Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Notes from the November flood mitigation meeting, part 2

Notes from last night's town flood mitigation meeting:
*These notes are rough. We welcome amendments and corrections!
The first part of these notes can be found in this blog post.

Part III: the plan
Roy Schiff then described the proposals for mitigation flood damage.
  1. Shoring up riverbanks, or "armoring" them, with stones. These stones, called riprap, should have a mean diameter of three feet, will be obtained from rocks already on site, as far as possible.
  2. Emplacing a "grade control structure" to further stabilize banks. This will be a large rock structure, situated on the riverbed.
  3. Excavating a flood chute across the stretch of land enclosed by the river's bend. This chute can carry extra water straight across that land, drawing it away from the road. The chute already exists, as we can tell from sand repeatedly appearing after rains and high water on the western edge of the land; this excavation will deepen the chute, letting it pull more water from the river. Digging won't stretch the whole length of the chute, but will focus on the first third, east/above the village, since the middle third of the land is already low enough to serve.

Part IV: discussion and questions from the community

Amy and Roy fielded questions and comments throughout the meeting. I didn't catch 'em all in these notes, so please don't hesitate to add yours in comments!

Question: what's the timeline?
Answer: over winter, the plan is put out for bidding. Permitting should happen in early 2010 (with the Army Corps of Engineers, among others). Work should start - roughly - in July. Timing depends on a lot of factors, of course (including V-Trans schedules).

Question: who pays for this, and how much will it cost?
Answer: FEMA and the state of Vermont have agreed to support this, which should cover much of the cost. The town might have to pay some. Some affected landowners may also be approached to contribute. It's very hard to cost the project out at this stage, given complexity and fluid (sorry) circumstances.

Question: what will cover the flood chute?
Answer: it apparently won't look that different, a mix of rocks and foliage. More of the former will be exposed through digging, while more of the latter will be planted for cover.

For more information, please contact Amy Sheldon. We'll also blog this story as it unfolds in the coming months.