Representatives from the City of Anacortes took part in a multi-county, multi-agency drill exercise today that simulated the breach of two Skagit River dams.
The exercise was hosted by the Skagit County Department of Emergency Management and provided an opportunity for representatives from several agencies to respond to the simulated emergency scenario and test their communication systems in an effort to share emergency information in a timely fashion.
Additionally, the exercise provided an opportunity to assure that Anacortes is prepared for regional emergencies.
“Our goal is to increase efficiency in setting up the emergency coordination center to provide resources to the community in the event a major emergency or disaster occurs,” Skagit County Emergency Management Director Mark Anderson said. “By participating in this drill with Seattle City Light and Puget Sound Energy, we are able to evaluate our performance.”
Seattle City Light operates three dams at its Skagit Hydroelectric Project on the Skagit River. Puget Sound Energy operates two dams at its nearby Baker River Hydroelectric Project. The Baker River is a tributary of the Skagit River.
Federal operating licenses for the dams require City Light and PSE to hold dam safety exercises at least once every five years. By collaborating on a full-scale exercise with nearby emergency management agencies, the utilities are meeting their regulatory requirements and supporting preparedness efforts throughout the area.