Dan Eamon, Longmont’s emergency manager, was one of the first people mentioned when BW asked about the people who played a crucial role in that city’s flood response.
Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle points to the fact that Eamon served as grand marshal in Longmont’s Parade of Lights thanks to his efforts during the September flooding as evidence that the preparation exercises Eamon launched for various natural disasters paid off.
“He started all the planning for flooding many years ago,” adds Det. Cmdr. Jeff Satur of the Longmont Police Department.
Rigo Leal, public information officer for the city of Longmont, served on the emergency planning committee that Eamon helped form after he was hired nearly six years ago, and he says practicing for a flood scenario helped the city immensely.
Eamon says that committee has conducted preparation exercises for a different natural disaster each year, and it focused on flooding two years ago. He says when the Federal Emergency Management Agency recently changed the city’s floodplain map, it prompted the city to go door-to-door to every city resident in the floodplain in an effort to educate them as well as encourage them to sign up for the city’s emergency notification system. Whether those residents’ choice was to be notified by reverse 911 call, text or email, Eamon says the outreach paid off when the real deal arrived last September.
He lauds the residents who chipped in to help the community, from the neighbors around the shelter at the St. Vrain Memorial Building who did laundry for families staying there and brought toys for their kids to play with to the members of the Southmoor Park community who turned out with snow shovels to dig out mud along Lefthand Drive.
Eamon also says city staff gave their time freely and selflessly.
“The human resources department came over and answered phones for five days,” he says. “We never, one time, heard ‘no,’ and that was a community-wide thing. What I’m going to remember is what the community did to support each other.”