Source: FEMA.gov Best Mitigation Practices News Feed
- Region IV CAP-SSSE Funding Methodology: How a New Approach Produced Better Results: Fri, 20 Dec 2013 15:05:11 +0000 -
State:GAFEMA Region:Sector:PublicActivity/Project Date:Saturday, October 1, 2011Funding:Funding Recipient:Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Jason O. HunterContact Phone:770.220.5471Contact Email:firstname.lastname@example.orgCategory/Activity/Project Details:
The Community Assistance Program, State Support Services Element (CAP-SSSE) Cooperative Agreement, is a funding mechanism that supports States’ floodplain management efforts and flood reduction measures through local communities’ participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Administered by the Floodplain Management and Insurance (FMI) Branches of each one of the ten FEMA Regional Offices, CAP-SSSE currently disperses an annual total amount of $10.4 million nationally. Some of the CAP-SSSE fundable activities conducted by the State partners are Community Assistance Visits (CAVs), Community Assistance Contacts (CACs), floodplain management ordinance reviews, training, and the provision of technical assistance.
Prior to the application process in fiscal year 2011, FEMA Region IV’s FMI Branch identified a need to establish a more equitable, transparent funding process for State partners in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee to apply for CAP-SSSE funding. This need was identified due to previous negotiated funding levels that were not always commensurate to the floodplain management activities conducted. Beginning with fiscal year 2011 funding, nine core activities were identified and assigned negotiated work hours based on what would take to complete each activity (i.e.; 180 work hours for completion of a CAV). Those core activities are: enrollment of NFIP non-participating communities, CAVs, CACs-visits, CACs-phone, ordinance adoption associated with remapping, floodplain management courses, training and education, general technical assistance, and professional development. An hourly rate was assigned to each State based on the average hourly salary for state personnel conducting the CAP-SSSE activities. As a result, the following formula was developed:
(Work Hours per Activity)x(Quantity of Activity)x(Hourly Rate)= Funding Level per Activity
This formula was then applied to each one of the nine core activities to develop the total annual funding level for each State.
As a result of this newly-instituted Best Practice, State partners now have a more clearly-defined, transparent guidance prior to submittal of their annual CAP-SSSE Scope of Works, which provides an idea of their annual funding level based on their proposed activities. The development of this new funding allocation methodology has saved the federal government more than $550,000.These funds have been returned to FEMA Headquarters for reallocation. The reallocated funds have been used for purposes such as redistribution to States in other FEMA Regions, funding for upgrade and maintenance to the NFIP’s Community Information System (CIS), and return of funds into the national CAP-SSSE funding pool.Is this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:Region IV - All 8 StatesOngoing:Is 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:Hazard Images:
- Mitigation Saves Home and Lifestyle Along Creek: Mon, 16 Dec 2013 18:31:16 +0000 -
State:COSector:PrivateStructure Type:Activity/Project Date:Tuesday, March 13, 2007 to Wednesday, July 16, 2008Funding:Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:YesContact Name:Joyce PriceContact Phone:601-214-8377Contact Email:email@example.comCategory/Activity/Project Details:
BOULDER, CO – September of 2013 will forever be remembered in Colorado due to the massive flooding that overwhelmed the state. The city of Boulder was one of the hardest hit areas devastated by rainfall.
Mark Schueneman’s home was spared due to the advice that he followed from the emergency manager. That advice was to elevate.
“When choosing a lot to build my house on, I specifically wanted to build near Left Hand Creek,” said Schueneman, a retired concrete contractor. Given his proximity to the floodplain, he was advised to build an additional two feet of freeboard above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) to reduce his risk of flooding. It cost him only a little more to raise his home but the protection was worth it so that he could live in this location.
“I wanted to be near water. My bedroom is 40 feet from the creek and the sound of the water helps me to sleep soundly,” said Schueneman.
Schueneman, the designer and builder, began construction of the 2450-square-foot adobe dwelling in 2007 and completed it in 2008. The house is located in the Crestview Estates Subdivision. A unique feature of the house is that straw bale construction was utilized.
“Straw bale construction is great for insulating homes and it keeps the moisture level down,” said Schueneman. Schueneman is the former Director of the Colorado Straw Bale Association and presently on the Board of Directors.
Another mitigation effort that Schueneman incorporated along with the elevation is a rock barrier surrounding his house designed to ward off wildfires.
“I visited the burn area after the fire of 2011 and several of the homes were spared because the fire stopped at their stone walls,” said Schueneman. He feels that this barrier helped steer water away from his home during the flood.
Schueneman began checking the stream depth gauges at the creek around 12:30 a.m. He checked the creek every 20 to 30 minutes and discovered that it was rising slowly. The creek began to rise faster at approximately 2:30 a.m. He called neighbors and warned them of the impending danger and told them it was time to leave. He moved his cars to higher ground and evacuated for the night. “Left Hand Creek was flooding like crazy and threatening to overtop; I was definitely afraid,” said Schueneman.”
Schueneman remembered the Big Thompson Flood of 1976, which was the deadliest in Colorado history. This dreadful storm claimed the lives of 143 individuals and injured 150. “I know when a storm drops that much water it saturates the ground. The steep canyons are like a funnel and the water siphons to the lower canyon where we are,” Schueneman explained.
When returning the next day he discovered that he could not check on the house due to road closures. He walked along a path and over a hill to get to his property and was relieved to find that his home was above the flood waters.
Schueneman observed that the five steps leading to the home were still in place. The water had come up three of the steps but had not gone any higher. It was an unexpected and pleasant surprise.
He saw plenty of damage at his neighbors’ homes. One of the neighbors lost the foundation of his house; another neighbor’s furnace was severely damage. There was damage throughout the neighborhood.
This flooding event has been Schueneman’s only experience with flooding threating his property since he built near the creek. He is pleased with the performance of the elevation and other mitigation techniques at his home.Is this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:BoulderOngoing:City:BoulderIs 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:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:Title:Entrance to Schueneman's Elevated HouseShort Description:Schueneman's elevated house escaped flood waters during historic flood of September, 2013File Upload:Title:House surrounded by barrierShort Description:Mark Schueneman's elevated house is surrounded by brick barrier that redirected water
- Cottonwood Creek Restoration and Stabilization Project: Fri, 13 Dec 2013 22:43:48 +0000 -
State:COSector:PublicActivity/Project Date:Monday, January 3, 2011Activity/Project Cost Amount:$4.3millionSince mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Bonnie HanchettContact Phone:337-200-0658Contact Email:Bonnie.Hanchett@fema.dhs.govCategory/Activity/Project Details:
EL PASO COUNTY, CO – Critical infrastructure in Colorado Springs was threatened due to excessive erosion of a section within the Cottonwood Creek Channel.
In some areas the channel banks were compromised resulting in slope failure and causing excessive lateral movement of the channel.
Threatened were two arch culverts below an old railroad bridge, a sanitary sewer line, and a Century Link telecommunications facility that provides services to include emergency 911. The telecommunication lines are critical to the Colorado Springs community and have an estimated replacement value over $10 million.
The city decided to initiate a restoration and stabilization project to eliminate this threat caused by unchecked erosion. Frequent storms, including low volume storms and the presence of highly erosive soils, had contributed to excessive erosion along the project site.
Without the stabilization of Cottonwood Creek, the creek bank, as well as upstream and downstream infrastructure, would have continued to be compromised. The existing creek bank had eroded to near vertical conditions and was unstable in its current condition.
Before the project could move forward there were special circumstances with the Old Railroad Bridge and the Vincent Drive Bridge, both of which are on the National Register of Historic Places, that needed consideration. The Old Railroad Bridge is a massive two-span masonry arch structure constructed in 1887 that supports a 10-foot deep fill that once carried a track of the Santa Fe Railroad. Additionally, the proposed project was located along a reach of the creek that was neither owned nor maintained by the city. However, the city had made more than $98,000 in improvements to the Vincent Drive Bridge piers due to the degrading channel floor. The bridge is immediately downstream of the project area.
In 2011, Colorado Springs applied for funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Program to address the bank stability and the privately-owned telecommunications facility. The project will also protect the exposed sanitary sewer line and provide critical stream floor stabilization.
Prior to funding the project, FEMA required an Environmental Assessment (EA) to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. This process is used to determine if significant environmental impacts would occur as a result of the work. It also provides the public an opportunity for involvement in the decision-making process.
The total cost of the proposed mitigation project was $4.3 million. FEMA’s grant was $3 million, one of only three projects nationwide selected for the maximum. Non-federal share was $1.32 million. The project repaired the extensive channel bank erosion adjacent to the Century Link 911/FAA communication lines and reduced future degradation to upstream and downstream infrastructure.
Improvements included the construction of concrete structures to slow the flow of water through the creek and stabilization of the channel floor to prevent erosion around the Old Railroad Bridge piers and buried utilities. For additional support, concrete was also placed around the piers of the Vincent Drive Bridge. The channel lining and concrete structures were designed to slow the erosive flood waters and protect the channel floor and slopes.
The project was a cooperative effort between the city of Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Utilities, and the affected property owners and their engineers. The City of Colorado Springs Engineering and Street Divisions were responsible for overall project administration, project design, and construction management.
Cottonwood Creek is a tributary of the Fountain Creek Watershed. One of the goals of the Fountain Creek Corridor Master Plan is to improve water quality and watershed health by reducing erosion, sedimentation, and flooding. By slowing the flood waters and limiting erosion within Cottonwood Creek, it minimizes the damages to downstream infrastructure due to a reduction of sediment transport in flood waters.
Specifically, the design provides:
• Protection for critical utilities including Century Link’s 911/FAA communication lines;
• Emergency access via a maintenance trail along this segment of the creek that can also serve as a regional trail connection;
• Concrete structures that slow the flow of water through the creek, stabilize the bottom of the channel and prevent future erosion around the bridge piers; and
• Concrete lining on the bottom of arch culverts to channel bank riprap lining and side slope stabilization.
For additional information, visit:
• http://www.springsgov.com; and
• http://www.fema.gov/environmental-planning-and-historic-preservation-pro...Is this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:El PasoOngoing:City:Colorado SpringsIs 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:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:Title:Sloping BanksShort Description:This project recreated gently sloping banks stabilized with gtanite bouldersPhotographer Name:Bonnie HanchettFile Upload:Title:Old Railroad BridgeShort Description:The Old Railroad Bridge is now protected with well-designed mitigation techniquesFile Upload:Title:125 year old Vincent BridgeShort Description:The 125 year old Vincent Bridge is on the National Registry of Historic PlacesFile Upload:
- City of Arvada Attributes Successful Mitigation to Cooperative Efforts: Fri, 13 Dec 2013 21:33:59 +0000 -
State:COSector:PublicActivity/Project Date:Thursday, January 1, 1970Activity/Project Cost Amount:$35millionSince mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Bonnie HanchettContact Phone:337-200-0658Contact Email:Bonnie.Hanchett@fema.dhs.govCategory/Activity/Project Details:
JEFFERSON COUNTY, CO – Arvada City Officials have been working together on mitigation projects that have paid off for the community.
“It is really the work of all these folks – our engineers, city planner, city managers, public works director, stormwater manager, and parks and recreation director, working together on a common goal – to protect lives and property,” said Patrick Douherty, city engineer. “We have also collaborated with other agencies and neighboring cities.”
Dating back to the early 1970’s, Arvada was one of the first cities in the United States to begin flood flow attenuation and to manage development in the floodplain. Projects included small channelization, bridge replacements, large storm sewers, and regional detention.
Funding for these projects came out of the city’s General Fund-Capital Improvement Projects. In 2000, a stormwater utility was funded. Through the stormwater utility, the city has been able to fund more mitigation projects.
“We certainly have significant projects that are the showcase, but it is numerous activities (what people would call mundane or ordinary) – year after year upkeep, collaboration, replacements, improvements, and modifications – taken in its totality, that make mitigation work,” Douherty said. “As a group, we take on the responsibility of assuring that our projects work effectively.”
As of 2013, Arvada has spent more than $35 million (funding from local sources) on various projects throughout the city. Projects have been as small as putting in a more efficient inlet to major channelization projects. Small projects to eliminate localized flooding have cost the city $4.2 million.
One of the city’s major projects was the rehabilitation of Leyden Dam, a stormwater control facility. It was rehabilitated in 2001 and put to the test in September 2013 when record flooding wreaked havoc. The dam filled up, minimizing damages to homes and businesses.
Another project requiring a major collaborative effort was the Ralston Creek Drainage-Garrison Street Bridge Project. It had been included in the city plans for years as a part of the city’s commitment to remove properties from the FEMA designated 100-year floodplain.
Approximately 93 homes were no longer categorized as being within the designated floodplain because the reconfigured park included the anticipated Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The water flows within the park itself, instead of flooding into the adjoining neighborhood.
Other projects that kept Arvada virtually unscathed by the September 2013 flooding included:
• Continuous cleanup of debris in channels;
• Regular maintenance of stormwater drains;
• Well flowing sewer system;
• Global Positioning System (GPS) database on all manageable valve boxes and culverts;
• Development and updates on Master Drainage Plan; and
• Additional drainage projects, as a result of lessons learned from minor flooding, such as localized street flooding.
The city continues to be proactive in identifying risks. As a group, city officials meet regularly to reflect on problems encountered within each division and to identify issues and remediation (including projects). All projects are prioritized and preliminary plans as well as bids for each project are reviewed by the group.
“We meet and we have these discussions,” said Vicky Reier, assistant city manager. “We discuss the project to determine what makes sense, its cost-effectiveness, components of the project and its execution. Planning is also paramount for us.”
The NFIP’s CRS is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.
As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions, which meets the three goals of the CRS:
1. Reduce flood damage to insurable property;
2. Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP; and
3. Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.
Arvada is striving to preserve and enhance existing residential and commercial areas to live and shop, as well as to provide a quality environment for its citizens. In accomplishing this mission, the city is ensuring:
• the regulation of nuisance Codes and Zoning Ordinances;
• the development and implementation of the standards for street construction, utility work and stormwater drainage on all projects in the city;
• the planning, maintaining and improving of its infrastructure;
• quality stormwater management practices;
• maintained and monitored floodplain regulations; and
• a rich array of natural, historic and cultural resources.
For additional information, visit:
• www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-rating-system.Is this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:LarimerOngoing:City:ArvadaIs 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:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:Title:Leyden Dam following its rehabilitation in 2001Long Description:A photo of Leyden Dam following its rehabilitation in 2001Photographer Name:Bonnie HanchettFile Upload:Title:Garrison Street ParkShort Description:A photo of Garrison Street ParkLong Description:The Garrison Street Park was constructed as a part of the Ralston Street Drainage-Garrison Street Bridge Project which contributed to 93 homes no longer characterized as being in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)File Upload:Title:Leyton Dam constructed in 1909File Upload:
- Educating Fort Collins Residents before the Flood: Fri, 13 Dec 2013 21:03:27 +0000 -
State:COSector:PublicCategory/Activity/Project Type:Activity/Project Date:Monday, July 1, 2013Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Joyce PriceContact Phone:601-214-8377Contact Email:Joyce.Price@fema.dhs.govCategory/Activity/Project Details:
Larimer County, CO ̵ Frequent flooding events have plagued Fort Collins over the decades, disrupting lives and destroying property. The 1997 flood resulted in five deaths, destruction of 120 mobile homes and damages to more than 2,000 homes and businesses.
Due to the frequency and magnitude of the flooding over the years, the city launched a Community Education and Outreach Program (CEO) designed to inform as well as prepare its citizens for flooding events. This program helped the community prepare for the more recent September 2013 flood.
Launching Flood Awareness Week, Floods Happen in Fort Collins is one part of CEO that focuses on educating the community about the reality of floods and how to minimize loss. This event provides information on what citizens can do to protect themselves, their family and property, including the possible need for flood insurance.
During the week, informational displays will be featured at libraries, community centers, city hall, museums, and so forth. Brochures and written materials, including flood hazard data, emergency preparedness tips, as well as other safety information, will be sent to all floodplain residents and property owners. Six flood-safety videos will be shown on the city-operated cable channel 14 throughout the month of July.
A second phase of the Outreach Program focuses on educating students about flooding. The stormwater utility has teamed up with the Natural Areas Department to create Red Fox Meadows, a natural space located in a flood zone, where kids can explore and learn.
Creating the natural area in the floodplain had several purposes: to provide local flood protection and restore valuable wildlife habitat and to allow students to get hands-on experience.
The natural area is designed with outdoor classrooms where school students can learn about flood preparedness, water quality, storm water management, and other topics. Informational signs located in the natural areas explain Mitigation efforts.
“The city believes that educating students early about the hazards involved with flooding and purposes of mitigation techniques will give them a better understanding of how to protect against floodwaters in the future,” said Marsha Hilmes-Robinson, Floodplain Manager for Fort Collins Utilities.
Another component of their education and outreach program is to keep residents informed about the local stream flow levels and precipitation amounts. The Utilities Department operates a flood warning system with 66 gauges located throughout the Fort Collins area. When the gauges exceed a set level, Utilities and Office of Emergency Management personnel are notified and take action. The warning system allows residents to view real time data, as well as floodplain maps on their iPhone, Android, and Windows smartphones.
To further increase safety, all Larimer County residents are encouraged to sign up for free emergency notifications on landlines, business phones and cell phones, and via text and email messages at leta911.org/. Another option is to follow the City’s various social media updates.
Additional flood protection information is available from the following websites:
• Fcgov.com/stormwaterIs this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:LarimerOngoing:City:Fort CollinsIs 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:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:Title:Display located in the lobby of Fort Collins Utilities BuildingShort Description:A display detailing outreach efforts is located in the lobby of Fort Collins Utilities Building where visitors to the city may viewPhotographer Name:Joyce PriceFile Upload:Title:Display at entrance of natural areaShort Description:Dhisplay is located at entrance of natural area explaining mitigation effortsPhotographer Name:Joyce PriceFile Upload:
- Repetitive Flood Claims Program Benefits City and Homeowners: Tue, 10 Dec 2013 21:25:30 +0000 -
State:COSector:PublicActivity/Project Date:Sunday, September 11, 2011Funding:Activity/Project Cost Amount:$178,500Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:YesContact Name:Joyce B. PriceContact Phone:601-214-8377Contact Email:Joyce.Price@fema.dhs.govCategory/Activity/Project Details:
CANON CITY, CO – Cañon City officials completed an acquisition project after being motivated by a home that was subject to frequent flooding.
The 2011 acquisition was funded by FEMA’s repetitive flood claims program.
Property acquisition can be a cost-effective and long-term solution for community floodplain managers and owners of flood-prone properties. The house that previously stood on the now empty lot was subjected to flooding not long after it was built. For decades, flooding of the Cañon City home continued after almost every rain storm.
Although this lot is not within a mapped special flood hazard area, the lot was still subjected to flooding because of new subdivision development and the elevation at which it was constructed at the regional confluence of storm water runoff from surrounding areas to the north.
“The way the house was constructed and the way the layout of the subdivision existed, the house would flood during fairly small floods of only one or two inches,” said Adam Lancaster, city engineer for Cañon City. “Through the years, the city received many complaints about the flooding problem as the house went through different owners.”
National Flood Insurance Program claims were paid to different owners in 1996, 2000 and 2009.
Owners often suffered flooding losses when they were not insured. When the most recent property owner approached Lancaster about the flooding dilemma, the city engineer wanted to help. Because of his position with the city, Lancaster was well aware of the location’s flooding problems. Lancaster also had knowledge about a FEMA mitigation grant program that was available to assist homeowners with repetitive flood claims.
Hoping to acquire the property, Lancaster put together an application for a grant from FEMA’s repetitive flood plains program. He saw this as an opportunity for the owners to recoup some of their investment in the house.
The goal of the repetitive flood claims program was to provide funding to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damage to structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program.
The first and foremost objective was to protect the family members and their belongings from flooding. Second was to protect the family from additional financial loss from flood damages. These objectives could be accomplished by purchasing the property and enabling the owners to relocate.
The next objective was to protect third parties such as the city, future property investors, and the National Insurance Flood Program from additional financial loss or liability by eliminating the structures on the site. The fourth objective was to reduce the flood impact to the site and the surrounding neighborhood by creating an open space that can be inundated periodically to mitigate the storm water flows.
The city submitted an application in December 2010 to acquire the property and everyone was pleased when the application was approved the next September. The city received a grant of more than $178,500 to purchase the property.
As a result, the property was bought out, demolished and is now a green space filled with natural grasses and wildflowers.
There is a sign on the lot that explains the flood mitigation project and the history of the now open space.
“Knowing the history of flooding events at this location during even small floods, the house would have surely flooded during this year’s September flooding,” said Lancaster. Instead water flowed into the green space where the house once stood.
The repetitive flood plains program has been discontinued but funds are available through other FEMA hazard mitigation assistance programs to mitigate for repetitive loss structures. The project has the distinction of being the only repetitive flood plains project awarded in FEMA Region 8 during the life of the program.
For additional information, visit: http://www.fema.gov/repetitive-flood-claims-program.Is this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:FremontOngoing:City:CanonIs 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:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:Title:Hoouse that experienced repetitive floodingShort Description:House experienced repetitive flooding before acquisitionFile Upload:Title:Photo of Green Space where house once stoodFile Upload:Title:Damage to family room, flooring and wallsShort Description:damage to room is shown as a result of a flooding eventFile Upload:
- Land Use Ordinance Protects Buildings in Estes Park: Tue, 10 Dec 2013 20:28:37 +0000 -
State:COSector:PublicActivity/Project Date:Wednesday, November 15, 2000Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Bonnie HanchettContact Phone:337-200-0658Contact Email:Bonnie.Hanchett@fema.dhs.govCategory/Activity/Project Details:
Larimer County, CO – Estes Park adopted a land use ordinance to protect Estes Valley stream and river corridors. This ordinance clearly defines the boundaries at which structures should be set back to promote, preserve, and enhance the important hydrologic, biological, ecological, aesthetic, recreational, and educational functions that stream and river corridors and their associated riparian areas and wetlands provide. Adhering to this ordinance protected many buildings in Estes Park during the September 2013 catastrophic flood event.
“For new construction, we have an ordinance which states that all buildings and accessory structures shall be set back at least 30 feet from the annual high-water mark of stream corridors, or if not readily discernible, from the defined bank of the stream,” said Will Birchfield, local floodplain administrator. “With regard to rivers, all buildings must be set back at least 50 feet from the annual high-water mark of river corridors.”
In the downtown area, all buildings and accessory structures in the Community Development (CD) district have to be set back at least 20 feet from the annual high-water mark of river corridors. Where a principal building in the CD district provides public access, the setback may be reduced to 10 feet.
Setbacks were also addressed for parking lots. Except in the CD zoning district, parking lots must be set back at least 50 feet, and in the CD district, at least 12 feet from the defined bank of the river or stream.
Located along the Big Thompson River, Estes Park, a small town and popular summer resort, received a large portion of the flash floods that wreaked havoc on the state of Colorado in September 2013.
The flood reached a height above the predicted base flood level and caused surface inundation of low-lying areas throughout the town. Other damages included high-velocity scour along Fish Creek and embankment failure along portions of the Big Thompson River, Black Canyon Creek, and the Fall River.
The town had one road entrance, Devil’s Gulch (County Road 43), that eventually collapsed, virtually making Estes Park an island.
Numerous roads were closed, particularly those located along the Big Thompson River.
The town suffered loss of a major sewer line that has forced town officials to create a "no flush" zone.
As floodwaters inundated the business district, residential properties remained dry (with the exception of some minor basement and crawl space flooding).
“The majority of our damage was to infrastructure, mainly roads and bridges,” said Birchfield. “We had damage to one residential building. If the land use ordinance had not been in effect, a lot of homes would have suffered major damage.”
Buffers are vegetated land located adjacent to critical areas that are intended to protect critical areas such as river and stream corridors. Land use regulations have required buffers around wetlands and streams for many years. It’s important to note, however, that they serve different functions depending on the type of critical area they are intended to protect.
For additional information, visit: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/TownofEstesPark/CBON/1251596047038 and www.fema.govIs this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:LarimerOngoing:City:Estes ParkIs 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:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:Title:Illustration of wetland/stream setbackShort Description:Illustration of wetland/stream setbackLong Description:Illustration defines boundaries at which structures are set back to comply with land ordinance.File Upload:Title:Damage to one of several roadways in Estes ParkShort Description:Damage to one of several roadways in Estes ParkFile Upload:
- Elevation Saves Business and Provides Refuge: Tue, 10 Dec 2013 18:38:02 +0000 -
State:COSector:PrivateCategory/Activity/Project Type:Structure Type:Activity/Project Date:Monday, July 10, 2000Funding:Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:YesContact Name:Joyce PriceContact Phone:601-214-8377Contact Email:Joyce.Price@fema.dhs.govCategory/Activity/Project Details:
ESTES PARK, CO – Thirteen years ago, Ravit Michener purchased an elevated building in Estes Park to house her new spa and retreat business.
Due to the elevation, her business was not only saved from the recent September flooding, but the structure provided refuge for the family as well.
The destructive Colorado storms and flooding affected approximately 2,000 square miles of the state. Nine individuals died and there was nearly $2 billion in property damage.
The Rocky Mountain resort town of Estes Park was hit hard by the flooding. Starting September 9, the town received more rain in five days than it usually does annually. The town has a population of nearly 6,000 and is located about 75 miles northwest of Denver.
“We have lived in the city for 20 years and have never seen the rivers breach the banks until the September flood,” said Michener.
Besides owning the spa and retreat business, Michener, her husband Monty, and daughter Mia have a home near Fish Creek, not far from the business. On the day of the storm, they realized there was a strong possibility that their home might flood. The family members packed up their belongings and moved into the upstairs vacation rental above the business. Michener felt safer there because she knew the building was elevated. This proved to be a good decision since their home received a foot of water from the flooding.
The Micheners lived in the building for three weeks while wet carpet was being ripped out in their home and mud-soaked dry wall was being removed.
“During the flood, it was like a huge river surrounding our building,” said Michener. “We were totally an island. The entire cul-de-sac was an ocean and surrounding buildings were flooding except for the business next door, which also was elevated.”
“Not only were the banks of the Big Thompson River overflowing behind the business, but water was coming through the streets from another direction,” she said.
“It always bugged me that there was this big swell between me and my neighbor at the end of the property, but now I get it,” said Michener. “It was like a four-foot river between me and my neighbor.”
Her 2,600 square foot, two-story business structure is located approximately 30 feet from the Big Thompson River. The building has a flood protection level of two foot of freeboard above the base flood elevation. Michener’s elevation certificate also helped reduce her flood insurance rate.
There is not a freeboard requirement for Estes Park. But, as an extra precautionary measure, Will Birchfield, city building official, always advises individuals to raise structures above the base flood elevation. “Of, course it’s up to the individuals to decide,” said Birchfield.
Michener was grateful to get back in business without the clean-up other businesses were experiencing. The family was also grateful that they were able to use the upstairs retreat and not worry about finding a place to live while their home was being repaired.
“The loss would have been huge in so many ways if this building had flooded, even though we had flood insurance,” said Michener. “I don’t want to even think about the problems we would have encountered; not only financially, but emotionally as well.”
For information on elevation and permits, homeowners should first contact their local building officials.Is this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:LarimerOngoing:City:Estes ParkIs 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:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:Title:Photo of Resort Business During FloodShort Description:Photo of Resort business after the Colorado Flooding event in 2013Photographer Name:Joyce PriceFile Upload:Title:Photo of Business Before the flooding EventShort Description:Photo of business that was high and dry before floodFile Upload:
- Modular Home High and Dry in Lyons: Tue, 10 Dec 2013 17:57:16 +0000 -
State:COSector:PrivateCategory/Activity/Project Type:Structure Type:Activity/Project Date:Wednesday, July 9, 2003Funding:Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:UnknownContact Name:Bonnie HanchettContact Phone:337-200-0658Contact Email:Bonnie.Hanchett@fema.dhs.govCategory/Activity/Project Details:
LYONS, CO – When the waters of the St. Vrain River overflowed their banks in September 2013, the rushing water ripped out huge trees, took out bridges, created new channels through parks, and rushed through some downtown neighborhoods, ravishing homes in Lyons.
Homes on Park Street were included in the devastation. Only one remained unscathed, and it was modular.
“Because I’ve lived in Lyons for so long, I am well aware of the river,” said Donald Mercier. “I knew that I needed to build up high, above the floodplain.”
Before placing his 2,650-square-foot modular home on his Park Street property, Mercier decided that the property (located approximately 120 feet from the St. Vrain River) had to be elevated to provide a defense against the river.
Mercier checked with the city’s building and zoning department to find out if a raised elevation was possible and obtained a building permit. He consulted a civil engineer who was knowledgeable of the elevation process and who had experience with this type of mitigation technique. The engineer informed Mercier of how high he had to elevate the land to be above the 5,325-foot base flood elevation in Lyons.
Approximately four feet of dirt was excavated and set to the side to be used to construct the elevation. A concrete footer creating extended foundation walls was constructed, and the modular home was placed on top of it. This placing also generated a crawl space beneath the home.
Crawl space foundations are commonly used to elevate the lowest floors of residential buildings located in special flood hazard areas above the base flood elevation.
To further provide a defense against the river, Mercier used London stones to construct retaining walls around the entire property. Below the first wall he placed a concrete footer with rebar. He then added a second stone wall about five feet below the first wall. The second wall helps bolster the wider base needed to support a nearly seven-foot elevation.
The value of Mercier’s mitigation project was tested when the city of Lyons was devastated by the September flood. With no electricity, sewer, water, or gas, residents fled to safety. A tour down Park Street provided views of waterborne debris, mud, silt, and homes that were inundated with floodwaters. Mercier’s home stood high and dry.
“When you decide that you want to live near the river, you need to pay attention to it,” said Mercier. “You have to be prepared. You have to build a defense if you want to protect your property.”
There are advantages to elevating your flood-prone home. Included among these are:
• Reducing the flood risk to the home or business and its contents;
• Eliminating the need to move vulnerable contents to areas above the water level during a flood;
• Reducing the physical, financial, and emotional strain that accompanies floods; and
• Decreasing flood insurance premiums by reducing the risk to a property.
While the initial cost to mitigate may be expensive, the return on investment is invaluable. Also, your project may be eligible for funding assistance.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is responsible for providing affordable, timely, and accessible financial assistance to homeowners/renters, private/non-profit organizations, and businesses of all sizes located in a declared disaster area.
If your home or business is substantially damaged by a flood, you may be required to meet certain building requirements in your community to reduce future flood damage before you repair or rebuild. To help you cover the costs of meeting those requirements, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) includes Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage for all new and renewed Standard Flood Insurance Policies.
There are four options you can take to comply with your community's floodplain management ordinance and help you reduce future flood damage. You may decide which of these options is best for you.
1. Elevation. This raises your home or business to or above the flood elevation level adopted by your community.
2. Relocation. This moves your home or business out of harm's way.
3. Demolition. This tears down and removes flood-damaged buildings.
4. Flood-proofing. This option is available primarily for non-residential buildings. It involves making a building watertight through a combination of adjustments or additions of features to the building that reduces the potential for flood damage.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers three grant programs to assist communities in mitigating the effects of natural hazards: the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program, the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), and the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grant program. State, Tribal, and local government agencies may apply through the States to receive funds for these programs. FEMA requires these applicants to meet a specific set of requirements when applying for the funds to ensure that proposed projects meet the program eligibility criteria to include federal environmental laws and regulations and cost-effectiveness requirements.URL 1:URL 2:Is this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:BoulderOngoing:City:LyonsIs 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:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:Title:Mercier's Elevated HouseShort Description:Mercier's elevated House and Retaining WallsLong Description:Mercier's elevated house survived 2013 flood in Colorado due to elevation and retaining wallsPhotographer Name:Bonnie HanchettFile Upload:Title:Mercier's house and next door neighbor's houseShort Description:Photo showing the difference in elevation of Mercier's house and the house next doorPhotographer Name:Bonnie HanchettFile Upload:Title:Mercier's neighbor's house across the streetShort Description:Photo of damages to homes across the street from Mercier's houseLong Description:All homes across the street from Mercier's elevated house recieved flood damage during the flooding event that occurred in Colorado in September, 2013Photographer Name:Bonnie HanchettFile Upload:
- Mitigation Alleviates Economic Impact of Flooding at Airport: Tue, 10 Dec 2013 16:11:13 +0000 -
State:COSector:PublicActivity/Project Date:Friday, December 12, 2008 to Tuesday, June 7, 2011Funding Recipient Organization:Town of ErieActivity/Project Cost Amount:$417,082.85Since mitigation effort began, has a disaster tested its value?:YesContact Name:Joyce B. PriceContact Phone:601-214-8377Contact Email:Joyce.Price@fema.dhs.govCategory/Activity/Project Details:
ERIE, CO – The existing crossing at Coal Creek, located at Erie Municipal Airport (EMA), was in desperate need of repair and unable to withstand an annual storm event. The city replaced the culvert through a grant funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program (PDM).
The culvert system consists of two parallel precast reinforced concrete box culverts, each measuring approximately ten feet in height and twenty feet in width. The ends of both culvert sides were anchored and poured in concrete wing walls approximately 30 feet long and tapered to meet the creek bank. The new system was in place during the September 12, 2013, flood disaster that devastated the state of Colorado. The airport was able to operate during the event, since Coal Creek Crossing was not overwhelmed by the rushing flood waters.
The project was initiated on December 12, 2008, and completed on June 6, 2011. The total cost of the project was $417,082.85.
PDM pays up to 75 percent of approved projects that will prevent or reduce damage from storms and other natural hazards. PDM funds are designed to assist state and local communities with implementing long-term mitigation measures.
EMA is owned by the town of Erie and is strategically located in the Denver-Boulder Metropolitan Area on Colorado Highway 7, three miles west of Interstate 25. The culvert system connects the airport’s 4,700-foot-long paved runway to several maintenance facilities.
Damages from the annual flood events had deteriorated Coal Creek Crossing to the point that significant repairs were required to keep it operational.
“The city was constantly using a Band-Aid approach to keeping the dilapidated system functioning,” said Wendi Palmer, city engineer for the town of Erie. “Crews went out weekly to clean the culvert, and the system was repaired numerous times. I was afraid that in case of a large event, the bridge would be completely washed away, causing a temporary shutdown of the airport. It was scary and expensive.”
The cost of maintenance was averaging $6,990.00 per year. Repairs in 2004 alone totaled $11,010.
“Thirty businesses depend on the airport, and closure would be devastating to the local economy,” said Palmer.
Businesses that rely on Coal Creek Crossing for direct access to the airport provide services such as:
• Hangar rental for aircraft maintenance and repair;
• The design and manufacture of specialized equipment for aircraft;
• Full-service flight management for aerial photography;
• Mapping and surveillance projects for government and private organizations;
• Air ambulance service, as well as other hospital-related services; and
• Private flying lessons and flight training
The massive flooding of September 12 reached a height above the culvert crown and deposited a small amount of silt on the roadway, but no damage to the structure was observable. The project performed as expected and likely prevented the bridge from being washed away. There was business as usual at the airport without interruption.URL 1:URL 2:Is this a County-wide Project?:County/Counties:WeldOngoing:City:ErieIs 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:I certify rights and/or ownership of this document:Hazard Images:Title:Coal Creek Crossing before culvert was replacedShort Description:This photo details the condition of Coal Creek Crossing before replacementLong Description:This photo shows that Coal Creek Crossing was in desparate need of repair before new crossing was completed.File Upload:Title:Coal Creek Crossing and new replacement culvertShort Description:new box culvertLong Description:The culvert consists of two parallel precast concrete box culvertsFile Upload: