County governments are on the frontlines of many types of natural disasters. One of the challenges that county governments face in this role is alerting residents of danger and asking them to follow boundaries and perimeters set by the county throughout emergency response and recovery. Prince George’s County recently confronted this scenario when maintaining an evacuation order following a landslide.
As reported in the Washington Post, about a dozen Prince George’s County families walked past barricades to return home despite an evacuation order levied a month ago after a landslide destabilized the road.
The Fort Washington residents organized the demonstration to pressure the county government to relax sanctions against them staying in their homes while officials come up with a plan to shore up a slippery hillside that damaged Piscataway Drive and ruptured water and sewer lines.
. . . The firm KCI Technologies proposed three options to stabilize the ground, and Prince George’s officials are evaluating the feasibility and cost of the project. It could be months before work begins.
County and utility workers installed a temporary water main for fire protection and plastic drainage pipes to divert rain runoff, and they patched the road for construction vehicles.
The county is also coordinating its work with the Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission. As described in the Post,
About a dozen households have asked for water service to be restored, said Lyn Riggins, a spokeswoman for the WSSC. The agency is working to extend the temporary main and use hoses to connect the line to the homes, an operation that could take about four days. The WSSC will flush the line for normal sewer operations and test it regularly to make sure it is clean and reliable.
“This is an unprecedented situation,” Riggins said “We are figuring it out as we go, in coordination with the county,” Riggins said.