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Wheeling Police to Hold Disaster Drills on River

June 24, 2013
By SHELLEY HANSON - Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Northern Panhandle first responders, federal and state officers will be conducting training exercises today at Wheeling Heritage Port and the Pike Island Locks and Dam.

Lou Vargo, Wheeling-Ohio County Emergency Management Agency director, said exercises at Heritage Port will begin at 10:30 a.m. and last until about noon. Then, exercises will be conducted from 1-2 p.m. at the locks and dam.

At Heritage Port, divers will be practicing in the Ohio River. The mock scenario is that infrastructure is being checked prior to a visit from the president. At the locks and dam, the mock scenario will involve a hijacked tow boat on the river.

Vargo said he wants the public to be aware of the exercises in advance so they are not concerned when they see the activity.

''This is in preparation for a major event in Ohio County,'' Vargo said, noting the exercises are the first of their kind in the Northern Panhandle conducted with the U.S. Coast Guard and federal officers from Pittsburgh.

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