Source: FEMA.gov Best Mitigation Practices News Feed
- Technology Helps Safeguard Citizens: Fri, 05 Sep 2014 17:49:22 +0000 - State:IAFEMA Region:Sector:PublicActivity/Project Date:Monday, June 9, 2008Funding:Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Eric BermanContact Email:email@example.comCategory/Activity/Project Details:
Risk Assessment Data Compilations Map Quick Road to Recovery during Iowa Floods
On June 9, 2008, Johnson County Emergency Management Director Dave Wilson anxiously watched as floodwaters rose to record levels of 28 feet upstream. Forecasts called for even more rain, painting a frightening picture for the County. Visualizing a repeat of the 1993 flood, Dave realized that using paper maps to plan response and recovery would not be a viable option.
By the time the upstream City of Cedar Rapids crested on June 13, Dave had assembled a group comprised of agencies and individuals to help Johnson County face the imminent flood. Johnson County’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA) along with emergency support functions (ESFs) coordinated loss estimation analyses for use in planning initiatives throughout the County.
The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was standing room only two to three days before the flood with standing room only for 25 people. EMA officials urgently searched for tools that could help them model the expected impacts so they could plan to reduce losses from the impending disaster.
Plotting historical data on ink paper maps to plan response and recovery routes, and using simple Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis that intersects a flood boundary with building locations do not quantify a flood’s impact. The EMA found Hazus and turned to Shane Hubbard from the University of Iowa, Department of Geography (and a seasoned Hazus user), to assess potential impacts of the flood event.
Hazus is FEMA’s powerful GIS-based software methodology that estimates potential losses from earthquakes, hurricane wind, and floods; calculating physical damage and functional loss in communities. Hazus’ ability to estimate the potential impacts of a flood provided the team with an unprecedented “crystal ball” into what would likely happen when the water reaches 28 feet.
Loss estimates of displaced households allowed the Red Cross and the Salvation Army to plan their response efforts and allocate resources based on need. For example, the Johnson County Administration Building was one of the critical facilities at risk, so the County decided to move evidence (i.e., police records, computer servers) from the building to alternate sites in order to speed law enforcement’s ability to recover from the flood.
According to Shane Hubbard, emergency managers are supposed to comply with the National Incident Management System to ensure that the various emergency support functions such as hospitals and universities are involved. “Rarely do people actually follow through with this to the extent Dave did,” declared Shane. “He led a consummate effort to proactively identify and rally community stakeholders during a critical time when coordination and cooperation was essential.”
The EMA compiled data from National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) floodplain maps, elevation data from the U.S Geological Survey (USGS), weather service updates, and forecasts into Hazus to estimate the flood extent. A countywide dataset of building locations created from local GIS data combined with the flood extent provided even more accurate Hazus outputs of estimated damage.
Hazus loss estimations became a part of every morning briefing in the EOC to quantify what this flood would mean to the community in terms of direct and indirect economic losses, including potential human casualties. ESFs including the Administration Building, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Homeland Security, and FEMA community relations were briefed every morning at 10:00 a.m., and then consulted to verify and fine-tune Hazus analyses based on updated data and flood criteria.
Protecting Critical Facilities at Risk
In addition to the Johnson County Administration Building, Hazus revealed that several MidAmerican Energy substations that serve as the primary power source for Johnson County would likely flood. MidAmerican erected portable substations to ensure a prompt failover could occur if conditions required. The National Guard provided additional protection by constructing sandbag bunkers around all equipment controls.
“Our local operations staff worked closely with City and County officials coordinating area by area assessments. The performance of our employees, the coordination and cooperation with local officials, and response from our customers allowed us to demonstrate our ability to respond to extraordinary challenges,” said Terry Smith, Director of System Control for MidAmerican Energy Company.
Expediting Response and Recovery Efforts
With 10 roads already closed, the EMA was able to use Hazus to create an estimate of upcoming road closures as the flood waters continued to rise. The analysis helped EMA and its partners to navigate major arteries by showing staff where to pre-position response teams and identify open routes to hospitals and operating bridges.
In 1993, nearly all Johnson County bridges were closed, so with floodwaters projected at similar or higher levels, the EMA was anticipating that every single bridge would be inoperable. The Iowa River cuts Iowa City in half, so the EMA was concerned they wouldn’t be able to get resources to the other side of the City.
Risk Mitigation Measures on the Horizon
Using Hazus they estimated 1,110 households would be displaced. Actual results show 1,250 to 1,300 households displaced from the floods. Hazus didn’t take into account cabins and secondary homes in their General Building Stock run. Johnson County GIS Coordinator, Rick Havel was very satisfied with the accuracy of Hazus as a modeling tool.
After the Iowa floods, Johnson County was awarded a FEMA-funded Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Planning Grant to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures. The purpose of the grant is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster to protect citizens from future floods.
Johnson County is using Hazus in their mitigation plans to mitigate potential issues from sheltering, displaced households and estimated casualties in hopes of preparing communities for tomorrow.
HAZUS: http://www.fema.gov/HAZUSURL 1:Is this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:Johnson CountyOngoing:City:Iowa CityIs this a Repetitive Loss Property?:UnknownSummary Documents:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:
- Using Hazus for Flood Loss Estimates & Community Rating System Flood Mitigation Planning: Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:22:43 +0000 - State:GASector:PublicActivity/Project Date:Tuesday, April 1, 2008Funding:Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Eric BermanContact Email:firstname.lastname@example.orgCategory/Activity/Project Details:
In April 2008 the City of Savannah, Georgia embarked on a mission to prepare a comprehensive upgrade to their existing Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan. The principal goals of the project were: (1) to assess and quantify current flood hazard risks using new geospatial data and best available technology; (2) to increase public and stakeholder involvement in the City’s mitigation planning efforts; and (3) to maximize potential credit points under FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS) through quality plan development and implementation. These goals were achieved in large part due to the use of Hazus.
Assessing and Quantifying Flood Hazard Risk with Hazus
The flood loss estimation methodology consisted of two components that carried out basic analytical processes: flood hazard analysis and flood loss estimation analysis. The flood hazard analysis module used characteristics, such as frequency, discharge, and ground elevation to estimate flood depth, flood elevation, and flow velocity. The flood loss estimation module calculated potential loss estimates from the results of the hazard analysis. The potential loss estimates analyzed through this process included:
• Physical damage to residential, commercial, industrial and other buildings;
• Debris generation, including the distinction between different types of materials;
• Economic loss, including lost jobs, business interruptions, repair and reconstruction costs; and
• Social impacts, including estimates of shelter requirements, displaced households, and population exposed to scenario floods.
Savannah’s GIS-based flood risk assessment was completed using the best data made available at the time of the analysis. Digital data was collected from local, regional and national sources that included the Savannah Area Geographic Information System (SAGIS), Chatham County Emergency Management Agency (CEMA), Chatham County GIS, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Spatial data layers used in this analysis included but were not limited to administrative boundaries, natural features, parcels, local tax assessor records, building footprints, georeferenced point locations for identified assets (critical facilities and infrastructure) as well as digital orthophotography. This analysis also took advantage of the new Chatham County Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) data as prepared by FEMA in 2008. The DFIRM is comprised of all digital data required to create the hardcopy FIRM including hydrography, flood hazard zones and base flood elevations.
FEMA’s Hazus-MH MR3 (Version 1.3) software was used to estimate potential losses in the core study area of Savannah resulting from potential flood hazard events. Hazus-MH was used to identify and map potential flood problem areas, particularly those locations outside of FEMA’s mapped Special Flood Hazard Areas as delineated through the new DFIRM data. After manipulating and importing a hydrologically-corrected Digital Elevation Model (DEM) obtained from SAGIS and CEMA, Hazus-MH was utilized to estimate floodplain boundaries for 132 stream reaches with a drainage area of .25 square miles. The DEM data had been created from 1-foot contour data with a vertical accuracy of 6 inches as generated from a countywide airborne LIDAR survey completed in 1999. This DEM data is therefore significantly more accurate than the default DEM data (30-meter) from the National Elevation Dataset as obtained through the USGS and allowed for a higher level of confidence in the flood hazard analysis. The floodplain boundaries generated by the use of Hazus-MH in combination with the local DEM were largely consistent with the FEMA delineated floodplains per the most recent Flood Insurance Study; however, in certain areas of the City the Hazus-generated floodplain boundaries were more expansive. These expanded floodplain boundaries were confirmed to be flood problem areas according to further GIS analysis using the city’s GIS database of historically reported flooding locations using Hazus for Flood Loss Estimates and CRS Flood Mitigation Planning Map 1- FEMA Special Flood Hazard Areas overlaid with Historically Flooded Properties (Note: the red dots on each image are the location of properties with historically reported flooding events per the City’s call center. These locations were reported by residents through the City of Savannah’s Customer Service Call Center or by staff from the City’s Stormwater Management Department, dating back to 1994).
Using default national inventory data aggregated to the census block, Hazus-MH then calculated the potential exposure for each event frequency, and loss estimates based on probabilistic scenarios for 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year flood events. This includes figures for physical damage to the existing building stock and contents, as well as a number of other economic and income-related losses due to business interruptions. Flood extent and depth was calculated at the 90-foot pixel level for affected areas along with the proportion of area affected within each census block. Lastly, each of the scenario results were then normalized using updated (2007) assessed values for buildings per Chatham County’s tax parcel database.
Increasing Public and Stakeholder Involvement
The City of Savannah utilized several measures to solicit additional partners in the plan development process including a sustained public communication and outreach effort and the creation of multiple stakeholder committees. The project included a Steering Committee, a core group of City staff members who represented Community Development, Engineering, Stormwater Management and Real Property Services. The City also formed a Planning Advisory Committee consisting of a targeted group of relevant agency representatives. In addition there was a Stakeholders Advisory Committee which was a broad representation of outside agencies, business, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, media outlets, and neighborhood associations. Finally, the City sponsored a week-long Public Workshop Series for local residents and business owners which took advantage of cooperation of local media outlets and advocacy groups for widespread notification. At each workshop, property owners had the opportunity to learn about their level of potential flood risk and the range of possible hazard mitigation options to consider in minimizing or eliminating that risk.
As part of the City’s public outreach and stakeholder involvement efforts, the City’s planning team learned of multiple areas of concern that had experienced historical flooding. For those areas located outside of FEMA identified flood zones, Hazus-MH helped the planning team validate, illustrate and analyze existing flood risks.
Maximizing CRS Points Through Flood Mitigation Strategies
The National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP's) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. The City of Savannah has mitigated the flood hazard for many years, and currently participates in the CRS as a Class 8 community which provides a 10 percent reduction in flood insurance premiums for its property owners. As a result of this planning project, the City is scheduled to receive an additional 250 credit points and through plan implementation is aiming to improve to a Class 6 community, providing up to a 20 percent reduction in NFIP premiums. The use of Hazus-MH in the City’s CRS flood mitigation planning process increased awareness of existing and future flood hazard risks, and also helped to promote and build community support for a variety of ongoing and newly proposed flood hazard mitigation strategies adopted by the City to reduce or eliminate risks from riverine, coastal and urban flooding.
NFIP CRS: http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-rating-sy...
CEMA: http://www.chathamemergency.org/Is this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:N/AOngoing:City:SavannahIs this a Repetitive Loss Property?:UnknownSummary Documents:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:
- Pennsylvania Emergency Management Completes Statewide Flood Study Using Hazus-Multi Hazard: Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:19:55 +0000 - State:PASector:PublicActivity/Project Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007Funding:Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Eric BermanContact Email:email@example.comCategory/Activity/Project Details:
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) recently completed a statewide study of a 100-year flood event using FEMA's Hazus-Multi Hazard (Hazus-MH) risk analysis software. The base study looked at streams with a drainage area of at least 10 square miles. The study computed damages in dollars for total economic loss, building and content damage, and other economic impacts. The study also estimated the number of damaged homes and the degree of damage to those homes. In 2007, PEMA has concluded a new, broader statewide study using Hazus-MHMR2 that includes damage estimates for 10-, 50-, 100-, 200- and 500-year flood events.
The study computed damages in dollars for total economic loss, building and content damage, and other economic impacts. The study also estimated the number of damaged homes and the degree of damage to those homes.
The Flood Study maps and information contained in these files can be used by local emergency management agencies, geographic information systems (GIS) and planning departments, watershed organizations, and other interested parties for hazard identification and risk assessment, mitigation planning, and flood response training activities. They are estimates of damages and locations generated by the FEMA Hazus flood analysis model. The maps and supporting analysis can be overlaid on other GIS maps (county, local roads, street maps, municipal maps, etc.) to show the location and extent of potential flood damages in a 100-year flood. They do not include all possible flood risk areas and are not based on actual past flood events.
For more information, go to the PEMA website for County Flood Study GIS Maps.
The mission of the 3RiversHUG is to offer a forum for southwestern Pennsylvania public, private, and academic organizations that use Hazus-MH software and related technologies to develop public policy and programs for building disaster-resistant communities. This group began as Project Leader, Dr. Jamie Mitchem, and his colleague Dr. Thomas Mueller at California University of Pennsylvania realized the need for comprehensive planning for flood mitigation activities in southwestern Pennsylvania.URL 2:Is this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:N/AOngoing:Is this a Repetitive Loss Property?:UnknownSummary Documents:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:
- Maryland Hazus-Multi Hazard Flood Study: Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:15:29 +0000 - State:MDSector:PublicActivity/Project Date:Friday, August 1, 2014Funding:Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Eric BermanContact Email:firstname.lastname@example.orgCategory/Activity/Project Details:
The Hazus Multi-Hazard (Hazus-MH) flood model is being used by the State of Maryland as part of a comprehensive vulnerability assessment of the state’s built environment to riverine and coastal flooding. The Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative (ESRGC) at Salisbury University is taking the lead in the study, which measures four determinants of potential flood loss:
• Amount of county land area susceptible to a 100-year flood
• Amount of square footage of buildings potentially damaged
•Number of buildings potentially damaged
• Amount of direct economic losses directly related to buildings
The product of this study is a report, An Assessment of Maryland’s Vulnerability to Flood Damage (August, 2005) that incorporates Hazus-MH analyses and GIS maps into key sections of the report.
• Part 1: History of Flooding
• Part 2: Floodplain Development (Hazus-MH was used to quantify and show distribution of buildings and population in floodplains)
• Part 3: Modeled Flood Vulnerability Estimates (Hazus-MH was used to depict flood scenarios and damage estimates)
• Part 4: Mitigation Strategies
• Part 5: Flood Mitigation Projects
• Part 6: Funding Mitigation
• Part 7: Recommendations
Appendices provide detailed Hazus-MH flood vulnerability analysis for each county in Maryland.
Maryland’s study provides a useful framework for a statewide flood vulnerability analysis that can be adapted by other states. The study establishes baseline data that can be used to measure and monitor trends in exposure of the built environment to flooding.
An Assessment of Maryland’s Vulnerability to Flood Damage : http://www.esrgc.org/pdf/hazus/An%20Assessment%20of%20Maryland's%20Vulnerability%20to%20Flooding.pdf
MDHUG: http://www.usehazus.com/mdhug/URL 2:Is this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:N/AOngoing:Is this a Repetitive Loss Property?:UnknownSummary Documents:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:
- Arkansas Tech University Uses HAZUS-MH for Mitigation & Business Continuity Planning: Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:56:12 +0000 - State:AKSector:PrivateActivity/Project Date:Friday, August 1, 2014Funding:Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Eric BermanContact Email:email@example.comCategory/Activity/Project Details:
Arkansas Tech University’s (ATU’s) use of Hazus shows the benefits that the Hazus data offers in microanalysis situations.
Jessica Lowther, ATU graduate student, conducted research for the purpose of encouraging the use of Hazus-MH for mitigation and continuity of operations planning as well as aiding the state of Arkansas in a better understanding of the threat of tornadoes across the state.
Ms. Lowther conducted a comparative analysis between the default data supplied by Hazus-MH and the user-supplied building and inventory data for a tornado at ATU. Her research asked the question, “Is an organization-specific building inventory data (termed as user-supplied or Level 2) necessary for planning for its survival and continuity of operations after a disaster, or is Level 1 default data sufficient?” In other words, will the quality and quantity of the data and the microanalysis of this user-supplied data greatly impact the hazard modeling results to reasonably advocate its collection and input into the model? The ATU tornado models illustrated that including user-supplied data allows for more precise results and, therefore, better planning. This research confirms the importance of hazard modeling and continuity of operations planning.
This research was made possible by a partnership with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) and ATU. Each organization contributed Level 2 user-supplied data sets for input into Hazus-MH.
This research was conducted simultaneously to the formation of the Arkansas Hazus User Group (ARHUG). The purpose of the ARHUG is to facilitate the use of the Hazus-MH models for flooding and earthquake risk assessment in Arkansas and to form the basis for both pre- and post-disaster decision-making. By bringing together technical, policy, and emergency management specialists, the ARHUG will establish a solid risk assessment resource base for Arkansas.Is this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:N/AOngoing:Is this a Repetitive Loss Property?:UnknownSummary Documents:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:
- Mitigation Programs and Bioengineering Help Communities in Southern Utah Achieve Vision for Flood Control: Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:28:00 +0000 - State:UTFEMA Region:Sector:PublicActivity/Project Date:Tuesday, March 1, 2011Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Joan HustonContact Phone:303-235-4798Contact Email:firstname.lastname@example.orgCategory/Activity/Project Details:
For centuries, the problems of sandy, easily erodible soils have plagued the Utah communities of St. George and Santa Clara along the banks of the Virgin and Santa Clara Rivers. In 1862, settlers were forced to relocate homes and farms along the Santa Clara as a result of an extreme flood. Ever since then, river flooding and lateral erosion along the riverbanks has caused significant damage to these areas.
A major flood in 2005 ravaged the communities, resulting in the loss of 27 homes and triggering a federally declared disaster. Rock riprap, the layering of rocks along the riverbank to counteract erosion, was the primary mitigation technique used following the 2005 flood to rapidly stabilize river banks and protect vital infrastructure and homes from additional damage. Although effective in preventing erosion, the City of St. George recognized the drawbacks to riprap such as increasing the speed of water flow along a length of river causing potential downstream impacts; impeding the natural functions of a riverbank that interface between land and rivers or streams; and, the effect on wildlife, specifically fish. Riprap reduces areas for vegetation or riverbank diversity in which fish seek refuge during high water events and often results in their being washed out of the area during flooding. Riprap also can leave riverbanks with an unappealing man-made look.
The city was introduced to alternative bioengineering solutions by the late Tom Moody, the principal engineer with Natural Channel Design and the primary author of the Santa Clara and Virgin River master plans. Bioengineering uses a variety of nature-inspired and environmentally conscious techniques to stabilize riverbanks from erosion. Mr. Moody’s master plans provided the community with a road map for reconstruction, management and long-term maintenance of the river corridors that incorporates bioengineering.
St. George was hit with two more significant floods in 2010 and 2011. During the rebuilding process, the city has used some form of bioengineering techniques on 100 percent of their bank stabilization projects as outlined in their master plans.
Rick Rosenberg, of Rosenberg Associates, was selected as the City of St. George’s project manager for the bank stabilization efforts. According to Rosenberg, “Bioengineering provides a much more natural method to improve bank stability and protection from lateral erosion. In the long run, it is better for the environment, it is more aesthetically pleasing, and it allows us to extend limited river bank stabilization funds. In many cases, the planting stock is readily available from the river and it greatly simplifies the environmental permitting process.”
The most recent bioengineering method used on the Santa Clara River consists of embedding root wads and horizontal logs spaced at 90-degree angles into the river bank supplemented by rock riprap toe protection. This technique, adopted from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), adds stability to the river bank using native cottonwood and willow tree pole plantings and root wads. Some rock is used in addition to the bioengineering to help stabilize and protect the highly erosive river bank soils until the vegetation becomes established.
A bioengineering system cannot totally replace a rock riprap system for critical erosion protection in arid sand bed environments like Southern Utah. However, supplementing the rock riprap with bioengineering techniques can simplify the environmental permitting process for a project as well as improve the overall long-term stability of the river. The costs to include bioengineering have been affordable, ranging between 1 and 5 percent of the total project costs, depending on the type of bioengineering used. Pole plantings have been very affordable (less than 2 percent); root wads are slightly higher (up to 5 percent).
Initial Bioengineering Efforts and Success
While rock riprap was the primary technique used after the 2005 floods, the city conducted some initial bioengineering efforts that included willow and cottonwood plantings. During the 2010-2011 floods on the Santa Clara River, about 60 percent of that re-vegetation was successful and resisted damage. In many cases, the vegetation held and trapped sediment and debris, preventing lateral erosion damage to the adjacent stream bank.
The rate of vegetation growth is critical for the success of bioengineering efforts and is influenced mainly by water quality and quantity. After the 2005 floods, willow and cottonwood plantings also were placed in the Virgin River. However, due to the presence of an invasive species, poorer water quality, and insufficient flows during the summer months, the rate of re-vegetation that survived the 2010-2011 floods was much lower than that of Santa Clara River. We found the following lessons learned from this experience:
- Water-quality testing to determine the salinity of the project site is critically important prior to plant selection for bioengineering work.
- Efforts should be made to measure the lowest groundwater levels throughout the year at the work sites to determine the required bury depth for plantings. Most of the failures of the early Virgin River projects are due to inadequate bury depth during construction.
- Consideration should be given to historic river erosion patterns when selecting bioengineering sites. Sites that are highly susceptible to routine lateral erosion damage (such as the outside of sharp bends) should be avoided.
- It is critically important to follow NRCS guidelines regarding cutting, storage, and presoaking of plant materials prior to planting.
Recent Bank Stabilization Projects
Due to the significant impacts of the 2010 and 2011 floods, Utah received presidential disaster declarations for both events (DR-1955 and DR-4011, respectively). With these declarations came access to FEMA’s Public Assistance Section 406 Mitigation grant funding and Section 404 Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs (HMGP). Section 406 provides funding for mitigation measures in conjunction with approved FEMA Public Assistance (PA) projects to repair infrastructure damaged during the declared disaster. Section 404 HMGP funding allows the state to identify mitigation projects that do not need to be directly related to the impacts of the declared disaster.
“The city has been able to effectively use the HMGP to fill in critical gaps in the erosion protection repair projects funded by PA and the NRCS Emergency Water Protection (EWP) programs along the Santa Clara and Virgin rivers to provide a more complete solution for bank stabilization,” Rick Rosenberg noted.
In early 2013, St. George used FEMA Mitigation funding to repair and install erosion protection along the banks of the Virgin River to protect critical public infrastructure, the Millcreek Electric Generation Facility, a $64 million gas-fired power plant and substation. By working with FEMA, state officials and environmental regulators, the city was able to expand the scope of the total project to combine FEMA’s two mitigation grant programs (Sections 404 and 406), and constructed a longer, continuous section of rock riprap bank stabilization, including bioengineering.
In early 2014, St. George completed a HMGP-funded bank stabilization project using bioengineering techniques just downstream of a PA mitigation repair project to replace a maintenance road crossing with a reinforced low-water crossing. These two projects work together to provide additional erosion protection for residents in the Monterey and River’s Edge subdivisions, in addition to the city-owned Sunbrook Golf Course.
Also in 2014, 160 linear feet of riverbank at two locations along the Virgin River was repaired under the DR-1955 PA program. The DR-4011 HMGP program was used to extend and join the two completed sections under the PA program using a combination of rock and bioengineering providing an additional 650 feet of bank protection.
The city’s vision for river-bank stabilization in the valley is beginning to take shape. Using FEMA’s two mitigation grant programs and incorporating bioengineering, St. George has been able to leverage local flood-control funds and dramatically improve erosion protection along the Santa Clara and Virgin rivers. “The end result will be a more effective system to mitigate the risks of lateral bank erosion,” stated Rick Rosenberg, “In time, the vegetation will become established and the rivers will again provide the much-needed habitat for birds, fish, wildlife and people as they always have.”
The project costs are as follows:
Public Assistance $1,306,329.37 including Hazard Mitigation Proposals of $494,289.00 and HMGP for $1,465,683.00. These are total costs both Federal and local share.Is this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:WashingtonOngoing:City:St. GeorgeIs this a Repetitive Loss Property?:NoSummary Documents:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:File Upload:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:Title:Erosion protection improvementsShort Description:Erosion protection improvements on the Santa Clara River.File Upload:Title:Bank Stabilization ProjectShort Description:Bank Stabilization Project to protect critical public infrastructure-the Millcreek Electric FacilityFile Upload:Title:Toe rock and bioengineeringShort Description:Toe rock and bioengineering near Monterey Subdivision and Sunbrook Golf Course in St. George, UTFile Upload:Title:Completed projectShort Description:Completed project on the Virgin River along Riverside Drive using bioengineering and rock repairFile Upload:
- Risk MAP Success Story: The Herbert Hoover Dike Presented a Unique Challenge; FEMA Responded With a Unique Solution: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 23:58:10 +0000 - State:FLSector:PublicActivity/Project Date:Wednesday, September 18, 2013Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Kelly BronowiczContact Email:email@example.comCategory/Activity/Project Details:
Background and Issue
The Herbert Hoover Dike, which surrounds Lake Okeechobee in South Florida, could not be accredited to protect against the 1% annual chance flood event by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Portions of five counties surrounding the lake—Glades, Hendry, Martin, Okeechobee, and Palm Beach—would be mapped into a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) as a result.
Before completing the Flood Insurance Study updates for the counties around Lake Okeechobee, FEMA Project Manager Mark Vieira proactively reached out to both the USACE and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to obtain their latest modeling. At that time it was discovered that the USACE was updating their two dimensional model for the Herbert Hoover Dike. FEMA put all five countywide studies on hold so that the new modeling results could be used in a comprehensive statistical analysis to determine the 1% annual chance flood event.
The initial benefit of coordination with the USACE and SFWMD was multiple government agencies using the same model and information. But the real impact of this effort was through public outreach—how would FEMA help the counties and communities around Lake Okeechobee explain the SFHA changes to their citizens?
FEMA Region IV’s Project Manager Mark Vieira and Outreach Lead Henrietta Williams developed a comprehensive approach, which was implemented by the entire project team. This unique solution included:
• Meeting with the USACE and SFWMD to explain the results of FEMA’s statistical analysis of the 1% annual chance storm event on Lake Okeechobee and the Herbert Hoover Dike before mapping began
• Meeting with each county and local municipality to explain the modeling and mapping results before maps were issued preliminary
• Leading three outreach coordination calls with the project team, Florida State National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Office, counties, and local communities to help prepare for the Preliminary DFIRM Community Coordination (PDCC) meetings and public open houses
• Working with External Affairs to host a Congressional Briefing call and an Intergovernmental/local elected official call for the five counties
• Holding PDCC meetings and public open houses in Glades, Hendry, Martin, and Okeechobee Counties in September 2013 with more than 450 citizens attending
Risk MAP Project Phases:
This success story is relevant to the Risk MAP project phase listed below. Find more Risk MAP Success Stories organized by project phase.Is this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:OkeechobeeOngoing:City:OkeechobeeIs this a Repetitive Loss Property?:UnknownSummary Documents:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:
- Risk MAP Success Story: Robust Outreach Leads to Expedited Updates to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps for the New Orleans Area: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 23:51:30 +0000 - State:LAFEMA Region:Sector:PublicActivity/Project Date:Tuesday, July 15, 2014Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Kelly BronowiczContact Email:firstname.lastname@example.orgCategory/Activity/Project Details:
Background and Issue
Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Congress tasked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) with constructing the Hurricane Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) to protect the New Orleans area. The massive project consists of levees, floodwalls, drainage structures, locks, sector gates, and pumping stations, all designed to withstand a 1-percent-annual-chance flood originating from river flow or hurricane surge. Complex hydrologic and hydraulic models were developed to estimate flood flows and flood elevations for 15 areas within the HSDRRS.
In 2011, FEMA collaborated with the USACE and local communities to expedite the production of updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports for St. Charles, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and Orleans Parishes. These five parishes comprise the metropolitan New Orleans area and are directly affected by the HSDRRS.
Continuous collaboration with numerous Federal, State, and local stakeholders was achieved through a robust outreach process involving weekly meetings with the USACE and FEMA. In addition, multiple local meetings were held with Parish officials, levee districts, and local residents.
The stakeholders were involved throughout the entire mapping process, which allowed them to provide data and review the results along the way. These efforts led to a more comprehensive and detailed evaluation of the area’s flood protection systems that local communities can use in their floodplain management programs and future land planning.
Successful outreach efforts included a variety of status, review, and coordination meetings as well as conference calls that encouraged stakeholder participation in the mapping process. The FIRMs and FIS reports—and many other documents—for the five Parishes are available on FEMA’s Riskmap6.com website.
Risk MAP Project Phases
This success story is relevant to the Risk MAP project phases listed below. Find more Risk MAP Success Stories organized by project phase.
• Data and Product Development
• Distribution of Maps and Data
• Community Engagement, Outreach, and Education
Relevant Risk MAP Products:
Flood Insurance Study report, Flood Insurance Rate MapIs this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:New OrleansOngoing:City:New OrleansIs this a Repetitive Loss Property?:UnknownSummary Documents:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:
- Risk MAP Success Story: New York Catskills Watersheds – Partnerships and Products for More Resilient Communities: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 23:46:31 +0000 - State:NYFEMA Region:Sector:PublicActivity/Project Date:Monday, January 3, 2011Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Kelly BronowiczContact Email:email@example.comCategory/Activity/Project Details:
Background and Issue
Since early 2011, FEMA has been working closely with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), county and local government agencies, and local non-profit organizations to identify, assess, and reduce flood risk in six watersheds west of the Hudson River in New York State. These organizations are led by a steering committee made up of representatives who meet with local stakeholders on a quarterly basis to:
• Provide technical and program training;
• Answer questions from communities and property owners; and
• Provide flood risk reduction and Risk MAP project updates.
This steering committee serves a vital role in enlisting local stakeholder support and building trust with individuals in all watershed communities. Shortly after the steering committee was formed in 2011, many communities within the six watersheds were devastated by Tropical Storm Irene later that summer. This event fueled a number of mitigation actions across the watersheds and the development of Risk MAP products to support those efforts.
Through FEMA’s Risk MAP program, the Agency is producing new detailed flood modeling and mapping, flood depth grids, and other flood risk datasets for communities in the area to further support flood risk reduction efforts. With FEMA partners’ help, these products are being used for flood mitigation planning, and are serving as drivers for mitigation action for communities in Ulster, Sullivan, Delaware, and Greene Counties, New York. The Risk MAP team, including Federal, State and local partners, meets frequently with communities to provide data and instruction on how to use these flood risk products to assess individual and comprehensive mitigation projects for greatest risk reduction.
To facilitate flood mitigation action, the NYCDEP is funding County Soil and Water Conservation Districts to perform detailed community-based flood risk assessments and planning efforts. These are in turn being used to prioritize funding for local flood mitigation projects, such as bridge and culvert redesign and replacement, building relocation, and structure elevation. These watershed efforts exemplify the Risk MAP program mission: collaborative process, quality data, mitigation planning and action, leading to risk reduction.
Risk MAP Project Phases
This success story is relevant to the Risk MAP project phases listed below. Find more Risk MAP Success Stories organized by project phase.
• Flood Risk Products
• Planning for Mitigation Action
Relevant Risk MAP Products:
Flood Depth Grids, Changes Since Last FIRM
Mitigation, Collaboration, Resilience, Risk Reduction, FEMA Region IIIs this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:New York Catskills WatershedsOngoing:Is this a Repetitive Loss Property?:UnknownSummary Documents:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:
- Risk MAP Success Story: Gwinnett County, Georgia Revamps Stormwater Infrastructure Improvement Plans: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 21:19:45 +0000 - State:GASector:PublicCategory/Activity/Project Type:Activity/Project Date:Tuesday, July 15, 2014Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Kelly BronowiczContact Email:Kelly.Bronowicz@fema.dhs.govCategory/Activity/Project Details:
Background and Issue
Gwinnett County, Georgia, lies at or within the upper limits of three major watersheds: the Upper Chattahoochee, the Oconee, and the Ocmulgee. As a result, overall flooding impacts are comparatively smaller than those experienced by other neighboring counties. Gwinnett County’s main flood related concerns center on stormwater infrastructure maintenance and improvement. The County has an established Stormwater Management Utility, which is charged with overseeing these concerns. In recent years, the director of the Stormwater Management Utility has been compiling a list of culvert upgrades, repairs, and retrofits needed throughout the County, but has not been able to adequately prioritize the listed needs. Instead, he has been forced to rely on observation and historical accounts.
During the Risk MAP Resilience Meeting for Gwinnett County and its sovereign communities, the Stormwater Management Utility Director recognized the value of the Flood Depth Grids developed to help community officials and the public view and understand local flood risk better, and began to ask questions related to road overtopping, approaches to culvert modeling, and other pertinent issues.
At the end of the presentation, feedback was sought from the attendees. The Stormwater Management Utility Director stated that he had been working to determine a prioritization of the needed infrastructure improvements for several years and that in the last 30 minutes he had been shown where his biggest concerns were and narrowed his focus. He added further that he would be able to use the data to not only schedule repairs and upgrades, but also as the basis for defending his decisions.
Risk MAP Project Phases
This success story is relevant to the Risk MAP project phases listed below. Find more Risk MAP Success Stories organized by project phase.
• Resilience Meeting
• Flood Risk Products
• Planning for Mitigation ActionIs this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:GwinnettOngoing:Is this a Repetitive Loss Property?:UnknownSummary Documents:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images: