LUCAS MONROE COUNTY FLOODING OPPORTUNITIES FOR REGIONAL SOLUTIONS REQUEST FOR FEDERAL SUPPORT

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1 LUCAS MONROE COUNTY FLOODING OPPORTUNITIES FOR REGIONAL SOLUTIONS REQUEST FOR FEDERAL SUPPORT Regional Flooding Problems The Great Black Swamp, at the western end of Lake Erie, has many areas that are susceptible to drainage and flooding issues. In recent years the frequency, extent and duration of flooding has been increasing in the City of Toledo and the surrounding counties. The causes include the more frequent and heavier rain storms, debris jams and other stream obstructions, flatness of the area, impervious surfaces, and infrastructure that is not adequate to handle the flow. The effects include overloaded storm sewers and ditches, standing water in streets, basement flooding, and damage to property and structures. Management of flooding problems and flood control works rests with the local governments of five counties in two states. Lucas and Monroe counties and the City of Toledo request the assistance of the Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies to assess regional flooding problems and develop remedies. We ask for the support of our congressional delegation to help establish Lucas Monroe County flooding as a priority of the Western Lake Erie Basin program, and secure federal funding to address it. In the Toledo metropolitan area, the main watersheds with flood prone areas are Swan Creek, which flows into the Maumee River; and the Ottawa River, and Silver, Shantee, and Halfway creeks, all tributaries of North Maumee Bay. These watersheds drain large portions of Monroe and Lenawee counties in Michigan, and Lucas and Fulton counties in Ohio. The watershed area draining directly to the Maumee River in Lucas County is fairly small. Therefore stormwater runoff that the Maumee carries from upstream counties in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan does not affect most of Lucas County. Effective stormwater management must be approached on a watershed basis. In the spring of 2009 representatives of the City of Toledo, Lucas County, and Monroe County met to discuss cooperation and potential joint projects to solve mutual problems. Watershed drainage areas contribute to flooding problems that cross political boundaries in several areas. Other flooding problems, especially on small ditches, may be contained within a single jurisdiction. Both regional and localized flooding problems result in property damage and expense to residents. Opportunity for Study of Regional Flooding Problems Local jurisdictions, working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have an opportunity to conduct a detailed feasibility study of these regional flooding problems with the ultimate goal of developing and implementing plans to manage flood events and reduce damages to commercial and residential properties in the City of Toledo and surrounding communities. The study would be a typical USACE Flood Risk Management and Environmental Restoration Study subject to procedures, policies and applicable Federal laws. Detailed hydraulic modeling would be conducted on all the pertinent tributaries and drainage areas. The study would develop and assess (economically and environmentally) alternative measures and plans to reduce flood damages in the affected areas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has two authorities that are applicable to conducting such a study. The study could be conducted as an interim feasibility study under the Western Lake Erie Basin Authority (Sec 441 of Water Resources Development Act [WRDA] of 1999). In addition, Section 4068 of WRDA of 2007 gives the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authority to study flooding problems in Lucas County, Ohio. C:\wq\Maumee\Lucas-Monroe Flooding\Lucas - Monroe Flooding Issues for WLEB doc 1

2 Funding and Schedule Corps of Engineers feasibility studies are done in cooperation with a non-federal sponsor and funded 50% by the Federal government and 50% by non-federal interests (the non-federal share may be provided as work-in-kind). The details of the study including estimated costs are developed during preparation of the Feasibility Cost-Sharing Agreement when the study is initiated. At this time no estimate of study costs has been made but it would likely be in excess of $3,000,000 due in part to the large amount of hydraulic modeling that would be required. Feasibility studies normally have a three year duration. Watersheds The study should cover the watersheds most impacted by flooding in the greater Toledo metropolitan area: Swan Creek Watershed Swan Creek drains a large portion of western Lucas and eastern Fulton counties, and a small part of Henry County. Several large streams flow into Swan Creek, as do many ditches and storm sewers. Swan Creek flows through Maumee and south Toledo, and flows into the Maumee River in downtown Toledo. Ottawa River Watershed The Ottawa River drains large portions of western Lucas, eastern Fulton, and southern Monroe counties, and part of Lenawee County. Two main streams form the Ottawa River: Tenmile Creek flows east from Fulton County, and Ottawa Lake Outlet flows south from Monroe County. The two streams join in Sylvania to become the Ottawa River. The river flows through Ottawa Hills and Toledo, and crosses the state line, where it flows into North Maumee Bay. Halfway Silver Shantee Creek Watersheds These three creeks flow into North Maumee Bay in Monroe County. Most of the Halfway Creek watershed is in southern Monroe County, with parts being in Lenawee County and Toledo. Both Silver and Shantee creek watersheds are principally in north Toledo. They are open streams in some areas, and in others they flow through culverts. Silver Creek crosses the state line east of Hagman Road, and drains some Monroe County areas. Shantee Creek crosses the state line near its mouth, west of Summit Street. Project Participants The primary participants in the proposed study are: Lucas County Monroe County City of Toledo Other participants will be invited for representation of the entire watershed area Maps Lenawee County Fulton County Henry County Individual local jurisdictions: cities, villages, and townships of the watersheds within the five counties Two maps are attached to illustrate the nature and extent of flooding problems in the area. C:\wq\Maumee\Lucas-Monroe Flooding\Lucas - Monroe Flooding Issues for WLEB doc 2

3 Regional Drainage Areas This map shows the watersheds and major streams in the greater Toledo area. All streams flow into Maumee Bay and ultimately into the western basin of Lake Erie. The principal watersheds of concern are Shantee Creek along with Halfway and Silver creeks in Lucas, Monroe, and Lenawee counties; the Ottawa River in Lucas, Fulton, Monroe, and Lenawee counties; and Swan Creek in Lucas, Fulton, and Henry counties. Sewer Overloads, City of Toledo This map shows documented sewer overloads and street flooding in the City of Toledo following storms over a five year period. While these maps show only the City of Toledo, similar problems occur throughout the watershed. Contacts Elected Official Staff The Honorable George E Sarantou Kurt Erichsen, P.E. Council Member At-Large Vice President of Environmental Planning City of Toledo TMACOG / x 126 C:\wq\Maumee\Lucas-Monroe Flooding\Lucas - Monroe Flooding Issues for WLEB doc 3

4 C:\wq\Maumee\Lucas-Monroe Flooding\Lucas - Monroe Flooding Issues for WLEB doc 4

5 Sewer Overloads C:\wq\Maumee\Lucas-Monroe Flooding\Lucas - Monroe Flooding Issues for WLEB doc 5

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