Some of you may have seen that McESDA is undergoing Multi-Hazard Mitigation planning.  A team of dedicated McDonough County volunteers from across different jurisdictions, along with our partners at American Environmental, have been gathering data that can be later used for developing community development projects that will improve our resilience in natural and man-made disasters.  Our most recent meeting was yesterday and we wanted to share some early findings on how disasters impact McDonough County:

  • 740 Natural Hazard events were documented in this report
  • There were 5 federal disaster declarations since 2002
  • Over $5.5 million in property damage due to natural disasters
  • Over $21.9 million in crop damages

Through this work, we were able to narrow down the most common natural hazards in McDonough County: Severe Storms, Extreme Cold, Floods, Tornadoes and Drought.  Floods account for almost half the property damage accounted for in the study, at a loss of $2.4 million from only 16 of the events (the likely total is more!).  The most dangerous hazards were severe storms, with 5 fatalities and 271 injuries caused by storms between 2014-2018.  Droughts are also a major concern for a rural area like McDonough County, and the 2005 Drought had over $16.1 million in commercial crop damage.  The project fortunately did identify some hazards as being relatively low-risk, namely Earthquakes.  While earthquakes have been an issue in surrounding counties like Fulton and Warren, none have originated around here for over 200 years.  It is still important to keep monitoring, as we are overdue for an earthquake from the New Madrid Faultline, which may be big enough to impact us here.

A detailed risk analysis is only the start of what we want to accomplish with our American Environmental partners.  Together, with the help of our volunteers, we hope to use this data to draft mitigation project ideas that  can make these disasters less of a threat to our community.  If you have any questions, want to get involved, or perhaps even have a project idea, please email us at for more information.  You can also check out our Hazard Mitigation page with important forms and a timeline for the whole project.

Stay Safe and Informed, McDonough County!