If you're in or around DeWitt County Tuesday morning, you may notice or hear a lot of emergency response vehicles.
A mock disaster will take place at the 4-H Fairgrounds north of Clinton Tuesday morning. According to Emergency Management Agency Director for DeWitt County, Teresa Barnett, the drill is a culmination of efforts among several agencies, of which the Dr. John Warner Hospital is the lead.
According to Barnett, the written simulation calls for a crop-duster to crash and bring down several utility lines and poles, and for the disaster to take place at Three Star Restaurant in Clinton. Because Three Star Restaurant is located at a very busy and central location in Clinton, the decision has been made to transport the action to the 4-H Fairgrounds.
Despite not being in the location the scenario calls for, Barnett does not see that being a problem. She feels the purpose of the scenario has less to do with location, and more about what the goals of the drill are. She says it is all about life, health and safety.
CENCOM Coordinator for DeWitt County, Tony Harris explains his office is going to play a very important role in this drill. On top of being the notification system for all agencies involved, he explains he wants to find out if his office will be able to handle the abundance of phone calls they would receive in a scenario like what will be played out Tuesday.
Starting at about 9 am, the exercise will begin. Barnett says things should be wrapped up before noon.
They remind the public this is a drill of their agencies' preparedness and not a real life occurrence.