Emergency personnel were faced with the following scenario as part of a training exercise Saturday morning: A tornado struck between Columbia and Waterloo, laying down a path of destruction 600 feet wide and a mile long, ending as it crossed Route 3. Heavy property damage was sustained and several fatalities were recorded.
This is a fiction story, of course. It didn’t really happen.
But the response was very, very real, as more than 100 emergency personnel descended on the scene from three area counties.
Fire, police and emergency medical personnel swept the area, searching for casualties, assessing damage, and preventing further injuries and casualties. The parking lot at Hope Christian Church filled with emergency vehicles as responders focused on heavy simulated damage and numerous casualties there, some inflatable mannequins and others, real volunteer victims playing roles.
Read more about this important exercise coordinated by the Monroe County Emergency Management Agency in the April 12 issue of the Republic-Times newspaper.