Finding Funding for Flood Studies: City of Bryan - Still Creek Watershed Study
The Still Creek Watershed in Bryan, Texas, had a habit of flooding in unexpected places. Some areas along the creek and its tributaries flooded on a regular basis. Other areas like the Lynndale Acres subdivision had a history of flooding outside of the Federal Emergency Management Agency floodplain. This area was identified by the City's Stormwater CIP Masterplan as the most severe flooding problem in Bryan due in part to storms in 2007 and 2009 that flooded over a dozen homes each occurrence. This area of Bryan also included numerous repetitive flood loss properties and a couple of severe repetitive loss properties. The City’s goal to resolve the flooding situation prompted the search to find funding.
In January 2010, Freese and Nichols assisted the City in applying for the Texas Water Development Board’s Flood Protection Planning Grant to better understand the cause of flooding in the Lynndale Acres subdivision. The City was awarded the grant and selected us to serve as engineer for the study. The City had previously developed existing conditions hydraulics and hydrology data for Still Creek and its tributaries. We verified the data and used it in our own study, saving the State and the City the cost of developing this information a second time. We then conducted a more detailed analysis using an InfoWorks SD two-dimensional hydraulic model in conjunction with the HEC-HMS and HEC-RAS models. The study determined that a combination of insufficient channel capacity and inadequate drainage infrastructure caused runoff to back up and overtop roads, resulting in extensive flooding of homes in the subdivision.
The project included public meetings in which Freese and Nichols verified the modeling results and engaged the residents about possible improvement alternatives. We worked with the City, the school district, and neighborhood residents to develop a preferred solution to the flooding problems that was acceptable to all involved. The recommended solution is a combination of detention ponds, storm sewers, and culvert improvements that provide 100-year flood protection to the homes. We completed the study in December 2011 and are assisting the City in finding potential funding opportunities to implement the solution.
Photo: Still Creek at Missouri Avenue Bridge