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March 14, 2013

Still time to weigh in on flood-study options

(Continued)

One of the most common concerns expressed at those meetings, she said, was that the watershed has already been the focus of several extensive studies in the past and whether another look was prudent and cost-effective or whether any possible mitigation efforts would be practical or beneficial.

“We got a lot of great comments and questions,” she said. “And yes, there have been a lot of studies on this issue, but we need new data for the (Joint Commission) directive.”

Thalhauser said officials need a greater modeling tool than is currently available to answer flooding and mitigation questions with any sense of certainty.

“Obviously, we want to know why it (2011 spring flooding) happened,” she told the estimated 30 people in attendance at the joint meeting.

OPTION 1

The first study option, Thalhauser said, “is the most basic of the study options.”

That plan would use existing data to evaluate the causes and impacts of past floods, assess the possibilities offered by flood-plain management and evaluate adaptation strategies for future variability in the water supplies.

At an estimated cost of $5 million, Option A would take about three years to complete.

OPTION B

Study Option B includes the components of the first option but adds a combination of quantitative and qualitative assessments of potential mitigation efforts and their impact on area resources.

At nearly $11 million, Option B would take about five years to finish.

OPTION C

Option C encompasses the previous components but delves even further into qualitative and quantitative resource response modeling, including the addition of such efforts as erosion models and ancillary data, as well as hydrologic and hydraulic models.

It would also include an evaluation of more detailed inventory of structural and non-structural mitigation measures, such as dredging and flood-plain management.

As a five-year potential process, Option C would cost roughly $14 million.

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