County enters into aid agreement with Henderson County

May. 10, 2013 @ 07:10 AM

Citing a need to share resources, Rutherford County has entered into a mutual aid agreement with Henderson County.

The agreement covers the entire county but Rutherford County Fire Marshall Roger Hollifield said the primary use of Henderson County resources will be in the Hickory Nut Gorge.

"We do have a special situation in the Gorge area, especially in flooding," Hollifield said. "There is one way in and one way out and we can be dependent if we can't get in there."

The Henderson County Commission approved the agreement during its regular meeting April 1 and Rutherford County approved the agreement during its May meeting.

"Mr [Henderson County Emergency Manager Rocky] Hyder noted in his request that the growing popularity of Chimney Rock State Park and the Broad River has increased the interaction between Henderson and Rutherford County emergency personnel," Henderson County Commission Clerk Teresa Wilson said in a memo to Rutherford County Manager Carl Classen.

Hollifield said that Henderson County has a certified dive team that Rutherford County can use as well as a bomb squad.

"We have a haz mat team that they do not have," Hollifield said.

The mutual aid agreement means that one county can use the resources of another county in the event of an emergency.

"After [the weekend of rain], it almost got used," Classen said.

The rain from the weekend of May 4-5 caused flooding in several areas of the county as well as the evacuation of two campgrounds due to high water from the Rocky Broad and Broad River.

"I got an email from the county manager stating that the Broad River was out," said Rutherford County Commissioner Bill Eckler. "I think most of it is on my farm but that's what you get when you live on a river."