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Managers involved in emergency preparedness for institutional and commercial facilities understand that they and their peers do the best they can to prepare their buildings and organizations to withstand emergencies and crises. But they also know that nature always bats last, and the results often can be devastating.
Consider the case of Camp Ashland in Ashland, Neb., which was devastated by flooding in March. The Nebraska Army National Guard is working to clear sand and debris from the camp, which sits next to the Platte River. The floodwaters ravaged much of the camp. Newer barracks on 7-foot stilts escaped unharmed, but the damage closer to the river remained severe, according to KETV in Omaha.
Col. Shane Martin, who oversees the National Guard's construction and facilities in Nebraska, says he never expected to see this much damage.
"This is historic on all levels," he says.
Per a flood assessment from the National Guard, it will cost $62.3 million to cover military construction, levee extensions, barracks repairs and equipment replacement. Martin said National Guard leaders have talked to the Army Corps of Engineers about preventing, or at least mitigating, any future damage to Camp Ashland.
"Our future plan is to have all our building built up on stilts, so that they're out of the flood plains,” says First Lt. Joshua Hruby. “That way, if we do get flooded again, the damage will be minimal and we'll be able to continue training on a regular basis.”
Dan Hounsell is editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions.