Floodplain Management Program Notes
by Bill DeGroot, P.E., Chief, Floodplain Management Program
FEMA map modernization
The funding came almost half way into the Federal fiscal year and led to a mad scramble to allocate funds and get projects underway before the end of the year. The District and the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) fared well under those circumstances.
I reported last year that we had reached agreement with the CWCB that if funding became available, the District would be given the responsibility for map modernization for the seven counties all or partially within the District. However, when the first grants were offered by FEMA, all of the suggested projects in Colorado involved those counties within the District. That was too much of a work load for us to handle so we reworked our understanding with the CWCB and were jointly able to take on every project offered by FEMA.
The first project funded was DFIRM conversion for the City and County of Denver. FEMA provided a $150,000 grant, and the District and CWCB each contributed $25,000. Denver contributed the GIS base mapping, contour mapping and orthophotos, as well as significant staff time. The District is managing the project which is being completed by Merrick and Company. This is an early implementation effort which has a completion date of January 30, 2004.
Another early implementation project is the DFIRM conversion of Douglas County, including four incorporated areas. To make this one happen, we divided the project into the area located within the District and the part outside. The District is managing the project inside the District and the CWCB is managing the remainder. FEMA is contributing $240,000 and the District and CWCB $30,000 each for the District portion of the county, which includes Lone Tree and Parker. Each of the local governments is contributing their GIS base maps and staff time. Our contractor is Icon Engineering. The CWCB is managing the conversion of the rest of the county. FEMA is contributing $260,000, the CWCB $35,000 and Douglas County and Castle Rock a total of $35,000 plus the GIS base maps and staff time. The contractor is URS Corporation.
The Boulder County DFIRM conversion will be managed by the CWCB. The contractor is PBS&J. FEMA is contributing $200,000, CWCB and the District $25,000 each and the county and incorporated areas will provide GIS base mapping and staff time. Completion is scheduled for June, 2005.
Finally, FEMA has provided funding for updating flood data for two drainageways. The District will manage a study of seven miles of Plum Creek and East Plum Creek in Douglas County and the CWCB will manage a study of South Boulder Creek in Boulder and Boulder County.
For Plum and East Plum Creeks FEMA will contribute $75,000 and the District $25,000. We are obtaining topographic mapping now and hope to complete the engineering in time to slip the data into the Douglas County DFIRM near the end of the appeal period.
The South Boulder Creek funding has not been settled but Boulder will contribute $200,000 and the District $25,000 toward a $495,000 budget. Throughout this process the CWCB, FEMA Region 8 and Michael Baker Jr. have been easy to work with and everyone has been concentrating on getting the job done without worrying about credit or blame.
Jefferson County DFIRM conversion
Broomfield DFIRM conversion
Adams and Arapahoe Counties
LOMC pilot project
My vision for the future of DFIRMs
Other program activities
We have FHADs underway for Ralston and Leyden Creeks in Arvada; Kinney Creek and Fonder Draw in Douglas County, as part of an outfall systems planning study; and a re-study of the South Platte River through Adams County. We will begin FHADs for Clear Creek through Adams County, and Massey Draw and SJCD (South) in Jefferson County in 2004.
All of these studies are prepared in digital form compatible with FEMA's Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) specifications. In fact, the Cherry Creek, Kinney Creek and Fonder Draw results will be incorporated into the Douglas County DFIRM.
Last year we completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) of alternatives for the Irondale Gulch watershed within the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA). This year we received a FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact). The FONSI has allowed us to move forward with negotiations for intergovernmental agreements between the District, Denver and RMA; and between the District, Commerce City, Adams County and RMA for the construction, operation and maintenance of these facilities on the RMA.
On our web site
We have also added an Activity Summary map that identifies all District studies completed or in progress. We are trying to update the status of all our studies quarterly. It would be a good idea for anyone working on a drainage study in the District to check this map for existing or on-going studies that might affect their work.