By Robert Lucke
More than 50 people met Wednesday, March 21, at the Townhouse Inns Of Havre to participate in a "Table Top" disaster scenario.
The scenario was that there was in a short period of time, a lot of rain (more than seven inches) in the Bear Paw Mountains south of Havre.
County and tribal officials worked with weather bureau personnel out of Great Falls, state water experts, federal water people along with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials and Montana department officials to see what steps should be taken and when, as disaster scenarios kept coming, one after another.
Box Elder was evacuated in the exercise, as were parts of Rocky Boy Reservation and folks living below Beaver Creek Reservoir south of Havre.
As the scenario unfolded, finally weather officials predicted warmer and dry weather but just as that was happening in the scenario, the East Fork Dam on upper Beaver Creek failed, causing Bear Paw Dam just south of Kiwanis to fail as well.
State, tribal and country officials said that the exercise was invaluable in strengthening their efforts in dealing with disasters of this kind in real life. Other water related "Table Top" disasters are planned for the future.