The Star’s Dave Helling examines local disaster plans in light of the debacle on the Gulf Coast. While most people don’t except a city-wide evacuation on the scale of that in hurricane territory, there are possible scenarios involving tornado damage to power plants, floods, chemical spills, etc. Planners have identified at least 60,0000 people without cars, and that’s just in KCMO.
The most likely scenario might be the opposite of an evacuation, the influx of hundreds of thousands after an earthquake on the New Madrid fault. While KC isn’t expected to see much serious damage from a New Madrid quake, St. Louis and Memphis could be devastated on a scale approaching New Orleans. As the nearest major city, KC could be on the front line of receiving masses of injuries and refugees. Baton Rouge is facing a similar experience with it’s population doubling almost overnight, a scenario that hasn’t barely been considered here.