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Local officials have begun work on coordinating emergency services for RAGBRAI.
Officials from Wellman, Kalona and Riverside met with Washington County Emergency Management Coordinator Marissa Reisen last week and Sheriff Jared Schneider on April 25.
Schneider said that the Iowa State Patrol would be taking the lead in traffic control, but there were issues two years ago when RAGBRAI went through the southern part of Washington County.
“Hopefully, they’ll tell us which intersections they’re going to cover and which intersections we will be responsible for,” Schneider said. “Some of the issues we had last time it went through into Washington, is that they didn’t show up at the intersections that they were supposed to. That caused us an issue.”
Wellman City Councilman Mark Philpot asked what the impact on Hwy. 22 traffic will be.
“During heavy traffic time, they’ll take up more than one lane of the highway,” Schneider said. “From Wellman to Riverside, we have the wide shoulders, and that’ll make it a little bit better.”
A representative from CARE Ambulance Service said that they will have four ambulances traveling along the route for any medical emergencies.
“It’s tough for local agencies to get out on the route,” he said.
Kalona Fire Chief Steve Yotty expressed concerns with the route going past the fire station.
“There will be a problem getting out of my station,” Yotty said. “There’s a problem with the way it’s routed.”
Kalona City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh said that organizers are still discussing routes in the city.
There was also some discussion as to how to handle an emergency weather situation.
Wellman City Councilman Shannon McCain said that the Parkside Activities Center will be equipped as a shelter, but others questioned how riders could be directed off the route to the center.
Reisen suggested that homeowners along the route willing to offer shelter be given signs they can post to indicate that to riders.
She added that the National Weather Service will pay special attention to an area when large events are going on if requested to do so.