Hazards in Williams County

Natural Hazards

Blizzard / Winter Storms
A blizzard has 3 hours or longer of sustained wind/gusts to 35 mph or greater with considerable falling and/or blowing snow reducing visibility frequently to less than ¼ mile.

Communicable Disease /Outbreak/ Pandemic Flu
A communicable disease is passed from one person or animal to another that can result in an outbreak (i.e. norovirus, tuberculosis, water/food borne illness). Pandemic flu is a global disease outbreak from a virus there is little or no immunity in the people. Depending on the incident the local health care system could be overwhelmed.

A natural decline in the expected precipitation over an extended period of time, typically one or more seasons in length. This can impact agricultural communities and crops along with diminishing water supplies for firefighting.

Extreme Cold / Ice Storms
Extreme cold occurs during extended below zero temperatures with possibly even lower wind chill producing hypothermia or frostbite in a short time to those exposed. An ice storm brings rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees, and power lines. Both can be causes for power outages.

Extreme Heat
When the Heat Index (using temperature & relative humidity) is expected to exceed 105° - 110° for two consecutive days and places the elderly, young, and those with health issues at risk.

Flash Flooding / River Flooding

A Flash flood is caused by heavy or excessive rainfall in a short time, generally less than 6 hours. River flooding is water collecting within a stream, creek, or river and then overflows onto nearby floodplains.

Forest / Wildland Fires
An uncontrolled fire in areas with concentration of trees, brush, or other vegetation and possibly consuming structures.

Frozen ice pellets from ¼” – 4 ½” and greater in diameter which causes damage to property and agriculture along with possible injuries.

Severe Thunderstorms / Lightning Storms
A thunderstorm that produces lightning, tornado, winds of at least 58 mph, and/or hail at least ¾" in diameter.

Tornado / High Winds
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground with wind speeds up to 300 mph or more. High winds are 1) sustained wind speeds of 40 mph or greater for 1 hour or longer or 2) winds of 58 mph or greater for any duration.

Man Made / Technological Hazards

Aircraft Accident
  An Accident involving an aircraft either at the airport site or off the airport site.

Contaminated Water Supply
  A water plant or private well that becomes contaminated through accidental or purposefully exposure to substances harmful to humans.

Dam/Levee Failure
  The collapse, breach, or other failure of a dam that could cause downstream flooding.

Hazardous Materials Incident - Fixed Facility
  A facility containing hazardous substances when either accidental or intentionally released cause concern for life safety and environment containment.

Hazardous Materials Incident-Pipeline

  Accidental or intentional release of hazardous substances from the pipeline resulting in a potential evacuation or explosion
resulting in life safety and environmental concerns .

Hazardous Materials Incident- Railway

  Train derailment, train/vehicle collision, or intentional release causing ruptured rail cars to release hazardous substances resulting in life safety and environmental concerns.

Hazardous Materials Incident- Roadway
  Vehicle accident involving hazardous chemicals in transport on the roadway resulting in life safety and environmental concerns.

Loss of Electrical Service
  Either from technological or weather causes these services could be loss during an event for less that one day up to an extended duration of one to two weeks. This can have impact on businesses and residents ability heating and cooling.

Loss of Sewer Service/Wastewater Management
  Either from technological or weather causes these services could be loss during an event for less that one day up to an extended duration of one to two weeks. During flooding these systems can be affected by excessive storm water.

Mass Casualty Incident
  A mass casualty event overwhelming the local municipality capabilities and resources for responding.

Pre-Planned Events
  Community or large scale private events which brings in a large number of people such as parades, concerts, festivals, fireworks display, or sporting events. During these events if an emergency happens it can overwhelm the local resources.

Structural Fires
  Fire impacting critical infrastructure, multiple buildings, high population/economic area and/or conflagration.

Terrorism or Intentional Acts of Violence
  The use of violence or the threat of violence to cause fear and intimidation to the community and/or government. This can be accomplished using explosives, weapons, biological agents, cyber attacks, food supply tampering and other means. 

206 East Broadway
Williston, ND 58801

Mailing Address:
PO Box 2047
Williston, ND 58802-2047


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