We’ll See You Virtually at ASFPM

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Jim Keith

Stormwater Engineer

The 2020 ASFPM Annual National Conference, originally scheduled to be held in Fort Worth, Texas, has been moved to a virtual format. Although we wish we had been able to welcome you in Cowtown this year, we are looking forward to a great slate of presentations and other engaging content online.

The conference will be held June 9-11. We hope you’ll tune in to one of our presentations, detailed below:

Working Together to Simplify Permitting in the Trinity River Corridor

Presenter: Lisa Biggs, PE, CFM (City of Fort Worth) and Jim Keith, PE, CFM
Date: Tuesday, June 9
Time: 1:30-2:00 PM
Track: NFIP
B4: Local Floodplain Manager Processes and Duties
Abstract: The Trinity River Common Vision program is a collaboration of 9 cities, 3 counties, 2 special utility districts, NCTCOG, USACE, FEMA, and TWDB formed over 30 years ago to address the cumulative impacts of flooding in the Dallas-Fort Worth area based on increasing levels of floodplain development within the Trinity River corridor.  The program manages the Corridor Development Certificate (CDC) permitting process for development on regulated streams to stabilize flood risk through the corridor. As part of recent modeling updates, an agreement was reached between FEMA, the USACE, and NCTCOG to utilize a single model for administering both the CDC and NFIP programs.  A committee of regional partners and communities has been meeting since 2018 to establish the new process and ensure a smooth transition to the use of the Consolidated CDC Model as it nears completion. This presentation will lay out the committee’s collaborative planning approach that could be replicated as a floodplain management permitting method across the nation; saving time, resources, and frustration.

Addressing High Risks with Limited Funding: Fort Worth’s Hazardous Roadway Overtopping Program

Presenter: Kiran Konduru, PE, CFM (City of Fort Worth) and Holly Ahumada, PE, CFM
Date: Tuesday, June 9
Time: 2:30-3:00 PM (all times CST)
Track: Mitigation
B3: Mitigating Risk for Community Lifelines
Abstract: The City of Fort Worth completed its Stormwater Management Program Master Plan in 2018 which identified the need for a greater emphasis on projects with critical life safety implications.  The City determined that hazardous roadway overtopping locations carry some of the greatest life safety consequences. As a result, the City is strategically allocating resources to projects in a Hazardous Roadway Overtopping Mitigation program. This presentation will show how the City of Fort Worth is addressing prioritizing projects that may not meet the typical benefit cost ratio priority but do provide a safer community and protect lives. With this program as a case study, this presentation will teach floodplain managers how to proactively and efficiently allocate limited funds to address their highest priority needs from a flood risk perspective.

Adapting to Atlas 14: Austin’s Proactive Approach to a Higher Flood Risk

Presenter: Karl McArthur, PE, CFM (City of Austin) and Garrett Johnston, PE, CFM
Date: Tuesday, June 9
Time: 3:30-4:00 PM
Track: NFIP
C4: Local Floodplain Regulations and Higher Standards
Abstract: The National Weather Service’s Atlas 14, Vol. 11 shows that Central Texas is more likely to experience large storms than previous rainfall studies had indicated. As a result, design rainfall depths in the Austin area have increased by up to 30%. To better protect the public from flooding, the City of Austin has proactively pursued several initiatives to incorporate this new understanding of flood risk.Using this case study, this presentation will show attendees how cities can incorporate Atlas 14 data into their floodplain ordinances, drainage criteria and development policies. The presentation will include an overview of the floodplain ordinance and phased development policy, a discussion of the CTP program work to update all floodplain studies in the city, and a brief overview of the technical approach to the criteria update.

The Problem With ‘Unprecedented’: Mitigating Misinformation & Improving Risk Communication

Presenter: Jim Keith, PE, CFM
Date: Wednesday, June 10
Time: 4:00-4:30 PM
Track: Risk Communication
F5: Language Matters in Risk Communication
Abstract: When floods occur, we are quick to define them with terms like “natural disaster”, “catastrophic”, “unprecedented”, “100-year”, or even “1000-year”.  These terms are often widely misunderstood by the public, or simply buzz words that fit into the daily news cycle but provide no value. This presentation will discuss the drivers for change and concepts for better defining and communicating flood risk, moving from convincing (science) to persuading (psychology) in order to change behavior.  The outcome will be clear communication achieved through new tools for local floodplain managers to use as they mitigate misinformation in their own communities.

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Jim Keith, PE, CFM, is an Associate and the Stormwater Manager in Dallas.