ARES members from Washington County complete service to Lake St. Croix Beach

Washington County ARES members were called to Lake St. Croix Beach to assist in carrying out the city's Emergency Plan on flood response. While our ARES group was participating in a Prairie Island Relocation Drill on June 25th, the LSCB City Council was meeting and declared a flood emergency effective June 25. Emergency Manager Brad Peters, WD9GNJ, contacted EC John Regan, KA0HYR, to begin activation. The Emergency Plan of the city calls for amateur radio operators from Washington County ARES to monitor pumps and the dike from Minor Flood Stage to Major Flood Stage. If there is a breach or over topping of the dike, and City Council Members or the Emergency Manager declares an evacuation is necessary, ARES members are to contact home owners with the correct order to evacuate. Close coordination between the mayor and the City Council and Washington County ARES is required. ARES members were on duty for a period of seven days while the 8 inch pump was operating. Pumping was done only during day light hours and was sufficient to stay ahead of the water seeping under ground into low spots behind the dike. Nine hams put in a total of 115 hours in service to Lake St. Croix Beach during the seven day period. Members used HT's and mobile rigs on simplex frequencies with nearby repeaters as a back-up. ARES members talked with many of the city residents as they passed by daily watching the pumping. Often times they were taking a break from their own pumping of their basement or helping their neighbors. Mayor McCarthy expressed his thanks to the hams each day and was appreciative of their service to the city and its residents. One difficulty in the service provided was that it occurred over the 2014 Field Day, making some members unavailable for duty. We were able to maintain two members on duty at all times with out any trouble, but a larger response would have been more problematic. Hams who provided service were: WD9GNJ, KB0SED, N0UC, KC0ESE, AE0DB, KD0MHE, K0GCP, KD0ZWM, and KA0HYR. A Great Big THANK YOU to each of these hams!!