Maps Help Page County Prepare for Natural Disasters

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

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PAGE COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- Page County is the first and only county in Virginia to have a geologic survey to help emergency response to natural disasters.

The geographic maps show where these potential flood zones are.

Brandon Walters lives across the street from Hawksbill Creek in Luray and remembers a flood that caused significant damage.

"In the house we had about three to four feet of water on the bottom level. We had fish in our front yard and inside our house," said Walters.

Page County administrator, Mark Lauzier, said the maps will be a huge help to families like the Walters.

"Really knowing where there are potential hazards, where water collects, gathers, drains, and creates landslides, is a tremendous tool to have," said Lauzier.

A tool that could give Walters a better idea of what's happening in his own neighborhood, and he's already noticed changes in the geography, like the creek expanding.

"Probably about three or five foot from the road. It's just started coming in more, and that's been in maybe the last three years," said Walters.

The county only has a few paid emergency response teams so knowing about the changes sooner will protect more families from a potential tragedy.

"This is pretty much a volunteer community, so we really do need to know where to go. This is something that is really going to help us out with that," said Lauzier.

Lauzier said there are cabins up in the mountains and in other dangerous areas.

Having this resource will alert emergency response to check these places first.

Out of all the counties in Virginia, why was Page County chosen first?

Lauzier said because of the topography or the mountains on both sides of the county, also the river running straight through.

Lauzier said that the geologist in charge of the survey thinks the maps will also be a good indication for other counties in Virginia where the topography is very similar.


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