A Florida Silver Jackets Initiative Pilot Project Proposal

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1 Development of an Integrated Flood Response Plan - Flood- Inundation and Levee Overtopping Risk Assessment Jane Green Detention Area - Upper St. John River Basin City of Melbourne, Brevard County, Florida A Florida Silver Jackets Initiative Pilot Project Proposal September 2011

2 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Florida Silver Jacket Team Pilot Project Title: Flood-Inundation and Levee Overtopping Risk Assessment of the Jane Green Detention Area Upper St. Johns River Basin Location: West of City of Melbourne, Brevard County, Florida Background The Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) Project authorized by Congress in 1948 was intended to serve as a multipurpose project that provided flood control: water supply for municipal, industrial and agricultural uses; prevention of salt water intrusion; water supply for Everglades National Park, and protection of fish and wildlife resources. The primary system includes about 1,000 miles of levees, 720 miles of canals and close to 200 water control structures. During the 1950 s and 60 s, the USACE in conjunction with the Central and South Florida Flood Control District worked together to develop a water management plan for the Upper St. Johns River Basin. Part of this plan called for the construction of levees to create valley and upland tributary reservoirs to provide flood control, low flow augmentation and water supply for municipal and agricultural use. Consequently, Congress authorized the construction of the L-73 Levee under the Flood Control Act of Construction of the L-73 levee extended form north of Taylor Creek in Orange County Florida to south of Bull Creek in Osceola County Florida. Construction began in 1962 and was terminated short of completion in 1972 for environmental reasons. Along L-73 levee, five structures were built under previous plans of improvement. These include three spillway structures (S-164, S-163, and S-161) and two culvert structures (S-221 and S-231) (See Figure 1). At the time construction was halted on the project, only Taylor Creek had been impounded. Gaps were left beside Wolf, Pennywash and Jane Green Creek structures in the southern section of the L-73 Levee. In 1972, the Central and South Florida Flood Control District partially filled in the gap left at the Jane Green Reservoir (next to S-161). As a result of filling in the gap, Jane Green Creek was partially impounded to the elevation of the S-161 slide gates (six feet above base flow). Complete closure of the gap was postponed, and in 1976 the gap was lowered to the stream floor elevation in an attempt to reverse tree mortality due to the partial impoundment.

3 Figure 1 - C&SF - L-73 Levee and structures Issue In the Upper St. Johns River Basin, the control of surface water flow is through a network of private and public levees and structures. Levees which protect large tracts of land, border most of the basin which is mostly use for agricultural production. The surface water flow within this network of levees is controlled by pump and/or gravity drainage structures. The Jane Green Detention Area is operated through structures S- 161, S-161 A and S-221. The S-161 gates remain open to allow water to flow freely downstream. The S-221 structure is no longer operational and has a gap in the L-73 levee adjacent to the structure to permit water to flow downstream. The S-161A structure is the main outlet of the Jane Green detention area, and is used for flood control by reducing high river stages by holding floodwaters behind L-73 levee for release over a longer period of time. Structure S-161A gates remain open allowing water to flow freely over the weir. During flood events, the operation of the structures in L-73 levee on Jane Green Creek (S-161 & S-161A) calls for closing of these structures when the St. Johns reaches 19.5 Feet (NGVD) at U.S. 192, holding basin runoff in the Jane Green Detention Area (an area approximately 16,000 acres in size consisting of lands below elevation 45 ft., NGVD). When the river stage at U.S. 192 reaches 19.5 ft., NGVD, the gates of the S- 161A structure are closed, and flood waters are held behind L-73 levee until the peak stage passes downstream. Once flood stages in the St. Johns River begin to recede, the S-161A spillway gates are re-opened, and then gradually closed to provide an even

4 transition back to the existing flow regime, minimize hydraulic effects downstream. S- 161A is designed to pass waters detained in Jane Green Detention Area in such a manner that little or no environmental damage would result from detention of the flood waters. The problem is that when operated in this manner, the resulting impoundment and discharge of flood water through the S-161A structure places the L-73 levee in danger of being overtopped and flooding downstream areas. In addition, if flood waters are allowed to get this high in the detention basin, environmental features may be adversely affected. Recent modeling of the Upper St. Johns River Basin by USACE has revealed that a potential exists for overtopping of the S-161A structure in the Jane Green Detention Area (JGDA) for the Standard Project Flood (SPF) event. A proposed solution to the flooding issue at the JGDA is to change the operation of the S-161A structure so that more water from JGDA is released into the St. Johns River before the gate is closed. This will have a direct impact on the Lake Washington area which is just downstream Study Area The L-73 levee forms the Jane Green Detention Area. Jane Green Detention Area consists of approximately 22,026 acres located in southern Brevard Count (west of the City of Melbourne Florida) and is owned by the State of Florida. The detention area and associated creek (Jane Green Creek) is an element of the upper St. Johns River, located upstream of the US Highway 192 crossing of the Upper St Johns River (see Figure 2). Objective and Scope The objective of this pilot project is to setup a dedicated USACE team to work with the state of Florida to assess the potential for structural flooding as a result of changing the operation of S-161A structure at the JGDA. A detailed floodplain analysis is proposed, which would include survey information of finish floor elevations for approximately 152 structures located at or below the FEMA 100-yr floodplain elevation for eastern Lake Washington in Brevard County. Currently, LIDAR elevation information on the St. Johns River floodplain is being collected by the USACE for the Western Boundary Model effort. This information will include the Lake Washington area, which will also be used to evaluate the downstream effects of a potential operational change for JGDA. Scope of work 1) Provide detailed modeling results based on FEMA 100 yr event for the JGDA 2) Develop useful information that will be used to modify the current operating plan for flood releases through the S-161A structure 3) Through flood inundation modeling, identify areas that are subject to flood inundation as a result of overtopping of the L-73 levee 4) Evaluate effects on sensitive wetlands and critical habitat due to flood releases

5 Figure 2 - Jane Green Detention Area (Upstream of Structures S-161 and S-161A)

6 Deliverables The primary deliverable will be an assessment of the L-73 levee forming the Jane Green Detention Area and backwater modeling showing flood inundation areas downstream, which includes the Lake Washington area community. Schedule The modeling could be initiated in 2011, and it is anticipated that the entire project effort would be completed in FY October 2011 Initiate study January 2012 Receive Cross-section of Jane Green Creek February 2012 Initiate Model development of Jane Green Detention Area June 2012 Initiate Model development of Western Boundary Model September 2012 Complete model results and write-up letter report October 2012 Deliverables to the State (modeling results & letter report) Cost The total cost for this project is $150,000. Project Benefits/Extension Opportunities: 1. Demonstrable flood risk reduction. In identifying the areas that artificial levees are constructed to protect and investigating opportunities for improving operations of control structures, communities can better mitigate potential flood risk. 2. Leverage resource opportunities, potential funding, and support from others. This project will assist the St Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) in providing needed information for the safe operation of the Jane Green Creek Detention Area, and flood inundation information downstream. 3. Reduces future Federal obligation. For example, reduces future consequences and reduces the expected payout from NFIP or reduces future emergency response and recovery needs. Identifying how best to safely operate Structure S-161A will mitigate future levee breaches and downstream flooding. Identifying the locations and inundation areas of levees will help emergency personnel to control flooding because it will be possible to determine if an intentional levee break in one area would ease flood pressure in other, more populated areas. Identification of below-bfe structures could demonstrate added benefits for future mitigation grant projects.

7 4. Includes an action, as part of an existing strategic master plan, or as a result of developing a strategic master plan through the Pilot. This pilot project will develop a framework that can be transformed into a strategic master plan for the safe operation of a levee gate structure. 5. Does not transfer the risk to another party or a future generation. This project will not transfer risk. In fact, it will raise awareness about levee locations and provide an environment in which potential downstream risk will be reduced. 6. May be any phase of the flood risk management life-cycle. Identifying the potential risk associated with living in proximity to a levee will be useful for actions related to mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. 7. May utilize Shared Vision Planning, Watershed Investment Decision Tool, and/or SimSuite. Although no formal plan to use the referenced tools has been implemented for the development of the proposed flood-inundation and levee overtopping assessment, the Florida Silver Jacket Team s involvement has helped strike numerous parallels consistent with this approach. A primary goal of Shared Vision Planning is to improve the economic, environmental, and social outcomes of water management decisions. The proposed flood-inundation assessment would provide benefits to residents of the downstream communities in Brevard County. The proposed collaboration of local, regional, state, and federal perspectives provides a consensus based approach to develop a unique solution that provides benefits to the stakeholders. 8. May include solution to an issue in the State Hazard Mitigation Plan, or similar comprehensive plan. This activity falls under the State s Enhanced Hazard Mitigation Plan, specifically Goal 2: Support the development and enhancement of local capability to practice hazard mitigation, and especially Objective #2.1: Continue to monitor and maintain up-to-date assessment information in cooperation with local communities. Additionally, Goal #4 is to Reduce Florida s hazard vulnerability through the application of scientific research and development. The State Division of Emergency Management, Bureau of Mitigation supports this proposed project as one that will help to reduce or eliminate risk of flooding in a local community. 9. May include enhancing or developing processes; for example, formal integration of the Silver Jackets team into the State's flood risk management approach. This pilot project will help the Florida Silver Jackets team to become more integrated into the State's flood risk management program by developing relationships with the State s Floodplain Management Office as well as with the Office of Dam Safety under

8 the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The strengthening of these relationships is core to the mission of the Florida Silver Jackets team.

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