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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > Hurricane Storm Surge Evacuation Study Kicks Off

Hurricane Storm Surge Evacuation Study Kicks Off


October 10, 2006


The US Army Corps of Engineers, their contractors, County Emergency Management Directors and MEMA have begun the process of making a comprehensive study of evacuation routes along Maine's coast. This study will ultimately give emergency managers vital information to plan for evacuations ahead of a hurricane.

Planners will perform an in-depth transportation study of the coastal zones where evacuation might be necessary. They will assess:

  • Details on the hazard, including potential areas impacted by storm surge, vulnerability of public shelters and areas seen by the Counties as most likely to be evacuated
  • Housing and population information, numbers of vehicls and likely behavior of the public in an evacuation
  • Locations and capacities of public shelters
  • Roadway network data, including numbers of lanes, carrying capacities, bridge locations and critical intersections

The study is expected to provide projections on:

  • Maps of expected transportation networks
  • Numbers of estimated evacuees and vehicles under different scenarios
  • Demand for public shelters
  • Timing to begin evacuations in order to complete them before the major impact of the storm
  • Total time to accomplish evacuation

The study will also produce a Transportation Model which county and local emergency managers can use in planning, plugging in different possible scenarios to look at potential situations they might face. This Model will allow emergency planners to look at the projected impact of additional growth or road construction on evacuation capability. In this way, the current study will be able to be used well into the future.

In a series of meetings the first week of October, County EMA Directors were asked to provide such information as existing evacuation plans and routes, locations and capacities of hotels, shelter locations, any specialized traffic control situations or measures in their counties, and input on what particular situations they would like to model.

Gene Maxim, MEMA's lead planner for this project, says the evacuation study is expected to be completed in March of 2007. "This study will give us the first comprehensive look we have had at evacuation issues all along Maine's coast," he said. "Some excellent planning work has been done in particular counties and towns, but now we can bring sophisticated analysis tools to bear on evacuation issues, and help local emergency managers make their plans even better."

The evacuation study is federally funded.



Last update: 07/20/10