDM, and Flood Ma nagement Assistance (FMA) programs. These programs are briefly described below. Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Program The Pre-Disaster Mitigation program was au thorized by Part 203 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief Act (Stafford Act), 42 U.S.C. 5133. The PDM program provides funds to states, te rritories, tribal governments, communities, and universities for hazard mitigation planning and implementation of mitigation projects prior to disasters, providing an opportunity to reduce the na tion’s disaster losses through pre-disaster mitigation planning and the implem entation of feasible, effective, and cost- efficient mitigation measures. Funding of pre- disaster plans and projects is meant to reduce overall risks to populations and facilities. PDM funds should be used primarily to support mitigation activities that address natural hazards. In addition to providing a vehicle for funding, the PDM program provides an opportunity to raise risk awareness within communities. Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) The HMGP is authorized under Section 404 of th e Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The HMGP provi des grants to States and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation meas ures after a major disaster declaration. The purpose of the HMGP is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster. A key purpose of th e HMGP is to ensure that any opportunities NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 1-3 to take critical mitigation measures to protect life and property from future disasters are not “lost” during the recovery and reconstruction process following a disaster. Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program The FMA program was created as part of the National Flood Insurance Reform Act (NFIRA) of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 4101) with the goa l of reducing or eliminating claims under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FEMA provides FMA funds to assist States and communities with implementing measures that reduce or eliminate the long- term risk of flood damage to buildings, hom es, and other structures insurable under the NFIP. The long-term goal of FMA is to reduce or eliminate claims under the NFIP through mitigation activities. Th ree types of grants are available under FMA. These are Planning, Project, and Tec hnical Assistance grants. 1.2 Hazard Mitigation Goals The primary goal of this hazard mitigation plan is to reduce the loss of or damage to life, property, infrastructure, and natural, cu ltural and economic resources from natural disasters. This includes the reduction of public and private damage costs. Limiting losses of and damage to life and property will also reduce the social, emotional, and economic disruption associated with a natural disaster. Developing, adopting, and implementing this hazard mitigation plan is expected to: ‰ Increase access to and awareness of funding sources for hazard mitigation projects. Certain funding sources, such as th e Pre-Disaster Mitigation Competitive Grant Program and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, will be available if the hazard mitigation plan is in place and approved. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 1-4 ‰ Identify mitigation initiatives to be implemented if and when funding becomes available. This HMP will identify a number of mitigation recommendations, which can then be prioritized and acted upon as funding allows. ‰ Connect hazard mitigation planning to other community planning efforts. This HMP can be used to guide Bethlehem’s development through inter-departmental and inter-municipal coordination. ‰ Improve the mechanisms for pre- and pos t-disaster decision making efforts. This plan emphasizes actions that can be taken now to reduce or prevent future disaster damages. If the actions identified in this plan are implemented, damage from future hazard events can be minimized, thereby eas ing recovery and reducing the cost of repairs and reconstruction. ‰ Improve the ability to implemen t post-disaster recovery projects through development of a list of mitigation alternatives ready to be implemented. ‰ Enhance and preserve natural resource systems. Natural resources, such as wetlands and floodplains, provide protection against disasters such as floods and hurricanes. Proper planning and protection of natural resources can provide hazard mitigation at substantially reduced costs. ‰ Educate residents and policy makers about natural hazard risk and vulnerability. Education is an important tool to ensure that people make informed decisions that complement the Town’s abil ity to implement and maintain mitigation strategies. ‰ Complement future Community Rating System efforts. Implementation of certain mitigation measures may increase a community’s rating, and thus the benefits that it derives from FEMA. The Town of Bethlehem has never participated in the Community Rating System. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 1-5 1.3 Identification of Hazards and Document Overview As stated in Section 1.1, the term hazard refers to an extreme natural event that poses a risk to people, infrastructure, or resources. Based on a review of the Connecticut Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan and correspondence with local officials, the following have been identified as natural hazards that can pot entially affect the Town of Bethlehem: ‰ Inland Flooding ‰ Hurricanes and Tropical Storms ‰ Summer Storms (including lightning, hail, and heavy winds) and Tornadoes ‰ Winter Storms ‰ Earthquakes ‰ Dam Failure ‰ Wildfires This document has been prepared wi th the understanding that a single hazard effect may be caused by multiple hazard events. For example, flooding may occur as a result of frequent heavy rains, a hurricane, or a wint er storm. Thus, Appended Tables 1 and 2 provide summaries of the hazard events and hazard effects that impact the Town of Bethlehem, and include criteria for characte rizing the locations impacted by the hazard, the frequency of occurrence of the hazards, and the magnitude or severity of the hazards. Despite the causes, the eff ects of several hazards are persistent and demand high expenditures from the Town. In order to better identify current vulnerabilities and potential mitigation strategies associated with other hazards, each hazard has been individually discussed in a separate chapter. This document begins with a general disc ussion of Bethlehem’s community profile, including the physical setting, demographics, development trends, governmental structure, and sheltering capacit y. Next, each chapter of this Plan is broken down into six NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 1-6 or seven different parts. These are Setting; Hazard Assessment ; Historic Record ; Existing Programs, Policies, and Mitigation Measures ; Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment ; and Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives, and for chapters with several recommendations , a Summary of Recommendations. These are described below. ‰ Setting addresses the general areas that are at risk from the hazard. General land uses are identified. ‰ Hazard Assessment describes the specifics of a given hazard, including general characteristics, and associated effects. Also defined are associated return intervals, probability and risk, and relative magnitude. ‰ Historic Record is a discussion of past occurrences of the hazard, and associated damages when available. ‰ Existing Programs, Policies, and Mitigation Measures gives an overview of the measures that the Town of Bethlehem is currently undertaking to mitigate the given hazard. These may take the form of ordinanc es and codes, structural measures such as dams, or public ou treach initiatives. ‰ Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment focuses on the specific areas at risk to the hazard. Specific land uses in the given areas are identified. Critical buildings and infrastructure that would be affected by the hazard are identified. ‰ Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives identifies mitigation alternatives, including those that may be th e least cost effective or inappropriate for Bethlehem. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 1-7 ‰ Summary of Recommended Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives provides a summary of the recommended c ourses of action for Bethlehem that is included in the STAPLEE an alysis described below. This document concludes with a strategy for implementation of the Hazard Mitigation Plan, including a schedule, a program for monitoring and updating the plan, and a discussion of technical a nd financial resources. 1.4 Discussion of STAPLEE Ranking Method To prioritize recommended mitigation meas ures, it is necessary to determine how effective each measure will be in reducing or preventing damage. A set of criteria commonly used by public administration officials and planners was applied to each proposed strategy. The method, called STAPLEE, stands for the “Social, Technical, Administrative, Political, Legal, Economic and Environmental” criteria for making planning decisions. The following questions were asked about the proposed mitigation strategies: ‰ Social : Is the proposed strategy soci ally acceptable to Bethlehem? Is there any equity issues involved that would mean that one segment of Bethlehem could be treated unfairly? ‰ Technical : Will the proposed strategy work? Will it create more problems than it will solve? ‰ Administrative : Can Bethlehem implement the strategy? Is there someone to coordinate and lead the effort? ‰ Political : Is the strategy politica lly acceptable? Is there public support both to implement and maintain the project? ‰ Legal : Is Bethlehem authorized to implement the proposed strategy? Is there a clear legal basis or precedent for this activity? NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 1-8 ‰ Economic : What are the costs and benefits of this strategy? Does the cost seem reasonable for the size of the problem and the likely benefits? ‰ Environmental : How will the strategy impact the environment? Will the strategy need environmental re gulatory approvals? Each proposed mitigation strategy presented in this plan was evaluated and assigned a score (Good = 3, Average = 2, Poor = 1) based on the above criteria. An evaluation matrix with the total scores from each stra tegy can be found in Appendix A. After each strategy is evaluated using the STAPLEE method, it is possible to prioritize the strategies according to the final score. The highest scoring is determined to be of more importance, economically, socially, environmentally and po litically and, hence, prioritized over those with lower scoring. 1.5 Documentation of the Planning Process The Town of Bethlehem is a member of the Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley (COGCNV), the regional planning body responsible for Bethlehem and twelve other member municipalitie s: Beacon Falls, Cheshire, Middlebury, Naugatuck, Oxford, Prospect, Southbury, T homaston, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott, and Woodbury. The municipalities of Ch eshire, Prospect, Oxford, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott, and Woodbury have existing mitigation plans, and hazard mitigation plans are being concurrently developed for remaining municipalities. Ms. Virginia Mason of the COGCNV coordinated the development of this Hazard Mitigation Plan. The COGCNV applied for the grant from FEMA through the Connecticut Department of Environmental Prot ection (DEP). The adoption of this Plan in the Town of Bethlehem will also be c oordinated by the COGCNV. In addition, the COGCNV provided Geographic Information Syst em (GIS) base mapping and created the figures presented in this document. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 1-9 The following individuals from the Town of Bethlehem provided information, data, studies, reports, and observations; and were involved in the development of the Plan: ‰ Mr. Michael Devine, Emergency Service Director ‰ Mr. Jim Kacerguis, Director, Public Works Department ‰ Mr. John Rudzavice, Fire Marshal ‰ Mr. Roger Natusch, Building Official ‰ Ms. Jean Donegan, Land Use Coordinator An extensive data collection, evaluation, and outreach program was undertaken to compile information about existing hazards a nd mitigation in the Town, as well as to identify areas that should be prioritized fo r hazard mitigation. The following is a list of meetings that were held to develop this Hazard Mitigation Plan: ‰ Field inspections were performed on February 13, 2008. Observations were made of flooding and problem areas within the To wn after a period of heavy rain falling on frozen ground. ‰ A project meeting with Town officials was held March 4, 2008. Necessary documentation was collected, and problem areas within the Town were discussed. ‰ A public information meeting was held April 21, 2008 at 7:30 P.M. Preliminary findings were presented and public comments solicited. Residents were invited to the public inform ation meeting via newspaper, with three residents attending that were not Town personnel or a commission member. Similarly, eight municipal agencies and civic organiza tions were invited via a mailed copy of the press release that announced the public in formation meeting. These included the following: NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 1-10 ‰ Long Meadow Lake Management Committee; ‰ Torrington Area Health District; ‰ United Way of Greater Waterbury; ‰ American Red Cross – Waterbury Area; ‰ Bethlehem Inland Wetlands Commission; ‰ Bethlehem Land Trust; ‰ Bethlehem Conservation Commission; and ‰ Bethlehem Planning Commission. Of these organizations, the Long Meadow Lake Management Committee and the Bethlehem Conservation Commission were repr esented at the meeting. Residents were also encouraged to contact the COG with co mments via newspaper articles. As another direct gauge of public interest , a review of Public Works De partment complaint files was undertaken to document problems of public concern. It is important to note that COGCNV manages the Centra l Naugatuck Valley Emergency Planning Committee. This committee has begu n coordinating emergency services in the region. Fire, Police, EMS, Red Cross, em ergency management directors, and other departments participate in these efforts. In June 2004, over 120 responders participated in the region’s first tabletop exercise on bi ological terrorism. Area health directors, hospitals, and other health care professionals also meet monthly with the Health and Medical Subcommittee to share informati on, protocols, and training. Thus, local knowledge and experience gained through th e Emergency Planning Committee activities has been transferred by the COGCNV to the pre-disaster mitigation planning process. Additional opportunities fo r the public to review the Plan will be implemented in advance of the public hearing to a dopt this plan, tentatively scheduled for January 2009, contingent on receiving conditional approval from FEMA. Th e draft that is sent for FEMA review will be posted on the Town website ( http://www.ci.bethlehem.ct.us/) and the COGCNV website (http://www.cogcnv.org) to provide opportunities for public NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 1-11 review and comment. Such comments will be incorporated into the final draft where applicable. Upon receiving conditional approv al from FEMA, the public hearing will be scheduled, at which time any remaining comments can be addressed. Notification of the opportunity to review the Plan on the above websites and the announcement of the public information meeting will be posted on the websites and placed in local newspapers. If any final plan modifications result from the comment period leading up to and including the public hearing to adopt the pla n, these will be submitted to FEMA as page revisions with a cover letter explaining the chan ges. It is not anticipated that any major modifications will occur at this phase of the project. Appendix B contains copies of meeting minut es, field notes and observations, the public information meeting presentation, and other r ecords that document the development of this Natural Hazard Pre-Di saster Mitigation Plan. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-1 2.0 COMMUNITY PROFILE 2.1 Physical Setting The Town of Bethlehem is located in Litc hfield County. It is bordered by Woodbury to the south, Washington to the west, Morris to th e north, and Watertown to the east. Refer to Figure 2-1 for a location schematic and Figure 2-2 for a location map. Bethlehem is located within the western part of the crystalline uplands, or Western Highlands, of western Connecticut. This geol ogic feature consists of three belts of metamorphic rocks bounded to the west by th e sediments and metamorphic rocks of the Hudson River valley and on the east by the Tria ssic sediments of the Connecticut River valley. The topography of the To wn ranges from gently rolling terrain in the valleys to steep, hilly terrain in the upland areas. Elevations range from 450 feet above sea level along the Weekeepeemee River in the southwes tern part of Town to over 1,130 feet above sea level on Todd Hill in the northwestern part of Town, based on the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929. The hilly, elevated terrain of Bethlehem makes it particularly vulnerable to an array of natural hazards. 2.2 Existing Land Use Bethlehem is characterized by its hills and so ils that are typically unsuitable for large septic systems, both of which limit large de velopment in much of the Town. A small commercial district is located in the center of the town at the intersection of East Street and Main Street (Route 61). Outside of the commercial area, agricultural areas are interspersed with low density residential neighborhoods. Much of the undeveloped areas of Bethlehem are private forested areas or land trust properties. Bethlehem is also the site of the Abbey of Regina Laudis, a Catholic monastic community, located on the southern end of Town. § ¨ ¦84 § ¨ ¦691 § ¨ ¦84 § ¨ ¦91 § ¨ ¦91 § ¨ ¦95 § ¨ ¦95 § ¨ ¦395 ” )2 ” )9 ” )15 ” )15 ” )8 ” )44 Bethlehem CONNEC TICU T Figure 2-1: Bethlehem Location Map § ¨ ¦691 § ¨ ¦84 ” )42 ” )188 ” )68 ” )70 ” )67 ” )63 ” )8 ” )188 ” )262 ” )322 ” )73 ” )61 ” )42 ” )109 ” )70 ” )10 ” )188 ” )68 ” )64 ” )172 ” )69 ” )67 £ ¤6 ” )8 ” )47 ” )63 ” )69 § ¨ ¦84 ” )132 ” )317 ” )222 ” )254 £ ¤6 Newtown Bristol Hamden Litchfield Morris Roxbury Bethany Southington Plymouth Washington Monroe Seymour Woodbridge North Haven Harwinton Burlington Farmington Plainville Warren Shelton Ansonia Wallingford Derby Meriden New Haven Bridgewater East Haven COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTSCENTRAL NAUGATUCK VALLEY ² 024 Miles Figure 2-2: Bethlehem in the CNVR M i d d l e b u r yM i d d l e b u r y W a t e r b u r yW a t e r b u r y W o l c o t tW o l c o t t O x f o r dO x f o r d B e a c o nF a l l s B e a c o nF a l l s S o u t h b u r yS o u t h b u r y W o o d b u r yW o o d b u r y B e t h l e h e mB e t h l e h e m W a t e r t o w nW a t e r t o w n T h o m a s t o nT h o m a s t o n N a u g a t u c kN a u g a t u c k P r o s p e c tP r o s p e c t C h e s h i r eC h e s h i r e Legend Town Boundary Major Roads Bethlehem CNVR For general planning purposes on ly. Delin eations may not be ex act. Source: “Roads”, c1984 – 200 8 Tele Atlas, Rel. 04/08. “Town Boundary”, DEP June 2008 NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-4 The Town of Bethlehem encompasses 19.6 square miles. Table 2-1 provides a summary of land use in Bethlehem by area. In addition, refer to Figure 2-3 for a map of generalized land use provided by the COGCNV. Table 2-1 Land Use by Area Land Use Area (acres) Pct. Vacant 5,707 45.4% Residential – Low Density 2,977 23.7% Agricultural 2,956 23.5% Institutional 460 3.7% Water 210 1.7% Recreational 198 1.6% Mining 25 0.2% Commercial 25 0.2% Residential – High Density 8 0.1% Source: Council of Governments Central Naugatuck Valley, 2000 2.3 Geology Geology is important to the occurrence and re lative effects of natural hazards such as earthquakes. Thus, it is important to unders tand the geologic setting and variation of bedrock and surficial formations in Bethle hem. The following discussion highlights Bethlehem’s geology at several regional scales. Geologic information discussed in the following section was acquired in GIS from the Connecticut DEP. In terms of North American bedrock geology, the Town of Bethlehem is located in the northeastern part of the Appalachian Orogenic Belt, al so known as the Appalachian Highlands. The Appalachian Highlands exte nd from Maine south into Mississippi and Alabama and were formed during the oroge ny that occurred when the super-continent Pangea assembled during the late Paleozoic era. The region is generally characterized by deformed sedimentary rocks cut through by numerous thrust faults. Figure 2-3: Bethlehem Generalized Land Use 0 0.5 1Miles COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTSCENTRAL NAUGATUCK VALLEY ² ” )132 ” )61 ” )61 ” )132 RL Residential – Low Density less than 2 dewlling units per acre RM Residential – Medium Density 2-8 dwelling units per acre RH Residential – High Density 8 or more dwelling units per acre RX Resource Extraction TU Transportation & Utilities UL Undeveloped Land W Water Legend Major Roads Local Roads AG Agriculture CF Institutional CM Commercial IN Industrial RC Recreational Town Boundary For general planning p urposes only. Delineatio ns may n ot be exac t. Source: “Roads”, c1984 – 2008 Tele Atlas, R el. 04 /08. “Town Boundary”, DE P “Land Us e”, COGCNV 2000 August 2008 NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-6 Bedrock Geology Connecticut bedrock geology is comprised of several “terranes.” Terranes are geologic regions that reflect the role of plate tectonics in Connecticut’s natural history. The bedrock beneath the Town of Bethlehem is part of the Iapetos Terrane, comprised of remnants of the Iapetos Ocean that existed before Pangaea was formed. This terrane formed when Pangaea was consolidated, and its boundaries are coin cident with the Eugeosyncline Sequence geologic province described above. Regionally, in terms of New England bedr ock geology the Town of Bethlehem lies within the Eugeosyncline Sequence. Bedr ock belonging to the Eugeosyncline Sequence are typically deformed, metamorphosed, and in truded by small to large igneous plutons. The Town of Bethlehem’s bedrock consists primarily of metasedimentary and metaigneous schists and granofels and secondarily of igneous granite and pegmatite. The bedrock alignment trends generally southwest to northeast through the Town. Refer to Figure 2- 4 for a depiction of the bedrock geology in the Town of Bethlehem. The three primary bedrock formations in th e Town (from north to south) are Ratlum Mountain Schist, Rowe Schi st, and Nonewaug Granite: ‰ The Ratlum Mountain Schist consists of gray, medium-grained schist and granofels. ‰ The Rowe Schist is a light-gray to silv ery, fine to medium-grained schist. ‰ The Nonewaug Granite is a white to pink, fine to very coarse-grained granite with some parts pegmatitic. One fault is mapped in the Town of Bethlehem. It is a high-angle, mostly Jurassic fault traversing south to north through the eastern part of Town. The fault extends from Newtown and runs into Massachusetts and is believed inactive. Bedrock outcrops can be difficult to find in Bethlehem due to the fore sted nature of the Town, although outcrops can be found at higher elev ations and on hilltops. Or Or OCr Dng Or Dng Figure 2-4: Bethlehem Bedrock Geology 0 0.5 1Miles COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTSCENTRAL NAUGATUCK VALLEY ² ” )132 ” )61 ” )61 ” )132 Bedrock Legend Town Boundary Major Roads Local Roads Dng OCr Or Ratlum Mtn Schist Rowe Schist Nonnewaug Granite For general planning purposes only. Delineations may not b e exact. Source: “Ro ads”, c1984 – 2008 Tele Atlas, Rel. 04 /08. “Town Boundary”, “B edrock”, DEP June 2008 NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-8 At least twice in the late Pleistocene, continental ice sheets moved across Connecticut. As a result, surficial geology of the To wn is characteristic of the depositional environments that occurred during glacial a nd postglacial periods. Refer to Figure 2-5 for a depiction of surficial geology. Bethlehem is covered primarily by glacial till. Tills contain an unsorted mixture of clay, silt, sand, gravel, and boulders deposited by glaciers as a ground moraine. This area includes nearly all of Bethlehem with the exception of the river valleys associated with the Weekeepeemee River, Wood Creek, the No nnewaug River and East Spring Brook. Stratified sand and gravel (“stra tified drift”) areas are associated with these watercourses. These deposits accumulated by glacial meltw ater streams during the outwash period following the latest glacial recession. The re mainder of Town is covered by small areas of swamp near the western and northwester n boundary, and by the ponds and reservoirs scattered throughout Bethlehem. The amount of stratified drift pr esent in the Town is important for several reasons. First, the stratified drift is currently used by water utilities in downstream Watertown to provide drinking water via pumping wells. S econdly, in regard to inland flooding, areas of stratified materials are generally coincident with inland floodplains. This is because these materials were deposited at lower elev ations by glacial streams, and these valleys later were inherited by the la rger of our present-day streams and rivers. However, smaller glacial till watercourses can also cause flooding, such as those in northern, eastern, and southeastern Bethlehem. The amount of stratified drift also has bearing on the relative intensity of earthquakes and the li kelihood of soil subsidence in areas of fill. These topics will be discussed in later sections. T TT T TT TT TT TT TT TT W A/SG TT W G A/SG SW SG G T TT SG SG TT SG G A/SG W A/SG SG SG SG G W SG SW SG SG SG A/SG SG SW SW Figure 2-5: Bethlehem Surficial Materials 0 0.5 1Miles COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTSCENTRAL NAUGATUCK VALLEY ² ” )132 ” )61 ” )61 ” )132 Till Thick Till Sand and Gravel Alluvium Overlying Sand and Gravel Gravel Water Swamp Surficial Materials A/SG G SG SW T TT W For genera l planning purposes only. Delineations m ay not be exac t. Source: “Roa ds”, c1984 – 2008 Tel e Atlas, Rel. 04/08. “Town Boundary”, “Su rficial Mate rials”, DEP August 2008 Legend Town Boundary Major Roads Local Roads NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-10 In terms of soil types, approximately 80% of the Town contains Paxton and Montauk fine sandy loams, Canton and Charlton soils, Ch arlton-Chatfield complex, extremely stony Ridgebury, Leicester, and Whitman soils, and Woodbridge fine sandy loam (Table 2-2). The remainder of the Town has soil types of consisting primarily of various fine to medium sandy loams, wetland soils, and urba n land. The following soil descriptions are taken in part from the official series descri ptions from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website. Table 2-2 Soils by Taxonomic Class Soil Type Area (acres) Pct. Paxton and Montauk fine sandy loams 3726 29.6% Canton and Charlton soils 3169 25.2% Charlton-Chatfield complex 1230 9.8% Ridgebury, Leicester, and Whitman soils 1167 9.3% Woodbridge fine sandy loam 1162 9.2% Hollis-Chatfield-Rock outcrop complex 435 3.5% Gloucester gravelly sandy loam 321 2.6% Sutton fine sandy loam 275 2.2% Water 228 1.85 Merrimac sandy loam 178 1.4% Other (20 types) 684 5.4% Total 12575 100.0 Source: 2005 Soil Survey Geog raphic (SSURGO) database for the State of Connecticut ‰ The Paxton and Montauk series consists of very deep, well-drained loamy soils formed in lodgment till derived primarily fr om granitic materials. The soils are very deep to bedrock and moderately deep to a de nsic contact. They are nearly level to steep soils on upland till plains, hills, moraines, and drumlins. Slope ranges from zero to forty-five percent. Saturated hydraulic conductivity is moderately high or high in the solum and low to moderately high in the substratum. ‰ The Canton and Charlton soils consist of very deep, well- drained soils formed in a loamy mantle underlain by sandy till with stones and boulders often present. The NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-11 soils are found on nearly level to steep glaciated plains, hills, and ridges. Slope ranges from zero to thirty-five percent. Saturated hydraulic conductivity is high in the solum and high or very high in the substratum. ‰ The Charlton-Chatfield complex consists of moderately deep to deep, well-drained, and somewhat excessively drained soils formed in glacial till. They are very nearly level to very steep soils on gl aciated plains, hills, and ridges. The soil is often stony or very stony. Slope ranges from three to fo rty-five percent. Crystalline bedrock is at depths of 20 to 40 inches. Saturated hydr aulic conductivity is moderately high to high in the mineral soil. ‰ Extremely stony Ridgebury, Leicester, and Whitman Soils consist of very deep, somewhat poorly drained to very poorly drai ned formed in glacial till derived mainly from granite, gneiss, and schist. These soils are shallow to a densic contact. They are nearly level to gently sloping soils in low areas, such as depressions or drainageways, in uplands. Slope ranges from zero to fifteen percent. Saturated hydraulic conductivity ranges from moderately low to high in the solum and very low to moderately low in the substratum. ‰ The Woodbridge series consists of modera tely well drained loamy soils formed in subglacial till. They are ve ry deep to bedrock and moderately deep to a densic contact. They are nearly level to modera tely steep soils on till plains, hills, and drumlins. Slope ranges from zero to tw enty-five percent. Saturated hydraulic conductivity ranges from moderately low or moderately high in the surface layer and subsoil and low or moderately low in the dense substratum. 2.4 Climate Bethlehem has an agreeable climate, characteri zed by moderate but distinct seasons. The average mean temperature is approximately 48 degrees, with summer temperatures in the NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-12 The continued increase in precipitation only heightens the need for hazard mitigation planning, as the occurrence of floods may change in accordance with the greater precipitation. mid-80s and winter temperat ures in the upper 20’s to mid-30s, Fahrenheit. Extreme conditions raise summer temperatures to near 100 degrees and winter temperatures to below zero. Median snowfall is just less than 46 inches per year as measured at Wigwam Reservoir weather station in Thomaston (N CDC, 2007). Median annual precipitation is 44 inches, spread evenly over the course of a year. By comparison, average annual st ate-wide precipitation based on more than 100 years of record is nearly the same, at 45 inches. However, average annual precipitation in Connecticut has been increasing by 0.95 inches per decade since the end of the 19 th century (Miller et. al., 2002; NCDC, 2005). Likewise, total annual precipitatio n in the Town has increased over time. 2.5 Drainage Basins and Hydrology The Town of Bethlehem drains to seven major watersheds corresponding with the Bantam River, Branch Brook, East Spring Brook, Nonnewaug River, Shepaug River, Sprain Brook, and the Weekeepeemee River. Th ese drainage basins are described below and summarized in Table 2-3. Over eight y percent of the town drains to the Weekeepeemee River and East Spring Brook, bot h of which ultimately drain through the Pomperaug River to the Housatoni c River. The remainder of the Town also drains to the Housatonic River, but does so via the Shepa ug or Naugatuck Rivers. Bethlehem is also home to a number of lakes and ponds, including Long Meadow Pond, the Bronson E. Lockwood Reservoir, and the Watertown Reservoir. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-13 Table 2-3 Drainage Basins Drainage Basin Area (sq. mi) Percent of Town Bantam River 0.20 1.0% Branch Brook 0.72 3.6% East Spring Brook 5.06 25.8% Nonnewaug River 2.47 12.6% Shepaug River 0.01 0.1% Sprain Brook 0.27 1.4% Weekeepeemee River 10.91 55.5% Total 19.64 100.0% Source: Drainage Basins, 2008 CT DEP GIS Data for Connecticut Bantam River A small section of Bethlehem’s northwestern corner (approximately 1.0% of the Town) drains to the Bantam River in eastern Washington near Mt. Tom. The headwaters of the Bantam River are located in th e area of the Litchfield Reservoir in Goshen. The Bantam River eventually drains into the Shepaug Ri ver in Washington. The subregional basin corresponding to the Bantam River drains 40.21 square miles of land across Washington, Morris, Bethlehem, Litchfiel d, Torrington, and Goshen, but only 0.20 square miles of this basin lie in the Town of Bethlehem. Branch Brook The Branch Brook drainage ba sin covers 0.72 square miles or 3.66% of the Town’s land area in the northeastern corner of Bethlehem. It is the only basin in Bethlehem that drains to the Housatonic via the Naugatuck River, generally flowing to the east and southeast before entering the Naugatuck Rive r in Mattatuck State Forest in Watertown. The upper reaches of this drainage basin are located in northeastern Morris and Litchfield, where Pitch Brook, Wigwam Brook, and their tributaries flow southward into Pitch Reservoir. In addition to the abovemen tioned tributaries, the Pitch Reservoir also NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-14 receives water from a seven mile long aqueduct built in the 1920s from the Shepaug Reservoir on the border between the Towns of Litchfield and Warren. The Branch Brook drainage basin is heavily utilized for water supply. Pitch Reservoir is the first of three major impoundments in th e watershed. Downstream are the Morris Reservoir on the Morris-Litchfield town line and the Wigwam Reservoir on the Watertown-Thomaston boundary. All of these reservoirs as well as the aqueduct were constructed by the City of Wate rbury in the first half of the twentieth century for water supply purposes. The part of Bethlehem within this basin drains through two unnamed watercourses to Morris Brook, and eventually into the Wi gwam Reservoir just below the Morris Reservoir Dam. Branch Brook begins dow nstream of the Wigwam Reservoir Dam, where it makes up the boundary between Watert own and Thomaston before flowing into the Naugatuck River. In all, the Branch Br ook basin drains 22.65 square miles of land in Thomaston, Watertown, Bethlehem, Morris, and Litchfield. East Spring Brook The East Spring Brook drainage basin covers 5.06 square miles or 25.77% of the land area of Bethlehem. The basin extends from the eastern part of Bethlehem into southern Morris, from where several small watercour ses converge into the Bronson E. Lockwood Reservoir in northeastern Bethlehem. This reservoir covers 73.5 acres and is operated by the Watertown Fire District Water Departme nt, though it is not currently used for water supply. East Spring Brook begins as the outlet from this reservoir and flows generally south across eastern Bethlehem. The brook first flow s south into the Watertown Reservoir, and is later joined by two unnamed tributaries ju st downstream of its crossing of Magnolia Hill Road. Several more unnamed tributaries meet East Spring Brook before its NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-15 confluence with the Nonnewaug River in Woodbury, just to the south of the Bethlehem border. In total, East Spring Brook drains 5.85 square miles of land in the Towns of Woodbury, Bethlehem, and Morris. Nonnewaug River The southeastern corner of Bethlehem that does not drain to East Spring Brook drains directly to the Nonnewaug River. This area covers 2.47 square miles or 12.57% of Bethlehem’s total land area. The Nonnewaug River has its headwaters along the bord er between Bethlehem and Watertown. Several unnamed streams flow into Big Meadow Pond in western Watertown. The Nonnewaug Ri ver begins as the outlet from this pond and flows to the southwest into Bethlehem where it is joined by three unnamed tributaries before crossing the border into Woodbury where it is joined by East Spring Brook. Downstream of the East Spring Brook, th e Nonnewaug River flows southward into Woodbury where it passes by Hart’s Wellfiel d, a major source of water supply for the Watertown Fire District. The river is joined by several tributaries in Woodbury before it joins with the Weekeepeemee River to form the Pomperaug River. In all, the Nonnewaug River drains 21.26 square miles of land in the Towns of Bethlehem, Watertown, Woodbury, and Middlebury. Shepaug River The smallest drainage basin in Bethlehem co rresponds to the Shepaug River. It covers only 0.01 square miles in western Bethlehem, corresponding to 0.07% of the Town’s total land area. This area drains west into Washington and into Ma llory Brook, which meets up with the Shepaug River near the juncti on of Blackville Road and Route 47. The Shepaug River watershed is very large, dr aining 70.94 square miles of land from its confluence with the Housatonic River north to the Towns of Cornwall and Goshen. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-16 Sprain Brook Approximately 0.27 square miles or 1.38% of Bethlehem’s land area on Bethlehem’s western and southwestern bounda ries drains to Sprain Brook. Sprain Brook has its headwaters in eastern Washington, in a pond adjacent to the intersection of Nettleton Hollow Road and Carmel Hill Road. As it fl ows south out of this pond, Sprain Brook is fed by a number of unnamed tributaries on its way into Woodbury where it converges with the Weekeepeemee River near the junc tion of Routes 47 and 132. In all, the subregional basin corresponding to Sprain Br ook drains 10.96 square miles of the Towns of Woodbury, Roxbury, Washington, and Bethlehem. Weekeepeemee River The drainage basin corresponding to the Weekeepeemee River covers 10.91 square miles, or 55.52% of Bethlehem’s total land area. The ba sin covers almost the entire western half of the Town. The headwaters of the river form in a small swamp near the Bethlehem- Morris boundary. As the river flows southward, it is joined by the outlet stream from Long Meadow Pond, the largest body of wate r in Bethlehem at 110 acres in size. Continuing downstream, the River passes unde r Route 132 and is joined by Wood Creek, a tributary that drains Zeiglers Pond in th e northwest corner of Bethlehem. Several unnamed tributaries join the Weekeepeemee River before it crosses into Woodbury, where the river eventually join s with the Nonnewaug River to form the Pomperaug River. In total, the Weekeepeemee River basin drains 16.11 square miles of land across Woodbury, Washington, Bethlehem, and Morris. 2.6 Population and Demographic Setting The total CNV Region estimated 2005 populatio n is 281,895 persons. The total land area is 309 square miles, for a regional populati on density of 912 persons per square mile. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-17 Waterbury has the highest population density in the region with 3,757 individuals per square mile, while Bethlehem has the lowest population density in the region with 185 individuals per square mile (Table 2-4). Table 2-4 Population Density by Municipality, Region and State, 2005 Municipality Total Population Land Area (square miles) Population Density Beacon Falls 5,700 9.77 583 Bethlehem 3,577 19.36 185 Cheshire 28,833 32.90 876 Middlebury 7,132 17.75 402 Naugatuck 31,872 16.39 1,945 Oxford 12,309 32.88 374 Prospect 9,264 14.32 647 Southbury 19,686 39.05 504 Thomaston 7,916 12.01 659 Waterbury 107,251 28.55 3,757 Watertown 22,329 29.15 766 Wolcott 16,269 20.43 796 Woodbury 9,757 36.46 268 CNV Region 281,895 309.02 912 Connecticut 3,495,753 4844.80 722 Source: United States Census Bureau, 2005 Population Estimates Bethlehem is 145 th out of 169 municipalities in Connecticut in terms of population, with an estimated population of 3,577 in 2006. The Town is the 129 th most densely populated municipality in the state. According th e Connecticut Economic Resource Center, the median sales price of owner-occupied housing in the Town of Bethlehem in 2 006 was $342,500, higher than the statewide median sales price of $275,000. The population of Bethlehem increased by 29% between 1960 and 1970, and increased again by 34% between 1970 and 1980, representing the last true surge in development in recent history. Population growth then slowed to 19% between 1980 and 1990 and slowed again to 11% between 1990 and 2000. Population growth in Town fr om 2000- 2006 was only 5%. Based on analysis by the COGCNV, population growth in the region outside of Waterbury is estimated to be a bout 10% from 2005 to 2025, while the State of NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-18 Connecticut is expected to grow about 5% during this same timeframe. According to Bethlehem’s Plan of Conservation and Development, population growth in Town is forecast to be only about 1% per year from 2005 to 2020. Bethlehem has populations of people who are elderly, linguistically isolated, and/or disabled. These are depicted by the three cen sus blocks in Bethlehem on Figures 2-6, 2- 7, and 2-8. The populations with these charact eristics have numerous implications for hazard mitigation, as they may require sp ecial assistance or different means of notification before disasters o ccur. These will be addressed as needed in subsequent sections. 2.7 Governmental Structure The Town of Bethlehem is governed by a Selectman-Town Meeting form of government in which legislative responsibilities are shared by the Board of Selectmen and the Town Meeting. The First Selectman se rves as the chief executive. In addition to Board of Selectmen and the Town Meeting, there are boards, commissions and committees providing input and direction to Town administrators, while Town departments provide municipal services and day-to-day administration. Many of these commissions and departments play a role in hazard mitigation, including the Planning Commission, the Conservation Commission, the Inland Wetland Commission, the Long Meadow Lake Management Commission, the Highway Department / Department of Public Works, the Building Official, the Fire Department, and the Resident State Trooper. 186 153 101 Figure 2-6: Bethlehem Elderly Population 0 0.5 1Miles COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTSCENTRAL NAUGATUCK VALLEY ² ” )132 ” )61 ” )61 ” )132 For gen eral planning purposes only. Delineations may not be exact. August 2008 Source: “Roa ds”, c1984 – 2008 T ele Atlas, R el. 04/08. “T own Bound ary”, DEP “A ge”, “Bloc k Groups “, 2000 Cens us * Numbers on map represent total population aged 65 or older in each block group Legend Major Roads Perce ntag e of P erso ns Aged 65 or o lde r Block Grou p Bo undary Tow n Bou ndary 30.1 – 100% 20.1 – 30.0 % 10.1 – 20.0 % 0.0 – 1 0.0 % 0 5 0 Figure 2-7: Bethlehem Linguistically Isolated Households 0 0.5 1Miles COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTSCENTRAL NAUGATUCK VALLEY ² ” )132 ” )61 ” )61 ” )132 For gen eral planning purposes only. Delineations may not be exact. August 2008 Legend Town Bou ndary Major Roads Block G roup Bo undary Percen tag e o f Hou seho lds Lingu istically I solat ed 0.0 – 4.9 % 5.0 – 9.9 % 10.0 – 14.9 % greater than 15% Data based on block gro up geography . A linguistica lly iso lated house hold is one in which no memb er 14 years o ld and over (1) spea ks o nly English or (2) sp eaks a no n-English la nguage and speaks E nglish “v ery well.” In other words, al l members 14 years ol d and over hav e at le ast some difficulty with Eng lish. * Numbers on map represent total households that are linguistically isolated in each block group Source: “Roa ds”, c1984 – 2008 T ele Atlas, R el. 04/08. “T own Bound ary”, DEP “Ling uistically Isolated”, “Block Groups”, 20 00 Censu s 242 258 265 Figure 2-8: Bethlehem Disabilities Map 0 0.5 1Miles COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTSCENTRAL NAUGATUCK VALLEY ² ” )132 ” )61 ” )61 ” )132 Disabilities are categorized as sensory, physical, mental, self-care, go-outside-home, and employment * Numbers on map represent total disabilities tallied for people aged 5 or older in each block group Major Roads Bloc k Grou p Bound ary Town B oundar y Legend Total Disabilities Tallied of People Aged 5 and Older > 600 0 – 200 201 – 400 401 – 600 For gen eral planning purposes only. Delineations may not be exact. Source: “Roads”, c1984 – 2008 Tele Atlas, Rel. 04/08. “Town Boundary”, DEP “Disability”, “Block Groups”, 2000 Cen sus August 2008 NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-22 The Highway Department / Department of Public Works is the principal municipal department that responds to problems caused by natural hazards. Complaints related to Town maintenance issues are routed to th e Department of Public Works. These complaints are usually received via phone, fax, mail, or email and are recorded in a book. The complaints are investigated as necessary until remediation surrounding the individual complaint is concluded. As the Town has an almost entirely residential tax base, funding of capital projects is difficult. Bethlehem relies heavily on outside grants for many projects and upgrades, which can be difficult to obtain due to the small size of the Town. 2.8 Development Trends Bethlehem was settled in the early 1700’s as a section of Woodbury known as North Purchase. The name Bethlehem was adopted in 1739, although it was originally spelled phonetically as Bethlem. The Town was gr anted an additional portion of Woodbury in 1741 and was officially incorporated in 1787. The Town remained largely agrarian until the early 20 th century, with farms sited on hilltops and apples being one of the primary crops. Some light industry did operate in Town in the 1800’s, using water to provide power to mills, hat factories, and leather manufacturing companies. These industries relocated to industrial centers by the 20 th century. The Town of Bethlehem has no zoning regula tions which would specifically prohibit more intense forms of development within the Town limits. However, Bethlehem has almost no development currently ongoing due to the lack of public water & sewer. In addition, most of the soils in Bethlehem provi de inadequate processing capacity for large on-site septic systems, making such system s prohibitively expensive. Residential development has been limited since the late 1980’s, and most development applications are typically for very small ( one to two lot) subdivisions. As of 1998, the total number of housing units in Bethlehem was incr easing by approximately 12 per year. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-23 The Town has several development regulations pertinent to hazard mitigation. Subdivisions featuring cul-de-sacs offer a single access point for emergency services, lengthening emergency response ti mes and rendering those residential areas vulnerable if access is cut off by flooding or downed tree limbs. Thus, cul-de-sacs in new developments are discouraged and connectivity of roads is encouraged. The Town of Bethlehem requires a 50-foot righ t of way for local residential streets with a hammerhead located at the end of dead end streets, and dead end streets can have only 20 homes or fewer. In addition, utilities serving new developments must be installed underground wherever possible. Exceptions due to sh allow bedrock are granted on a case-by-case basis. Based on the Town’s 1999 Plan of Conserva tion and Development, efforts are being made to preserve Bethlehem’s small farming town charm and limit the impact of future development. Specifically, a farmland pres ervation program has been pursued as a measure to retain open space and agriculture. This, in turn, will limit development in areas vulnerable to natural hazards. 2.9 Critical Facilities and Sheltering Capacity The Town considers its police, fire, government al, and major transportation arteries to be its most important critical facilities, for thes e are needed to ensure that emergencies are addressed while day-to-day management of Bethlehem continues. Elderly housing facilities and group homes are included with cri tical facilities, as these house populations of individuals that would require special assistance during an emergency. Educational institutions are included in critical facilities as well, as these can be used as shelters. In addition, Town personnel consider its communica tion utilities to be a critical facility. A list of critical facilities is provided in Table 2-5, and a map of these facilities is shown as Figure 2-9. Shelters, tran sportation, and communications ar e described in more detail NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-24 below, along with a summary of the potential for these facilities to be impacted by natural hazards. Table 2-5 Critical Facilities in Bethlehem Type Name Address Located in Floodplain? Retirement Community North Purchase Elderly Home 11 Jackson Lane No Group Home Wellspring Foundation 84 Judge Lane No Group Home Wellspring Foundation / Arch Bridge School 21 Arch Bridge Road No Group Home Angelus House 158 Flanders Road No Town Hall Municipal Complex 36 Main Street South No Public Works Municipal Complex 36 Main Street South No Fire Department Municipal Complex 26 Main Street South No Police Municipal Complex 36 Main Street South No School Bethlehem Elementary 92 East Street No School (Private) The Woodhall School 58 Harrison Lane No Source: Council of Governments Central Naugatuck Valley; Town of Bethlehem Shelters Emergency shelters are considered to be an im portant subset of critical facilities, as they are needed in most emergency situations. The Town of Bethlehem has designated two emergency shelters, and additional facilities may be used if necessary. The Fire Department is currently the primary shelter for small, short term events. Memorial Hall can be used as a shelter duri ng larger hazard events, but has limited bathrooms. Both buildings have generators. The police and fire departments staff the shelters. A potential problem with these shelters is that Memorial Hall and the Fire Department share the same long driveway, which can create a conflict during emergencies. These buildings have been designated as public shelter facilities by meeting specific American Red Cross guidelines. Amenities and operating costs of the designated shelters including expenses for food, cooking equipm ent, emergency power services, bedding, etc., are the responsibilities of the community and genera lly are not paid for by the American Red Cross. 9 ; !a © Figure 2-9: Bethlehem Critical Facilities 0 0.5 1Miles COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTSCENTRAL NAUGATUCK VALLEY ² ” )132 ” )61 For general pl anning purpose s only. Delineatio ns may not be ex act. Source: “Roads” , c1984 – 2008 Tel e Atlas , Rel. 04/08. “Town Bou ndary”, “Hydrograp hy”, “Flood Zones”, DEP June 2008 ” )61 ” )132 ? ® t Municipal Complex North Purchase Elderly Home ®t Angelus House Wellspring Foundation/ Arch Bridge School Group Home n n The Woodhall School Bethlehem Elementary School 9: ¨ Legend Town Boundary Major Roads Local Roads Water Bodies Streams ? Facilities 9 Town Offices © Fire Stations a Police Stations Schools n 9: ¨ Public Works ; Wellspring Foundation Elderly Housing Facilities Æ T Retirement Community NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-26 The Town’s other school buildings – Bethlehem Elementary and The Woodhall School – are not considered to be shelters but could be converted to additional shelter space in case of an emergency. Bethlehem Elementary School serves as an emergency supply distribution center. The Woodhall School is private and may only be available during a summer emergency. The Abby of Regina Laudis Priory is another potential shelter, but the Town only plans to ask to use it as a last resort out of respect for the cloistered nature of the facility. Other munici pal buildings in the municipal complex, such as the Highway Department garage, have generators but ar e not considered to be shelter space. In case of a power outag e, it is anticipated that 10-20% of the population would relocate, although not all of those relocating would necessarily utilize the sh elter facilities. Bethlehem utilizes its facilities on a tempor ary basis for providing shelter until hazards such as hurricanes diminish. Regionally-loc ated mass care facilities operated and paid for by the American Red Cross may also be available during recovery operations when additional sheltering services are necessary. During extended power outages, families in Bethlehem have also made use of the Wisdom House in Litchfield as a shelter as opposed to Town facilities. Transportation The Town of Bethlehem does not have any hospitals or medical centers. Instead, residents use the nearby fac ilities in Waterbury, New Milf ord, Southbury, or Torrington. As a means of accessing these facilities, Be thlehem residents travel along Route 61 or Route 132, the two major transportation arteries out of Town. Flanders Road is also a good evacuation route south into Woodbury. Evacuation routes (Route 61 and Route 132) are regionally defined by the Regional Evacuation Plan. No local evacuation plan ex ists. Bethlehem residents must use state roads in surrounding Towns to access Route 8, a major north-south thoroughfare to Waterbury and Torrington, and Interstate 84. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-27 Communications The Town uses 9-1-1 for emergency notification and response. The overall communications system is outdated. All ad jacent towns have upgraded to a high band radio system that is incompatible with Bethlehem’s low band radio, so communications with neighboring emergency personnel is on ly accomplished via phone or by talking to them directly at a scene. The Town does have the capability to communicate to DEMS- 5, and the State Trooper operates at 800 megahertz, so The Town does have minor out- of-town communication capability by radio. The Town Communications Plan mentions the use of the Morris Fire House as a Co mmand Center during emergencies, but radio communications are not currently possible with that facility. The Town of Bethlehem is in Region 5 of the Connecticut Emergency Medical Service regions. Thus, it is important to ensure that any upgrades to the existing emergency notification system are compatible with thos e of Region 5, which contains most of the COGCNV municipalities. A communications study is underway which will likely recommend an upgrade to the emergency notification system compatible w ith those in surrounding towns, but the cost will likely be prohibitive for Bethlehem. Th e Town plans to apply for a communications grant to facilitate this project. In addi tion, the COGCNV is facil itating the possibility of instituting an enhanced emergency notifica tion system in the area to further enhance emergency response. This program may be supported by the Region 5 – Northwest Connecticut Emergency Medical Services Council. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 2-28 Potential Impacts from Natural Hazards Critical facilities are rarely impacted by flooding in the Town of Bethlehem, as none of the facilities are located within floodplains. Route 132 a major east–west thoroughfare, has occasional flooding issues near Long Horizon Road and Sky Meadow Road. Such flooding slows emergency response times to nearby neighborhoods due to detours around this area. None of the critical facili ties in Bethlehem are any more susceptible to wind, summer storms, winter storms, or earthquakes than th e rest of the Town. In addition, no critical facilities are located within a mapped dam fa ilure inundation area. The only critical facility at potential risk is the Angelus House group home, which is located near the boundary of a wildfire risk area. The followi ng sections will discuss each natural hazard in detail and include a descri ption of populations at risk. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-1 3.0 INLAND FLOODING 3.1 Setting According to FEMA, most municipalities in th e United States have at least one clearly recognizable flood-prone area around a river, stream, or large body of water. These areas are outlined as Special Flood Hazard Areas (SF HA) and delineated as part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Flood- prone areas are addressed through a combination of floodplain management criteri a, ordinances, and community assistance programs sponsored by the NFIP and individual municipalities. Many communities also have localized floodi ng areas outside the SFHA. These floods tend to be shallower and chronically reoccur in the same area due to a combination of factors. Such factors can include pondi ng, poor drainage, inadequate storm sewers, clogged culverts or catch basins, sheet flow , obstructed drainageways, sewer backup, or overbank flooding from small streams. In general, inland flooding affects a small area of Bethlehem with moderate to frequent regularity. The areas impacted by overflow of river systems are generally limited to river corridors and floodplains. Indirect flooding th at occurs outside floodplains and localized nuisance flooding along tributarie s is a more common problem in the Town. This type of flooding occurs particularly along roadways as a result of inadequate drainage and other factors. The frequency of flooding in Beth lehem is considered highly likely for any given year, but flooding damage only has a limited effect (refer to Appended Table 2). 3.2 Hazard Assessment Flooding represents the most common and cos tly natural hazard in Connecticut. The state typically experiences floods in the ear ly spring due to snowmelt and in the late summer/early autumn due to frontal systems and tropical storms, although localized NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-2 Floodplains are lands along watercourses that are subject to periodic flooding; floodways are those areas within the floodplains that convey floodwaters. Floodways are subject to water being carried at relative ly high velocities and forces. The floodway fringe contains those areas of the 100-year floodplain that are outside the floodway and are subject to inundation but do not convey the floodwaters. flooding caused by thunderstorm activity can be significant. Flooding can occur as a result of other natural hazards, including hurricanes, summer storms, and winter storms. Flooding can also occur as a re sult of dam failure, which is discussed in Section 8.0, and may also cause landslides and slumps in affected areas. In order to provide a national standard without regional discrimination, the 100-year flood has been adopted by FEMA as the base flood for purposes of floodpl ain management and to determine the need for insurance. This flood has a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded each year. The risk of having a flood of this magnitude or greater increases when periods longer than one year are considered. For example, FEMA notes that a structure loca ted within a 100-year flood zone has a 26% change of suffering flood damage during the term of a 30-year mortgage. Similarly, a 500-year flood has a 0.2 percent chance of occurring in a given year. The 500-year floodplain indicates areas of moderate flood hazard. Flooding presents several safety hazards to people and property. Floodwaters cause massive damage to the lower levels of buildings, destroying business records, furniture, and other sentimental papers and artifacts. In addition, floodwaters can prevent emergency and commercial egress by blocking streets, deteriorate municipal drainage systems, and divert municipal staff and resources. Furthermore, damp conditions trigger the growth of mold and mildew in flooded buildings, contributing to alle rgies, asthma, and respiratory infections. Snakes and rodents are forced out of thei r natural habitat and into clos er contact with people, and ponded water following a flood presents a br eeding ground for mosquitoes. Gasoline, NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-3 pesticides, and other aqueous pollutants can be carried into areas and buildings by flood waters and soak into soil, build ing components, and furniture. SFHAs in Bethlehem are delineated on a Fl ood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS). An initial Flood Hazard Boundary Map was identified on February 21, 1975. The FIRM delineates areas within Bethlehem that are vulnerable to flooding and was originally published on June 4, 1990. The Town’s FI RM has not been updated and is the current e ffective map. The FIS was originally published on June 4, 1990 and also has not been updated. Refer to Figure 3-1 for the areas of Bethlehem susceptible to flooding based on FEMA flood z ones. Table 3-1 describes the various zones depicted on the FIRM panel for Bethlehem. Table 3-1 FIRM Zone Descriptions Zone Description A An area inundated by 100-year flooding, for which no base flood elevations (BFEs) have been determined. AE An area inundated by 100-year flooding , for which BFEs have been determined. Area Not Included An area that is located within a community or county that is not mapped on any published FIRM. X An area that is determined to be outside the 100- and 500-year floodplains. In some areas of Bethlehem, flooding occurs with a much higher frequency than those mapped by FEMA. This nuisance flooding occurs from heavy rains with a much higher frequency than those used to calculate the 100-year flood event, and often in different areas than those depicted on the FIRM panels . These frequent flooding events occur in areas with insufficient drainage; where c onditions may cause flashy, localized flooding; and where poor maintenance may exacerbate drainage problems. These areas are discussed in Sections 3.3 and 3.5. Figure 3-1: FEMA Flood Zones in Bethlehem 0 0.5 1Miles COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTSCENTRAL NAUGATUCK VALLEY ² ” )132 ” )61 For general pl anning purpose s only. Delineatio ns may not be ex act. Source: “Roads” , c1984 – 2008 Tel e Atlas , Rel. 04/08. “Town Bou ndary”, “Hydrograp hy”, “Flood Zones”, DEP June 2008 Legend Town Boundary Major Roads Local Roads Water Waterbodies ” )61 ” )132 Flood Zone A AE NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-5 During large storms, the recurrence interval level of a flood discharge on a tributary tends to be greater than the recurrence interval level of the flood discharge on the main channel downstream. In other words, a 100-year flood event on a tributary may only contribute to a 50-year flood event downstream. This is due to the distribution of rainfall and the greater hydraulic capacity of th e downstream channel to convey floodwaters. Dams and other flood control structures can also reduce the magnitude of peak flood flows. The recurrence interval level of a precipita tion event also generally differs from the recurrence interval level of the associated flood. Another example would be of tropical storm Floyd in 1999, which caused rainfall on the order of a 250-year event while flood frequencies were slightly greater than a 10- year event on the Naugatuck River in Beacon Falls. Flood events can also be mitigated or exacerbated by in-channel and soil conditions, such as low or high flows, the pres ence of frozen ground, or a deep or shallow water table, as can be seen in the following historic record. 3.3 Historic Record In every season of the year throughout its r ecorded history, the Town of Bethlehem has experienced various degrees of flooding. Melt ing snow combined with early spring rains have caused frequent spring flooding. Numerous flood events have occurred in late summer to early autumn resulting from storms of tropical origin moving northeast along the Atlantic coast. Winter floods result fr om the occasional thaw, particularly during years of heavy snow, or periods of rainfa ll on frozen ground. Other flood events have been caused by excessive rainfalls upon satu rated soils, yielding greater than normal runoff. According to the FEMA FIS, major historic floods have occurred in Bethlehem in March 1913, November 1927, March 1936, September 1938, and August 1955. In terms of damage to the Town of Bethlehem, the most severe of these was damage associated with the August 1955 hurricane and flood which ha d a recurrence interval of 200 years as NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-6 measured at the USGS gauging station on Shepaug River in Roxbury. This flood was the result of high intensity rainfall falling on saturated ground. According to the NCDC Storm Events Databa se, there have been 58 flooding events and 17 flash flood events in Litchfield County si nce 1993. The following are descriptions of more recent examples of floods in and around th e Town of Bethlehem as described in the NCDC Storm Events Database, and based on co rrespondence with municipal officials. ‰ July 28, 1994: A heavy rain storm began in the early morning hours and continued into the afternoon, producing th ree to five inches of rain along the Interstate 84 corridor. The storm caused localized street flooding in Thomaston and Washington. ‰ August 21, 1994: A flash flood caused approxima tely $5 million in property damage in Litchfield County. Two bridges washed out and appr oximately 40 miles of Town roads were damaged in Bethlehem, with six miles being severely damaged. Many residents reported baseme nt flooding, but there was no significant damage to buildings or utilities. ‰ January 19, 1996: An intense area of low pressure over the Mid-Atlantic region produced unseasonably warm temperatures, resulting in the rapid melting of one to three feet of snow. This melting combined with one to three inches of rainfall to produce flooding across Litchfield County, pa rticularly along small streams. This flooding caused approximately $300,000 in property damage. ‰ July 13, 1996: The remnants of Hurricane Bertha tracked northeast over Connecticut, producing three to five inches of rain across Litchfield County. The storm resulted in minimal property damage, but caused flooding in several roads and streams, and the strong winds accompanying the storm caused scattered power outages when water- laden tree branches were downed on wires. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-7 ‰ September 16, 1999: Torrential record rain fall preceding the remnants of Tropical Storm Floyd caused widespread urban, sma ll stream, and river flooding. Fairfield County was declared a disaster area, along w ith Litchfield and Hartford Counties. Initial cost estimates for damages to the public sector was $1.5 million for those three counties. These estimates do not account fo r damages to the private sector and are based on information provided by the Connecticut Office of Emergency Management. Serious wide-spread flooding of low-lying and poor drainage areas resulted in the closure of many roads and basement flooding across Fairfield, New Haven, and Middlesex Counties. ‰ December 17, 2000: Unseasonably warm and moist air tracked northward from the Gulf of Mexico, bringing a record-breaking rainstorm to Litchfield County. The storm produced two to four inches of rai n, strong winds, and combined with melting snow to produce flooding conditions. The bulk of the rainfall occurred in a short interval of time, with some localities receiving an inch per hour. In Torrington, the Naugatuck River washed construction equipm ent downstream, and widespread street flooding was reported in Litchfield. Tr ees were reported down in Bethlehem. ‰ June 17, 2001: The remnants of Tropical Storm Allison combined with a slow- moving cold front to produce torrential rain fall over much of Litchfield County. Two to six inches of rain fell in a short time in the central and southeastern portions of the county, causing a total of $55,000 in property da mage. Roads were washed out in the Town of Bethlehem, and numerous sma ll streams overflowed and roads flooded in Woodbury. ‰ October 2005: Although the c onsistent rainfall of October 7-15, 2005 caused flooding and dam failures in most of Connecticut (m ost severely in northern Connecticut), the precipitation intensity and duration was such that only minor flooding occurred in Bethlehem. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-8 ‰ June 2, 2006: Up to eight inches of heavy rainfall caused widespread da mage in Waterbury, Wolcott, and Prospect. The st orm caused slumps and drainage failures throughout Waterbury and several streets were flooded in all three municipalities. ‰ April 15-16, 2007: A spring nor’easter dropped ov er six inches of rain in the Greater Waterbury area, causing widespread flooding. 3.4 Existing Programs, Policies, and Mitigation Measures The Town of Bethlehem has in place a numbe r of measures to prevent flood damage. These include regulations, codes, and or dinances preventing encroachment and development near floodways. Regulations, c odes, and ordinances that apply to flood hazard mitigation in conjunction with and in addition to NFIP regulations include: ‰ Earth Materials Ordinance . This ordinance regulates excavation and/or deposition of any materials in wetlands or floodplains and notes that activities in these areas must be regulated by the Inland Wetlands Commission of Bethlehem. ‰ Land Use Policy 1 (Section VII of the Bethlehe m Plan of Conservation and Development). One of the objectives of th is policy is to “preserve environmentally sensitive natural resources by regulati ng encroachment by development on these resources to the extent permitted by statutes.” ‰ Additional Evidence (Section 2.4.2 C of the Bethlehem Subdivision Regulations). This section authorizes the Planning Commission to request additional information if needed such that “proper provision will be made for protective flood control measures in areas contiguous to brooks, rivers, or ot her bodies of water subject to flooding”. ‰ Decision (Section 2.4.5 of the Bethlehem Subdivision Regulations). This section notes that approval of a subdi vision application is contingent upon “presentation of a NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-9 copy of a permit or copy of declaratory ruling or permit from the inland wetlands regulating agency of the Town of Bethlehe m, authorizing construction of any roads, drainage, or other improvements or any grading that constitute a regulated activity affecting wetlands a nd/or watercourses”. ‰ Natural Features (Section 3.6 of the Bethlehem Subdivision Regulations). This section authorizes the Commission to ask for alternative designs that demonstrate that all reasonable care has been taken to preserve the natural features of the tract, such as by avoiding cuts and fills which may cause erosion or damage to water resources, avoiding construction near or that alters watercourses, by avoiding excavation or filling of wetlands, floodplains, and other land subject to flooding, and by providing for preservation of wetlands and watercourses through easement. ‰ Terrain (Section 3.7.2 of Bethlehem Subdivision Regulations). Section 3.7.2 notes that “construction of homes, driveways, and sub-surface sewage disposal systems should not be proposed in areas with seve re limitation for development,” such as wetlands, floodplains, and watercourses. ‰ Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations . This document defines in detail the Town of Bethlehem’s regulations regarding development near wetlands, watercourses, and water bodies that are sometimes coincident with floodplains. Section 2 defines “Regulated Activities” c overed by the Regulations. Section 6 states that no person may conduct or maintain a regulated activity without obtaining a permit. Section 7 outlines th e application requirements. ‰ Aquifer Protection Area (APA) Regulations. After formal aquifer protection area mapping has been developed for the wells located in northeast Woodbury, it is likely that the APA will extend into the southeas tern corner of Bethlehem, requiring the Town of Bethlehem to develop APA regul ations. The Bethlehem Inland Wetlands NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-10 Commission has been designated the official Aquifer Protection Agency and will be developing APA Regulations. Refer to Section 3.6 for more information. The intent of these regulations is to promot e the public health, safety, and general welfare and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in specific areas of the Town of Bethlehem by the establis hment of standards designed to: ‰ Protect human life a nd public health; ‰ Minimize expenditure of money for costly flood control projects; ‰ Minimize the need for rescue and reli ef efforts associated with flooding; ‰ Ensure that purchasers of property ar e notified of special flood hazards; ‰ Ensure that all land approved for subdivision shall have proper provisions for water, drainage, and septic systems; and in areas contiguous to brooks, rivers, or other bodies of water subject to flooding, that pr oper provisions be made for protective flood control measures; ‰ Ensure that property owners ar e responsible for their actions; ‰ Ensure the continued eligibility of owners of property in Bethlehem for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program. The Town of Bethlehem Emergency Service Di rector serves as the NFIP administrator and oversees the enforcement of NFIP regulations. The Town has not completed an update of its flood hazard regulations, and currently has no plans to enroll in the Community Rating System program. The Town of Bethlehem Planning Commission uses the 100-year flood lines from the FIRM and FIS delineated by FEMA to determine floodplain areas. Site plan standards require that all proposals be cons istent with the need to minimize flood damage, that public facilities and utilities be located and constructed to minimize flood damage, and that adequate drai nage is provided. The Bethlehem Inland Wetlands Agency also reviews new developm ents and existing land uses on and near wetlands and watercourses. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-11 The Town of Bethlehem can access the National Weather Service website at http://weather.noaa.gov/ to obtain the latest flood watches and warnings before and during precipitation events. The Bethlehem Highwa y Departme nt / Department of Public Works (DPW) is in charge of the maintenance of the Town’s drainage systems, and performs clearing of bridges and culverts and other maintenance as needed. Drainage complaints are routed to the DPW and recorded. The Town uses these documents to identify potential problems and plan for maintenance and upgrades. The Town can also access the Automated Flood Warning System to monitor precipitation totals. Th e Connecticut DEP installed the Automated Flood Warning System in 1982 to monitor rain fall totals as a mitigation effort for flooding throughout the state. The National Weather Service issues a flood watch or a flash flood watch for an area when conditions in or near the area are favorable for a flood or flash flood, respectively. A flash flood watch or flood watch does not necessarily mean that flooding will occur. The National Weather Service issues a flood warning or a flash flood warning for an area wh en parts of the area are either currently flooding, highly likely to flood, or when flooding is imminent. In summary, the Town of Bethlehem primar ily attempts to mitigate flood damage and flood hazards by restricting building activities in side flood-prone areas. This process is carried out through both the Pl anning Commission and the In land Wetlands Agency. All watercourses are to be encroached minimally or not at all to maintain the existing flood carrying capacity. These regulations rely primarily on the FEMA-defined 100-year flood elevations to determine flood areas. FEMA has commenced its “Map Mod” program to revise the FIRMs for each County in Connecticut, but it will be several years before this program begins for Litchfield County. This program will create a single FIRM for Litchfield County. Many municipalities with revised FIRMs from the Map Mod program are finding that more properties are in floodplains than originally believed. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-12 3.5 Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment This section discusses specific areas at risk to flooding with in the Town. Major land use classes and critical f acilities within these ar eas are identified. According to the FEMA FIRMs, 483 acres of land in Bethlehem are located within the 100- year flood boundary. In addition, indirect and nui sance flooding occurs near streams and rivers throughout Bethlehem due to inadequate drainage and other factors. Based on correspondence with the State of Connecticut NFIP Coordinator, zero repetitive loss properties are located in the Town of Bethlehem (Appendix B). The primary waterway in the Town is the Weekeepeemee River, a non-navigable watercourse running north to south through the western part of Town. The secondary waterway in Bethlehem is East Spring Brook which runs north to sout h in the eastern part of Town. The remaining waterways in Bethlehem are mostly small streams and brooks significant for water supply and conservation pur poses, but are not recreational resources. Recall from Figure 3-1 that floodplains w ith elevations are delineated for the Weekeepeemee River, the Nonnewaug River, and portions of East Spring Brook, while several smaller brooks and streams, includi ng the major water bodies, have floodplains delineated by approximate methods. All of these delineated floodplains are generally limited to the areas adjacent to the streams. Due to the steep topography surrounding the majo r watercourses, there is little wide-scale flooding in Bethlehem. Specific areas suscep tible to flooding were identified by Town personnel and observed by Milone & MacBroom , Inc. staff during field inspections as described in Section 1.5. Most flooding occurs due to large amounts of rainfall falling in conjunction with snowmelt and occurs due to un dersized road culverts, as noted below. ‰ Arrowhead Lane – Homes here are near the Weekeepeemee River and have experienced flooding damage in the past. The two homes at the end of the street reportedly have flooding problems due to a nearby small pond. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-13 ‰ Crane Hollow Road – Water from the Weekeepeemee Ri ver overtops the road at least once every two years. As the FIS sh ows the 100-year flood elevation as not overtopping the road, this study may be outdated. ‰ Double Hill Road – A resident has beavers on property that includes the Weekeepeemee River, and the beavers bu ild the dam high enough such that water overtops the road crossing for the river. The owner does not want the beavers to be bothered, so the Town does not try to remove the dams. ‰ Falls Road – This area is the only access from Bethlehem into the Land Trust property on the Woodbury/Watertown border. Bethlehem is often the first responder for emergencies in this forest, but access is limited because of poor road conditions and a poor crossing over the Nonnewaug River. The tract is designed to be used for passive recreation but is prim arily used by all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and horses. Emergency personnel noted that this forest often has problems related to alcohol use, namely ATV and snowmobile accidents, part ies, and underage drinking. While the Town of Bethlehem has pursued a multi-t own resolution regarding emergency access to this parcel, including rebuild ing the bridge on Falls Road, at least one of the other municipalities does not s upport such a resolution. ‰ Hickory Lane – The culvert on the south end of th is road is undersized, causing the road to flood at least once every two years. The Town cannot fix the problem without elevating the road, but the fact that th e area is in the 100-year floodplain of the Nonnewaug River produces an additional fina ncial burden in the form of permitting for the Town. ‰ Hard Hill Road North – There are drainage issues along this road that occur primarily on private property. Each farm directs it s drainage south to the next downstream farm, causing flooding problems on the downstream farms. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-14 ‰ Route 132 (Kasson Road) – Water overtops the road near the fire pond. This area is between Lakes Road and Sky Meadow Road. This flooding impedes emergency response to the Sky Meadow Lane, Woodland Road, Cabbage Lane, and Hard Hill Road neighborhoods. ‰ Route 132 (Lakes Road) – Town personnel have reporte d general flooding problems occur near Long Horizon Road. Critical Facilities and Emergency Services Critical facilities are not regularly impacted by flooding in the Town of Bethlehem. Route 132, a major east-west thoroughfare, has occasional flooding issues in two areas as described above. This flooding slows emergency response times due to detours around these areas. 3.6 Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives A number of measures can be taken to reduce the impact of a local or nuisance flood event. These include measures that prevent increases in flood losses by managing new development, measures that reduce the expos ure of existing development to flood risk, and measures to preserve and restore natura l resources. These are listed below under the categories of prevention, property protection , structural projects, public education and awareness, natural resource protection , and emergency services. All of the recommendations discussed in the subsections below are reprinted in a bulleted list in Section 3.7. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-15 3.6.1 Prevention Prevention of damage from flood losses ofte n takes the form of floodplain regulations and redevelopment policies. These are usually administered by building, zoning, planning, and/or code enfor cement offices through capital improvement programs and through zoning, subdivision, and wetland ordinances. It is important to promote coordination among the various departments that are responsible for different aspects of fl ood mitigation. Coordination and cooperation among departments should be reviewed every few years as specific responsibilities and staff changes. Municipal departments should identify areas for acquisition to maintain flood protection. Acquisition of heavily damaged structures after a flood may be an economical and practical means to accomplish this. The Town of Bethlehem should look at working with the land trusts in Bethlehem to identify properties worth acquiring, as much of the open space in Town is owned by land trusts. Polic ies can also include the design and location of utilities to areas outside of flood h azard areas, and the placement of utilities underground. Planning and Zoning : Subdivision ordinances should regulate development in flood hazard areas. Flood hazard areas should refl ect a balance of development and natural areas, although ideally they will be free from development. Floodplain Development Regulations : Development regulations encompass subdivision regulations, building codes, a nd floodplain ordinances. Site plan and new subdivision regulations should include the following: ‰ Requirements that every lot have a bu ildable area above the flood level; NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-16 ‰ Construction and location standards for th e infrastructure built by the developer, including roads, sidewalks, utility lines , storm sewers, and drainage ways; and ‰ A requirement that developers dedicate open space and flood flow, drainage, and maintenance easements. Building codes should ensure that the foundatio n of structures will withstand flood forces and that all portions of the bu ilding subject to damage are above or otherwise protected from flooding. Floodplain ordinances should at minimum follow the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program for subdivi sion and building codes. These could be included in the ordinances for subdivisions and building codes, or could be addressed in a separate ordinance. The Town should consider joining FEMA’s Co mmunity Rating System to reduce the cost of flood insurance for its residents, and shoul d consider using Town topographic maps to develop a more accurate regulatory flood-h azard map using the published FEMA flood elevations. According to the FEMA, commun ities are encouraged to use different, more accurate base maps to expand upon the FIRMs published by FEMA. This is because many FIRMs were originally created using Un ited States Geological Survey quadrangle maps with 10-foot contour intervals, but most municipalities today have contour maps of one or two-foot intervals that show more recently constructed roads, bridges, and other anthropologic features. Another approach is to record high-water marks and establish those areas inundated by a recent severe flood to be the new regulatory floodplain. Adoption of a different floodplain map is allo wed under NFIP regulations as long as the new map covers a larger floodplain than th e FIRM. It should be noted that the community’s map will not affect the current FIRM or alter the SFHA used for setting insurance rates or making map determinations; it can only be used by the community to regulate floodplain areas. The FEMA Region I office has more information on this topic; contact information can be found in Section 11. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-17 Reductions in floodplain area or revisions of a mapped floodplain can only be accomplished through revised FEMA-sponsored engineering studies or Letters of Map Change (LOMC). To date, no Letters of Map Amendment (LOMA) have been submitted under the LOMC program for the Town of Be thlehem, so such updates are considered rare for the Town. Aquifer Protection Areas : Aquifer Protection Areas (A PA) are often located near floodplains and can indirectly provide a leve l of protection against the development of certain commercial and industria l properties. The Town of Watertown operates a public water supply wellfield in the northeast corner of the Town of Woodbury. The wellfield has a preliminary APA that extends into the southeastern corner of Bethlehem in the vicinity of the Nonnewaug River and East Spring Brook floodplains. After formal APA mapping has been developed, it is likely that the APA will still extend into the corner of Bethlehem, requiring the Town of Bethle hem to develop APA regulations. The Bethlehem Inland Wetlands Commission has been designated the official Aquifer Protection Agency and will be developing APA Regulations. Stormwater Management Policies : Development and redevel opment policies to address the prevention of flood losses must include e ffective stormwater management policies. Developers should be required to build detention and retention facilities where appropriate. Infiltration can be enhanced to reduce runoff volume, including the use of swales, infiltration trenches, vegetative filter strips, and permeable paving blocks. Generally, post-development stormwater shoul d not leave a site at a rate higher than under pre-development conditions. Standard engineering practice is to avoid the use of detention measures if the project site is located in the lower one-third of the ove rall watershed. The effects of detention are least effective and even detrimental if used at such locations because of the delaying effect of the peak discharge from the site th at typically results when detention measures are used. By detaining stormwater in close proximity of the stream in the lower reaches NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-18 of the overall watershed, the peak discharge from the site will occur later in the storm event, which will more closely coincide with the peak discharge of the stream, thus adding more flow during the peak discharge du ring any given storm event. Due to its topography, Bethlehem is situated in the upper and middle parts of several watersheds. Developers should be required to demonstrate whether detention or retention will be the best management practice for stormwater at specific sites in regards to the position of each project site in the surrounding watershed. Drainage System Maintenance : An effective drainage sy stem must be continually maintained to ensure efficiency and functi onality. Maintenance should include programs to clean out blockages caused by overgrowth and debris. Culverts should be monitored, and repaired and improved when necessary. The use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology can greatly aid the identifi cation and location of problem areas. The Town has a regular schedule of drainage system maintenance. Education and Awareness : Other prevention technique s include the promotion of awareness of natural hazards among citizens, property owners, developers, and local officials. Technical assistance for local offi cials, including workshops, can be helpful in preparation for dealing with the massive uph eaval that can accompany a severe flooding event. Research efforts to improve knowledge, develop standards, and identify and map hazard areas will better prepare a community to identify relevant hazard mitigation efforts. The Town of Bethlehem Inland Wetlands Agency administers the wetland regulations and the Bethlehem Planning Commission admini sters the Subdivision regulations. The regulations simultaneously rest rict development in floodplains, wetlands, and other flood prone areas. The Land Use Coordinator and Bu ilding Official are charged with ensuring that development follows the subdivision re gulations and inland wetlands regulations. The Town of Bethlehem has a checklist that cr oss-references the bylaws, regulations, and NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-19 Dry floodproofing refers to the act of making areas below the flood level water-tight. Wet floodproofing refers to intentionally letting floodwater into a building to equalize interior and exterior water pressures. codes related to flood damage prevention that may be applicable to a proposed project, and the Town makes this list av ailable to potential applicants. 3.6.2 Property Protection Steps should be taken to prot ect existing public and private properties. Non-structural measures for public property protection include acquisition and relocation of properties at risk for flooding, purchase of flood insurance, and relocating valuable belongings above flood levels to reduce the amount of damage caused during a flood event. Structural flood protection techniques appl icable to property protection include the construction of barriers, dr y floodproofing, and wet floodproo fing techniques. Barriers include levees, floodwalls, and berms, and are us eful in areas subject to shallow flooding. These structural projects are discussed in Section 3.6.6 below. For dry floodproofing, walls may be coated with compound or plas tic sheathing. Openings such as windows and vents should be either permanently closed or covered with removable shields. Flood protection should only be two to three feet above the top of the foundation because building walls and floors cannot withstand the pressure of deeper water. Wet floodproofing should only be used as a last resort. If considered, furniture and electrical appliances should be moved away from advancing floodwaters. All of the above property protection mitigation measures may be useful for Town of Bethlehem residents to prevent damage from inland a nd nuisance flooding. The Building Official should consider outreach and education in these areas. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-20 3.6.3 Emergency Services A natural hazard pre-disaster mitigation plan addresses actions that can be taken before a disaster event. In this context, emergency services that would be appropriate mitigation measures for inland flooding include: ‰ Forecasting systems to provide information on the time of occurrence and magnitude of flooding; ‰ A system to issue flood warnings to the co mmunity and responsible officials; and ‰ Emergency protective measures, such as an Emergency Operations Plan outlining procedures for the mobilization and position of staff, equipment, and resources to facilitate evacuations and em ergency floodwater control. ‰ Implementing an emergency notification system that combines database and GIS mapping technologies to deliver outbound em ergency notifications to geographic areas; or specific groups of people, such as emergency responder teams. Many of these mitigation measures are already in practice in the Town of Bethlehem. Based on the above guidelines, a number of specific proposals for improved emergency services are recommended to prevent damage fr om inland and nuisance flooding. These are common to all hazards in this plan, and are listed in Section 10.1. 3.6.4 Public Education and Awareness The objective of public educati on is to provide an understanding of the nature of flood risk, and the means by which that risk can be mitigated on an individual basis. Public information materials should encourage individuals to be aware of flood mitigation techniques, including discouraging the public from changing channel and detention basins in their yards, and dumping in or otherwise altering watercourses and storage basins. Individuals should be made aware of drainage system maintenance programs and NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-21 Measures for preserving floodplain functions and resources typically include: ‰ Adoption of floodplain regulations to control or prohibit development that will alter natural resources; ‰ Development and redevelopment policies focused on resource protection; ‰ Information and education for both community and individual decision-makers; and ‰ Review of community programs to identify opportunities for floodplain preservation. other methods of mitigation. The public shou ld also understand what to expect when a hazard event occurs, and the procedures and time frames necessary for evacuation. Based on the above guidelines, a number of specific proposals for improved public education are recommended to prevent damage from inland and nuisance flooding. These are common to all hazards in this plan, and are listed in Section 10.1. 3.6.5 Natural Resource Protection Floodplains can provide a number of natural resources and benefits, including storage of floodwaters, open space and recreation, water quality protection, erosion control, and preservation of natural habitats. Retaining the natural resources and functions of floodplains can not only reduce the frequency and consequences of flooding, but also minimize stormwater management and non-point pollution problems. Through natural resource planning, these objectives can be achieved at substantially reduced overall costs. Projects that improve the natural condition of areas or to restore diminished or destroyed resources can re-establish an environment in which the functions and values of these resources are again optimized. Administrativ e measures which assist such projects include the development of land reuse pol icies focused on resource restoration and review of community programs to identify opportunities for floodplain restoration. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-22 Based on the above guidelines, the following specific natural resource protection mitigation measures are recommended to help prevent damage from inland and nuisance flooding: ‰ Pursue the acquisition of additional munici pal open space properties, as stated on Page 31 in the Plan of Conservation and Development. ‰ Selectively pursue conservation objectives li sted in the Plan of Conservation and Development and/or more recent planning studies and documents. ‰ Continue to regulate development in prot ected and sensitive areas, including steep slopes, wetlands, and floodplains. 3.6.6 Structural Projects Structural projects include the construction of new structures or modification of existing structures (e.g. floodproofing) to lessen the impact of a flood event. Stormwater controls such as drainage systems, detention dams and reservoirs, and culverts should be employed to lessen floodwater runoff. On-site detention can provide temporary storage of stormwater runoff. Barriers such as le vees, floodwalls, and dikes physically control the hazard to protect certain areas from floodwat ers. Channel alterations can be made to confine more water to the channel and accelerat e flood flows. Care should be taken when using these techniques to ensure that problems are not exacer bated in other areas of the impacted watersheds. Individuals can protect private pr operty by raising structures, and constructing walls and levees around structures. Based on the above guidelines, the following specific structural mitigation measures are recommended to prevent damage from inland and nuisance flooding: ‰ Pursue funding to elevate Crane Hollow road to prevent future instances of overtopping. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-23 ‰ Pursue funding to elevate the road near Hi ckory Lane, or to widen the stream and install a box culvert. ‰ Encourage the State Department of Transpor tation to elevate the level of Route 132 between Lakes Road and Sky Meadow Lane, or to widen the stream and install a box culvert. 3.7 Summary of Recommended Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives While many potential mitigation activiti es were addressed in Section 3.6, the recommended mitigation strategies for addressing inland flooding problems in the Town of Bethlehem are listed below. Prevention ‰ Consider joining FEMA’s Community Rating System to reduce the cost of flood insurance for affected Town residents. ‰ Continue to regulate activities within SFHAs. ‰ Consider requiring buildings constructed in floodprone areas to be protected to the highest recorded flood level, regardle ss of being within a defined SFHA. ‰ Ensure new buildings be designed and grad ed to shunt drainage away from the building. ‰ Assist with the Map Mod program to en sure an appropriate update to the Flood Insurance Study, Flood Insurance Rate Maps, and Flood Boundary and Floodway Maps. ‰ After Map Mod has been completed, consid er restudying local flood prone areas and produce new local-level regulatory fl oodplain maps using more exacting study techniques, including using more accurate contour information to map flood elevations provided with the FIRM. ‰ Adopt an aquifer protection area overlay zone to regulate development after Watertown Fire District has completed its final mapping of the Aquifer Protection NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 3-24 Area for their wellfield in northeastern Woodbury. Ensure that the aquifer protection area regulations are consistent with principles for regulating floodplains where the area intersects floodplains. Property & Natural Resource Protection ‰ In conjunction with the land trusts in Town, pursue the acquisition of additional municipal open space inside SFHAs and set it aside as greenways, parks, or other non-residential, non-commercial, or non-industrial use. ‰ Selectively pursue conservati on recommendations listed in the Plan of Conservation and Development and other studies and documents. ‰ Continue to regulate development in prot ected and sensitive areas, including steep slopes, wetlands, and floodplains. Structural Projects ‰ Pursue funding to elevate Crane Hollow Road to prevent future instances of overtopping. ‰ Pursue funding to elevate the road near the south end of Hickory Lane, or to widen the stream and install a box culvert. ‰ Encourage the State Department of Transpor tation to elevate the level of Route 132 between Lakes Road and Sky Meadow Lane, or to widen the stream and install a box culvert. In addition, mitigation strategies important to all hazards are included in Section 10.1 NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 4-1 4.0 HURRICANES 4.1 Setting Hazards associated with tropical storms and hurricanes include winds, heavy rains, and inland flooding. While only some of the areas of Bethlehem are susceptible to flooding damage caused by hurricanes, wind damage can occur anywhere in the Town. Hurricanes therefore have the potential to aff ect any area within the Town of Bethlehem. A hurricane striking Bethlehem is considered a possible event each year that could cause critical damage to the Town and its in frastructure (refer to Appended Table 1). 4.2 Hazard Assessment Hurricanes are a class of tropical cyclones that are defined by the National Weather Service as non-frontal, low-pressure large scale systems th at develop over tropical or subtropical water and have definite organized circulations. Tropical cyclones are categorized based on the speed of the sustaine d (1-minute average) surface wind near the center of the storm. These categories are: Tropical Depression (winds less than 39 mph), Tropical Storm (winds 39-74 mph, inclusive) and Hurricanes (winds at least 74 mph). The geographic areas affected by tropical cyclones are called tropi cal cyclone basins. The Atlantic tropical cyclone ba sin is one of six in the world and includes much of the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and th e Gulf of Mexico. The official Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and ex tends through November 30 of each year, although occasionally hurricanes oc cur outside this period. Inland Connecticut is vulnerable to hurricane s despite moderate hurricane occurrences when compared with other areas within the Atlantic Tropical Cyclone basin. Since hurricanes tend to weaken within 12 hours of landfall, inland areas are less susceptible to NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 4-2 A Hurricane Watch is an advisory for a specific area stating that a hurricane poses a threat to coastal and inland areas. Individuals should keep tuned to local television and radio for updates. A Hurricane Warning is then issued when the dangerous effect s of a hurricane are expected in the area within 24 hours. hurricane wind damages than coastal areas in Connecticut; however, the heaviest rainfall often occurs inland. Therefore, inland areas are vulnerable to inland flooding during a hurricane. The Saffir / Simpson Scale The Saffir / Simpson Hurricane Scale, which has been adopted by the National Hurricane Center, categorizes hurricanes based upon their intensity, and relates this intensity to damage potential. The Scale uses the sustained surface winds (1-minute average) near the center of the system to clas sify hurricanes into one of five categories. The Saffir / Simpson scale is provided below. ‰ Category 1: Winds 74-95 mph (64-82 kt or 119- 153 km/hr). Storm surge generally 4-5 ft above normal. No real damage to building structures. Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and tree s. Some damage to poorly constructed signs, coastal road flooding, and minor pier damage. Ö Hurricane Diane was a Category 1 hurrica ne when it made landfall in North Carolina in 1955, and weakened to a tropical storm before reaching the Connecticut shoreline. Ö Hurricane Agnes of 1971 was a Category 1 hurricane when it hit Connecticut. Ö Hurricanes Allison of 1995 and Danny of 1997 were Category 1 hurricanes at peak intensity. ‰ Category 2: Winds 96-110 mph (83-95 kt or 154-177 km/hr). Storm surge generally 6-8 feet above normal. Some roofing material, door, and window damage of buildings. Considerable damage to shrubbe ry and trees with some trees blown down. Considerable damage to mobile homes, poorly constructed signs, and piers. Coastal NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 4-3 and low-lying escape routes flood two to four hours before arrival of the hurricane center. Small craft in unprotec ted anchorages break moorings. Ö Hurricane Bonnie of 1998 was a Category 2 hurricane when it hit the North Carolina coast. Ö Hurricane Georges of 1998 was a Category 2 hurricane when it hit the F lorida Keys and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Ö Hurricane Bob was a Category 2 hurricane wh en it m ade landfall in southern New England and New York in August of 1991. Ö Hurricane Ike was a strong Category 2 hurri cane when it struck Galveston and Houston in September 2008. ‰ Category 3: Winds 111-130 mph (96-113 kt or 178-209 km/hr). Storm surge generally 9-12 ft above normal. Some stru ctural damage to small residences and utility buildings with a minor amount of curtainwall fa ilures. Damage to shrubbery and trees with foliage blown off trees and large trees blown down. Mobile homes and poorly constructed signs are destroyed. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water three to five hours befo re arrival of the center of the hurricane. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by battering from floating debris. Terrain con tinuously lower than five feet above mean sea level may be flooded inland eight miles (13 km) or mo re. Evacuation of low-lying residences within several blocks of the shoreline may be required. Ö The Great New England Hurricane of 1938 was a Category 3 hurricane when it hit New York and southern New England. Ö The Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944 wa s a Category 3 hurricane when it made landfall in North Carolina, Virginia, New York, and southern New England. Ö Hurricane Carol of 1954 was a Category 3 hur ricane when it struck Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 4-4 Ö Hurricane Connie of 1955 was a Category 3 hurricane when it made landfall in North Carolina. Ö Hurricane Gloria of 1985 was a Category 3 hurricane when it made landfall in North Carolina and New York, and weaken ed to a Category 2 hurricane before reaching Connecticut. Ö Hurricanes Roxanne of 1995 and Fran of 1996 were Category 3 hurricanes at landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and in North Carolina, respectively. Ö Hurricane Katrina of August 2005 was a Category 3 hurricane when it stru ck Louisiana and Mississipp i. Ö Hurricane Rita of September 2005 reached Category 3 as it struck Louisiana. Ö Hurricane Wilma of October 2005 was a Ca tegory 3 hurricane when it made landfall in southw estern Florida. ‰ Category 4: Winds 131-155 mph (114-135 kt or 210-249 km/hr). Storm surge generally 13-18 ft above normal. More extensive curtainwall failures with some complete roof structure failures on small residences. Shrubs, trees, and all signs are blown down. Complete destruction of m obile homes. Extensive damage to doors and windows. Low-lying escape routes may be cut by rising water three to five hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore. Terrain lower than 10 ft above sea level may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of re sidential areas as far inland as six miles (10 km). Ö Hurricane Donna of 1960 was a Category 4 hurricane when it made landfall in southwestern Florida, and weakened to a Category 2 hurricane when it reached Connecticut. Ö Hurricane Luis of 1995 was a Category 4 hurricane while moving over the Leeward Islands. Ö Hurricanes Felix and Opal of 1995 also reached Ca tegory 4 status at peak intensity. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 4-5 ‰ Category 5: Winds greater than 155 mph (135 kt or 249 km/hr). Storm surge generally greater than 18 ft above normal. Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete bu ilding failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. All shrubs, trees, a nd signs blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Severe and extensive window and door damage. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water three to five hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 ft above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5-10 m iles (8-16 km) of the shoreline may be required. Ö Hurricane Andrew was a Category 5 hu rricane when it made landfall in southeastern Florida in 1992. Ö Hurricane Mitch of 1998 was a Category 5 hurricane at peak intensity over the western Caribbean. Ö Hurricane Gilbert of 1988 was a Category 5 hur ricane at peak intensity and is one of the strongest Atlantic tr opical cyclones of record. Table 4-1 lists the hurr icane characteristics mentioned above as a function of category, as well as the expected central pressure. Table 4-1 Hurricane Characteristics CENTRAL PRESSURE WIND SPEED Category Millibars Inches MPH Knots SURGE Feet Damage Potential 1 >980 >28.9 74-95 64-83 4-5 Minimal 2 965-979 28.5-28.9 96-110 84-96 6-8 Moderate 3 945-964 27.9-28.5 111-130 97-113 9-12 Extensive 4 920-644 27.2-27.9 131-155 114-135 13-18 Extreme 5 <920 155 >135 >18 Catastrophic NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 4-6 The Saffir / Simpson Hurricane Scale assumes an average, uniform coastline for the continental United States and was intended as a general guide for use by public safety officials during hurricane emergencies. It does not reflect the effects of varying localized bathymetry, coastline configuration, astronomical tides, barriers or other factors that may modify storm surge heights at the local leve l during a single hurricane event. For inland communities such as the Town of Bethlehem, the coastline assumption is not applicable. According to Connecticut’s 2007 Natural H azard Mitigation Plan Update, a moderate Category 2 hurricane is expect ed to strike Connecticut once every ten years, whereas a Category 3 or Category 4 hurricane is expect ed before the year 2040. These frequencies are based partly on the historic reco rd described in the next section. 4.3 Historic Record Through research efforts by NOAA’s National Climate Center in cooperation with the National Hurricane Center, records of tropica l cyclone occurrences within the Atlantic Cyclone Basin have been compiled from 1851 to present. These re cords are compiled in NOAA’s Hurricane database (HURDAT), which contains historical data in the process of being reanalyzed to current sc ientific standards, as well as the most current hurricane data. During HURDAT’s period of record, 29 hurricanes and 67 tropical storms have passed within a 150-mile radius of Newport, Rhode Island. Since 1900, eight direct hits and two hurricanes that did not make landfall (but passed close to the shoreline) were recorded along the Connecticut coast, of which there were four Category 3, two Category 2, and two Catego ry 1 hurricanes (two of the ten struck Connecticut before the Saffir / Simpson scal e was developed). Of the four Category 3 hurricanes, two occurred in September and two occurred in August. The most devastating hurricane to strike C onnecticut, and believed to be the strongest hurricane to hit New England in recorded history, was believed to be a Category 3 NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 4-7 hurricane. Dubbed the “Long Island Express of September 21, 1938”, this name was derived from the unusually high forward speed of the hurricane, estimated to be 70 mph. The hurricane made landfall at Long Isla nd, New York and moved quickly northward over Connecticut into northern New England. The majority of damage was caused from storm surge and wind damage. Surges of 10 to 12 feet were recorded along portions of the Long Island and Connecticut Coast, and 130 mile per hour winds flattened forests, destr oyed nearly 5,000 cottages, farms, and homes, and damaged an estimated 15,000 more th roughout New York and southern New England. Overall, the storm left an estimat ed 700 dead and caused physical damages in excess of 300 million 1938 United States dollars (USD). The “Great Atlantic Hurri cane” hit the Connecticut co ast in September 1944. This Category 3 hurricane brought rainfall in excess of six inches to most of the state and rainfall in excess of eight to ten inches in Fairfield County. Most of the wind damage from this storm occurred in southeastern C onnecticut. Injuries and storm damage were lower in this hurricane than in 1938 because of increased warning time and the fewer structures located in vulnerabl e areas due to the lack of rebuilding after the 1938 storm. Another Category 3 hurricane, Hurricane Caro l, struck in August of 1954 shortly after high tide and produced storm surges of 10 to 15 feet in southeastern Connecticut. Rainfall amounts of six inches were recorded in New London, and wind gusts peaked at over 100 mph. Near the coast, the combinati on of strong winds and storm surge damaged or destroyed thousands of buildings, and the winds toppled trees that left most of the eastern part of the state w ithout power. Overall damages were estimated at $461 million (1954 USD), and 60 people died as a direct result of the hurricane. Western Connecticut was largely unaffected by Hurricane Carol due to the compact nature of the storm. The following year, back-to-back hurricanes Connie and Diane caused torrential rains and record-breaking floods in Connecticut. Hurricane Connie was a declining tropical NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 4-8 storm when it hit Connecticut in August of 1955, producing hea vy rainfall of four to six inches across the state. The saturated soil conditions exacerba ted the flooding caused by Diane five days later, a Category 1 hurricane and the wett est tropical cyclone on record for the Northeast. Diane produced 14 inch es of rain in a 30-hour period, causing destructive flooding conditions along nearly every major river system in the state. The Mad and Still Rivers in Winsted, the Na ugatuck, the Farmington, and the Quinebaug River in northeastern Connectic ut caused the most damage. The floodwaters resulted in over 100 deaths, left 86,000 unemployed, and caused an estimated $200 million in damages (1955 USD). For comparison, the tota l property taxes levied by all Connecticut municipalities in 1954 amounted to $194.1 million. More recently, flooding and winds associated with hurricanes have caused extensive shoreline erosion and related damage. In September of 1985, hurricane Gloria passed over the coastline as a Category 2 hurricane. The hurricane struck at low tide, resulting in low to moderate storm surges along the co ast. The storm produced up to six inches of rain in some areas and heavy winds which da maged structures and uprooted trees. Over 500,000 people suffered significant power outages. Hurricane Bob, a Category 2 hurricane that made landfall in 1991, caused storm surge damage along the Connecticut coast, but was more extensively felt in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Heavy winds were felt across eastern Connecticut with gusts up to 100 mph recorded, and the storm was responsible for six deaths in the state. Total damage in southern New England was approximately $1.5 billion (1991 USD). The most recent tropical cyclone to impact Connecticut was tropical storm Floyd in 1999. Floyd is the storm of record in the Connecticut Natural Ha zard Mitigation Plan and is discussed in more detail in Section 3.3. Tropical Storm Floyd caused power outages throughout New England and at l east one death in Connecticut. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 4-9 4.4 Existing Programs, Policies, and Mitigation Measures Existing mitigation measures appropriate fo r inland flooding have been discussed in Section 3. These include ordinances, codes, and regulations that have been enacted to minimize flood damage. In addition, various structures exist to protect certain areas, including dams and riprap. Wind loading requirements are addressed through the state building code. The Connecticut Building Code was amended in 200 5 and adopted with an effective date of December 31, 2005. The new code specifies the design wind speed for construction in all the Connecticut municipalities, with the a ddition of split zones for some towns. For example, for towns along the Merritt Park way such as Fairfield and Trumbull, wind speed criteria are different north and south of the Parkway in relation to the distance from the shoreline. Effective December 31, 2005, the design wind speed for Bethlehem is 95 miles per hour. Bethlehem has adopted the Connecticut Building Code as its building code. Parts or all of tall and older trees may fall during heavy wind events, potentially damaging structures, utility lines, and vehicl es. Connecticut Light & Power, the local electric utility, provides tree maintenance near their power lines. The Town has a tree warden who encourages residents to cut trees that can be dangerous to power lines. Thus, landowners are primarily responsible fo r conducting tree maintenance on private property. In addition, all utilities in ne w subdivisions must be located underground whenever possible in order to mitigate storm-related damages. During emergencies, the Town of Bethlehem currently has two designated emergency shelters available (S ection 2.9). Bethlehem Fire Department is currently the primary shelter with a generator, while the sec ondary shelter (Memorial Hall) also has a generator. In addition, the Town has addi tional facilities available that could be converted to additional shelter space if the need arose. As hurricanes generally pass an NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 4-10 area within a day’s time, additional shelters can be set up after the storm as needed for long-term evacuees. The Town relies on radio and television to spread information on the location and availability of shelters. Prior to seve re storm events, the Town ensures that warning/notification systems and communica tion equipment is working properly, and prepares for the possible evacuation of impacted areas. 4.5 Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment It is generally believed that New England is long overdue for another major hurricane strike. Recall that according to the 2007 Connecticut Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan Update, a moderate Category 2 storm is expected to strike the state once per decade. The Town of Bethlehem is less vulnerable to hurricane damage than coastal towns in Connecticut because it does not need to deal with the effects of storm surge. The Town of Bethlehem is vulnerable to hurricane damage from wind and flooding, and from any tornadoes accompanying the storm. Areas of known and potential flooding problems are discussed in Section 3, and tornadoes will be discussed in Section 5. Hurricane-force winds can easily destroy poorly constructed buildings and mobile homes. There are currently no mobile home parks in the Town. Debris such as signs, roofing material, and small items left outside become flying missiles in hurricanes. Extensive damage to trees, towers, aboveground a nd underground utility lines (from uprooted trees), and fallen poles cause considerable disruption for residents. Streets may be flooded or blocked by fallen branches, poles, or trees, preventing egress. Downed power lines from heavy winds can also start fires, so adequate fire protection is important. As the residents and businesses of the State of Connecticut become more dependent on the internet and mobile communications, the impact of hurricanes on commerce will continue to increase. A major hurricane ha s the potential of causing complete disruption NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 4-11 of power and communications for up several weeks, rendering electronic devices and those that rely on utility towers and lines inoperative. According to the Connecticut DEP, this is a significant risk that cannot be quantitatively estimated. As the Town of Bethlehem is not affected by storm surge, hurricane sheltering needs have not been calculated by the Army Corps of Engineers for the Town. The Town of Bethlehem determines sheltering need base d upon areas damaged within the Town. Under limited emergency conditions, a high percen tage of evacuees will seek shelter with friends or relatives rather than go to es tablished shelters. During extended power outages, it is believed that only 10% to 20% of the affected population of Bethlehem will relocate. 4.6 Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives Many potential mitigation measures for hurricanes include those appropriate for inland flooding. These were presented in Section 3.6. However, hurricane mitigation measures must also address the effects of heavy winds that are inherently caused by hurricanes. Mitigation for wind damage is therefore emphasized in the subsections below. 4.6.1 Prevention Although hurricanes and tropical storms cannot be prevented, a number of methods are available to continue preventing damage from the storms, and perhaps to mitigate damage. The following actions have been id entified as potential preventive measures: ‰ Continue Town-wide tree limb inspection and maintenance programs to ensure that the potential for downed power lines in diminished. ‰ Continue location of utiliti es underground in new developments or as related to redevelopment. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 4-12 ‰ Continue to review the currently enacted Emergency Operations Plan for the Town and update when necessary. 4.6.2 Property Protection Potential mitigation measures include designs for hazard-resistant construction and retrofitting techniques. These may take the form of increased wind and flood resistance, as well as the use of storm shutters over exposed glass and the inclusion of hurricane straps to hold roofs to buildings. Complia nce with the amended Connecticut Building Code for wind speeds is necessary. Literature should be made available by the Building Department to developers during the permitti ng process regarding these design standards. 4.6.3 Public Education and Awareness The public should be made aware of evacuati on routes and available shelters. A number of specific proposals for improved public edu cation are recommended to prevent damage and loss of life during hurricanes. These are common to all hazards in this plan, and are listed in Section 10.1. 4.6.4 Emergency Services The Emergency Operation Plan of the Town of Bethlehem includes guidelines and specifications for communication of hurricane wa rnings and watches, as well as for a call for evacuation. The public needs to be made aware in advance of a hurricane event of evacuation routes and the locations of public shelters, which could be accomplished by placing this information on the Town website and by creating informational displays in local municipal buildings. In addition, Beth lehem should identify and prepare additional facilities for evacuation and sheltering needs. The Town should also review its mutual aid agreements and update as necessary to ensure help is available as needed. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 4-13 4.6.5 Structural Projects Structural projects for wind damage mitigation are not possible. 4.7 Summary of Recommended Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives While many potential mitigation activiti es were addressed in Section 4.6, the recommended mitigation strategies for mitigating hurricane and tropical storm winds in the Town of Bethlehem are listed below. ‰ Increase tree limb maintenance and insp ections, especially along Route 61, Route 132, and other evacuation routes . Increase inspections of trees on private property near power lines and Town right-of-ways. ‰ Continue to require that utilities be placed underground in new developments and pursue funding to place them underground in existing developed areas, and ‰ Review potential evacuation plans to ensu re timely migration of people seeking shelter in all areas of Bethlehem, and pos t evacuation and shelter information on the Town website and in municipal buildings. ‰ Provide for the Building Department to have literature available regarding appropriate design standards for wind. In addition, important recommendations that a pply to all hazards are listed in Section 10.1. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 5-1 5.0 SUMMER STORMS & TORNADOES 5.1 Setting Like hurricanes and winter st orms, summer storms and tornad oes have the potential to affect any area within the Town of Bethlehe m. Furthermore, because these types of storms and the hazards that result (flash flooding, wind, hail, and lightning) might have limited geographic extent, it is possible for a su mmer storm to harm one area within the Town without harming another. The entire Town of Bethlehem is therefore susceptible to summer storms (including heavy rain, flash flooding, wind, hail, and lightning) and tornadoes. Based on the historic record, it is consider ed highly likely that a summer storm that includes lightning will impact the Town of Bethlehem each year, although lightning strikes have a limited effect. Strong winds and hail are consid ered likely to occur during such storms but also generall y have limited effects. A tornado is considered a possible event in Litchfield County each year that coul d cause significant damage to a small area (refer to Appended Table 2). 5.2 Hazard Assessment Heavy wind (including tornadoes and downbursts) , lightning, heavy rain, hail, and flash floods are the primary hazards associated w ith summer storms. Inland flooding and flash flooding caused by heavy rainfall was covered in Section 3.0 of this plan and will not be discussed in detail here. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 5-2 Tornadoes Tornadoes are spawned by certain thundersto rms. NOAA defines a tornado as “a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunders torm to the ground.” The Fujita scale was accepted as the official clas sification system for tornado damage for many years following its publication in 1971. Th e Fujita scale rated the intensity of a tornado by examining the damage caused by the tornado after it has passed over a man- made structure. The scale ranked tornadoes using the now-familiar notation of F0 through F5, increasing with wind speed and in tensity. The following graphic of the Fujita scale is provided by FEMA. A description of the scale follows in Table 5-1. Fujita Tornado Scale Table 5-1 Fujita Scale F-Scale Number Intensity Wind Speed Type of Damage Done F0 Gale tornado 40-72 mph Some damage to chimneys; breaks branches off trees; pushes over shallow-rooted trees; damages sign boards. F1 Moderate tornado 73-112 mph The lower limit is the beginning of hurricane wind speed; peels surface off roofs; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos pushed off the roads; attached garages may be destroyed. F2 Significant tornado 113-157 mph Considerable damage. Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars pushed over; large trees snapped or uprooted; light object missiles generated. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 5-3 Table 5-1 (Continued) Fujita Scale F-Scale Number Intensity Wind Speed Type of Damage Done F3 Severe tornado 158-206 mph Roof and some walls torn off well constructed houses; trains overturned; most trees in forest uprooted F4 Devastating tornado 207-260 mph Well-constructed houses leveled; structures with weak foundations blown off some distance; cars thrown and large missiles generated F5 Incredible tornado 261-318 mph Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and carried considerable distances to disintegrate; automobile sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 meters; trees debarked; steel re- enforced concrete structures badly damaged. F6 Inconceivable tornado 319-379 mph These winds are very unlikely. The small area of damage they might produce would probably not be recognizable along with the mess produced by F4 and F5 winds that would surround the F6 winds. Missiles, such as cars and refrigerators, would do serious secondary damage that could not be directly identified as F6 damage. If this level is ever achieved, evidence for it might only be found in some manner of ground swirl pattern, for it may never be identifiable through engineering studies. According to NOAA, weak tornadoes (F0 a nd F1) account for approximately 69% of all tornadoes. Strong tornadoes (F2 and F3) account for approximately 29% of all tornadoes. Violent tornadoe s (F4 and above) are rare but extremely destructive, and account for only 2% of all tornadoes. The Enhanced Fujita Scale was released by NOAA for implementation on February 1, 2007. According to the NOAA web site, the En hanced Fujita Scale was developed in response to a number of weaknesse s to the Fujita Scale that were apparent over the years, including the subjectivity of the original scale based on damage, the use of the worst damage to classify the tornado, the fact th at structures have different construction depending on location within the United Stat es, and an overestimation of wind speeds for F3 and greater. The Enhanced F-scale is still a set of wind estimates based on damage. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 5-4 Its uses three-second gusts estimated at the point of damage based on a judgment of eight levels of damage to 28 specific indicators. Table 5-2 relates the Fujita and enhanced Fujita scales. Table 5-2 Enhanced Fujita Scale Fujita Scale Derived EF Scale Operational EF Scale F Number Fastest 1/4- mile (mph) 3 Second Gust (mph) EF Number 3 Second Gust (mph) EF Number 3 Second Gust (mph) 0 40-72 45-78 0 65-85 0 65-85 1 73-112 79-117 1 86-109 1 86-110 2 113-157 118-161 2 110-137 2 111-135 3 158-207 162-209 3 138-167 3 136-165 4 208-260 210-261 4 168-199 4 166-200 5 261-318 262-317 5 200-234 5 Over 200 The historic record of tornadoes is discusse d in Section 5.3. The pattern of occurrence in Connecticut is expected to remain uncha nged according to the Connecticut Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan (2007). The highest relative risk fo r tornadoes in the state is Litchfield and Hartford Counties, followe d by New Haven, Fairfield, Tolland, Middlesex, Windham, and finally New London County. By virtue of its location in Litchfield County, the Town of Bethlehem is therefore at a relatively higher risk of tornadoes compared to the rest of the state. Lightning Lightning is a circuit of electricity that o ccurs between the positive and negative charges within the atmosphere or between the atmosphe re and the ground. In the initial stages of development, air acts as an insulator be tween the positive and negative charges. However, when the potential between the positive and negative charges becomes too great, a discharge of electr icity (lightning) occurs. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 5-5 In-cloud lightning occurs between the positive charges near the top of the cloud and the negative charges near the bottom. Cloud to cloud lightning occurs between the positive charges near the top of the cloud and the negative charges near the bottom of a second cloud. Cloud to ground lightning is the most dangerous. In summertime, most cloud to ground lightning occurs between the negative charges near the bottom of the cloud and positive charges on the ground. According to NOAA’s National Weather Service, lightning reportedly kills an average of 80 people per year in the United States, in a ddition to an average of 300 lightning injuries per year. Most lightning deaths and inju ries occur outdoors, with 45% of lightning casualties occurring in open fields and ballparks, 23% unde r trees, and 14% involving water activities. Only 15 li ghtning-related fatalities occu rred in Connecticut between 1959 and 2005, and only one occurred between 1998 and 2007. Most recent ly, on June 8, 2008, lightning struck a pavilion at Hamonassett Beach in Madison, Connecticut, injuring five and killing one. Thunderstorms occur 18 to 35 days each year in Connecticut. According to a report by meteorologist Joe Furey on Fox 61 News, 2008 was an abnormal year for thunderstorms, with 20 days of thunderstorm activity occurring by the end of July. In general, thunderstorms in Connecticut are more frequent in the western and northern parts of the state, and less frequent in the southern and eastern parts. Although lightning is usually associated with thunderstorms, it can occur on almost any day. The likelihood of lightning strikes in the Bethlehem area is very high during any given thunderstorm, although no one area of the Town is at higher risk of lightning strikes. Downbursts A downburst is a severe localized wind blas ting down from a thunderstorm. They are more common than tornadoes in Connecticut. These “straight line” winds are NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 5-6 Downbursts may be categorized as microbursts (affecting an area less than 2.5 miles in diameter) or macrobursts (affecting an area at least 2.5 miles in diameter). distinguishable from tornad ic activity by the pattern of destruction and debris. Depending on the size and location of these even ts, the destruction to property may be significant. It is difficult to find statistic al data regarding frequency of downburst activity. However, downburst activity is, on occasion, mistaken for tornado activity in Connecticut, indicating that it is a rela tively uncommon yet persistent hazard. The risk to the Town of Bethlehem is believed to be low to moderate for any given year. Hail Hailstones are chunks of ice that grow as updrafts in thunderstorms keep them in the atmosphere. Most hailstones are smaller in diameter than a dime, but stones weighing more than a pound have been recorded. While crops are the major victims of hail, it is also a hazard to vehicles and property. Hailstorms typically occur in at least one pa rt of Connecticut each year during a severe thunderstorm. As with thunderstorms, hailstorm s are more frequent in the northwest and western portions of the state, and less frequent in the southern and eastern portions. Overall, the risk of at least one hailstorm occurring in Bethlehem is moderate in any given year. 5.3 Historic Record The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) lis ts 22 tornado events in Litchfield County since 1950. This includes nine F2 rated torn adoes, 11 F1 rated tornadoes, and two F0 NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 5-7 rated tornadoes. Property damages from tornados in the County totaled approximately 51 million dollars. Table 5-3 lists the tornado events for Litchfield County. Table 5-3 Tornado Events in Litchfield County Since 1950 Date Fujita Tornado Scale Property Damage Wind Speed August 21, 1951 F2 $250,000 113 – 157 mph August 21, 1958 F1 $0 73 – 112 mph May 12, 1959 F2 $2,500 113 – 157 mph June 18, 1962 F2 $25,000 113 – 157 mph August 11, 1966 F2 $25,000 113 – 157 mph August 20, 1968 F1 $2,500 73 – 112 mph August 7, 1972 F1 $250,000 73 – 112 mph August 9, 1972 F1 $25,000 73 – 112 mph June 12, 1973 F2 $0 113 – 157 mph June 29, 1973 F1 $2,500 73 – 112 mph July 3, 1974 F1 $2,500 73 – 112 mph June 19, 1975 F1 $0 73 – 112 mph July 20, 1975 F1 $2,500 73 – 112 mph June 30, 1976 F2 $25,000 113 – 157 mph July 10, 1989 2:45 P.M. F2 $25,000,000 113 – 157 mph July 10, 1989 3:15 P.M. F2 $25,000,000 113 – 157 mph May 31, 1998 F1 $4,000 73 – 112 mph June 23, 2001 1:00 P.M. F1 $150,000 73 – 112 mph June 23, 2001 1:50 P.M. F2 $250,000 113 – 157 mph July 1, 2001 F0 $75,000 40 – 74 mph June 5, 2002 F1 $40,000 73 – 112 mph June 16, 2002 F0 $10,000 40 – 74 mph A limited selection of summer storm damage in and around Bethlehem, taken from the NCDC Storm Events database, is listed below: ‰ July 10, 1989 – A particularly powerful thunderstorm produced 80 mile per hour winds and spawned two tornadoes that cut a path from Salisbury to New Haven. Two people were killed and 67 homes were dest royed. One of the fatalities occurred in Black Rock State Park in nearby Watert own. Damages from the storm totaled $125 million (1989 dollars), and a Presidential Disaster Declaration was issued. One of the tornadoes passed above Bethlehem before la nding again in Watertown and the Town received residual damage from flying debris. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 5-8 ‰ June 27, 1994 – Thunderstorm winds brought down trees and power lines in Litchfield, with a few hundred cust omers losing electric service. ‰ May 21, 1996 – Severe thunderstorms produced damage across parts of Litchfield County and caused approximately $5,000 in property damage. ‰ July 9, 1997 – Severe thunderstorms pr oduced flooding and damaging winds that downed trees throughout Litchfield C ounty, causing approximately $5,000 in damage. The wind downed trees and a power pole in Thomaston. ‰ October 1, 1998 – Gusty winds knocked down large limbs, trees, and power lines during the middle of the day throughout L itchfield County, resulting in as many as 7,800 electric customers being without pow er and bringing commerce to a halt. Approximately $100,000 in property damage was reported. ‰ July 6, 1999 – Powerful thunderstorms brought down trees in New Milford, Litchfield and Bethlehem, causing $2,000 in damage. ‰ September 16, 1999 – In addition to the fl ooding damages described in Section 3.3, the remnants of Tropical Storm Floyd al so produced wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour in Litchfield County, causing widespread downing of trees and power lines. Up to 5,000 were left without power, and a pproximately $100,000 in wind damage was reported. ‰ November 2, 1999 – A storm produced high wi nd across the higher elevations of Litchfield County, bringing down some trees and a few power lines. Scattered power outages and approximately $11,000 in damages were reported. ‰ May 31, 2002 – Severe weather in Litchfield County produced hail up to two inches in diameter in Thomaston, blew down trees, and caused 37,000 power outages and $10,000 in damages across the county. ‰ July 15, 2007 – Strong thunderstorm winds blew a large tree onto a house in Thomaston, causing structural damage. ‰ July 19, 2007 – Trees were reported down in Thomaston due to strong thunderstorm winds that gusted up to 50 miles per hour. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 5-9 A severe thunderstorm watch is issued by the National Weather Service when the weather conditions are such that a severe thunderstorm (winds greater than 58 miles per hour, or hail three-fourths of an inch or greater) is likely to develop. A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when a severe thunderstorm has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. 5.4 Existing Programs, Policies, and Mitigation Measures Warning is the primary method of existing mitigation for tornadoes and thunderstorm-related hazards. The NOAA National Weather Service issues watches and warnings when severe weather is likely to develop or has developed, respectively. Tables 5-4 and 5-5 list the NOAA Watches and Warnings, respectively, as pertaining to actions to be taken by emergency management personnel in connection with summer storms and tornadoes. Table 5-4 NOAA Weather Watches Weather Condition Meaning Actions Severe Thunderstorm Severe thunderstorms are possible in your area. Notify personnel, and watch for severe weather. Tornado Tornadoes are possible in your area. Notify personnel, and be prepared to move quickly if a warning is issued. Flash Flood It is possible that rains will cause flash flooding in your area. Notify personnel to watch for street or river flooding. Aside from warnings, several other methods of mitigation for wind damage are employed in Bethlehem. Continued location of utili ties underground is an important method of reducing wind damage to utilities and the re sulting loss of services. The Connecticut Building Codes include guidelines for Wind Lo ad Criteria that are specific to each municipality, as explained in Section 4.0. In addition, specific mitigation measures address debris removal and tree trimming. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 5-10 Table 5-5 NOAA Weather Warnings Weather Condition Meaning Actions Severe Thunderstorm Severe thunderstorms are occurring or are imminent in your area. Notify personnel and watch for severe conditions or damage (i.e. downed power lines and trees. Take appropriate actions listed in town emergency plans. Tornado Tornadoes are occurring or are imminent in your area. Notify personnel, watch for severe weather and ensure personnel are protected. Take appropriate actions listed in emergency plans. Flash Flood Flash flooding is occurring or imminent in your area. Watch local rivers and streams. Be prepared to evacuate low- lying areas. Take appropriate actions listed in emergency plans. In the Town of Bethlehem, the local utilitie s are responsible for tree branch removal and maintenance above and near their lines. In addition, all new developments in Bethlehem must place utilities underground wherever possi ble. The Tree Warden also approaches residents on a case-by-case basis when tr ees and branches on their property look hazardous, though ultimately tree removal on pr ivate property is up to the property owner. Municipal responsibilities relative to torn ado mitigation and preparedness include: ‰ Developing and disseminating emergency public information and instructions concerning tornado safety, especially gui dance regarding in-home protection and evacuation procedures, and lo cations of public shelters. ‰ Designate appropriate shelter space in the community that could potentially withstand tornado impact. ‰ Periodically test and exercise tornado response plans. ‰ Put emergency personnel on standby at tornado ‘watch’ stage. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 5-11 More information is available at: FEMA – http://www.fema.gov/library/ NOAA – http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/NWSTornado/ 5.5 Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment The central and southern portions of the Unite d States are at higher risk for lightning and thunderstorms than is the northeast. Howeve r, more deaths from lightning occur on the East Coast than elsewhere, according to FE MA. Lightning-related fatalities have declined in recent years due to in creased education and awareness. Most thunderstorm damage is caused by straight-line winds exceeding 100 mph. Straight-line winds occur as the first gust of a thunderstorm or from the downburst from a thunderstorm, and have no associated rotation. Bethlehem is particularly susceptible to damage from high winds due to its high el evation and heavily treed landscape. Heavy winds can take down trees near power lines, leading to the start and spread of fires. Such fires can be extremely danger ous during the summer months during dry and drought conditions. Most downed power lines in Bethlehem are detected quickly and any associated fires are quickly extinguished. Ho wever, it is important to have adequate water supply for fire protection to ensure this level of safety is maintained. According to Town personnel, no single area of Town is more susceptible to wind damage than any other. Damage from falling branches and trees is more common than from actual wind damage. 5.6 Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives Both the FEMA and the NOAA websites contain valuable information regarding preparing for and protecting oneself during a tornado, as well as inform ation on a number of other natural hazards. Available information from FEMA includes: NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 5-12 ‰ Design and construction guidance for creati ng and identifying community shelters; ‰ Recommendations to better protect your business, community, and home from tornado damage, including construction and design guidelines for structures; ‰ Ways to better protect property from wind damage; ‰ Ways to protect property from flooding damage; and ‰ Construction of safe rooms within homes. NOAA information includes a discussion of fa mily preparedness procedures and the best physical locations during a storm event. Although tornadoes pose a legitimate threat to public safety, their occurrence is considered t oo infrequent to justify the construction of tornado shelters. Residents should be en couraged to purchase a NOAA weather radio containing an alarm feature. The implementation of an emergency notificatio n system would be beneficial in warning residents of an impending tornado. A commun ity warning system that relies on radios and television is less effective at warning residents during th e night when the majority of the community is asleep. This fact was evid enced most recently by the severe storm that struck Lake County, Florida on February 2, 2007. This powerful storm that included several tornadoes stuck at about 3:15 AM. According to National Public Radio, local broadcast stations had difficultly warning re sidents due to the lack of listeners and viewers and encouraged those awake to tele phone warnings into the affected area. Specific mitigation steps that can be taken to prevent property damage and protect property are given below. Prevention ‰ Continue or increase tree limb inspection programs to ensure that the potential for downed power lines is minimized. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 5-13 ‰ Continue to place utilities underground. Property protection ‰ Require compliance with the amended Conn ecticut Building Code for wind speeds. ‰ Provide for the Building Official to make literature available during the permitting process regarding approp riate design standards. 5.7 Summary of Recommended Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives While many potential mitigation activiti es were addressed in Section 5.6, the recommended mitigation strategies for mitigating wind, hail, tornadoes, and downbursts in the Town of Bethlehem are listed below. ‰ Increase tree limb maintenance and inspect ions, especially in the downtown areas ‰ Continue outreach regarding dangerous trees on private property. ‰ Continue to require that utilities be placed underground in new developments and pursue funding to place them underground in existing developed areas ‰ Continue to require compliance with the amended Connecticut Building Code for wind speeds. ‰ Have the Building Department make literat ure available during the permitting process regarding appropriate design standards. In addition, important recommendations that a pply to all hazards are listed in Section 10.1. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 6-1 According to the National Weather Service, approximately 70% of winter deaths related to snow and ice occur in automobiles, and approximately 25% of deaths occur from people being caught in the cold. In relation to deaths from exposure to cold, 50% are people over 60 years old, 75% are male, and 20% occur in the home. 6.0 WINTER STORMS 6.1 Setting Similar to summer storms and tornadoes, winter storms have the potential to affect any area of the Town of Bethlehem. However, unlike summer storms, winter events and the hazards that result (wind, snow, and ice) ha ve more widespread geographic extent. The entire Town of Bethlehem is susceptible to wi nter storms. In general, winter storms are considered highly likely to occur each year (major storms are less frequent), and the hazards that result (nor’easter winds, snow, and blizzard conditions) can potentially have a significant effect over a la rge area of the Town (refer to Appended Tables 1 and 2). 6.2 Hazard Assessment This section focuses on those effects commonl y associated with winter storms, including those from blizzards, ice storms, heavy snow, freezing rain and extreme cold. Most deaths from winter storms ar e indirectly related to the storm, such as from traffic accidents on icy roads and hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold. Damage to trees and tree limbs and the resultant downing of utility cables are a common effect of these types of events. Secondary effects include loss of power and heat. The classic winter storm in New England is the nor’easter, which is caused by a warm moist, low pressure system moving up from the south colliding with a cold, dry high pressure system moving down from the north. The nor’easter derives its name from the northeast winds typically accompanying such st orms, and such storms tend to produce a large amount of precipitation. Severe winter storms can produce an array of hazardous NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 6-2 weather conditions, including heavy snow, blizzards, freezing rain and ice pellets, flooding, heavy winds, and extreme cold. The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as having winds over 35 mph with snow with blowing snow that reduces visibility to less than one-quarter mile for at least three hours. Connecticut experiences at least one severe winter storm every five years, although a variety of small and medium snow and ice storms occur nearly every winter. The likelihood of a nor’easter occurring in any give n winter is therefore considered high, and the likelihood of other winter storms occurring in any given winter is very high. The Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS ) was developed by Paul Kocin and Louis Uccellini ( Kocin and Uccellini, 2004) and is us ed by NOAA to characterize and rank high-impact Northeast snowstorms. These storms have wide areas of snowfall with accumulations of ten inches and above. NESIS has five categories: Extreme, Crippling, Major, Significant, and Notable. The index di ffers from other meteorological indices in that it uses population inform ation in addition to meteorological measurements, thus giving an indication of a stor m’s societal impacts. NESIS values are calculated within a geograp hical information system (GIS). The aerial distribution of snowfall and population inform ation are combined in an equation that calculates a NESIS score, which varies from around one for smaller storms to over ten for extreme storms. The raw score is then convert ed into one of the five NESIS categories. The largest NESIS values result from stor ms producing heavy snowfall over large areas that include major metropolitan centers. Tabl e 6-1 presents the NESIS categories, their corresponding NESIS values, a nd a descriptive adjective. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 6-3 Table 6-1 NESIS Categories Category NESIS Value Description 1 1—2.499 Notable 2 2.5—3.99 Significant 3 4—5.99 Major 4 6—9.99 Crippling 5 10.0+ Extreme 6.3 Historic Record Seven major winter nor’easters have occurred in Connecticut during the past 30 years (in 1979, 1983, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2003, and 2006). The 1992 nor’easter, in particular, caused the third-highest tides ever reco rded in Long Island Sound and damaged 6,000 coastal homes. Inland areas received up to f our feet of snow. Winter Storm Ginger in 1996 caused up to 27 inches of snow 24 hours an d shut down the State of Connecticut for an entire day. The nor’easter which occurr ed on February 12 and 13, 2006 resulted in 18 to 24 inches of snow across Connecticut and was rated on NESIS as a Category 3 “Major” storm across the north east. This storm ranked 20 th out of 33 major winter storms ranked by NESIS for the northeastern United States since 1956. The most damaging winter storms are not always nor’easters. According to the NCDC, there have been 135 snow and ice events in the State of Connecticut between 1993 and March 2008, causing over $18 million in damages. Notably, heavy snow in December 1996 caused $6 million in property damage. Snow removal and power restoration for a winter storm event spanning March 31 and April 1, 1997 cost $1 million. On March 5, 2001, heavy snow caused $5 million in damages, followed by another heavy snow event four days later that caused an additional $2 million in damages. The last documented winter storm event that qualified as a bliz zard was Winter Storm Ginger in January of 1996. These events were recorded for va rious counties throughout the state. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 6-4 Catastrophic ice storms are less frequent in Connecticut than the rest of New England due to the close proximity of the warmer waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound. The most severe ice storm in Conn ecticut on record was Ice Storm Felix on December 18, 1973. This storm resulted in two deaths and widespread power outages throughout the state. An ice storm in November of 2002 that hit Litchfield and western Hartford Counties resulted in $2.5 mill ion in public sector damages. Additional examples of recent winter storms to affect Litchfield County, taken from the NCDC database, include: ‰ January 13, 1993 – Six inches of snowfall beginning during the morning rush hour that created slippery roads and resulted in numerous accidents. ‰ February 12, 1993 – Five to seven inches of snow was reported in Litchfield County, followed by freezing rain and drizzle. This storm caused up to 10,000 power outages throughout the state. ‰ March 13 to 14, 1993 – A powerful storm caused blizzard conditions and up to 21 inches of snow in Litchfield Count y, with 40,000 power outages and $550,000 in property damage reported throughout Connecticut. ‰ December 26, 1993 – Heavy arctic winds broug ht 40 to 60 mph gusts to the State. ‰ February 11, 1994 – A major storm produced eight to 13 inches of snow across Connecticut. ‰ December 23, 1994 – An unusual snow-less late December storm caused gale force winds across the state. The high winds caused widespread power outages affecting up to 130,000 customers statewide. Numer ous trees and limbs were blown down, damaging property, vehicles, and power lines to a total of five million dollars in damages. Peak wind gusts of up to 64 miles per hour were reported. ‰ December 19, 1995 – A winter storm produced six to eight inches of snow in Litchfield County. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 6-5 ‰ January 2, 1996 – A winter storm originating ne ar the Gulf of Mexico produced ten to 12 inches of snow across Litchfield County. ‰ January 7, 1996 – An intense winter stor m caused heavy snow throughout Litchfield County, causing many power outages, several roofs to collapse, and approximately $80,000 in damages. Reported snowfall totals included 24 inches in New Hartford and 22 inches in Harwinton. ‰ January 19, 1996 – An intense area of low pressure created damaging winds throughout Litchfield County, causing $10,000 in property damage. Many downed trees, limbs, and power lines were reported. ‰ March 7, 1996 – A large winter storm cau sed heavy snow throughout Litchfield County, including eight inches in Thomaston. ‰ February 22, 1997 – High winds downed tree s and wires across Litchfield County, resulting in approximately $6,000 in property damage. ‰ March 14, 1997 – A storm brought heavy snow, sleet, and freezing rain to Litchfield County, producing two to four inches of snow, treacherous driving conditions, and downed trees and power lines. ‰ March 31, 1997 – A late season storm produced rain and wet snow across Litchfield County, with 12 inches of snow reported in Litchfield. This storm caused over one million dollars in property damage and over 30,000 homes lost power across the County. ‰ January 25, 2000 – A winter storm produced snow, sleet, and freezing rain in Litchfield County with accumulations of six to ten inches. $25,000 in property damage was reported. ‰ April 9, 2000 – A late-season snowstorm produced snowfall rates of more than an inch per hour, with blizzard conditions re ported at times. Four to eight inches accumulated throughout Litchfield County, with $35,000 in property damage reported. ‰ December 25, 2002 – Six to 12 inches of snow fell throughout Litchfield County, with six inches reported at the Thomaston Dam. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 6-6 ‰ March 6, 2003 – A winter storm produced nine inches of snow as measured at the Thomaston Dam. ‰ March 16, 2007 – A winter storm beginning during the Friday afternoon rush hour produced eight to 12 inches of snow throughout Litchfield County, including 7.5 inches in Thomaston. The storm caused treach erous travel conditions that resulted in many accidents. 6.4 Existing Programs, Policies, and Mitigation Measures Existing programs applicable to inland floodi ng and wind are the same as those discussed in Sections 3.0 and 4.0. Programs that are spec ific to winter storms are generally those related to preparing plows, sand and salt truc ks; tree-trimming to protect power lines; and other associated snow remova l and response preparations. As it is almost guaranteed that winter storms will occur annually in Connecticut, it important for municipalities to budget fiscal resources towards snow management. The Town ensures that all warning/notification and communications systems are ready before a storm, and ensures that appropriate equipm ent and supplies, especially snow removal equipment, are in place and in good working order. The Town also prepares for the possible evacuation and sheltering of some populations which could be impacted by the upcoming storm (especially the elderly and special needs persons). The Town of Bethlehem primarily uses Town staff for plowing operations. The Highway Department utilizes plow trucks to clear a nd treat all Town-owned roadways, properties, and sidewalks. The Connecticut Department of Transportation plows Routes 61 and 132. Town roads are not prioritized for plowing b ecause school buses traverse every road in Town. During emergencies, a plow vehicle can be dispatched ahead of an emergency vehicle. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 6-7 6.5 Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment As mentioned for summer storms, the heav ily treed landscape in close proximity to densely populated residential areas in the Town of Bethlehem poses problems in relation to blizzard condition damage. Tree limbs and so me building structures may not be suited to withstand high wind and snow loads. Ice can damage or collapse power lines, render steep gradients impassable for motorists, undermine foundations, and cause “flood” damage from freezing water pipes in basements. In addition, winter storms present additional problems for motorists all over the state. As the population of Connecticut and its dependenc e on transportation continues to increase, the vulnerability of the state to winter storms also increases. There is a high propensity for traffic accidents and traffic jams during heavy snow and even light icing events. Roads may become impassable, inhibiting the ability of emergency equipment to reach trouble spots and the accessibility to medical and shelter facilities. Stranded motorists, especially senior and/or handi capped citizens, are at particul arly high risk of injury or death from exposure during a blizzard. Afte r a storm, snow piled on the sides of roadways can inhibit line of sight and re flect a blinding amount of sunlight, making driving difficult. When coupled with slippery road conditions, poor sightlines and heavy glare create dangerous driving conditions. A few areas in the Town of Bethlehem have been identified by Town personnel and residents as having problems with ice during the winter months. Icing causes difficult driving conditions throughout th e hillier sections of Bethlehem, especially at the intersection of Cabbage Lane and Route 132, an d at the intersection of Wood Creek Road and Route 132. Both of thes e instances of icing are due to poor drainage. The intersection of Cabbage Lane and Route 132 is especially dangerous because cars traveling towards Route 132 on Cabbage Lane are coming downhill, the ice collects near the intersection, and drivers tend to speed throug h this section of Route 132. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 6-8 Icing is particularly a concern along the access road to the Horace Mann Nature Center in Washington off the end of Arch Bridge Road. There is no public access to this property in Washington due to private roads and limite d egress over Sprain Brook. Approximately 30-40 children attend the facility each week 40 weeks per year. The Tow n of Washington has asked the Town of Bethlehem to be the first responder to this facility in case of emergency, as it is a 22 minute res ponse time from Washington. However, the road leading in from Bethlehem is unpaved, narrow, and steep. Emergency personnel are worried that the facility could become isolated during a winter emergency. Drifting snow is not as large a problem in Be thlehem as other areas, but it still occurs. This problem is mitigated thr ough municipal plowing efforts. Ice jams are not a problem along the rivers in Bethlehem. Recall from Figure 2-7, Figure 2-8, and Figure 2-9 that elderly, linguistically isolated, and disabled populations reside in the Town of Bethlehem. It is possible that several hundred of the population impacted by a severe winter storm could consist of the elderly, a small number could consist of linguistically isolated households, and several hundred could be disabled. Thus, it is important for Bethlehem’s emergency personnel to be prepared to assist these special populations during emergencies such as winter storms. 6.6 Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives Potential mitigation measures for flooding caused by nor’easters include those appropriate for flooding. These were presented in Section 3.6. Winter storm mitigation measures must also address blizzard, snow , and ice hazards. These are emphasized below. Note that structural projects are ge nerally not applicable to hazard mitigation for wind, blizzard, snow, and ice hazards. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 6-9 6.6.1 Prevention Cold air, wind, snow, and ice can not be prev ented from impacting any particular area. Thus, mitigation should be focused on prope rty protection and emergency services (discussed below) and prevention of damage as caused by breakage of tree limbs. Previous recommendations for tree limb inspections and maintenance in Sections 4.0 and 5.0 are thus applicable to wi nter storm hazards, as well. As mentioned previously, utilities in Bethlehem should continue to be placed underground where possible. This can occur in connection with new deve lopment and also in connection with redevelopment work. Underg round utilities cannot be damaged by heavy snow, ice, and winter winds. 6.6.2 Property Protection Property can be protected duri ng winter storms through the use of shutters, storm doors, and storm windows. Where flat roofs are used on structures, snow removal is important as the heavy load from collecting snow may exceed the bearing capacity of the structure. Heating coils may be used to remove snow fr om flat roofs. Pipes should be adequately insulated to protect against fr eezing and bursting. All of these recommendations should apply to new construction, although they may al so be applied to existing buildings during renovations. Finally, as recommended in previous sections, compliance with the amended Connecticut Building Code for wind speeds is necessary. 6.6.3 Public Education and Awareness The public is typically more aware of the hazardous effects of snow, ice, and cold weather than they are with rega rd to other hazards discussed in this plan. Nevertheless, people are still stranded in automobiles, get caught outside their homes in adverse weather conditions, and suffer heart failure while shoveling during each winter in NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 6-10 Connecticut. Public education should therefore focus on safety tips and reminders to individuals about how to prepare for cold and icy weather, including stocking homes, preparing vehicles, and taking care of themselves during winter storms. 6.6.4 Emergency Services Emergency services personnel and departments such as Police and Fire should identify areas which may be difficult to access during winter storm events and devise contingency plans to continue servicing those areas during moderate st orms. The creation of through streets with new developments increases the amount of egress for residents and emergency personnel into neighborhoods. Howeve r, the creation of through streets is not consistent with the Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development. The Town of Bethlehem by default has plowing routes that prioritize access to and from most critical facilities, as th ese facilities are almost all lo cated in the municipal complex. However, the Town should make the effort to design standard plowing routes that prioritize the remaining critical facilities. Residents should be made aware of the plow routes in order to plan how to best access cr itical facilities, perhaps via posting of the general routes on the Town website. Such routes should also be posted in other municipal buildings, such as the library and the post office. It is recognized that plowing critical facilities may not be a priority to all residents, as people typically expect their own roads to be cleared as soon as possible. Available shelters shou ld also be advertised and their locations known to the public prior to a storm event. Finally, existing mutual aid agreements with surrounding municipalities should be reviewed and updated as necessary to ensure help will be available when needed. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 6-11 6.6.5 Structural Projects Structural projects for many aspects of Wint er Storms are not possible. However, projects can be designed to mitigate icing due to poor drainage and other factors. In regards to the inters ection of Cabbage Lane and Route 132, the Town wants to install 200 feet of catch basins down the end of Cabba ge Lane and along Route 132 to facilitate street drainage. The Town plans to try to acquire grant funding at some point for this project. In addition, the Town should investigate complaints of icing at the intersection of Wood Creek Road and Route 132 and perf orm corrective actions if applicable. 6.7 Summary of Recommended Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives Most of the recommendations in Sections 3.6 for mitigating flooding are suitable for mitigation of flooding caused by winter storms. These are not repeated in this subsection. While many potential mitigation activities for the remaining winter storm hazards were addressed in Section 6.6, the recommended mitigation strategies for mitigating wind, snow, and ice in the Town of Bethlehem are listed below. ‰ Increase tree limb maintenance and inspect ions, especially in the downtown areas ‰ Continue to require that utilities be placed underground in new developments and pursue funding to place them underground in existing developed areas ‰ Review and post evacuation plans to ensu re timely migration of people seeking shelter in all areas of Bethlehem. ‰ Post a list of Town sheltering facilities in the Town Hall and on the Town’s website so residents can best plan how to access to critical facilities during a winter storm event. ‰ Prioritize plowing routes and post the snow plowing prioritization in Town buildings each winter to increase public awareness. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 6-12 ‰ Consider modifying the Town Plan of C onservation and Development to encourage two modes of egress into every neigh borhood by the creation of through streets. ‰ Pursue grant funding to install drainage along Cabbage Lane and Route 132 to eliminate icing at this da ngerous intersection. Consid er removing some trees to improve sight lines if possible. ‰ Investigate complaints of icing at the intersection of Wood Creek Road and Route 132, and perform corrective actions if applicable. ‰ Encourage the Horace Mann Nature Center to widen and improve the access road from Bethlehem to facilitate emergency and standard vehicular access. In addition, important recommendations that a pply to all hazards are listed in Section 10.1. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 7-1 7.0 EARTHQUAKES 7.1 Setting The entire Town of Bethlehem is susceptib le to earthquakes. However, even though earthquakes have the potential to occur anywhere both in the Town and in the northeastern United States, the effects may be felt differently in some areas based on the type of geology. In general, ear thquakes are considered a hazard that is possible to occur, but that may cause significant effects to a large area of the Town (Appended Table 1). 7.2 Hazard Assessment An earthquake is a sudden rapid shaking of the earth caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the earth’s surface. Earthquakes can cause buildings and bridges to collapse, disrupt gas, electric and telephone lines, and often cause landslides, flash floods, fires, avalanches, and tsunamis. Earthquakes can occur at any time without warning. The underground point of origin of an earthqu ake is called its focus; the point on the surface directly above the focus is the epicenter. The magnitude and intensity of an earthquake is determined by the use of th e Richter scale and the Mercalli scale, respectively. The Richter scale defines the magnitude of an earthquake. Magnitude is related to the amount of seismic energy released at the hypocenter of the earthquake. It is based on t he amplitude of earthquake waves recorded on instruments which have a common calibration. The magnitude of an earthqua ke is thus represented by a single, instrumentally determined va lue recorded by a seismograph, which record the varying amplitude of ground oscillations. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 7-2 The magnitude of an earthquake is determined from the logarithm of the amplitude of recorded waves. Being logarithmic, each whole number increase in magnitude represents a tenfold increase in measured strength. Earthquakes with a magnitude of about 2.0 or less are usually called micro-earthquakes, and are generally only recorded locally. Earthquakes with magnitudes of 4.5 or greater are strong enough to be recorded by seismographs all over the world. The effect of an earthquake on the Earth’s surface is called the intensity. The Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale consists of a series of key responses such as people awakening, movement of furniture, damage to chimneys, and total destruction. This scale, composed of 12 increasing levels of intensity that range from imperceptible shaking to catastrophic destruction, is designated by Roman numerals. It is an arbitrary ranking based on observed effects. Unlike seismic activity in California, earthquak es in Connecticut are not associated with specific known faults. Instead, earthquakes with epicenters in Connecticut are referred to The following is a description of the 12 levels of Modified Mercalli intensity from the USGS. I. Not felt except by a very few under especially favorable conditions. II. Felt only by a few person s at rest, especially on upper floors of buildings. Delicately suspended objects may swing. III. Felt quite noticeably by persons indoors, especially on upper floors of buildings. Many people do not recognize it as an earthquake. Standing motor cars may rock slightly. Vibration similar to the passing of a truck. Duration estimated. IV. Felt indoors by many, outdoors by few during the day. At night, some awakened. Dishes, windows, doors disturbed; walls make cracking sound. Sensation like heavy truck striking building. Standing motor cars rocked noticeably. V. Felt by nearly everyone; many awakened. Some dishes and windows broken. Unstable objects overturned. Pendulum clocks may stop. VI. Felt by all, many frightened. Some heavy furniture moved; a few instances of fallen plaster. Damage slight. VII. Damage negligible in buildings of good design and construction; slight to moderate in well-built ordinary structures; considerable damage in poorly built or badly designed structures; some chimneys broken. VIII. Damage slight in specially designed structures; considerable damage in ordinary substantial buildings with partial collapse. Damage great in poorly built structures. Fall of chimneys, factory stacks, columns, monuments, walls. Heavy furniture overturned. IX. Damage considerable in specially designed structures; well-designed frame structures thrown out of plumb. Damage great in substantial buildings, with partial collapse. Buildings shifted off foundations. X. Some well-built wooden structures destroyed; most masonry and frame structures destroyed with foundations. Rails bent. XI. Few, if any (masonry) structures remain standing. Bridges destroyed. Rails bent greatly. XII. Damage total. Lines of sight and level are destroyed. Object thrown in the air. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 7-3 as intra-plate activity. Bedrock in Connecticut and New England in general is highly capable of transmitting seismic energy; thus, the area impacted by an earthquake in Connecticut can be four to 40 times greater than that of California. In addition, population density is up to 3.5 times greater in Connecticut than in California, potentially putting a greater number of people at risk. The built environment in Connecticut includes old, non-reinforced masonry that is not seismically designed. Those who live or wo rk in non-reinforced masonry buildings, especially those built on filled land or unstable soils, are at the highest risk for injury due to the occurrence of an earthquake. 7.3 Historic Record According to the USGS Earthquake Hazards Pr ogram, Connecticut is a region of very minor seismic activity. This assessment is based on lack of historical and instrumental reports of strong earthquakes. However, ea rthquakes do occur in this region. The New England states regularly re gister seismic events. According to the Northeast Region Emergenc y Consortium, there were 137 recorded earthquakes in Connecticut between 1568 and 1989. The mo st severe earthquake in Connecticut’s history occurred at East Haddam on May 16, 1791. Stone walls and chimneys were toppled during this quake. Additional instances of seismic activity occurring in and around Connecticut includes is provided below, based on information provided in USGS documents, the Connecticut Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan (2007), other municipal hazard mitigation plans, and newspaper articles. ‰ A devastating earthquake near Three Ri vers, Quebec on February 5, 1663 caused moderate damage in parts of Connecticut. ‰ Strong earthquakes in Massachusetts in November 1727 and November 1755 were felt strongly in Connecticut. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 7-4 ‰ In April 1837, a moderate tremor occurred at Hartford, causing alarm but little damage. ‰ In August 1840, another moderate tremor with its epicenter 10 to 20 miles north of New Haven shook Hartford buildings but caused little damage. ‰ In October 1845, an Intensity V earthquake occurred in Bridgeport. An Intensity V earthquake would be approximately 4.3 on the Richter scale. ‰ On June 30, 1858, New Haven and Derby we re shaken by a moderate tremor. ‰ On July 28, 1875, an early morning tremor caused Intensity V damage throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts. ‰ The second strongest earthqua ke to impact Connecticut occurred near Hartford on November 14, 1925. No significant damage was reported. ‰ The Timiskarning, Ontario earthquake of November 1935 caused minor damage as far south as Cornwall, Connecticut. This earthquake affected one million square miles of Canada and the United States. ‰ An earthquake near Massena, New York in September 1944 produced mild effects in Hartford, Marion, New Haven, and Meriden, Connecticut. ‰ An Intensity V earthquake was reported in Stamford in March of 1953, causing shaking but no damage. ‰ On November 3, 1968, another Intensity V earthquake in southern Connecticut caused minor damage in Madison and Chester. ‰ Recent earthquake activity has been recorded near New Haven in 1988, 1989, and 1990 (2.0, 2.8, and 2.8 in magnitude, respec tively), in Greenwich in 1991 (3.0 magnitude), and on Long Island in East Hampton, New York in 1992. ‰ The most recent earthquake to occur in Connecticut occurred on March 11, 2008. It was a 2.0 magnitude with its epicenter three miles northwest of the center of Chester. 7.4 Existing Programs, Policies, and Mitigation Measures The Connecticut Building Codes include desi gn criteria for buildings specific to municipality, as adopted by the Building Officials and C ode Administrators (BOCA). NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 7-5 These include the seismic coefficients for building design in the Town of Bethlehem. The Town has adopted these codes for new construction and they are enforced by the Town Building Official. Due to the infreque nt nature of damaging earthquakes, land use policies in the Town of Bethlehem do not address earthquake hazards. The Subdivision Regulations of the Town of Bethlehem (Section 3.7.2) prohibits development on slopes greater than 25%. Th e Town reserves the right to impose more stringent regulations on a site to maintain the stability of the bank under the proposed conditions. 7.5 Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment According to the USGS, Connecticut is at a low risk for experiencing a damaging earthquake. The USGS has determined that the State of Connecticut has a 10% chance that at some point in a 50-year period an earthquake would cause peak acceleration (ground shaking) values of 4% to 8% of th e force of gravity. To appreciate why these values of ground shaking are expres sed as a percentage of the force of gravity, note that it requires more than 100% of the force of gr avity to throw objects up in the air. In terms of felt effects and damage, ground mo tion at the level of several percent of gravity corresponds to the threshold of dama ge to buildings and houses (an earthquake intensity of approximately V). For compar ison, reports of “dishes, windows and doors disturbed” corresponds to an intensity of about IV, or about 2% of gravity. Reports of “some chimneys broken” correspond to an intens ity of about VII, or about 10% to 20% of gravity. According to the USGS Nationa l Seismic Hazard Mapping Project (2008), an earthquake impacting the Town of Bethlehem has a 2% chance of exceeding a peak acceleration of 10-12% of the force of gravity in a 50-year period. According to the FEMA HAZUS-HM Estimated Annualized Earthquake Losses for the United States (2008) document, FEMA used pr obabilistic curves developed by the USGS NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 7-6 Liquefaction is a phenomenon in which the strength and stiffness of a soil are reduced by earthquake shaking or other rapid loading. It occurs in soils at or near saturation, especially the finer textured soils. The AEL is the expected losses due to earthquakes each year. Note that this number represents a long term average; thus actual earthquake losses may be much greater or non- existent for a particular year. for the National Earthquakes Hazards Reduc tion Program to calculate Annualized Earthquake Losses (AEL) for the United Stat es. Based on the results of this study, FEMA calculated the AEL for Connectic ut to be $11,622,000. This value placed Connecticut 30 th out of the 50 states in terms of AEL. The magnitude of this value stems from the fact that Connecticut has a large building inventory that would be damaged in a severe earthquake, and takes into account the lack of damaging earthquakes in th e historical record. The current Connecticut Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (2007) states that “there is a 66% chance that an earthquake of a 2.7 magnitude or greater” will occur in the area of Bethlehem. According to the previous Connecticut Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (2004), the State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Management notes the chance that a damaging earthquake of magnitude 5.0 or greater will occur within the state in any one year is 5%, and that the odds of an ear thquake of magnitude 6.0 are about one in 300 each year. Therefore, the Town of Bethle hem is unlikely to experience a damaging earthquake in any given year. This belief is reinforced by the timeline and damages recorded in the historical reco rd presented in Section 7.3. Surficial earth materials behave differently in response to seismic activity. Unconsolidated materials such as sand and artificial fill can amplify the shaking associated with an earthquake. In addition, artificial fill material has the potential for liquefaction. When liquefaction occurs, the strength of the soil decreases a nd the ability of soil to support building foundations and bridges is reduce d. Increased shaking and liquefaction can cause greater damage to buildings and st ructures, and a greater loss of life. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 7-7 As explained in Section 2.3, several areas in the Town of Bethlehem are underlain by sand and gravel. Figure 2-5 depicts surficial ma terials in the Town. Structures in these areas are at increased risk from earthquakes due to amplification of seismic energy and/or collapse. The best mitigation for future de velopment in areas of sandy material may be application of the most stri ngent building codes, or po ssibly the prohibition of new construction. However, many of these areas occur in floodplains associated with the Weekeepeemee River, East Spring Brook, and th e Nonnewaug River, so they are already regulated. The areas that are not at increas ed risk during an earthquake due to unstable soils are the areas in Figure 2-5 underlain by glacial till. Areas of steep slopes can collapse during an earthquake, creating landslides. Seismic activity can also break utility lines, such as water mains, electric and telephone lines, and stormwater management systems. Damage to u tility lines can lead to fires, especially in electric and gas mains. Dam failure can also pose a significant threat to developed areas during an earthquake. For this Plan, dam failure has been addressed separately in Section 9.0. 7.6 Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives As earthquakes are difficult to predict and can affect the entire Town of Bethlehem, potential mitigation can only include adherence to building code s, education of residents, and adequate planning. The following poten tial mitigation measures have been identified: ‰ Consider preventing new residential deve lopment in areas prone to collapse. ‰ Continue to require adherence to the state building codes. ‰ Ensure that municipal departments have ad equate backup facilities in case earthquake damage occurs. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 7-8 In addition, important recommendations that apply to all hazards are listed in Section 10.1. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 8-1 8.0 DAM FAILURE 8.1 Setting Dam failures can be triggered suddenly, with little or no warning, from other natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes. Dam failures often occur during flooding when the dam breaks under the additional force of fl oodwaters. In addition, a dam failure can cause a chain reaction where the sudden re lease of floodwaters causes the next dam downstream to fail. With 19 registered dams and potentially several other minor dams in the Town, dam failure can occur almost anywhere in Bethlehem. While flooding from a dam failure generally has a medium geogra phic extent, the effects are potentially catastrophic. Fortunately, a major dam failure is considered only a possible natural hazard event in any given year (Appended Table 2). 8.2 Hazard Assessment The Connecticut DEP administers the statew ide Dam Safety Program, and designates a classification to each state-registered dam based on its potential hazard. ‰ Class AA dams are negligible hazard potential dams that upon failure would result in no measurable damage to roadways and stru ctures, and negligible economic loss. ‰ Class A dams are low hazard potential dams th at upon failure would result in damage to agricultural land and unimproved road ways, with minimal economic loss. ‰ Class BB dams are moderate hazard potential dams that upon failure would result in damage to normally unoccupied storage structures, damage to low volume roadways, and moderate economic loss. ‰ Class B dams are significant hazard potential dams that upon failure would result in possible loss of life, minor damage to ha bitable structures, residences, hospitals, NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 8-2 convalescent homes, schools, and the like, damage or interruption of service of utilities, damage to primary roadways, and significant economic loss. ‰ Class C dams are high potential hazard dams th at upon failure would result in loss of life and major damage to habitable structures, residences, hosp itals, convalescent homes, schools, and main highways with great economic loss. As of 1996, there were 19 DEP-registered dams within the Town of Bethlehem, of which one is Class AA, nine are Class A, six are Cl ass BB, one is Class B, one is Class C, and one is undefined. The list of Class B and C dams was updated by the DEP in 2007, with five dams being reduced from Class B status. Dams in Bethlehem are listed in Table 8-1. Note that the registered names of some dams do not match the current road names. Table 8-1 Dams Registered with the DEP in the Town of Bethlehem Number Name Location Class 1001 Bronson Lockwood Dam Off Kasson Road C 1002 Addie Road Pond Dam Molzon Lane BB* 1003 Benjamin Pond Dam Munger Lane BB 1004 Watertown Reservoir Dam Off Kasson Road BB* 1005 Bird Pond Dam Wood Creek Road B 1006 Long Meadow Pond Dam Lake Drive BB* 1007 Zieglers Pond Dam Carmel Hill Road North BB* 1008 Kassar Road Pond Dam Kasson Road BB* 1009 Asmus Dam Guilds Hollow Road A 1010 Leever Dam Guilds Hollow Road A 1011 Spring Brook Pond Dam Off Woodland Road A 1012 Messenger Lane Pond Dam Off Munger Lane A 1013 Unnamed Dam Off Hickory Lane A 1014 Park Pond Dam Woods Edge Road A 1015 Barnes Pond Dam Wood Creek Road A 1016 Assard Pond Dam Off Woodcreek Road A 1017 Newman Pond Dam Arch Bridge Road – 1020 Thurber Pond Dam Off Harrison Lane A 1022 Angelus Pond Dam Off Flanders Road AA *Rated a Class B dam in 1996, but was no longer rated Class B in 2007. This section primarily discusses the possible effects of failure of significant and high hazard (Class B & C) dams. In addition, th is section discusses the failure of Long NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 8-3 Meadow Pond Dam as it is owned by the Town of Bethlehem. Failure of a Class C dam has the potential for loss of life and property damage totaling millions of dollars. Failure of a Class B dam has the potential for loss of life and minor damage to property and critical facilities. Bronson Lockwood Dam is the only Class C dam in Bethlehem, and Bird Pond Dam is currently the only Class B dam in Bethlehem. The Class B and C dams, along with the dam failure inundation area for Bronson Lockwood Dam, are shown in Figure 8-1. A close-up of the area downstream of Long Meadow Pond is shown on Figure 8-2. 8.3 Historic Record Approximately 200 notable dam and reservoi r failures occurred worldwide in the twentieth century. More than 8,000 people died in these disa sters. The following is a listing of some of the more ca tastrophic dam failures in Connecticut’s recent history: ‰ 1938 and 1955: Exact numbers of dam failures caused by these floods are unavailable, but Connecticut DEP believes that more dams were damaged in these events than in the 1982 or 2005 flooding events. ‰ 1961: Crystal Lake dam in Middletown fa iled, injuring three and severely damaging 11 homes. ‰ 1963: Failure of the Spaulding Pond Dam in Norwich caused six deaths and six million dollars in damage (1963 dollars). ‰ June 5-6, 1982: Connecticut experienced a severe flood that caused 17 dams to fail and seriously damaged 31 others. Failure of the Bushy Hill Pond Dam in Deep River caused $50 million in damages, and the remaining dam failures caused nearly $20 million in damages. 9 ; % % !a ? ®t ®t nn 9: ¨ © Figure 8-1: High Hazard Dams in Bethlehem 0 0.25 0.5Miles COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTSCENTRAL NAUGATUCK VALLEY ² ” )61 ” )132 Bronson Lockwood Reservoir Long Meadow Pond Bird Pond Dam Bird Pond Bronson Lockwood Dam ” )61 ” )132 ? Facilities 9 Town Offices © Fire Stations a Police Stations Schools n 9: ¨ Public Works ; Wellspring Foundation Elderly Housing Facilities Æ T Retirement Community Inundation Area Legend Town Boundary Major Roads Local Roads Water Bodies Streams Dam Hazard Class % C % B For general pl anning purpose s only. Delineatio ns may not be ex act. Source: “Roads” , c1984 – 2008 Tel e Atlas , Rel. 04/08. “Town Bou ndary”, “Hydrograp hy”, “Flood Zones”, DEP “Inundation Area”, Em ergen cy Operation s Plan, Bron son E. Lockwood Reserv oir Dam & Watertow n Reserv oir Dam, Beth lehem, Connecticut by Roald Haestad, I nc. April 1997 “Facilities”, COGCNV August 2008 East Spring Brook Long Meadow Po nd Sub set Area Bethl ehem , CT Town of Beth leh em Na tura l Ha zard P re-Di saster Mi tiga tion Plan Figur e 8-2 LOCAT IO N: Map B y: SJB Scale : 1″=500′ SH EET: 99 Real ty Drive Ches hire, C onnec ticut 06410 (203) 271- 1773 F ax: (203) 272- 9733 ww w.m iloneandm acbr oom .com NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 8-6 More recently, the NCDC reports that flash flooding on April 16, 1996 caused three small dams in Middletown and one in Wallingford to breach, and the Connecticut DEP reported that the sustained heavy rainfall from Oct ober 7 to 15, 2005 caused 14 complete or partial dam failures, and damage to 30 other dams throughout the State. A sample of damaged dams is summarized in Table 8-2. Table 8-2 Dams Damaged Due to Flooding from October 2005 Storms Number Name Location Class Damage Type Ownership —– Somerville Pond Dam Somers — Partial Breach DEP 4701 Windsorville Dam East Windsor BB Minor Damage Private 10503 Mile Creek Dam Old Lyme B Full Breach Private —– Staffordville Reservoir #3 Union — Partial Breach CT Water Co. 8003 Hanover Pond Dam Meriden C Partial Breach Meriden —– ABB Pond Dam Bloomfield — Minor Damage Private 4905 Springborn Dam Enfield BB Minor Damage DEP 13904 Cains Pond Dam Suffield A Full Breach Private 13906 Schwartz Pond Dam Suffield BB Partial Breach Private 14519 Sessions Meadow Dam Union BB Minor Damage DEP No major dam failures have occurred in the Town of Bethlehem. According to Town personnel, the dams throughout Town are in vary ing stages of condition, with the higher hazard dams being in good to excellent condition. The following paragraphs provide a description and highlight the general condition these dams based on information available at the Connecticut DEP: ‰ Bronson E. Lockwood Dam – This reservoir dam is owned by the Watertown Fire District and located in the headwaters of East Spring Brook in northeastern Bethlehem. It consists of an earth and rockfill dam approximately 600 feet long. The dam is 142 feet high and 2,000 feet long. Ou tlet works are controlled by a gate house in the center of the structure. The dam is maintained by the Watertown Fire District and is believed to be in good to excellent condition. An Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) for this dam from 1997 is on file with the DEP. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 8-7 Dams regulated by the DEP must be designed to pass the 100-year rainfall event with one foot of freeboard, a factor of safety against overtopping. Critical and high hazard dams are required to meet a design standard greater than the 100-year rainfall event. ‰ Bird Pond Dam – This private dam is located at 10 Woodcreek Road in central Bethlehem. The dam impounds an unnamed tributary on the way to its confluence with the Weekeepeemee River. Outlet work s are believed to include an earthen and concrete overflow into the outlet stream channel. The dam is maintained by the owner and is believed to be in good condition. ‰ Long Meadow Pond Dam – This dam is owned by the Town of Bethlehem and is currently rated below a Class B dam. This dam overtopped during the April 2007 storms, and though the dam sustained some da mage, it did not fail. The Connecticut DEP sent the Town of Bethlehem an e ngineering request letter in October 2007 requiring the Town to retain an engin eer to perform a hydraulic and hydrologic analysis of the dam, and to design improve ments to allow the dam to safely pass the 100-year storm event. 8.4 Existing Programs, Policies, and Mitigation Measures The dam safety statutes are codified in S ection 22a-401 through 22a-411 inclusive of the Connecticut General Statutes. Sections 22a-409-1 and 22a-4 09-2 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, have been enacted which govern the registration, classification, and inspection of dams. Dams must be registered by the owner with the DEP, according to Connecticut Public Act 83-38. Dam Inspection Regulations require that over 600 dams in Connecticut be in spected annually. The DEP currently prioritizes inspections of those dams which pose the greatest potential threat to downstream persons and properties. Dams found to be unsafe under the inspection program mu st be repaired by the owner. Depending on the se verity of the identified NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 8-8 deficiency, an owner is allowed reasonable time to make the required repairs or remove the dam. If a dam owner fails to make necessa ry repairs to the subject structure, the DEP may issue an administrative order requiring the owner to restore the structure to a safe condition and may refer noncompliance with su ch an order to the Attorney General’s Office for enforcement. As a means of last resort, the DEP Commissioner is empowered by statute to remove or correct , at the expense of the owner, any unsafe structures which present a clear and presen t danger to public safety. Owners of Class C dams are required to ma intain Emergency Operation Plans. The Watertown Fire District is responsible for maintaining the EOP for the Bronson E. Lockwood Dam. It is believed that no EOP exists for Bird Pond Dam. 8.5 Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment By definition, failure of Class C dams may cause catastrophic loss of life and property. Therefore, the failure of Bronson E. Lo ckwood Dam would likely have the highest impact on the residents and infrastructure of the Town of Bethlehem. However, the failure of any of the 18 other dams in Town could also have impacts within the Town of Bethlehem. The impacts related to the larg er and higher-hazard dams in Town, namely the Bronson E. Lockwood Dam, Bird Pond Dam, and Long Meadow Pond Dam, are described in general detail below. Bronson E. Lockwood Dam The dam failure inundation area shown in Figure 8-1 and described below for the Bronson E. Lockwood dam was scanned in and redrawn from its EOP. Thus, the dam failure inundation area shown in Figures 8- 1 is for planning purposes only and does not replace the official EOP map. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 8-9 Bronson E. Lockwood Dam is owned by the Watertown Fire District and is used for public water supply. Based on dam failure inun dation maps from the EOP, a dam failure at full pool height (worst- case scenario) would cause flooding along the East Spring Brook corridor all the way to the Nonnewaug River at the Watertown town boundary. The Watertown Reservoir Dam immediately downstream would likely fail, and water would likely wash out Route 132. Floodwater s would backwater up an unnamed stream to flood the area around Kassar Road Pond Dam, and Spring Brook Pond Dam would likely fail. Magnolia Hill Road and Maddox Road would likely be overtopped, and several houses along Nonnewaug Road / Paradise Valley Road would likely be inundated. Flood waters would spread in th e area of Nonnewaug Road, Hickory Lane, and Porter Hill Road, ending the inundation area at the confluence of East Spring Brook with the Nonnewaug River. Bird Pond Dam Bird Pond Dam is privately owned and impounds an unnamed tributary to the Weekeepeemee River. A failure of this dam would likely overtop Wood Creek Road, potentially flooding several homes nearby. Flood waters could also over top Route 132 twice downstream, and would likely washout th e Asmus Dam as well. Downstream of the Asmus Dam, floodwaters would enter th e Weekeepeemee River and would likely not cause further flooding damage, although damage c ould be exacerbated if the failure Bird Pond Dam was caused in part by the failure of Long Meadow Pond Dam (see below). Long Meadow Pond Dam Long Meadow Pond Dam is owned by the Town of Bethlehem. The dam was formerly rated Class B but has recently been downgraded to at highest a Class BB. Long Meadow Pond is shallow (ten to 12 feet maximum dept h) but is very long so it contains a lot of volume. The Town has been consistently performing all the necessary and required maintenance for this dam. Roald Haestad, Inc. performed an inspection following the NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 8-10 dam overtopping in April 2007 and made recommendations regarding the design of this dam. The overtopping of the dam occurred because the dam was not properly designed to pass the 100-year storm event. The To wn is discussing its options with the DEP regarding correcting the design flaw, but wants to acquire grant funding to complete the project. Should this dam fail, it is likely that floodwat ers would travel down the outlet stream and cause damage to Lake Drive and Benjam in Pond Dam. Some flood waters could potentially overtop Munger Lane and drai n south through the wetlands to Bird Pond, while the majority would likely conti nue southwest through forest into the Weekeepeemee River. If the dam failure occurs during heavy rain, the Weekeepeemee could already be flooded, and the additional waters would exacerbate flooding conditions downstream, particularly at Wood Creek Road, Crane Hollow Road, and in the Town of Woodbury. Increased flooding conditions coul d also potentially occur along the Pomperaug River in Woodbury and Southbury. 8.6 Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives The Dam Safety Section of the DEP Inland Water Resources Division is charged with the responsibility for administrati on and enforcement of Connecticut’s dam safety laws. The existing statutes require that permits be obtained to construc t, repair, or alter dams, and that existing dams be registered and periodi cally inspected to assure that their continued operation does not constitute a hazard to life, health, or property. The Connecticut DEP also administers th e Flood and Erosion Control Board program, which can provide non-competitive state funding fo r repair of municipality-owned dams. Funding is limited by the state bond commission. State statute Section 25-84 allows municipalities to form Flood and Erosion Cont rol Boards, but municipalities must take action to create the board with in the context of the local government, such as by revising the municipal charter. The Town of Bethle hem may wish to establish such a Flood and NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008, REVISED DECEMBER 2008 8-11 Erosion Control Board to oversee local flooding and erosion problems and municipal dams. More information regarding the Flood and Erosion Control Board program can be found at http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/water_inland/ flood_mgmt/fecb_program.pdf. The Town of Bethlehem should work with the Watertown Fire District, private property owners, and the Connecticut DEP to stay up to date on the evolution of Emergency Operations Plans and Dam Failu re Analyses for the significant and high hazard dams in Bethlehem. When possible, copies of these documents should be made available at the Town Hall for reference and public viewing. With regard to Long Meadow Pond Dam, the Town of Bethlehem is pursuing modifications of the dam to pass the 100-year flood event, and should review and update the Emergency Operations Plan when modi fications are completed. The Town should also maximize Town emergency preparedne ss for a potential dam failure. The Town should continue its ongoing program of inspection and maintenance. In addition, all Class C & B dams in the Town should continue to be regularly inspected by their respective owners and DEP, with maintenance performed as required to keep the dams in safe and functional order. The Town s hould also consider implementing occasional Town inspections of Class A, AA, BB, and unranked dams. The Town of Bethlehem should consider in cluding dam failure areas into a CodeRED- style emergency notification system. This system combines database and GIS mapping technologies to deliver outbound emergency noti fications to geographic areas or specific groups of people such as emergency responde r teams at a rate of up to 60,000 calls per hour. This technology should be used to wa rn downstream residents of an impending dam failure and facilitate evacuation. The COGCNV is currently investigating the installation of such technology in al l of its member municipalities. In addition, there are several suggested potential mitigation strategies which are applicable to all hazards in this plan . These are outlined in the Section 10.1. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 9-1 9.0 WILDFIRES 9.1 Setting The ensuing discussion about wildfires is focused on the undeveloped woo ded and shrubby areas of Bethlehem, along with low-de nsity suburban type development found at the margins of these areas known as the wild land interface. Structural fires in higher density areas of the To wn are not considered. The Town of Bethlehem is considered a low -risk area for wildfires. Wildfires are of particular concern in the ma ny wooded areas and other areas with poor access for fire- fighting equipment. Figure 9-1 presents th e wildfire risk areas for the Town of Bethlehem. Hazards associated with wild fires include property damage and loss of habitat. Wildfires are considered a likely ev ent each year, but when one occurs it is generally contained to a small range w ith limited damage to non-forested areas. 9.2 Hazard Assessment The current Connecticut Hazard Mitigation Plan does not specifically define wildfires separate from forest fires, but wildfires are well-defined by the Massachusetts Hazard Mitigation Plan as being “hi ghly destructive, uncontrollable fires.” Although the term brings to mind images of tall trees engulfed in flames, wildfires can occur as brush and shrub fires, especially under dry conditi ons. Wildfires are also known as “wildland fires.” Nationwide, humans have caused approximately 90% of all wildfires in the last decade. Accidental and negligent act s include unattended campfires, sparks, burning debris, and irresponsibly discarded cigarettes. The re maining 10% of fires are caused mostly by lightning. 254 254254 254 254 254 254254254254254254254254254254254254254254254 254 254 254 254254 254 254254 254 254254254 254 254254254 254254254 254 254 254254 254 254254254254254254254254 254254254254254 254 254254254254254254 254 254 254 254 254 254254254254254254254254254 254 254 254254254 254254 254254 254254254 254 254 254254254 254254254254254254254254254 254254254254 ¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼ ¼¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼ ¼¼¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼ ¼¼¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼ ¼¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼¼¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼¼¼ ¼ ¼ ¼¼ ¼¼ ¼ ¼¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼ ¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼¼ ¼¼ 9 ; !a © Figure 9-1: Bethlehem Wildfire Risk Area 0 0.5 1Miles COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTSCENTRAL NAUGATUCK VALLEY ² ” )132 ” )61 ” )61 ” )132 ? ® t ®t n n 9: ¨ Legend Town Boundary Major Roads Local Roads Water Bodies Streams Wildfire Type ? Facilities 9 Town Offices © Fire Stations a Police Stations Schools n 9: ¨ Public Works ; Wellspring Foundation Elderly Housing Facilities Æ T Retirement Community ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼Forest 254 254 254254Hay Fields For general planning p urposes only. Deline ations m ay not be ex act. Source: “Roads”, c1984 – 2008 T ele Atlas, Rel. 04/08. “T own Boundary”, DEP “Facilities”, ” Wildfire A rea”, COGCNV August 2008 NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 9-3 Nevertheless, wildfires are also a natural process, and their suppression is now recognized to have created a larger fire h azard, as live and dead vegetation accumulates in areas where fire has been prevented. In addition, the absence of fire has altered or disrupted the cycle of natural plant succe ssion and wildlife habitat in many areas. Consequently, federal, state and local agen cies are committed to finding ways, such as prescribed burning to reintroduce fire into na tural ecosystems, while recognizing that fire fighting and suppression are still important. Connecticut has a particular vulnerability to fire hazards where urban development and wildland areas are in close proximity. Th e “wildland/urban interface” is where many such fires are fought. Wildland areas are subj ect to fires because of weather conditions and fuel supply. An isolated wildland fire may not be a threat, but the combined effect of having residences, businesses, and lifelines ne ar a wildland area causes increased risk to life and property. Thus, a fire that might have been allowed to burn itself out with a minimum of fire fighting or containment in th e past is now fought to prevent fire damage to surrounding homes and commercial areas, as we ll as smoke threats to health and safety in these areas. 9.3 Historic Record According to the Connecticut Natural H azards Mitigation Plan (2007), Connecticut enacted its first state-wide fo rest fire control system in 1905, when the state was largely rural with very little secondary growth forest. By 1927, the state had most of the statutory foundations for today’ s forest fire control programs and policies in place, such as the State Forest Fire Warden system, a netw ork of fire lookout towers and patrols, and regulations regarding open bur ning. The severe fire weather in the 1940’s prompted the state legislature to join the Northeastern Inte rstate Forest Fire Protection Compact with its neighbors in 1949. Today, most of Connecticut’s forested areas are secondary growth forests. According to the Connecticut DEP, forest has reclaimed over 500,000 acres of land that was used for agriculture in 1914. However, that new forest has been NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 9-4 fragmented in the past few decades by residential development. The urban/wildland interface is increasing each year as sprawl ex tends further out from Connecticut’s cities. The technology used to combat wildfires ha s significantly improved since the early 20 th century. An improved transportation networ k, coupled with advances in firefighting equipment, communication technology, and training, has improved the ability of firefighters to minimize damage due to wildfi res in the state. For example, radio and cellular technologies have greatly improved fire fighting command capabilities. According to the USDA Forest Service Annual Wildfire Summary Report for 1994 through 2003, an average of 600 acres per year in Connecticut was burned by wildfires. In general, the fires are small and detected quickly, with most wildfires being contained to less than 10 acres in size. The number one cause of wildfires is arson, with about half of all wildfires being intentionally set. Traditionally, the highest forest fire danger in Connecticut occurs in the spring from mid- March to mid-May. The worst wildfire year for Connecticut in the past decade occurred during the extremely hot and dry summer of 1999. Over 1733 acres of Connecticut burned in 345 separate wildfires, an averag e of about five acres per fire. Only one wildfire occurred between 1994 and 2003 that bu rned over 300 acres, and a wildfire in 1986 in the Mattatuck State Forest in the nearby Town of Watertown, CT burned 300 acres. More recently, a 30-acre wildfire occu rred in Oxford at the south end of the Central Naugatuck Valley region on April 19, 2008. Much of Bethlehem is privately owned forest, and fires have o ccurred throughout the Town. 9.4 Existing Programs, Policies, and Mitigation Measures Existing mitigation for wildland fire control is typically focused on Fire Department training and maintaining an adequate s upply of equipment. The Town of NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 9-5 Bethlehem Subdivision Regulations require the creation of fire ponds for new subdivisions or re-subdivisions. In addition, new roads, subdivisions, and fire ponds are required to allow for fire truck access. Unlike wildfires on the west coast of the Unite d States where the fires are allowed to burn toward development and then stopped, the Beth lehem Fire Department goes to the fires. This proactive approach is beli eved to be effective for controlling wildfires. The Fire Department has some water storage capabilit y, but primarily relies on the use of 32 fire ponds with dry hydrants to fight fires throughout Town. The Bethlehem Fire Department is often the first responder for fires that happen in the Land Trust on the Watertown/Woodbury/Beth lehem boundary, and coordinates with the Watertown and Woodbury Fire De partments to control these forest fires. The Fire Department is also the first responder to part of Camp Columbia’s property off Munger Lane and the nearby state forest in Morris. The DEP has recently increased public access to this area, so the Town feels it is at a higher risk for fires. The Bethlehem Fire Department has a four-wheel drive brush tr uck capable of accessing remote locations. The Town also has mutual aid agreements with all of its neighbors. Finally, the DEP Forestry Division uses th e rainfall data recorded by the Automated Flood Warning system (see Section 3.4) to comp ile forest fire probability forecasts. This allows the Division and the Town of Bethlehem to monitor the drier areas of the state in an effort to reduce forest fire risk. 9.5 Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment The most common causes of wildfires are ars on, lightning strikes, and fires started from downed trees hitting electrical lines. Thus, wildfires have the potential to occur anywhere and at any time in both undeveloped and lightly developed areas. The extensive forests and fields c overing the state are prime locati ons for a wildfire. In many NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 9-6 areas, structures and subdivisions are built abutting forest borders, creating areas of particular vulnerability. Wildfires are more common in rural areas than in developed areas, as most fires in populated areas are quickly noticed and contained. The likelihood of a severe wildfire developi ng is lessened by the vast networ k of water features in the state, which create natural breaks likely to stop the spread of a fire. During long periods of drought, these natural features may dry up, in creasing the vulnerability of the state to wildfires. According to the Connecticut DEP, the actual fo rest fire risk in Connecticut is low due to several factors. First, the overall incidence of forest fires is very low. Secondly, as the wildfire/forest fire prone areas become frag mented due to development, the local fire departments have increased access to those neighborhoods for fire fighting equipment. Third, the problematic interface areas are site specific, such as driveways too narrow to permit emergency vehicles. Finally, trained fi re fighters at the local and state level are readily available to fight fires in the state, and inte r-municipal cooperation on such instances is common. Based on the historic record presented in Section 9.3, most wildfires in Connecticut are relatively small. In the drought year of 1999, the average wildfire burned five acres in comparison to the two most extreme wildfire s recorded since 1986 that burned 300 acres each. Given the availability of fire-fighting water in the Town, including the use of nearby water bodies, and long-standing mutual ai d assurances the Town Fire Department has with neighboring communities, it is believe d that these average and severe values are applicable to the Town as well. Indeed, To wn personnel reported that the largest fires only burn a couple of acres before being contai ned despite the rural nature of the Town. The wildfire risk areas presented in Figure 9-1 were defined as being contiguous wooded areas greater than 30 acres in size with limited access. These areas are generally associated with wooded water company lands , privately owned land trust property and forests, and Town-owned open space. The limited access conservation properties are NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 9-7 considered to be at the highest risk for fires. As each area borders residential sections of the Town, residents on the outskirts of these risk areas are the most vulnerable to fire, heat, and smoke effects of wildfires. As described in Section 2, Bethlehem has many rural areas with hayfields. Town personnel feel that these areas ar e also at risk for wildfires, as such fires could quickly encompass the entire field during a drought. These areas are delineated separately on Figure 9-1, and often occur near residential areas and roadways, presenting an increased risk of smoke, heat, and fi re damage to residents. Despite having a large amount of forest/urban interface, the overall risk of wildfires occurring in the Town of Bethlehem is considered to be low. Such fires fail to spread far due speed of detection and strong fire response. The Town has no state parks, so there are few fires caused by out of control campfires . Town personnel report that the larger private tracts of forest do not te nd to attract kids. As most of the Town has fire-fighting water available nearby in the forms of fire ponds, a large amount of water can be made readily available for fire fighting equipment. The Town also has the support of the Watertown Fire District to pr ovide access to their extensive watershed lands in case of a wildfire. Recall from Figure 2-7, Figure 2-8, and Figure 2-9 that elderly, linguistically isolated, and disabled populations reside in the Town of Bethlehem. In comparing these figures with the wildfire risk areas presented in Fi gure 9-1, it is possible that several hundred of the population impacted by a wildfire could consist of the elderly, a small number could consist of linguistically isol ated households, and several w ith disabilities could reside near wildfire impact areas. Thus, it is impor tant for the Bethlehem Fire Department to be prepared to assist these special populations during emergencies, including wildfire. There are many areas of Town where roads are narrow and one-way. This hinders emergency access to fight fires. This is a particular problem around Long Meadow Pond, NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 9-8 such as on West Shore Drive and in the private Kasson community. Fire trucks often need to drive into such areas in line with the last one in being the first one to back out as there is no place to turn around. In other places, fire trucks simply can’t get to the houses that are up narrow dirt roads. The Fire Department should consider public education in these areas and encourage homeowners and pr ivate communities to widen the access for emergency vehicles if possible. In summary, areas adjacent to hayfields are cons idered most at risk from wildfires. In addition, there is concern about fires in th e wooded southeastern, northern, and western sections of Town. While fires are infrequent in these areas, they can often be difficult to access. The Town has the support of the owners of the tracts of open space to provide access to their lands in case of a wildfire. Should a wildfire occur, it seems reasonable to estimate that the average area to burn would be five acres, consistent with the state average during long period of drought. In the case of an extreme wildfire during a l ong drought on forested lands, it is estimated that up to 300 acres could burn before c ontainment due to the limited access of those lands. Residential areas borde ring such lands would also be vulnerable to wildfire, but would likely be more impacted by heat and smoke than by structure fires due to the strong fire response in the Town. 9.6 Potential Mitigation Measures, Strategies, and Alternatives Potential mitigation measures for wildfires include a mixture of prevention, education, and emergency planning. Although educational materials are available through the Fire Department, they should be made available at other municipal offices as well. Education of homeowners on methods of protecting their ho mes is far more effective than trying to steer growth away from potential wildfire area s, especially given that the available land that is environmentally appropriate for development may be forested. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 9-9 Water system improvements are an important class of potential mitigation for wildfires. The following recommendation could be implemented to mitigate forest fire risk: ‰ The Town of Bethlehem should continue to require the installation of fire ponds and dry hydrants in new subdivisions, and should look to install additional ponds where adequate water supplies do not currently exist. ‰ Encourage property owners to widen access roads such that fire trucks and other emergency vehicles can access remote locations. Other potential mitigation strategies for preventing wildfires include: ‰ Continue to promote inter-municipal c ooperation in fire fighting efforts; ‰ Continue to support public outreach programs to increase awareness of forest fire danger and how to use comm on fire fighting equipment; ‰ Continue reviewing subdivision applic ations to ensure new neighborhoods and driveways are properly sized to a llow access of emergency vehicles; ‰ Provide outreach programs on how to pr operly manage burning and campfires on private property; ‰ Distribute copies of a booklet such as “Is Your Home Protected from Wildfire Disaster? – A Homeowner’s Guide to Wildfire Retrofit” when developers and homeowners pick up or drop off applications; ‰ Patrol Town-owned open space and parks to prevent unauthorized campfires; ‰ Enforce regulations and permits for open burning; and ‰ Continue to place utilities underground. In addition, specific recommendati ons that apply to all hazards are listed in Section 10.1. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 10-1 10.0 RECOMMENDATIONS 10.1 Additional Recommendations Recommendations that are appli cable to two, three, or four hazards were discussed in the applicable subsections of S ections 3.0 through 9.0. For example, placing utilities underground is a recommendation for hurrican e, summer storm, winter storm, and wildfire mitigation. A remaining class of r ecommendations is applicable to all hazards, because it includes recommendations for im proving public safety and planning for emergency response. Instead of repeating th ese recommendations in section after section of this Plan, these are described herein. Informing and educating the public about how to protect themselves and their property from natural hazards is essential to any su ccessful hazard mitigation strategy. The Local Emergency Planning Commission or Fire Depa rtment should be charged with creating and disseminating informational pamphlets and guides to public locations such as the library, post office, senior center, and town hall. In particular, additional guides are recommended regarding fire protection, fire safety, and the importance of prevention. Such pamphlets include “Are you ready? A Guide to Citizen Preparedness” co-published by the American Red Cross, FEMA, and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and includes recommendations for dealing with heat waves, hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, flooding, fire, and wi nter storms. Other pamphlets include: ‰ “Food & Water in an Emergency” ‰ “Disaster Supply Kit” ‰ “Family Disaster Plan” ‰ “Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and Other Special Needs”, and ‰ “Helping Children Cope with Disaster” NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 10-2 ‰ “Is Your Home Protected from Wildfire Disaster? – A Homeowner’s Guide to Wildfire Retrofit” In addition, the Town should consider adding pages to its website dedicated to citizen education and preparation for natural hazard events. A community warning system that relies on ra dios and television is less effective at warning residents during the night when the ma jority of the community is asleep. Thus, Bethlehem should attempt to acquire an emergency notification system such as CodeRED. Databases could be set up as best possible for hazards with a specific geographic extent, particularly dam failure. Residents should also be encouraged to purchase a NOAA weather radio containing an alarm feature. In addition, the Town Emergency Operations Plan should continue to be reviewed and updated at least once annually. 10.2 Summary of Specific Recommendations Recommendations have been pr esented throughout this document in individual sections as related to each natural hazard. This sect ion lists specific recommendations of the Plan without any priority ranking. Recommenda tions that span multiple hazards are only reprinted once in this section under the most appropriate hazard event. Refer to the matrix in Appendix A for recommendations with scores based on the STAPLEE methodology described in Section 1.0. All Hazards ‰ Disseminate informational pamphlets regard ing natural hazards to public locations. ‰ Add pages to the Town website (http://ci .bethlehem.ct.us/) dedicated to citizen education and preparation for natural hazard events. ‰ Consider implementation of an emergency notification system. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 10-3 ‰ Upgrade emergency communications to a hi gh band system to better facilitate emergency response, particularly in coor dination with neighboring municipalities. ‰ Encourage residents to purchase and use NOAA weather radios with alarm features. ‰ Continue to review and update the Town Emergency Operations Plan at least once annually. ‰ Consider modifying the Plan of Conser vation and development to encourage two modes of egress into every neighborhood by the creation of through streets. ‰ Continue reviewing subdivision applic ations to ensure new neighborhoods and driveways are properly sized to a llow access of emergency vehicles; Inland Flooding Prevention ‰ Consider joining FEMA’s Community Rating System. ‰ Continue to regulate activities within SFHAs. ‰ Consider requiring buildings constructed in floodprone areas to be protected to the highest recorded flood level, regardle ss of being within a defined SFHA. ‰ Ensure new buildings be designed and grad ed to shunt drainage away from the building. ‰ Assist with the Map Mod program to en sure an appropriate update to the Flood Insurance Study, Flood Insurance Rate Maps, and Flood Boundary and Floodway Maps. ‰ After Map Mod has been completed, consid er restudying local flood prone areas and produce new local-level regulatory fl oodplain maps using more exacting study techniques, including using more accurate contour information to map flood elevations provided with the FIRM. ‰ Adopt an aquifer protection area overlay zone to regulate development after Watertown Fire District has completed their final mapping of the Aquifer Protection Area for their wellfield in northeastern Woodbury. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 10-4 Property & Natural Resource Protection ‰ Pursue the acquisition of additional muni cipal open space properties inside SFHAs and set it aside as greenways, parks, or other non-residential, non-commercial, or non-industrial use. ‰ Selectively pursue conservati on recommendations listed in the Plan of Conservation and Development and other studies and documents. ‰ Continue to regulate development in prot ected and sensitive areas, including steep slopes, wetlands, and floodplains. Structural Projects ‰ Pursue funding to elevate Crane Hollow Road to prevent future instances of overtopping. ‰ Pursue funding to elevate the road near the south end of Hickory Lane, or to widen the stream and install a box culvert. ‰ Encourage the State Department of Transpor tation to elevate the level of Route 132 between Lakes Road and Sky Meadow Lane, or to widen the stream and install a box culvert. Wind Damage Related to Hurricanes, Summer Storms, and Winter Storms ‰ Continue outreach regarding dangerous trees on private property. ‰ Continue to require that utilities be placed underground in new developments and pursue funding to place them undergr ound in existing developed areas. ‰ Continue to require compliance with the amended Connecticut Building Code for wind speeds. ‰ Provide for the Building Department to make literature available during the permitting process regarding appropriate design standards. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 10-5 ‰ Increase tree limb maintenance and insp ections, especially along Route 61, Route 132, and other evacuation routes . Increase inspections of trees on private property near power lines and Town right-of-ways. Winter Storms ‰ Review and disseminate potential evacuati on plans to ensure timely migration of people seeking shelter in all areas of Bethlehem. ‰ Post a list of Town sheltering facilities in the Town Hall and on the Town’s website so residents can best plan how to access to critical facilities during a winter storm event. ‰ Prioritize plowing routes and post the snow plowing prioritization in Town buildings each winter to increase public awareness. ‰ Pursue grant funding to install drainage along Cabbage Lane and Route 132 to eliminate icing at this da ngerous intersection. Consid er removing some trees to improve sight lines if possible. ‰ Investigate complaints of icing at the intersection of Wood Creek Road and Route 132, and perform corrective actions if applicable. ‰ Encourage the Horace Mann Nature Center to widen and improve the access road from Bethlehem to facilitate emergency and standard vehicular access. Earthquakes ‰ Consider preventing new residential deve lopment in areas prone to collapse. ‰ Continue to require adherence to the state building codes. ‰ Ensure that municipal departments have ade quate backup facilities in case earthquake damage occurs. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 10-6 Dam Failure ‰ Stay current on the evoluti on of EOPs and Dam Failure Analyses for Class C and Class B dams whose failure could impact areas of Bethlehem. ‰ Consider implementing Town inspections of Class AA, A, and unranked dams. ‰ If the Town acquires an emergency notifica tion system, include dam failure areas in the contact database. ‰ When possible, have copies of the Class C dam EOPs and Dam Failure Analyses on file in the Town hall for public viewing. ‰ Continue pursuing modifications to L ong Meadow Pond Dam to pass the 100-year flood event, review and update the Emergenc y Operations Plan when modifications are completed, and maximize Town emergency preparedness for a potential dam failure. ‰ Continue the ongoing program of inspecti on and maintenance of Long Meadow Pond Dam. ‰ Consider forming a Flood and Erosion Control Board in Bethlehem to oversee municipal dam maintenance and pr oblems with flooding and erosion. Wildfires ‰ The Town of Bethlehem should continue to require the installation of fire ponds and dry hydrants in new subdivisions, and should look to install additional ponds where adequate water supplies do not currently exist. ‰ Encourage property owners to widen access roads such that fire trucks and other emergency vehicles can access remote locations. ‰ Continue to promote inter-municipal c ooperation in fire fighting efforts. ‰ Continue to support public outreach programs to increase awareness of forest fire danger and how to use common fire fighting equipment. ‰ Provide outreach programs on how to pr operly manage burning and campfires on private property. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 10-7 ‰ Patrol Town-owned open space and parks to prevent unauthorized campfires. ‰ Enforce regulations and permits for open burning. 10.3 Sources of Funding The following sources of funding and technical assistance may be available for the priority projects listed above. This in formation comes from the FEMA website (http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/index.s htm). Funding requirements and contact information is given in Section 11.4. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Ag ency) Grants and Assistance Programs Buffer Zone Protection Program (BZPP) http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/bzpp/index.shtm This grant provides security and risk management capabilit ies at State and local level for Tier I and II critical infrastructure sites that are considered high-risk/high- consequence facilities. Each State with a BZPP site is eligible to submit applications for its local communities to participate in and receive funding under the program. The funding for this grand is based on the number, type, and character of the site. Citizen Corps Program National Emergency Technology Guard (NET Guard) Pilot Program http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/netguard/index.shtm The purpose of this grant, under the Homela nd Security Act of 2002, is to re-establish a communication network in the event that the current information systems is attacked and rendered inoperable. A to tal of $80,000 may be available to each applicant provided they ar e a locality that meets the required criteria. Community Disaster Loan Program http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/fs_cdl.shtm This program provides funds to any eligible jurisdiction in a designated disaster area that has suffered a substantial loss of tax and other revenue. The assistance is in the form of loans not to exceed twenty-five percent of the local government’s annual operating budget for the fiscal year in wh ich the major disaster occurs, up to a maximum of five million dollars. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 10-8 Competitive Training Grants Program (CTGP) http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ctgp/index.shtm Funds allocated from this program will be used to bolster training and education for Homeland Security. Applicants, if funded, must deliver innovativ e training/education programs to its trainees. Emergency Food and Shelter Program http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/efs.shtm This program was created in 1983 to supplement the work of local social service organizations, both private a nd governmental, to help peopl e in need of emergency assistance. Emergency Management Performance Grants http://www.fema.gov/emergency/empg/empg.shtm The Emergency Management Performance Gran t (EMPG) is designed to assist local and state governments in maintaining a nd strengthening the existing all-hazards, natural and man-made, emergency management capabilities. Allocations if this fund is authorized by the 9/11 Commission Ac t of 2007, and grant amount is determined demographically at the state and local level. Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Grant Program http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/eoc/index.shtm The Emergency Operations Center Gran t is designated to support the needed construction, renovation or improvement of emergency operation centers at the State, Local, or Tribal governments. The State Administrative Agency (SAA) is the only eligible entity able to apply for the av ailable funding on behalf of qualified State, local, and tribal EOCs. Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/fma/index.shtm The FMA was created as part of the Na tional Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 with the goal of reducing or eliminating claims under the NFIP. FEMA provides funds in the form of planning grants for Flood Mitigation Plans and project grants to implement measures to reduce flood lo sses, including elevation, acquisition, or relocation of NFIP-insured structures. Re petitive loss properties are prioritized under this program. This grant program is administered through the DEP. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 10-9 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/hmgp/index.shtm The HMGP provides grants to States and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major di saster declaration. The purpose of the HMGP is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster. This grant program is administered through the DEP. Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/hsgp/index.shtm The objective of the FY 2008 HS GP is to enhance the response, preparedness, and recovery of local, State, and tribal governments in the event of a disaster or terrorist attack. Eligible applicants include all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Ma riana Islands, and the Virgin Islands. Risk and effectiveness, along with a peer review, determine the amount allocated to each applicant. Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/iecgp/index.shtm Funding through the Interoperable Emerge ncy Communications Grant Program will enable States, Territories, local units of government, and tribal communities to implement their Statewide Communicati on Interoperability Plans (SCIP) in conjunction with the National Emergency Co mmunications Plan (NECP) to further enhance interoperability. The only applicants eligible for fundi ng through this grant are State Administration Agencies. Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP) http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/ibsgp/index.shtm The mission of the IBSGP is to maintain the protection of intercity bus systems and public transportation from terrorism. The only eligible grantees for this program are private operators servicing at least 50 tr ips annually along fixed established routes. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=3005 This program enables property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance as a protection against flood losse s in exchange for State and community floodplain management regulations that redu ce future flood damages. Municipalities that join the associated Community Ra ting System can gain discounts of flood insurance for their residents. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 10-10 Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/pdm/index.shtm The purpose of the PDM program is to fund communities for hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of mitigation projects prior to a disaster event. PDM grants are provided to states, territories, Indian tribal governments, communities, and universities, which, in turn, provide sub-grants to local governments. PDM grants are awarded on a co mpetitive basis. This grant program is administered through the DEP. Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/psgp/index.shtm The goal of the PSGP is to provide protecti on of critical port infrastructure from terrorism, involving explosive and non-c onventional weapons. Protection includes enhancing training, recover y, prevention, management, response and awareness. Those who may apply include owners of federa lly regulated terminals, facilities, U.S. inspected passenger vessels, state and local agencies, and local stakeholders. Public Assistance Grant Program http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/pa/index.shtm The Public Assistance Grant Program (PA) is designed to assist State, Tribal and local governments, and certain types of private non-profit organizations in recovering from major disasters or emergencies. Along with helping to recover, this grant also encourages prevention against potential future disasters by strengthening hazard mitigation during the recovery process. The first grantee to apply and receive the PA would usually be the State, and the State could then allocate the granted funds to the sub-grantees in need of assistance. Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP) http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/rcp/index.shtm The main focus of RCPGP is to strengthen the national preparedness against any catastrophic event within the designated Tier I and Tier II Urban Areas. RCPGP will fund the designated Tier I and II Urban areas only. Repetitive Flood Claims Program http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/rfc/index.shtm The Repetitive Flood Claims (RFC) grant progra m was set into place to assist States or communities with insured properties that have had prior claims to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) but do not m eet the requirements for FMA. This grant is provided to eligible States/Tribes/Territories that, in turn, will allocate sub- grants to local governments. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 10-11 Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL) Program http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/srl/index.shtm The SRL provides funding to reduce or elimin ate the long-term risk of flood damage to SRL structures insured under the NFIP. This program is for residential properties only, and eligible project activities include acquisition and demolition or relocation of the structure with conversion of the propert y to open space, elevation, minor localized flood reduction projects, and dry flood pr oofing (historic properties only). Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/tsgp/index.shtm The purpose of TSGP is to bolster security and safety for public transit infrastructure within Urban Areas throughout the United Stat es. Applicable grantees include only the state Governor and the designated State Administrative Agency (SAA) appointed to obligate program funds to the appropriate transit agencies. Trucking Security Program (TSP) http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/tsp/index.shtm The TSP provides funding for an anti-terro rism and security awareness program for highway professionals in support of the National Preparedness Guidelines. All applicants are accepted so long as they support all four funding priority areas: participant identification and recruitment; training; communications; and information analysis and distribution for an anti-te rrorism and security awareness program. Urban Areas Security Initiative Nonprof it Security Grant Program (UASI-NSGP) http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/uasi/index.shtm The UASI-NSGP specifically targets major areas of concern, those being areas designated as having the highest level of terrorist threat or vulnerability, and aims to improve the protection and preparedness of potentially targeted organizations. Applicants only include non- profit organizations deemed as having a high risk to terrorism and who reside with in the areas of concern. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 10-12 U.S. Fire Administration Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP) http://www.firegrantsupport.com/afg/ http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/fi reservice/grants/ The primary goal of the Assistance to Fi refighters Grants (AFG) is to meet the firefighting and emergency response need s of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical services organizations . Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critic ally needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other reso urces needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. The Grant Programs Directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agen cy administers the grants in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration. Fire Prevention & Safety Grants (FP&S) http://www.firegrantsupport.com/fps/ The Fire Prevention and Safety Grants ( FP&S) are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and are under the purview of the Grant Programs Directorate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FP&S grants support projects that enhance the safety of the pub lic and firefighters from fire and related hazards. The primary goal is to target high-risk populations and mitigate high incidences of death and injury. Examples of the types of projects supported by FP&S include fire prevention and public safety education campaigns, juvenile firesetter interventions, media campaigns, and ar son prevention and awareness programs. Reimbursement for Firefighting on Federal Property http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/fireservice/grants/rfff/ Reimbursement may be made to fire depart ments for fighting fires on property owned by the federal government for firefighti ng costs over and above normal operating costs. Claims are submitted directed to the U.S. Fire Administration. For more information, please contact Tim Ganley at (301) 447-1358. Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) http://www.firegrantsupport.com/safer/ The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fi re departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standa rds established by NFPA and OSHA (NFPA 1710 and/or NFPA 1720 and OSHA 1910.134 – see http://www.nfpa.org/SAFERActGrant for more details). Specifically, SAFER funds should assist local fire departments to increase their staffing and deployment capabilities in order to res pond to emergencies whenever they may occur. As a result of the enhanced staffing, response times should be suffi ciently reduced with an NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 10-13 appropriate number of personnel assembled at the incident scene. Also, the enhanced staffing should provide that al l front-line/first-due apparatus of SAFER grantees have a minimum of four trained personnel to meet the OSHA standards referenced above. Ultimately, a faster, safer and more efficien t incident scene will be established and communities will have more adequate protec tion from fire and fire-related hazards. Other Grant Programs Flood Mitigation ‰ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – 50/50 match funding for flood proofing and flood preparedness projects. ‰ U.S. Department of Agriculture – financial assistance to reduce flood damage in small watersheds and to improve water quality. ‰ CT Department of Environmental Protection – assistance to municipalities to solve flooding and dam repair problems through the Flood and Erosion Control Board Program. Hurricane Mitigation ‰ FEMA State Hurricane Program – financial and technical assistance to local governments to support mitigation of hurricanes and coastal storms. ‰ FEMA Hurricane Program Property Protection – grants to hurricane prone states to implement hurricane mitigation projects. General Hazard Mitigation ‰ Americorps – teams may be available to assist with landscaping projects such as surveying, tree planting, restoration, constr uction, and environmental education, and provide volunteers to help co mmunities respond to natural hazard-related disasters. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 10-14 Erosion Control and Wetland Protection ‰ U.S. Department of Agriculture – technical assistance for erosion control. ‰ CT Department of Environmental Protection – assistance to municipalities to solve beach erosion problems through the Flood and Erosion Control Board Program. ‰ North American Wetlands Conservation Act Grants Program – funding for projects that support long term wetlands acquis ition, restoration, and/or enhancement. Requires a 1-to-1 funds match. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-1 11.0 PLAN IMPLEMENTATION 11.1 Implementation Strategy and Schedule The Council of Governments of the Central Naug atuck Valley is authorized to update this hazard mitigation plan as needed, coordinate its adoption with the Town of Bethlehem, and guide it through the FEMA approval process. The individual recommendations of the hazard mitigation plan must be implemented by the municipal departments that oversee these ac tivities. The Office of the First Selectman and the Highway Department / Public Works in the Town of Bethlehem will primarily be responsible for developing and implementing se lected projects. Appendix A incorporates an implementation strategy and schedule, detailing the responsible department and anticipated time frame for the specific recomm endations listed throughout this document. Upon adoption, the Plan will be made available to all Town departments and agencies as a planning tool to be used in conjunction with existing documents. It is expected that revisions to other Town plans and regulati ons, such as the Plan of Conservation and Development, department annual budgets , and the Subdivision Regulations, will reference this plan and its updates. The Offi ce of the First Selectman will be responsible for ensuring that the actions identified in th is plan are incorporated into ongoing Town planning activities, and that the information and require ments of this plan are incorporated into existing planning documents within five years from the date of adoption or when other plans are updated, whichever is sooner. The Office of the First Selectman will be responsible for assigning appropriate Town officials to update the Plan of Conservati on and Development, Subdivision Regulations, Wetlands Regulations, and Emergency Operations Plan to include the provisions in this plan. Should a general revision be too cu mbersome or cost prohibitive, simple NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-2 addendums to these documents will be added that include the provisions of this plan. The Plan of Conservation and Development and th e Emergency Operations Plan are the two documents most likely to benefit from the incl usion of the Plan in the Town’s library of planning documents. Finally, information and projects in this plan ning document will be included in the annual budget and capital improvement plans as part of implementing the projects recommended in this plan. This will primarily include the annual budget and capital improvement projects lists maintained and update d by the Town Highway Department. 11.2 Progress Monitoring and Public Participation The Office of the First Selectman will be the party responsible for monitoring the successful implementation of the Plan as part of its oversight of all municipal departments. Such monitoring may include periodic reports to the COGCNV regarding certain projects, meetings, site visits, and telephone calls as befits the project being implemented. The COGCNV will coordinate an annual review and evaluation of the plan. Participants in this review may incl ude, but need not be limited to, representatives of the departments lis ted in Section 11.1. Matters to be reviewed will include the goals and objectives of the original plan, hazards or disasters that occurred during the preceding period, mitigation activities that have been accomplished to date, a discussion of reasons that implementation may be behind schedule, and recommendations for new projects and revised activities. The meeting will be conducted in August or September, at leas t two months before the annual application cycle for pre-disaster grants (applications ar e typically due to DEP in November of any given year). This will enable a list of po ssible projects to be circulated for Town Departments to review, with sufficien t time for developing an application. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-3 Continued public involvement will be sought regarding the monitoring, evaluating, and updating of the Plan. Public input may be solicited through community meetings and input to web-based information gathering tools. Public comment on changes to the Plan may be sought through posting of public notices, and notifications posted to the website of the Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley, as well as of the Town of Bethlehem. 11.3 Updating the Plan The Council of Governments of the Centra l Naugatuck Valley will update the hazard mitigation plan if a consensus to do so is reached by the Board of Selectmen of Bethlehem and a request is presented to the Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley, or at least once every five years. A committee will be formed consisting of representatives of many of the same departments solicited for input to this plan. In addition, local business leaders, community and neighborhood group leaders, relevant private and non-pro fit interest groups, and the six neighboring municipalities will be solicited for represen tation, including the following: ‰ The Central Naugatuck Valley Emergenc y Planning Committee, managed by the COGCNV; ‰ Pomperaug River Watershed Association; ‰ Key organizations from the list presented on Page 1-10; ‰ Town of Washington Public Works De partment and Planning Department; ‰ Town of Morris Public Works Department and Planning Department; ‰ Town of Watertown Public Works Depa rtment and Planning Department; and ‰ Town of Woodbury Public Works Depa rtment and Planning Department; Updates may include deleting recommendati ons as projects are completed, adding recommendations as new hazard effects arise, or modifying hazard vulnerabilities as land NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-4 use changes. In addition, the list of shelters and critical facilities should be updated as necessary, or at least every five years. 11.4 Technical and Financial Resources This Section is comprised of a list of resources to be considered for technical assistance and potentially financial assistance for comple tion of the actions outlined in this plan. This list is not all-inclusive and is intended to be updated as necessary. Federal Resources Federal Emergency Management Agency Region I 99 High Street, 6 th floor Boston, MA 02110 (617) 956-7506 http://www.fema.gov/ Mitigation Division The Mitigation Division is comp rised of three branches that administer all of FEMA’s hazard mitigation programs. The Risk Analysis Branch applies planning and engineering principles to identify hazards, assess vulnerabilities, and develop strategies to manage the risks associated with natural hazards. The Risk Reduction Branch promotes the use of land use controls and building practices to manage and assess risk in both the existing built developments and fu ture development areas in both pre- and post-disaster environments. The Risk Insurance Branch mitigates flood losses by providing affordable flood insurance fo r property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. FEMA Programs administered by the Risk Analysis Branch include: ‰ Flood Hazard Mapping Program , which maintains and updates National Flood Insurance Program maps; ‰ National Dam Safety Program , which provides state assistance funds, research, and training in dam safety procedures; ‰ National Hurricane Program , which conducts and supports projects and activities that help protect communities from hurricane hazards; and NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-5 ‰ Mitigation Planning , a process for states and communities to identify policies, activities, and tools that can reduce or eliminate long- term risk to life and property from a hazard event. FEMA Programs administered by the Risk Reduction Branch include: ‰ Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) , which provides grants to states and local governments to implement long-te rm hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration; ‰ Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMA) , which provides funds to assist states and communities to implement measures that reduce or eliminate long-term risk of flood damage to structures in surable under the National Flood Insurance Program; ‰ Pre-Disaster Mitigati on Grant Program (PDM) , which provides program funds for hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of mitigation projects prior to a disaster event; ‰ Severe Repetitive Loss Program (SRL) , which provides funding to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damage to “severe repetitive loss” structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program; ‰ Community Rating System (CRS) , a voluntary incentive program under the National Flood Insurance Program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities; and ‰ National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), which in conjunction with state and regional or ganizations supports state and local programs designed to protect ci tizens from earthquake hazard. The Risk Insurance Branch oversees the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) , which enables property owners in part icipating communities to purchase flood insurance. The NFIP assist s communities in complying with the requirements of the program and publishes flood hazard maps and flood insurance studies to determine areas of risk. FEMA also can provide information on pa st and current acquisition, relocation, and retrofitting programs, and has expertise in many natural and technological hazards. FEMA also provides funding for training state and local officials at Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The Mitigation Directorate also has in place several Technical Assistance Contracts (TAC) that support FEMA, States, territories, an d local governments with activities to enhance the effectiveness of natural hazar d reduction program efforts. The TACs support FEMA’s responsibilities and legisl ative authorities for implementing the earthquake, hurricane, dam safety, and fl oodplain management programs. The range of technical assistance services provided th rough the TACs varies based on the needs of the eligible contract users and the natural hazard programs. Contracts and services include: NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-6 ‰ The Hazard Mitigation Technical As sistance Program (HMTAP) Contract – supporting post-disaster program needs in cases of large, unusual, or complex projects; situations where resources are not available; or where outside technical assistance is determined to be needed. Services include environmental and biological assessments, benefit/cost analyses, historic preservation assessments, hazard identification, community planning, training, and more. ‰ The Wind and Water Technical As sistance Contract (WAWTAC)-supporting wind and flood hazards reduction program need s. Projects include recommending mitigation measures to reduce potential losses to post-FIRM structures, providing mitigation policy and practices expertise to States, incorporating mitigation into local hurricane program outreach materi als, developing a Hurricane Mitigation and Recovery exercise, and assessing th e hazard vulnerability of a hospital. ‰ The National Earthquake Technical Assistance Contract (NETAC) – supporting earthquake program needs. Projects incl ude economic impact analyses of various earthquakes, vulnerability analyses of hos pitals and schools, identification of and training on non-structural mitigation measures, and evaluating the performance of seismically rehabilitated structures, post-earthquake. Response & Recovery Division As part of the National Response Plan, th is division provides information on dollar amounts of past disaster assistance including Public Assistance, Individual Assistance, and Temporary Housing, as well as information on retrofitting and acquisition/relocation initiatives. The Re sponse & Recovery Division also provides mobile emergency response support to disast er areas, supports the National Disaster Medical System, and provides ur ban search and rescue teams for disaster victims in confined spaces. The division also coordinates federal di saster assistance programs. The Public Assistance Grant Program (PA) that provide s 75% grants for mitigation projects to protect eligible damaged public and private non-profit facilities from future damage. “Minimization” grants at 100% are availabl e through the Individuals and Family Grant Program. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and the Fire Management Assistance Grant Program are also administered by this division. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-7 Computer Sciences Corporation New England Regional Insurance Manager Bureau and Statistical Office (781) 848-1908 Corporate Headquarters 3170 Fairview Park Drive Falls Church, VA 22042 (703) 876-1000 http://www.csc.com/ A private company contracted by the Federa l Insurance Adm inistration as the National Flood Insurance Program Bureau and Statistical Agent, CSC provides information and assistance on flood insurance, including ha ndling policy and claims questions, and providing workshops to leaders, in surance agents, and communities. Small Business Administration Region I 10 Causeway Street, Suite 812 Boston, MA 02222-1093 (617) 565-8416 http://www.sba.gov/ SBA has the authority to “declare” disaster areas following disasters that affect a significant number of homes and businesses, but that would not need additional assistance through FEMA. (SBA is triggered by a FEMA declaration, however.) SBA can provide additional low-interest funds (up to 20% above what an eligible applicant would “normally” qualify for) to install mitig ation measures. They can also loan the cost of bringing a damaged property up to st ate or local code requirements. These loans can be used in combination with the new “mitigation insurance” under the NFIP, or in lieu of that coverage. Environmental Protection Agency Region I 1 Congress Street, Suite 1100 Boston, MA 02114-2023 (888) 372-7341 Provides grants for restoration and repair , and educational activities, including: ‰ Capitalization Grants fo r State Revolving Funds: Low interest loans to governments to repair, replace, or relocate wastewater treatment plans damaged in floods. Does not apply to dri nking water or other utilities. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-8 ‰ Clean Water Act Section 319 Grants : Cost-share grants to state agencies that can be used for funding watershed resource re storation activities, including wetlands and other aquatic habitat (ri parian zones). Only those activities that control non- point pollution are eligible. Grants are administered through the CT DEP, Bureau of Water Management, Planning and Standards Division. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 20 Church Street, 19 th Floor Hartford, CT 06103-3220 (860) 240-4800 http://www.hud.gov/ The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to communities with populations greater than 50,000, who may contact HUD directly regarding CDGB. One program objective is to improve housing conditions for low and moderate income families. Projects can include acquiring flood prone homes or prot ecting them from flood damage. Funding is a 100% grant; can be used as a source of local matching funds for other funding programs, such as FEMA’s “404” Hazard Mi tigation Grant Program. Funds can also be applied toward “blighted” conditions, which is often the post-flood condition. A separate set of funds exists for conditions that create an “imminent threat.” The funds have been used in the past to repla ce (and redesign) bridges where flood damage eliminates police and fire access to the othe r side of the waterway. Funds are also available for smaller municipalities thr ough the State Administered CDBG program participated in by the State of Connecticut. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources 7701 Telegraph Road Alexandria, VA 22315 (703) 428-8015 http://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/ The Corps provides 100% funding for floodplain management planning and technical assistance to states and lo cal governments under the Floodplain Management Services Program (FPMS). Various flood protection me asures such as beach re-nourishment, stream clearance and snagging projects, flood proofing, and flood preparedness are funded on a 50/50 matching basis by Secti on 22 planning Assistance to States program. They are authorized to relocate homes out of the floodplain if it proves to be more cost effective than a st ructural flood control measure. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-9 U.S. Department of Commerce National Weather Service Northeast River Forecast Center 445 Myles Standish Blvd. Taunton, MA 02780 (508) 824-5116 http://www.nws.noaa.gov/ The National Weather Service prepares and issues flood, severe weather, and coastal storm warnings. Staff h ydrologists can work with communities on flood warning issues and can give technical assist ance in preparing flood warning plans. U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service Steve Golden, Program Leader Rivers, Trails, & Conservation Assistance 15 State Street Boston, MA 02109 (617) 223-5123 http://www.nps.gov/rtca/ The National Park Service provides techni cal assistance to community groups and local, state, and federal government agencies to conserve rivers, preserve open space, and develop trails and greenways, as well as identify non-structural options for floodplain development. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service New England Field Office 70 Commercial Street, Suite 300 Concord, NH 03301-5087 (603) 223-2541 http://www.fws.gov/ The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provide technical and financial assistance to restore wetlands and riparian habitats through the North Am erican Wetland Conservation Fund and Partners for Wildlife progr ams. It also administers the North American Wetlands Conservation Act Grants Program , which provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have deve loped partnerships to carry out wetlands projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Funds are available for projects focusing on protecting, restoring, and/or enhancing critical habitat. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-10 U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly SCS) Connecticut Office 344 Merrow Road, Suite A Tolland, CT 06084-3917 (860) 871-4011 The Natural Resources Conservation Servi ce provides technical assistance to individual land owners, groups of landow ners, communities, and soil and water conservation districts on land-use and conservation pla nning, resource development, stormwater management, flood prevention, erosion control and sediment reduction, detailed soil surveys, watershed/river ba sin planning and recreation, and fish and wildlife management. Financial assistance is available to reduce flood damage in small watersheds and to improve water qual ity. Financial assistance is available under the Emergency Watershed Protection Progr am; the Cooperative River Basin Program; and the Small Watershed Protection Program. Regional Resources Northeast States Emergency Consortium 1 West Water Street, Suite 205 Wakefield, MA 01880 (781) 224-9876 http://www.serve.com/NESEC/ The Northeast States Emergency Consor tium (NESEC) develops, promotes, and coordinates “all-hazards” em ergency management activities throughout the Northeast. NESEC works in partnership with public and private organizations to reduce losses of life and property. They provide support in areas including interstate coordination and public awareness and education, along with reinforcing interactions between all levels of government, academia, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-11 State Resources Connecticut Department of Econ omic and Community Development 505 Hudson Street Hartford, CT 06106-7106 (860) 270-8000 http://www.ct.gov/ecd/ The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development administers HUD’s State CDBG Program, awarding smalle r communities and rural areas grants for use in revitalizing neighborhoods, expandi ng affordable housing and economic opportunities, and improving commun ity facilities and services. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection 79 Elm Street Hartford, CT 06106-5127 (860) 424-3000 http://www.dep.state.ct.us/ The Connecticut DEP includes several divisi ons with various functions related to hazard mitigation: Bureau of Water Management, Inland Water Resources Division – This division is generally responsible for flood hazard mitigation in Connecticut, including administration of the National Flood Insurance Program. Other programs within the division include: ‰ National Flood Insurance Program State Coordinator : Provides flood insurance and floodplain management technical assistance, floodplain management ordinance review, substa ntial damage/improvement requirements, community assistance visits, and other general fl ood hazard mitigation planning including the delineation of floodways. ‰ State Hazard Mitigation Officer (shared role with the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security) : Hazard mitigation planning and policy; oversight of administration of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Flood Mitigation Assistance Program, and Pre- Disaster Mitigation Program. Has the responsibility of making certain that the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan is updated every 3 years. ‰ Flood Warning and Forecasting Service : Prepares and issues flood, severe weather, and coastal storm warnings. Staff engineers and forecaster can work with communities on flood warning issues and can give technical assistance in NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-12 preparing flood warning plans. This service has helped the public respond much faster in flooding condition. ‰ Flood & Erosion Control Board Program : Provides assistance to municipalities to solve flooding, beach erosion and dam repair problems. Have the power to construct and repair flood and erosio n management systems. Certain non- structural measures that mitigate flood da mages are also eligible. Funding is provided to communities that apply fo r assistance through a Flood & Erosion Control Board on a non-competitive basis. ‰ Stream Channel Encroachment Line Program : Similar to the NFIP, this state regulatory program places restrictions on the development of floodplains along certain major rivers. This program draw s in environmental concerns in addition to public safety issues when permitting projects. ‰ Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Management Program : Provides training, technical and planning assistance to lo cal Inland Wetlands Commissions, reviews and approves municipal regulations fo r localities. Also controls flood management and natural disaster mitigations. ‰ Dam Safety Program : Charged with the responsi bility for administration and enforcement of Connecticut’s dam safety laws. Regulates the operation and maintenance of dams in the state. Permits the construction, repair or alteration of dams, dikes or similar structures and ma intains a registration database of all known dams statewide. This program also operates a statewide inspection program. ‰ Rivers Restoration Grant Program : Administers funding and grants under the Clean Water Act involving river restorati on, and reviews and provides assistance with such projects. Bureau of Water Management – Planning and Standards Division – Administers the Clean Water Fund and many other programs dir ectly and indirectly related to hazard mitigation including the Section 319 non-point source pollution reduction grants and municipal facilities progra m which deals with mitigating pollution from wastewater treatment plants. Office of Long Island Sound Programs (OLISP) – Administers the Coastal Area Management Act (CAM) program and L ong Island Sound License Plate Program. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-13 Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security 25 Sigourney Street, 6 th Floor Hartford, CT 06106-5042 (860) 256-0800 http://www.ct.gov/demhs/ DEMHS is the lead agency responsible for emergency management. Specifically, responsibilities include emergency prepare dness, response & recovery, mitigation, and an extensive training program. DEMHS is the state point of contact for most FEMA grant and assistance programs. DEMHS administers the Earthquake and Hurricane programs described above under the FEMA resource section. Additionally, DEMHS operates a mitigation program to coordinate mitigation throughout the state with other government agencies. Connecticut Department of Public Safety 1111 Country Club Road Middletown, CT 06457 (860) 685-8190 http://www.ct.gov/dps/ Office of the State Building Inspector – The Office of the State Building Inspector is responsible for administering and enforci ng the Connecticut State Building Code, and is also responsible for the municipa l Building Inspector Training Program. Connecticut Department of Transportation 2800 Berlin Turnpike Newington, CT 06131-7546 (860) 594-2000 http://www.ct.gov/dot/ The Department of Transportation admi nisters the federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) that in cludes grants for projects which promote alternative or improved methods of trans portation. Funding through grants can often be used for projects with mitigation benef its such as preservation of open space in the form of bicycling and walking trails. CT DOT is also involved in traffic improvements and bridge repairs which could be mitigation related. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-14 Private and Other Resources The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) 2809 Fish Hatchery Road, Suite 204 Madison, WI 53713 (608) 274-0123 http://www.floods.org/ ASFPM is a professional association of stat e employees that assist communities with the NFIP with a membership of over 1,000. ASFMP has developed a series of technical and topical research papers, and a series of Proceedings from their annual conferences. Many “mitigation success stories” have been documented through these resources, and provide a good starting point for planning. Institute for Business & Home Safety 4775 East Fowler Avenue Tampa, FL 33617 (813) 286-3400 http://www.ibhs.org/ A non-profit organization put together by the insurance indus try to research ways of reducing the social and economic impacts of natural hazards. The Institute advocates the development and implementation of bu ilding codes and standards nationwide and may be a good source of model code language. Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering and Research (MCEER) University at Buffalo State University of New York Red Jacket Quadrangle Buffalo, New York 14261 (716) 645-3391 http://mceer.buffalo.edu/ A source for earthquake statistics, researc h, and f or engineering and planning advice. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-15 The National Association of Flood & Stormwater Management Agencies (NAFSMA) 1301 K Street, NW, Suite 800 East Washington, DC 20005 (202) 218-4122 http://www.nafsma.org NAFSMA is an organization of public agencies who strive to prot ect lives, property, and economic activity from the adverse impacts of stormwater by advocating public policy, encouraging technology, and conducting educational programs. NAFSMA is a voice in national politics on water res ources management issues concerning stormwater management, disaster assistance, flood insurance, and federal flood management policy. National Emergency Management Association (NEMA ) P.O. Box 11910 Lexington, KY 40578 (859)-244-8000 http://www.nemaweb.org/ A national association of state emergency management directors and other emergency management officials, the NEMA Mitigati on Committee is a strong voice to FEMA in shaping all-hazard mitigation policy in the nation. NEMA is also an excellent source of technical assistance. Natural Hazards Center University of Colorado at Boulder 482 UCB Boulder, CO 80309-0482 (303) 492-6818 http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/ The Natural Hazards Center includes the Floodplain Manageme nt Resource Center, a free library and referral service of the ASFPM for floodplain management publications. The Natural Hazards Center is located at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Staff can use keywords to identif y useful publications from the more than 900 documents in the library. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 11-16 New England Flood and Stormwater Managers Association, Inc. (NEFSMA) c/o MA DEM 100 Cambridge Street Boston, MA 02202 NEFSMA is a non-profit organization made up of state agency staff, local officials, private consultants and citizens from across New England. NEFSMA sponsors seminars and workshops and publishes the NEFSMA News three times per year to bring the latest flood and stormwater mana gement information from around the region to its members. Volunteer Organizations – Volunteer organizations includ ing the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanit y, and the Mennonite Disaster Service are often available to help after disasters. Service Organizations such as the Lions Club, Elks Club, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars are also available. Habitat for Humanity and the Mennonite Disaster Service provide skilled labor to help rebuild damaged buildings while incorporating mitigation or flood proofing concepts. The office of individual organizations can be contacted directly, or the FEMA Regional Office may be able to assist. Flood Relief Funds – After a disaster, local businesses, residents and out-of-town groups often donate money to local relief funds. They may be managed by the local government, one or more local churches, or an ad hoc committee. No government disaster declaration is needed. Local o fficials should recommend that the funds be held until an applicant exhausts all sources of public disa ster assistance, allowing the funds to be used for mitigation and other projects than cannot be funded elsewhere. Americorps – Americorps is the recently installed National Community Service Organization. It is a network of local, st ate, and national service programs that connects volunteers with nonpr ofits, public agencies, and faith-based and community organizations to help meet our country’s critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. Through their service and the volunteers they mobilize, AmeriCorps members address critical needs in communities throughout America, including helping communities respond to disasters. Some states have trained Americorps members to help during flood-fi ght situations, such as by filling and placing sandbags. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 12-1 12.0 REFERENCES Blake, E. S., Jarrell, J. D., Rappaport, E. N., Landsea, C. W. 2006. The Deadliest, Costliest, and Most Intense United States Tropical Cyclones from 1851 to 2005 (and Other Frequently Requested Hurricane Facts) . Miami, FL: NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS TPC-4. http://www.nhc .noaa.gov/Deadliest_Costliest.shtml Brumbach, Joseph J. 1965. The Climate of Connecticut. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Bulletin No. 99. Cape Cod Commission. 2004. Natural Hazards Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan . Barnstable County, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. 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Beatley, P. Berke, D.J. Brower, and E.J. Kaiser. 1999. Natural Hazard Mitigation: Recasting Disaster Policy and Planning . Island Press: Washington, D.C. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 12-3 Northeast States Emergency Consortium. Earthquakes. http://www.nesec.org/hazards/Earthquakes.cfm. Accessed 7/17/2008. Kafka, Alan L. 2004. Why Does the Earth Quake in New England? The Science of Unexpected Earthquakes . Boston College, Weston Observatory, Department of Geology and Geophysics. http://www2.bc.edu/~kafka/Why_Qua kes/why_quakes.html. Accessed 7/17/2008. Kocin, P. J., Uccellini, L .W. 2004. A Snow fall Impact Scale Derived From Northeast Storm Snowfall Distributions. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 85, 177-194. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/res earch/snow-nesis/kocin-uccellini.pdf Massachusetts Emergency Management Agen cy and Department of Conservation and Recreation. 2004. Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Hazard Mitigation Plan. Milone & MacBroom, Inc. 2008. Town of Cheshire Natural Hazard Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan . Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley, Waterbury, CT. ___. 2008. Town of Prospect Natural Haza rd Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan. Council of Governments of the Central Na ugatuck Valley, Waterbury, CT. ___. 2008. Town of Wolcott Natural Hazard Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan. Council of Governments of the Central Na ugatuck Valley, Waterbury, CT. ___. 2007. City of Waterbury Natural Haza rd Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan. Council of Governments of the Central Na ugatuck Valley, Waterbury, CT. ___. 2007. Town of Nantucket Natural Haza rd Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan. ___. 2006. Greater Bridgeport Regional Planning Agency Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. Greater Bridgeport Regional Pla nning Agency, Bridgeport, CT. ___. 2005. City of New Haven Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. Miller, D.R., G.S. Warner, F.L. Ogden, A.T. DeGaetano. 2002. Precipitation in Connecticut . University of Connecticut College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Connecticut Institute of Wa ter Resources, Storrs, CT. Muckel, G.B. (editor). 2004. Understanding Soil Risks and Hazards: Using Soil Survey to Identify Areas with Risks and Hazards to Human Life and Property . United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service, National Soil Survey Center, Lincoln, NE. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 12-4 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Hurri cane Research Division. Hurricane Histograms. http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/counties/CT.html National Oceanic and Atmosphe ric Administration (NOAA). Enhanced F-scale for Tornado Damage . http://www.spc.noaa.gov/efscale/ ___. 2008. Lightning Deaths By State, 1998 to 2007. http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/ stats/98-07_deaths_by_state.pdf ___. 2001. Winter Storms: The Deceptive Killers – A Preparedness Guide. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winte r/resources/winterstorm.pdf ___. 1995. A Preparedness Guide . ___. Weekend Snowstorm in Northeast Corridor Classified as a Category 3 “Major” Storm . http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2006/s2580.htm ___. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Extreme Weather and Climate Events. http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi- win/wwcgi.dll?wwEvent~Storms ___. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). 2007. Monthly and Seasonal Total Snowfall Amount, Wigwam Reservoir, Connecticut. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ussc/USS CAppController?action=snowfall_ms&state=06&sta tion=WIGWAMRESERVOIR&coopid=069568 ___. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). 2006. The Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS). http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/cli mate/research/snow-nesis/ ___. National W eather Service. National Hu rricane Center Tropical Prediction Center. NHC/TPC Archive of Past Hurricane Seasons . http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastall.shtml New Hamps hire Office of Emergency Management. 2000. State of New Hampshire Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan . Concord, New Hampshire. Robinson, G. R. Jr., Kapo, K. E. 2003. Generalized Lithology and Lithogeochemical Character of Near-Surface Bedrock in the New England Region . U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 03-225, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2003/of03-225/ Salerno, Carolee. 2008. “1 dies, 4 injured when lightning strikes beach park.” News Channel 8. http://www.wtnh.com/global/story.asp?s =8448996 Sellers, Helen Earle. 1973. Connecticut Town Origins. The Pequot Press: Chester, Connecticut NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 12-5 Soil Survey Staff, Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Soil Series Classification Database [Online WWW]. Available URL: http://soils.usda.gov/soils/te chnical/classification/scfile/index.html [Accessed 10 February 2004]. USDA-NRCS, Lincoln, NE. South Western Regional Planning Agency. 2005. Pre-Disaster Mitigation Strategy Document, Connecticut’s South Western Region. Squires, M. F. and J. H. Lawrimore. 2006: Development of an Operational Snowfall Impact Scale. 22 nd IIPS, Atlanta, GA. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/ research/snow-nesis/squires.pdf Staubach, Suzanne. 1998. Connecticut: Driving Through History . Covered Bridge Press: North Attleborough, Massachusetts. Tornado Project Online. h ttp://www.tornadoproject.com/ Town of Bethlehem, Connecticut. 2006. 2006 Annual Report. ___. 2003. Subdivision Regulations. ___. 1999. Plan of Conservation & Development. ___. 1977. Earth Materials Ordinance. ___. Inland Wetlands and Wate rcourses Regulations. Town of East Haven, Connecticut. 2001. Town of East Haven Hazard Mitigation Plan . Town of Stratford, Connecticut. 2001. Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. United States Census Bureau. 2005 Popul ation Estimates. http://www.census.gov/ ___. American Factfinder. http://factfinder.census.gov/ United States Department of Transportation. 2002. The Pote ntial Impacts of Climate Change on Transportation . The DOT Center for Climate Change and Environmental Forecasting. Workshop, October 1-2, 2002. Summary and Discussion Papers. United States Geological Survey. USGS Water Data for Connecticut . http://nwis.waterdata .usgs.gov/ct/nwis/nwis United States Geological Surve y, Earthquake Hazards Program. Connecticut Earthquake History. Abridged from Earthquake Information Bulletin, January – February 1971. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/states/ connecticut/history.php. Assessed 7/17/2008. NATURAL HAZARD PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT NOVEMBER 2008 12-6 ___. 2008. Seismic Hazard Map of Connecticut. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/states/connecticut/hazards.php. Assessed 7/17/2008. ___. 2004. The Severity of an Earthquake . http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/earthq4/s everitygip.html Assessed 7/17/2008. Voices. 2007. Bethlehe m Town Guide. APPENDED TABLES Appended Table 1 Hazard Event Ranking Each hazard may have multiple effects; for example, a hurricane causes h igh winds and inland flooding. Some hazards may have similar effects; for example, hurricanes and earth quakes may cause dam failure. Location Frequenc y of Ma gnitude / Rank Natural Hazards Occurrence Severit y 1 = small 0 = unlikely1 = limited 2 = medium 1 = possible2 = significant 3 = large 2 = likely 3 = critical 3 = highly likely 4 = catastrophic Winter Storms 3328 Hurricanes 3137 Summer Storms and Tornadoes 2327 Earthquakes 3126 Wildfires 1214 Location 1 = small isolated to specific area during one event 2 = medium mulitple areas during one event 3 = large significant portion of the town during one event Frequency of Occurrence 0 = unlikely less than 1% probability in the next 100 years 1 = possible between 1 and 10% probability in the next year; or at least one chance i n next 100 years 2 = likely between 10 and 100% probability in the next year; or at least one chance in next 10 years 3 = highly likely near 100% probability in the next year Magnitude / Severity 1 = limited injuries and/or illnesses are treatable with first aid; minor “quality o f life” loss; shutdown of critical facilities and services for 24 hours or less; property severely damaged < 10% 2 = significant injuries and / or illnesses do not result in permanent disability; shutd own of several critical facilities for more than one week; property severely damaged 10% 3 = critical injuries and / or ilnesses result in permanent disability; complete shut down of critical facilities for at least two weeks; property severely damaged 25% 4 = catastrophic multiple deaths; complete shutdown of facilities for 30 days or more; pr operty severely damaged >50% Frequency of Occurrence, Magnitude / Severity, and Potential Damages bas ed on historical data from NOAA National Climatic Data Center Appended Table 2 Hazard Effect Ranking Some effects may have a common cause; for example, a hurricane causes hi gh winds and inland flooding. Some effects may have similar causes; for example, hurricanes and nor’ea sters both cause heavy winds. Location Frequenc y of Ma gnitude /Rank Natural Hazard Effects Occurrence Severit y 1 = small0 = unlikely1 = limited 2 = medium 1 = possible2 = significant 3 = large 2 = likely 3 = critical 3 = highly likely 4 = catastrophic Nor’Easter Winds 3328 Snow 3328 Blizzard 3328 Hurricane Winds 3137 Ice 3227 Flooding from Dam Failure 2147 Thunderstorm Winds 2226 Tornado Winds 2136 Shaking 3126 Inland Flooding 1315 Flooding from Poor Drainage 1315 Lightning 1315 Falling Trees/Branches 1315 Hail 1214 Fire/Heat 1214 Smoke 1214 Location 1 = smallisolated to specific area during one event 2 = medium mulitple areas during one event 3 = large significant portion of the town during one event Frequency of Occurrence 0 = unlikely less than 1% probability in the next 100 years 1 = possible between 1 and 10% probability in the next year; or at least one chance i n next 100 years 2 = likely between 10 and 100% probability in the next year; or at least one chance in next 10 years 3 = highly likely near 100% probability in the next year Magnitude / Severity 1 = limited injuries and/or illnesses are treatable with first aid; minor “quality o f life” loss; shutdown of critical facilities and services for 24 hours or less; property severely damaged < 10% 2 = significant injuries and / or illnesses do not result in permanent disability; shutd own of several critical facilities for more than one week; property severely damaged 10% 3 = critical injuries and / or ilnesses result in permanent disability; complete shut down of critical facilities for at least two weeks; property severely damaged 25% 4 = catastrophic multiple deaths; complete shutdown of facilities for 30 days or more; pr operty severely damaged >50% Frequency of Occurrence, Magnitude / Severity, and Potential Damages bas ed on historical data from NOAA National Climatic Data Center APPENDIX A STAPLEE MATRIX CategorySTAPLEE Criteria 1. Prevention Good = 3, Average =2, and Poor = 1 A. Ongoing 2. Property Protection B. 2009-2014 3. Natural Resource Prot. C. 2014-2019 4. Structural Projects D. 2019-2024 5. Public Information ALL HAZARDS Dissemination of informational pamphlets regarding natural hazards to pu blic locations First Selectman B x xxxxxx1,2,53333333 21 Add pages to Town website dedicated to citizen education and preparation for natural hazard events First Selectman B x x xxxxx1,2,53323333 20 Consider implementation of an enhanced emergency notification system suc h as CodeRED First Selectman A x x xxxxx1,2,53233321 17 Upgrade emergency communications to high band radio system First Selectman B x xxxxxx 2,3323333219 Encourage residents to purchase and use NOAA weather radio with an alarm feature First Selectman B x xxxxxx 2,5232332116 Continue to review and update Emergency Operations Plan, at least once a nnually First Selectman A x xxxxxx 1333333119 Consider modifying the Plan of Conservation and Development to encourage two modes of egress into every neighborhood via through streets PZCBx xxxxxx 1 323332117 Continue reviewing subdivision applications to ensure proper access for emergency vehicles PZCA xxxxxxx 1 332332218 INLAND FLOODING Prevention Consider joining FEMA’s Community Rating System First Selectman B x x x x 2332332117 Continue to regulate activities within SFHAs PZC A xxxx 1 2323332 18 Require new buildings constructed in flood prone areas to be protected t o the highest recorded flood level regardless of SFHA PZ C B xxxx 1,2 222223114 Require that new buildings be designed and graded to shunt drainage away from the building PZC B xxxx 1,2 2233331 17 Assist with the MapMod Program to ensure an appropriate update to the FI S, FIRM, and Flood Boundary & Floodway Maps for the Town First Selectman, DPWB, Cx x x x 13323321 17 After the MapMod Program, use the Town contour maps to develop more exac t regulatory flood maps using FEMA flood elevations DPWC, D xxxx 1,2 2222231 14 Adopt an aquifer protection overlay zone once Watertown Fire District fi nalizes its aquifer protection area PZCBx x x x 12333323 19 Property and Natural Resource Protection Acquire open space properties within SFHAs and set aside as greenways, p arks, or other non-residential, non-commercial, or non-industrial use First SelectmanAx x x x x 2,33223333 19 Selectively pursue conservation objectives listed in the Plan of Conserv ation & Development First SelectmanAx x x x 33223323 18 Continue to regulate development in protected and sensitive areas, inclu ding steep slopes, wetlands, and floodplains PZC, IWCAx xxxxxx 3 233232318 Structural Projects Pursue funding to elevate Crane Hollow Road First Selectman B x x x x x 2,4232332116 Pursude funding to elevate the road near the south end of Hickory Lane, or to widen the stream and install a box culvert First Selectman Bx x x x x 41222321 13 Encourage the State DOT to elevate Route 132 between Lakes Road and Sky Meadow Lane, or to widen the stream and install a box culvert First SelectmanCx x x x x 43233321 17 WIND DAMAGE RELATED TO HURRICANES, SUMMER STORMS, AND WINTER STORMS Increase tree limb inspections and maintenance, especially along evacuat ion routes, and ensure minimum potential for downed power lines DPWBx x x x 1,23213321 15 Increase inspections of trees on private property near power lines and T own right-of-ways DPWBxxxx 1,2 3213321 15 Continue outreach regarding dangerous trees on private property DPWAxxxx 1 3223331 17 Continue to require that utilities be placed underground in new developm ents and pursue funding to move them underground in existing areas PZC, First SelectmanA, Cx x x x x x 1,23223331 17 Continue to require compliance with the Connecticut Building Code for Wi nd Speeds PZC/LUCAx x x 13333331 19 Provide for the Building Department to make literature available during the permitting process regarding appropriate design standards PZC/LUCBx x x 13333331 19 Strategies Listed by Primary Report Section for Bethlehem Associated Report Sections Inland Flooding Hurricanes Summer Storms and Tornadoes Winter Storms Earthquakes Dam Failure Wildfires Environmentally beneficial? STAPLEE Sum of Scores Responsible Department 1 Schedule Socially acceptable? Technically feasible? Administratively workable? Politically acceptable? Can it be legally implemented? Economically beneficial? Page 1 CategorySTAPLEE Criteria 1. Prevention Good = 3, Average =2, and Poor = 1 A. Ongoing 2. Property Protection B. 2009-2014 3. Natural Resource Prot. C. 2014-2019 4. Structural Projects D. 2019-2024 5. Public Information Strategies Listed by Primary Report Section for Bethlehem Associated Report Sections Inland Flooding Hurricanes Summer Storms and Tornadoes Winter Storms Earthquakes Dam Failure Wildfires Environmentally beneficial? STAPLEE Sum of Scores Responsible Department 1 Schedule Socially acceptable? Technically feasible? Administratively workable? Politically acceptable? Can it be legally implemented? Economically beneficial? WINTER STORMS Post a list of Town sheltering facilities in the Town Hall and on the To wn’s website LEPC B x xxxxxx 5 333333119 Complete evacuation plan to ensure timely evacuation of shelterees from all areas of Town, and post publicly First Selectman B x x x xxxx 5333333119 Prioritize plowing routes and post the snow plowing prioritization in To wn buildings each winter DPW B x 5 233333118 Pursue grant funding to install drainage along Cabbage Lane near Route 1 32 to eliminate icing First Selectman B x x x x 1,4 232332116 Encourage the Horace Mann Nature Center to widen and improve the access road from Bethlehem to facilitate emergency access First Selectman Bx x x x x 1,42233322 17 EARTHQUAKES Consider preventing residential development in areas prone to collapse, such as below steep slopes PZCB x12332322 17 Continue to require adherence to the state building codes PZCAxxxx 1 2333331 18 Ensure that municipal departments have adequate backup facilities (powe r generation, heat, water, etc.) in case earthquake damage occurs First SelectmanBxxxxx 12222321 14 DAM FAILURE Stay current on the evolution of EOPs and Dam Failure Analyses for Class C and B dams that can impact Bethlehem First SelectmanAx xx 2 3333333 21 Continue pursuing modifications to Long Meadow Pond Dam to pass the 100- year flood event, update EOP, and maximize preparedness for dam failure First Selectman, DPWAx x x 1,2,43333322 19 Consider implementing Town inspections of Class A, AA, and unranked dams DPWB x xx2 2312132 14 If an enhanced emergency notification system is acquired, include dam fa ilure innundation areas in database First SelectmanBx x x 13333331 19 Have copies of the Class C dam EOPs and Dam Failure Analyses on file at the Town Hall for public viewing First SelectmanB x53233211 15 Continue ongoing inspections and maintanence of Long Meadow Pond Dam DPWA x1,2 3333321 18 Consider forming a Flood and Erosion Control Board to oversee municipal dam maintenance and problems with flooding and erosion First SelectmanBx x x x x 1,2,3,43333332 20 WILDFIRES Continue to require the installation of fire ponds and dry hydrants in n ew developments, and pursue additional ponds where supplies are inadequate PZC, Fire Dept.Axx2,4 3233332 19 Continue to promote inter-municipal cooperation in fire-fighting efforts Fire Dept.Axx1 3333333 21 Continue to support public outreach programs to increase awareness of fo rest fire danger and how to use common fire fighting equipment Fire Dept.A x5 3333333 21 Encourage property owners to widen access roads to facilitate emergency access to remote locations First SelectmanBxxxxxx 1 223222114 Provide outreach programs that include tips on how to properly manage bu rning and campfires on private property Fire Dept.B x5 3 3 3 3333 21 Patrol Town-owned open space and parks to prevent campfires Police Dept.B x3 2223323 17 Enforce regulations and permits for open burning Police Dept.A x1,3 2223333 18 1Notes PZC = Planning Commission LUC = Land Use Coordinator DPW = Department of Public Works / Highway Department IWC = Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Commission Page 2 APPENDIX B DOCUMENTATION OF PLAN DEVELOPMENT APPENDIX B PREFACE An extensive data collection, evaluation, and outreach program was undertaken to compile information about existing hazards and mitigatio n in the Town of Bethlehem as well as to identify areas that should be prioritized for h azard mitigation. Documentation of this process is provided within the following sets of meeting minutes and field reports. COGCNV field notes Field inspection on February 13, 2008. Notes typed February 14, 2008 Scott Bighinatti Connecticut experienced a period of heavy rains on frozen ground on February 13, 2008. Precipitation measured 1.35 inch es over approximately 9 hours in nearby Litchfield and 1.62 inches in Waterbury. On February 13, 2008 David Murphy and Vince McDermott outlined areas of potential flooding in the Towns of Thomaston and Bethlehem. These sites were visited on February 13, 2008 and problematic areas were ph otographed. These problematic areas primarily included areas of potential poor dr ainage due to the snow cover. The sequence of photography is listed below: Camera #1: 1. North end of Reynolds Bridge Road, Thomaston 2. Northern part of Munger Lane, Bethlehem (facing north) 3. Northern part of Munger Lane, Bethlehem (facing south) 4. North end of Westshore drive, Bethlehem (facing south) 5. North end of West shore drive, Bethlehem (facing west) Many areas of both Towns were subject to minor sheet flow. Other areas had deeper puddles due to snow inhibiting inflow to the storm sewers. No major tree falls were noted, although there were areas with small branches that had fallen into or next to the streets. Thomaston: a) Waterbury Road (Route 262) (South) – Nibbling Brook appears to bend around a factory, but the channel appeared well developed. The st ream was flowing hard, but the water did not contain much sediment. There is a low area on th e south side of the road that is in the 100- year flood plain, but appeared to be used for storage. It was not flooded at the time of inspection. b) Waterbury Road (Route 262) (South) – At the bend in Rt. 262 where Jericho Brook enters the Naugatuck River from the west, and th ere was a large puddle over the northbound lane about five inches deep. This curve is south of the Stevens business. No problems were noted near the Stevens business. c) Waterbury Road (Route 262) (South) – A factory on the west side of the road had no problems with flooding, but the east side of the road was not draining. Two to three inches of water was present in the northbound lane. d) Naugatuck River – The Naugatuck River was high, but not close to being over bank, during field inspections in Thomaston. All the bri dges over the Naugatuck River are very high and in no danger of being ove rtopped by normal floods. e) Reynolds Bridge Road – The north end of this road near the Route 8 northbound off-ramp had a deep puddle (approximately eight inches in the middle). This puddle is likely due to a clogged culvert in the low spot, but this was not verified. See Picture #1. f) Unnamed Tributary near Route 6 – An unnamed tributary to the Naugatuck River is channelized starting from Watertown Road (Route 6) and running under Sumpf Avenue, Warner Lane, and Route 262. No floodi ng was noted upstream of the culvert. g) Northfield Brook – No flooding was noted along Northf ield Road (Route 254). Despite several crossings under Northfield Road, the culverts appear well sized to handle the discharge along Northfield Brook that outlets fr om Northfield Pond Dam, which is managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. h) Unnamed Stream along High Street Extension – A stream drains from a small pond along the west side of the street. While it is unlikely that the stream will be high enough to overtop the road, several driveway crossings exist over the stream, indicating the potential for residents to be trapped if the crossings back up. i) Smith Road – No flooding problems were noted here on this unnamed stream that outlets from Southerly Pond Dam. The stream is a tributary to the Naugatuck River. The new development to the northeast has a larg e detention basin providing storage. j) Unnamed stream under Atwood Road – This stream takes a sharp bend and may have been redirected around a nearby field. It was fl owing under Atwood road with no problems. k) Branch Brook – No problems were noted along Branch Brook, but access was limited due to the snow, the steep grade, and the closed recreation areas. l) Wigwam Reservoir – The area around Wigwam Reservoir is undeveloped. The reservoir was low compared to Route 109. Bethlehem: m) Kasson Road (Route 132) (East) – While the wetlands along East Spring Brook appeared to be near the road level, no flooding was present at the time of inspection. However, this road would certainly be overtopped should e ither of the upstream dams fail. n) Kasson Avenue (private road) – Long Meadow Pond is well downgradient of the houses along the lake, and the lake would overtop R oute 132 at the south end of the pond before coming close to any of the houses. The we tlands nearby the south end of the lake on Bellamy Lane were high, but the road was not flooded. o) Munger Lane (South and Middle) – No flooding was observed along these section of Munger Lane despite the nearby agricu ltural fields. The unnamed tributary to the Weekeepeemee River that drains from Long Meadow P ond and Benjamin Pond was not flooding Munger Lane, but some ponding was occurring at the crossing due to the snow pack. Page 3 p) Munger Lane (North) – The large plot of agricultural fi elds halfway to Gros Road were producing a significant amount of runoff, leading to ponding in the roadway up to four inches in places. The storm drains on this street may be too far apart, but the snow is definitely a factor contributing to the depths of ponding. See Photos #2 and #3. q) Lake Road – The outlet channel was flowing regula rly and the road was not flooded during the inspection. r) Westshore Drive – An unnamed tributary to Long Mea dow Pond flows under the northern section of Westshore Drive. The crossing was backed up and the street was flooded. A storm drain was noted above the crossing, but was completely filled with water. See Photos #4 and #5. s) East Street – The unnamed tributaries along East Sp ring Brook appeared to be flowing normally. No flooding was present. Ponded wa ter was present on Harrison Road near the Elementary School, but this appeared primarily due to snow pack. t) East Spring Brook at Nonnewaug Road – East Spring Brook was fl owing rapidly here, and contained a lot of sediment. There are seve ral agricultural operations upstream on Maddox Road that could have contribu ted to the sediment levels. u) Nonnewaug Road at Hickory Lane – East Spring Brook is still flowing hard, but is not overbank before its confluence with the Nonnewaug River. v) Unnamed Pond off Hickory Lane – A small pond on the west side of Hickory Lane was overflowing, but erosion was not present along the south end. w) Town Line Highway South – No erosion was noted along the dirt road sections of Hickory Lane and Town Line Highway South. Meeting Minutes N ATURAL H AZARD PRE -D ISASTER M ITIGATION PLAN FOR BETHLEHEM Council of Governments Central Naugatuck Valley Initial Data Collection Meeting March 4, 2008 Minutes Revised August 6, 2008 I. Welcome & Introductions The following individuals attended the data collection meeting: ‰ David Murphy, P.E., Milone & MacBroom, Inc. (MMI) ‰ Samuel Eisenbeiser, Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. (FHI) ‰ Scott Bighinatti, Milone & MacBroom, Inc. (MMI) ‰ Virginia Mason, Council of Governme nts Central Naugatuck Valley (CGCNV) ‰ Jim Kacerguis, Bethlehem Public Works Director ‰ Mike Devine, Bethlehem Emergency Management ‰ John Rudzavice, Bethlehem Fire Marshall ‰ Roger Natusch, Bethlehem Building Official ‰ Jean Donegan, Bethlehem Land Use Coordinator II. Description and Need for Hazard Mitigation Plans / Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 Virginia and David described the basis for th e natural hazard planning process and possible outcomes. Bethlehem is responsible for a 1/8 cost share through in-kind services. III. Project Scope and Schedule The project scope was described, including pr oject initiation and data collection, the vulnerability assessment, public meetings, development of recommendations, and the FEMA Review and Plan adoption. A 14-month schedule was presented. Jean Donegan was selected to be the main point of contact for billing. The Board of Selectman will be the governing body to eventually approve the Plan. IV. Hazards to Address The Bethlehem plan will likely address floodi ng, hurricanes and tropical storms, winter storms and nor’easters, summer storms and tornadoes, earthquakes, dam failure, and wildfires. March 4, 2008 Page 2 V. Discussion of Hazard Mitigation Procedures in Effect & Problem Areas ‰ The Town has an almost entirely residentia l tax base, so funding of capital projects is difficult. The Town relies on outside grants , which can be difficult to obtain due to the small size of the Town. ‰ The FEMA FIS is in need of updating, but L itchfield is a low priority in the MapMod program. ‰ The Town has had no known history of earthquakes. ‰ The informational public meeting was scheduled for April 21 st at 7:00 PM in the Town Hall. Emergency Response Capabili ties & Evacuation Routes ‰ The Fire House is the primary shelter used for small, short term events. Memorial Hall is used for larger events, but has limited bathrooms. Both have their own generators, as does each building in the m unicipal complex. The problem is that Memorial Hall and the Firehouse share the sa me long driveway, which could create a conflict during an emergency. ‰ Other sheltering spots that could be util ized include Bethlehem Elementary School and the private school (The Woodhall School) in Town during the summer. Neither have generators. In addition, the Wisdom House in Litchfield has been used as a shelter in the past for families that had extended power outages. ‰ The Abby of Regina Laudis Priory may also be used as a shelter in an emergency, but the Town is hesitant to do so because of the cloistered nature of the facility. The Town would only ask under the direst circumstances. ‰ Evacuation routes are regionally defi ned by the Regional Evacuation Plan. Evacuation Routes are Route 61 and Route 132. Flanders Road is also another good route south into Woodbury. Route 132 ha s some areas where flooding has been a problem where a watercourse crosses the road. ‰ There are three problem areas for the emergency personnel of Bethlehem related to surrounding Towns: 1. A piece of Camp Columbia’s property in Morris has public access off Munger Lane from Route 109 in Morris. Part of th is property is state forest in Morris. They do some logging and the DEP has recently increased public access. March 4, 2008 Page 3 2. The Horace Mann Nature Center in Washi ngton is located off the end of Arch Bridge Road. There is no public access to this property in Washington due to private roads and limited egress over Sprain Brook. Approximately 30-40 children are bussed in each week from New York, 40 weeks per year. This facility has dorms and outbuildings being built and renovated in a $10 million upgrade, and has COPE-style facilities a nd ziplines. The Town of Washington has asked the Town of Bethlehem to be the first responders to this facility in the case of an emergency, as it takes 22 minutes to reach the center from their fire house. Bethlehem has accepted this responsibility, but is wary as the road from Bethlehem is unpaved, narrow and steep. It is extremely difficult to get up the road when it snows in winter, despite the sand that is put down. The Town of Bethlehem plows most of the road with a pickup truck because of how narrow it is. Bethlehem worries about the studen ts being isolated during an emergency, though the facility is well-funded and safety conscious. 3. Land Trust on the Woodbury / Watertown border. Physical access is via Bethlehem off the south end of Hickory La ne (Falls Road). The Town tries to keep the gate here locked, but people repeatedly cut the lock. Woodbury limits access but the tract is not well-managed. The tract is supposed to be used for “passive recreation” but is primarily us ed by ATVs and horses, especially along developed trails and the power lines. ATVs access the property via Watertown and other locations such as Route 6 and along the power lines. Bethlehem is the first responder here as well, but access is limited because of a bad crossing and poor road conditions. This forest ofte n has problems related to alcohol – ATV and snowmobile accidents, parties, underage drinking, etc. ‰ The Town communications system is poor. All the adjoining Towns have upgraded to a high band radio system, so Bethle hem cannot communicate with any of its neighbors via its antiquated low band. The state trooper operates at 800 MHz. The Town does have the means to communicate to DEMS-5. Communications with their neighbors and police consists of walking up to them and talking while responding. A communications study is underway, which will likely recommend a new UHF/VHF communication system. The Town wants a system compatible with all personnel and surrounding Towns. However, the cost of th e upgrade will be very high and difficult to fund through the Town budget. Instead, th e Town plans to apply for grant funding in consecutive funding cycles in an effo rt to cobble together grant money from various sources. ‰ The Town has no emergency notification syst em, and no method to alert residents of floods or other problems. ‰ Homes around Long Meadow Pond are difficult to reach. This includes West Shore Drive and the private Kasson community. So me of the streets are essentially one- way. Fire trucks need to go in line with the last one in being the first one to back out March 4, 2008 Page 4 because there is no place to turn around. In some places, the fire trucks simply can’t get to the houses that are up narrow dirt roads. Critical Facilities ‰ 40-unit “North Purchase Elderl y Home” at 11 Jackson Lane is considered a critical facility. ‰ There are several group homes for troubled children in Town, including 84 Judge Lane (4 children), Wellspring Foundation at 21 Arch Bridge Road (more than 20 children, also has a day school called Arch Bridge School), and Angelus House at 158 Flanders Road (approximately 10 children) ‰ The Town maintains a salt shed in the muni cipal complex, but plans are in place to replace it. It is too small, and DEP wants it to be a covered structure. The Town would like to move the entire Public Works facility. The DEP has a consent order on the Town regarding this, but the Town ha s limited funding. This project won’t be eligible under PDM due to the consent order, but still is useful to be in the plan. ‰ The Town Hall, Department of Public Works & Highways, Fire House, elderly housing, group homes, and schools are considered to be critical facilities. Many of the Town buildings are in the municipal complex. Subdivision, Inland Wetlands and Other Regulations ‰ Regulations were collected from Jean. Noted Flooding and/or Dr ainage Problem Areas ‰ Crane Hollow Road – water floods out at least once every two year s. The road over the Weekeepeemee acts as a dike and eventually overtops. ‰ Arrowhead Lane – Homes here are near the Weekeepeemee River and can flood out. The two homes at the end of the street ha ve flooding problems associated with the nearby pond. ‰ South end of Hickory Lane – The culvert he re is undersized and floods the road every two years, but the Town can’t fix this pr oblem without elevating the road. This culvert is near Land Trust property. ‰ Hard Hill Road North – There are drainage issues along the road, but they occur primarily on private property. Farmers pass along drainage to their downstream neighbor. For example, one farmer built a 500’ berm, which caused flooding problems on a field downstream. March 4, 2008 Page 5 ‰ Route 132 near Swenson’s Farm – water ov ertops the road near the fire pond. ‰ Double Hill Road – A resident has beavers on her property, and the beavers create a lake that eventually overtops the road . This might be along the Weekeepeemee River. The owner does not want the beav ers to be bothered, so Town personnel don’t try to remove the dams. Problem Areas for Wind Damage ‰ The electric utility (CL&P) performs tr ee maintenance, and the Town has a tree warden who encourages the removal of trees that pose a danger to power lines. Outages due to tree fall have been less frequent recently. ‰ There are no mobile home parks in Bethlehem. ‰ A Tornado struck Morris in 1989 and passed over Bethlehem before landing again in Watertown. Bethlehem received some resi dual damage from that event from flying debris. Problems Due to Snow and Ice ‰ There are many hills in Bethlehem whic h can sometimes make driving difficult during icy weather. ‰ The south end of Cabbage Lane has a draina ge problem where it intersects Route 132. The end of the road is a low point and wa ter collects and freezes in the winter, and cars slide out into Route 132 wh en trying to stop. There is also a poor sight line for cars on Route 132 to see cars coming out of Cabbage Lane, and people tend to speed on this relatively straight section of R oute 132. This area is a serious problem, although reportedly there have been no fatali ties. The Town wants to install 200 feet of catch basins down the side of Route 132 to help drain the area, but DOT won’t pay for it because the problem is on the Town road. ‰ Plowing isn’t prioritized because the school buses go down every road in Town, so DPW does all the side streets as fast as they can. CT DOT plows the state roads, which are the main routes in Town. Beth lehem uses “magic salt” which is supposed to cause less vehicle rust, while DOT uses regular salt. Dams ‰ The Town owns Long Meadow Dam. The dam is not considered to be a significant hazard dam as of 2007, but was formerly a Class B dam. The dam needs to be elevated and spillway enlarged, or the whole dam needs to become a spillway. March 4, 2008 Page 6 Haested Engineering inspected this dam and made the recommendations. The Town would like to be able to find a way to get funding through PDM or another grant program for the necessary dam work (which is due to a design flaw, not a failure of the Town in performing regular maintenance) . The Town needs to talk to DEP to weigh its options. ‰ Long Meadow Pond is shallow (10-12 feet d eep maximum) but very long so it has a lot of volume. It would have a signif icant dam failure inundation area to the Weekeepeemee River. ‰ Bronson Lockwood Dam is Class C but is in good condition. Wildfires and Fire Protection ‰ Fires only burn a couple of acres at their largest. The Town has no state parks, so there are no public camping related fires. The large private tracts of land don’t tend to attract kids. The limited-access conservation properties are considered to be at the highest risk for fires. ‰ Bethlehem has a 4-wheel drive brush truck and utilizes a system of 32 fire ponds with dry hydrants to provide fire protection to the Town. ‰ In addition to the forest areas, the Town feels that its many hayfields are a significant fire risk, particularly just prior to harvest time. ‰ The Town has mutual aid agreements with all its neighbors. Development Trends ‰ Bethlehem has almost no development ongoing because there is no public water, no public sewer, and poor soils for large on-site septic systems. Such systems would be expensive due to the poor soils. Applicati ons are typically for very small (1-2 lot) subdivisions. Last real developm ent push was in the late 80’s. ‰ Underground utilities are required in new developments wherever possible. ‰ Bethlehem has a lot of undeveloped open space, but it is primarily private forest or land trust property. VI. Acquisitions ‰ Bethlehem Town Guide – Voices, March 2007 ‰ 2006 Annual Report – Bethlehem, Connecticut ‰ Bethlehem Inland Wetlands Regulations – Undated, but most current copy Meeting Minutes March 4, 2008 Page 7 ‰ Earth Materials Ordinance – Bethlehem, Connecticut effective May 5, 1977 ‰ Subdivision Regulations effective October 10, 2003 ‰ Plan of Conservation & Development effective November 1, 1999. Natural Hazard Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan Bethlehem, Connecticut Presented by : David Murphy, P.E. – Associate Milone & MacBroom, Inc. Sam Eisenbeiser, AICP Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. April 21, 2008 • Authority – Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (amendments to Stafford Act of 1988) • Goal of Disaster Mitigation Act – Encourage disaster preparedness – Encourage hazard mitigation measures to reduce losses of life and property History of Hazard Mitigation Plans M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. Local municipalities must have a FEMA approved Hazard Mitigation Plan in place to receive federal grant funds for hazard mitigation projects ƒNaugatuck ƒ Southbury ƒ Thomaston ƒ Beacon Falls ƒ Bethlehem ƒ Middlebury Municipalities Currently Involved in the Regional Mitigation Planning Process M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. Selection of FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grants: 2003-2006 List does not include seismic, wind ret rof it , home acquisition, and planning projects State Description Grant Colorado Detention pond $3,000,000 Oregon Water conduit replacement $3,000,000 Wa s h in g t o n Ro a d e le v a t io n $3,000,000 Oregon Floodplain restoration $2,984,236 Colorado Watershed mitigation $2,497,216 Georgia Drainage improvements $1,764,356 Massachusetts Pond flood hazard project $1,745,700 Oregon Ice storm retrofit $1,570,836 No rt h Da ko t a Po we r t ra n s mis s io n re p la c e me n t $1,511,250 Texas Home elevations $1,507,005 Florida Storm sewer pump station $1,500,000 Massachusetts Flood hazard mitigation project $1,079,925 Kansas Effluent pump station $765,000 South Dakota Flood channel restoration $580,657 Ma s s a c h u s e t t s Cu lv e rt p ro je c t $525,000 Te xa s St o rm s h e lt e r $475,712 Mas s achus etts Hous ing elevation and retrofit $473,640 Ut a h Fire s t a t io n re t ro fit $374,254 Washington Downtown flood prevention project $255,000 New York WWTP Floodwall construction $223,200 Mas s achus etts Road mitigation project $186,348 Massachusetts Flood mitigation project $145,503 Vermont Road mitigation project $140,441 New Hampshire Water planning for firefighting $134,810 Oregon Bridge scour relocation project $116,709 Ne w Ha mp s h ire Bo x c u lv e rt p ro je c t $102,000 Mis s o u ri Ba n k s t a b iliza t io n $48,750 Tennessee Utility protection $40,564 Wis co n s in Wat erway s t ab ilizat io n $12,909 M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. • An extreme natural event that poses a risk to people, infrastructure, and resources What is a Natural Hazard ? M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. • Pre-disaster actions that reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people, property, and resources from natural hazards and their effects A Road Closure During / After a Large Scale Rainfall Event is a Type of Hazard Mitigation What is Hazard Mitigation? M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. • Reduce loss / damage to life, property, and infrastructure • Reduce the cost to residents and businesses • Educate residents and policy-makers about natural hazard risk and vulnerability • Connect hazard mitigation planning to other community planning efforts • Enhance and preserve natural resource systems in the community Long-Term Goals of Hazard Mitigation M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. • Terrorism and Sabotage • Disaster Response and Recovery • Human Induced Emergencies (some fires, hazardous spills and contamination, disease, etc.) What a Hazard Mitigation Plan Does Not Address M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. • Identify natural hazards that could occur in Bethlehem • Evaluate the vulnerability of structures and populations and identify critical facilities and areas of concern • Assess adequacy of mitigation measures currently in place • Evaluate potential mitigation measures that could be undertaken to reduce the risk and vulnerability • Develop recommendations for future mitigation actions Components of Hazard Mitigation Planning Process M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. • Emergency Services – Police, Fire, Ambulance • Municipal Facilities – Town Hall • Public Works Center Bethlehem’s Critical Facilities M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. • Health Care and Assisted Living – North Bridget Home • Group Homes • Shelters – Fire House, Memorial Hall, Bethlehem Elementary School Bethlehem’s Critical Facilities M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. Potential Mitigation Categories M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. Public Education Prevention Structural Projects Natural Resource Protection Property Protection Emergency Services • Updating Communications Systems • Adopt local legislation that limits or regulates development in vulnerable areas • Public education programs – dissemination of public safety information • Construction of structural measures • Allocate technical and financial resources for mitigation programs • Preserve critical land areas and natural systems Potential Mitigation Measures M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. • Inland flooding • Winter storms, nor’easters, heavy snow, blizzards, ice storms • Hurricanes • Summer storms, tornadoes, thunderstorms, lightning, hail • Dam failure • Wildfires • Earthquakes Primary Natural Hazards Facing Bethlehem M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. • Winds • Heavy rain / flooding Hurricanes M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. • Heavy wind / tornadoes / downbursts • Lightning • Heavy rain • Hail Lightning over Boston Flooding in MN Tornado in KS Summer Storms and Tornadoes M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. • Blizzards and nor’easters • Heavy snow and drifts • Freezing rain / ice Connecticut CT River – April 2007 Winter Storms M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. Southbury – April 2007 • Severe rains or earthquakes can cause failure • Possibility of loss of life and millions of dollars in property damage Dam Failure M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. Bronson Lockwood Pond Dam Long Meadow Pond Dam • Bethlehem has low to moderate risk of wildfires • Land subject to wildfires is mostly private or land trust forests or farms during drought • Fire • Heat • Smoke Photo courtesy of FEMA Wildfires M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. • Bethlehem is in an area of minor seismic activity • Chester, CT experienced a small, 2.0 magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2008 • Can cause dam failure ŠShaking Š Liquefaction Š Secondary (Slides/Slumps) Photos courtesy of FEMA Earthquakes M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. • Roadway and property flooding at rivers and streams Š Crane Hollow Road Š Arrowhead Lane Š Route 132 Š Double Hill Road • Localized problems Š Hard Hill Road North • Flooding caused by poor drainage Š Hickory Lane Š Cabbage Lane at Route 32 – ice Other potential hazards • Long Meadow Pond Dam • Drought conditions – wildfires in hay fields Area-Specific Problems M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. • Dowd Brook and tributary at Crane Hollow Road • Homes along the Weekeepeemee on Arrowhead Lane • Route 132 overtops at the pond near Swanson’s farm. • Beaver dams back water over Double Hill Road Flooding at Rivers and Streams M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. Localized Problems • Hard Hill Road North – farmers pass drainage from one field to the next M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. Flooding and Ice Caused by Poor Drainage • Hickory Lane – culvert undersized, but can’t fix without elevating road • Cabbage Lane – poor drainage at R oute 132 causes dangerous icing conditions Route 132 at Cabbage Lane • Long Meadow Pond dam • Hay fields could spread wildfires during drought Other Potential Hazards M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. Fields off Munger Lane • Incorporate input from residents • Rank hazard vulnerability • Develop a response strategy • Prepare the draft plan with recommendations for review by the Town and the public • Adopt and implement the plan Next Steps M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. Natural Hazard Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan Questions and Additions M ILONE & M AC BROOM Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. Meeting Minutes N ATURAL H AZARD PRE -D ISASTER M ITIGATION PLAN FOR BETHLEHEM Council of Governments Central Naugatuck Valley Public Information Meeting April 21, 2008 I. Welcome & Introductions The following individuals attended the public meeting: ‰ David Murphy, P.E., Milone & MacBroom, Inc. (MMI) ‰ Samuel Eisenbeiser, Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. (FHI) ‰ Virginia Mason, Council of Governme nts Central Naugatuck Valley (CGCNV) ‰ Jean Donegan, Bethlehem Land Use Coordinator ‰ Jim Kacerguis, Bethlehem Public Works Director ‰ Mike Devine, Bethlehem Emergency Management ‰ Nancy McMillan, Conservation Commission ‰ Meike Schuyler, Long Meadow Pond Management ‰ Theresa O’Neill, municipal agent for the elderly ‰ Ted Crawford, resident ‰ Vince McDermott, resident ‰ John Vail, Jr., resident Ms. Mason introduced the project team and th e project, explaining the COG’s role in the project, the goals of the Disa ster Mitigation Act, and the relationship to the FEMA pre- disaster and post-disast er funding processes. II. Power Point: “Natural Hazard Pre-Disast er Mitigation Plan, Bethlehem, Connecticut” Mr. Murphy and Mr. Eisenbeiser pr esented the power point slideshow. III. Questions, Comments, and Discussion Corrections and Comments: ‰ “Swanson’s” farm is “Swenson’s” farm ‰ North “Bridget” Home is North “Purchase” Home ‰ Dowd Brook may not be the problem at Crane Hill Road. It may be a different stream. This needs to be checked. Discussion: ‰ Ms. McMillan reported that an icy spot occurs at Route 132 and Wood Creek Road near the Weekeepeemee River due to poor drainage. Meeting Minutes April 21, 2008 Page 2 ‰ A long discussion took place regarding the condition of Long Meadow Pond Dam and the potential impacts in Bethlehem, Woodbur y, and Southbury if the dam should fail. Ms. Schuyler of the Long Meadow Pond Management Association would like to work with Milone & MacBroom, Inc. after th e public meeting to ensure that proper documentation is available for the pla nning project. A potential teaming of communities such as Bethlehem and Southbury was discussed to apply for PDM grants for Long Meadow Pond Dam maintenance. ‰ Another discussion involved inadequate comm unication during emergencies. The town Communications Plan specifies the use of Morris Fire House as a Command Center but radio communications are not possible inside the facility. Mr. Murphy explained that PDM grants are generally not available for communications but that it was necessary to describe the problem and recommend improvements in the plan. ‰ Mr. Vail believes that more tree and branch trimming is necessary due to vulnerability of power lines. ‰ Flooding at Swenson’s farm reportedly prevents emergency response to the Woodlands, Cabbage Lane, and Hard Hill Road neighborhoods. From: Ifkovic, Diane [Diane.Ifkovic@ct.gov] Sent: Friday, December 12, 2008 8:54 AM To: Jfdwk@aol.com; mmartin@thomastonct.org; susanacable@aol.com Cc: Christian, Art; Virginia Mason; Shaw n Goulet; Dave Murphy; Scott Bighinatti Subject: No RLPs for Bethlehem, Beacon Falls or Thomaston Importance: Low Hi all, According to FEMA’s Repetitive Loss Property (RLP) database, there are NO RLPs in Bethlehem, Beacon Falls or Thomaston. If you need any data, such as list of propertie s in town with flood insurance, please give a call or email. diane Diane S. Ifkovic State NFIP Coordinator/E nvironmental Analyst III Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Water Protection & Land Reuse Inland Water Resources Division Flood Management Program 79 Elm Street, 3rd floor Hartford, CT 06106-5127 Phone: (860) 424-3537 Fax: (860) 424-4075 Email: diane.ifkovic@ct.gov APPENDIX C RECORD OF MUNICIPAL ADOPTION