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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

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TagsTexas Water Development Board, Funding, Flooding,

Comments

This study was completed almost 5 years ago and as far as one can tell nothing has changed to fix this problem.The flooding still occurs on Wilkes St,, (not across from Bonham School), Louisiana,St, ,Mchaney St.etc..eventually these homes will need to be abandoned which will create a tax loss for the city of Bryan. Constant erosion from Still Creek about 20 years ago caused a main gas line to rupture on Wilkes Street..Evacuation was necessary the City of Bryan fixed it by bringing in concrete etc.. from the old Allen Academy building otherwise a law suit would have been filed. Updates on this situation would be helpful,If we wanted to sell our home tomorrow it would basically sell for less than the value of the home if it sells at all.

Thank you for your comment! During the past 5 years, the City applied for FEMA grant funding several times to fund the proposed improvements. Though they were unsuccessful in obtaining grant funding, the City is moving forward with construction of a detention pond at Bonham Elementary School as well as underground storm sewer along Wilkes Street, Old Hearne Road, Willhelm Drive, and Missouri Avenue. This is only the first step of a larger masterplan that was identified in the study, but will still provide significant improvement in the drainage conditions within Lynndale Acres. Construction is expected to begin in June 2016 and last approximately 18 months. The City held a public meeting for residents on November 11, 2015. We hope you were able to participate at the meeting, but if you would like more information about the project, you can contact Matt Dawson-Mathur at the City of Bryan at (979) 209-5030, mdawson@bryantx.gov.

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