1 Joy D. Blackmon, P.E. Director, County Engineer Public Works Department ESCAMBIA COUNTY FLOOD RECOVERY: 1- YEAR ANNIVERSARY REPORT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY One year after the devastating April 2014 floods hit Escambia County much has been accomplished in recovery and response efforts. Damage to County infrastructure, parks, facilities and private property was substantial to say the least. Prior disaster planning and immediate action of public safety officials, County staff and construction crews resulted in a quick start to the response and recovery effort. Work to meet the repair needs of the County is still ongoing, but much has been accomplished. The County is working with several federal agencies that provide reimbursement funding following a declared disaster. Damage to County infrastructure has resulted in 185 projects totaling $26.3 million in design and construction costs. These projects are located throughout the southern half of Escambia County, not including those damages in the Pensacola city limits. Of the 185 projects, 115 are complete, 32 are under construction or ready for construction and 38 projects are in the bidding or design phase. Over 90% of those remaining projects are scheduled for completion by the first quarter of 2016 with some larger projects lasting longer. Other project funding sources are being explored which will supplement the County s LOST dollars. There are at least six additional grant programs being explored with Escambia County projects already listed in the queue. The County is using property acquisition as a tool to mitigate flooding impacts and expand existing infrastructure at locations that will accomplish both goals. Changes to the County Land Development Code are in order which will help make our community more resilient. The following report seeks to document the accomplishments and current status of the April 2014 Storm response and recovery effort. IMMEDIATE RESPONSE ACTIVITIES & PLANNING In the immediate aftermath of the storm event, County staff sprang into action assessing damages and assisting property owners to start documenting the impacts of the storm. The County Roads Division immediately began repairs to major roadways and flooded areas so that the public and emergency crews could access areas safely. Areas that could not be repaired immediately were barricaded to improve public safety. Local contractors assisted these efforts by providing immediate services to areas identified as having critical access issues. Utility companies worked with the County in joint efforts to make repairs and adjustments at critical locations. Efforts included both day and night work during the weeks following the storm event. County staff was ready for this type of disaster. In 2005, following Hurricane Dennis, County Emergency Management and GIS staff developed damage assessment software in- house. Engineering staff
2 provided construction line items and cost estimate data included in the software. The County had developed an emergency action plan specifically for disasters, which divided the County into manageable areas. Immediately following the April 2014 Storm, pairs of County staff inspected every roadway in the County using this plan. With the use of damage assessment software, inspection teams had over 80% of the damages documented and mapped with preliminary quantities and cost estimates within five days of the event. Escambia County citizens also assisted County staff with reporting damages. These efforts enabled the County to quickly provide damage information to the State for disaster declaration and start a plan for repairs. County Engineering staff was hit hard with the influx of additional work, but rose to the challenge putting in long hours upfront to organize a plan moving forward. Prior to the April storm, there were six engineering project managers managing 101 major design/construction projects for the County. After the storm, an immediate need was presented since workloads would substantially increase. The need was met over the last year with reorganization and an increase in staff. Currently there are 13 engineering project managers managing 231 major and flood- response projects with additional plans for staffing and reorganization ongoing. THE PROCESS FOR DAMAGE REIMBURSEMENT There are three federal agencies that the County is working with for this disaster which have grant programs that will provide the majority of funding for the infrastructure damages caused by the April 2014 Storm. The Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance (FEMA- PA) program provides financial reimbursement for eligible infrastructure damages caused by a declared disaster. There is a multi- step process required by FEMA to properly document eligible infrastructure damages. Although several projects have been completed, the Project Worksheet (PW) writing and review part of the process is ongoing. The PWs need to be completed and undergo a full review by both the applicant and FEMA prior to grant funding assistance. Generally, FEMA pays a minimum of 75% of eligible infrastructure repair costs. The remaining costs are spilt between the State Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) and Escambia County. Under this program, there are additional funding opportunities to strengthen County infrastructure such as mitigation work and updating infrastructure to current codes and standards. The Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program (FHWA- ER) provides financial reimbursement under another set of eligibility guidelines. This program reimburses damages to roadways which have received FHWA funding in the past including state roadways and some County roadways. Reimbursement under this program generally ranges from % depending on eligibility requirements. The U.S. Department of Agriculture s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program provides funding eligibility for repair of damages caused by natural disasters. Under this program eligible projects help people and conserve natural resources by relieving imminent hazards to life and property caused by a disaster. NRCS- EWP provides up to 75% of the cost of projects that are eligible.
3 STATUS OF DAMAGES & COSTS The April 2014 storm left over 2,300 infrastructure damage locations which resulted in 185 total projects. All of the damage locations have been addressed with either permanent or temporary repairs, are currently under construction or are in the design or procurement phase. 185 total infrastructure repair projects resulted from the April 2014 storm o 62% or 115 projects are complete o 17% or 32 projects are under construction or ready for construction o 21% or 38 projects are in the bidding or design phase Breaking those numbers down further: The County Roads Division has repaired over 70% of the damage sites. Those sites resulted in 64 FEMA- PA reimbursable projects totaling over $2.2 million. All 64 of those projects are complete. The County Parks and Recreation Department has repaired six parks damaged by the storm event. Impacts to parks included storm water pond damage, roadway damage, downed fencing, site erosion, ditch damage and damage to a boat ramp. Those sites resulted in $44,120 worth of damages reimbursable through the FEMA- PA program. The remaining infrastructure damage locations are being addressed by the Engineering Division and are typically larger in size and cost with engineering and construction contracts required. The Engineering Division projects are classified based on the federal agency the County is working with for reimbursement of repairs. This includes: o 92 FEMA- PA projects at a cost of over $18.6 million.! 29 have been completed at a cost of over $4.5 million.! 32 projects are under construction at a cost of nearly $4.9 million.! 31 projects are in the bidding, design or study phase at a cost of over $9.2 million including construction estimates. o 16 FHWA- ER projects at a cost of over $2.5 million. All 16 FHWA- ER projects are complete, with much of the emergency construction work performed by the Roads Division. o 7 NRCS- EWP projects at a cost of over $3 million. NRCS- EWP projects have grant program guidelines which do not allow work to be performed until after the grant funding is made available by the agency. The NRCS made the funding availability announcement in February and requests for design services have commenced. Construction for these seven projects is expected to be underway later this year. With the substantial efforts in working with these federal agencies the County is expecting a large sum of federal funding for the more than $26.3 million in infrastructure projects. The federal reimbursement goal so far is approximately $20.2 million of that total. This includes: Approximately $15.8 from the FEMA- PA program and the State. Approximately $2.2 million from the FHWA- ER program. Approximately $2.2 million from the NRCS- EWP program.
4 SCHEDULE FOR ONGOING REPAIRS In taking a look at the schedule for the 70 ongoing repair projects, most of the work should be complete by Spring A quarterly breakdown is as follows: 2 nd Quarter 2015: 23% Remaining Projects Complete 3 rd Quarter 2015: 57% Remaining Projects Complete 4 th Quarter 2015: 86% Remaining Projects Complete 1 st Quarter 2016: 91% Remaining Projects Complete ADDRESSING OTHER FLOODED AREAS Most of the discussion of the April 2014 Storm repair efforts has centered on areas with infrastructure damage caused by the storm. This is because damages to infrastructure are eligible for disaster grant funding and are subject to those timelines. There are several areas of the County where flooding occurred but there was no infrastructure damage present. The County has documented these locations and is looking into other avenues for funding these projects. Some of the funding sources and projects include: FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP): The County has submitted grant applications for five HMGP projects worth over $16.2 million. The grant program has a 25% match requirement that can be either paid out of LOST or by other money being spent to provide flood reduction in the County. The County has submitted a match project that, if approved, would cover the match costs essentially covering all the costs for the five projects at no additional cost to the County. The HMGP projects are currently under review by the State and will proceed to FEMA for review in early May. Design and some construction would start this year. Projects include: o Delano Street Area Drainage Improvements o Lake Charlene Area Drainage Improvements o Bristol Park Area Improvements o Pinoak Lane Drainage Improvements o Old Corry Outfall Ditch Property Purchase RESTORE TNC o Beach Haven Sewer, Drainage and Stream/Wetland Restoration o Dog Track South Coral Creek Mariners Village Stream/Wetland Restoration o Harold Avenue & Barnes Road Drainage & Stream/Wetland Restoration o 8- Mile Creek Regional Pond & Stream/Wetland Restoration o 11- Mile Creek Regional Pond & Drainage at W. Roberts Road o 10- Mile Creek Regional Pond, Drainage and Stream/Wetland Restoration at Stefani Road o 11- Mile Creek Floodplain & Wetland CR297A- Bristol Park/Creek- Devine Farms Road RESTORE NFWF: over $7.9 million approved for County projects with 25% County match o Beach Haven Drainage & Sanitary Improvements o Jones Creek Wetland/Floodplain Restoration o Jackson Creek Wetland/Floodplain Restoration
5 Amendment 1 - NWFWMD o Blue Springs at Clearwater Storm water Improvements o Idlewood Drive Drainage & Water Quality Improvements o South Dog Track Road Coral Creek Mariners Village Hampton Lakes Stream/Wetland Restoration & Pond o Sydney Road Water Quality & Pond FDEP 319 o Bayou Chico Storm Water Retrofit Projects National Disaster Resilience Competition HUD CBDR (City/County Joint Application) o Pensacola Bay Basin Improvements o Potential Grant Funding of $1 million $500 million OTHER EFFORTS In addition to all the federal funding efforts the County has provided for the disaster, the County is looking at other ways to address drainage issues. These efforts include: Acquisition of six properties totaling 4.08 acres of land at $431,020. These properties were substantially flooded or damaged as a result of the April 2014 storm and are being used to incorporate drainage improvements such as expansion of ponds, creation of ponds, and better routing of drainage infrastructure. Examples include: o The Shadow Grove subdivision where two parcels will be utilized for pond expansion and improved infrastructure routing. o Galvin Avenue where a destroyed property was utilized for pond expansion. o Ponderosa Drive, part of which lies in a natural depression. Pond expansion is planned in this area. Additional property acquisition is planned in response to the storm including acquisition through Federal funding opportunities such as the HMGP program. The County is looking at opportunities though the Land Development Code to make our infrastructure more resilient such as the requirement to design storm water ponds for the 100- year storm event.
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