Public asked to weigh Wareham's storm, weather vulnerabilities

May 30, 2018

Moving the Wareham Fire Department, drafting an evacuation plan and upgrading wastewater pipes are some issues town officials are focused on in light of climate change.

Those ideas came out of a workshop for the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program, a state grant initiative Wareham has joined. They were discussed at a public listening session during the Selectmen’s Tuesday night meeting.

The evening started with a warning, however.

“It’s going to feel like, in 50 years, that we’re down in South Carolina,” said Director of Planning & Community Development Ken Buckland. “There will be more flash flooding, more frequent and intense storms and a great possibility for drought and sea level rise.”

The workshop highlighted some of the problems possibly associated with climate change, said Buckland. He noted that while town officials came up with several areas to focus on, the public is being asked to weigh in as well.

It’s all part of the state’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program. Launched two years ago, it’s targeted at cities and towns to help them get ready for weather-related problems.

By participating in the workshop, Wareham is now eligible for state grants. Buckland said his department is focused on applying for funds to establish an emergency command center, likely in an existing building away from the flood zone, if one is received.

He invited the public to complete a survey seeking input on the town’s vulnerabilities. Fill out the survey by clicking here. Comments will be accepted until June 12.