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Midland flood plan unveiled

Midland flood plan unveiled
Midland flood plan unveiled

The Midland Business Alliance’s (MBA) infrastructure advisory committee got a head start on flood reduction and resiliency projects on Tuesday, while a US Army Corps of Engineers hydraulic/hydrological study of the watershed of the Tittabawassee River is currently underway.

“The Corps of Engineers study is expected to be completed in 2024,” said Lee Ann Keller, co-chair of the advisory committee. “While they create the complex and necessary flood modeling, we wanted to keep looking for solutions that we could advance – and work to fund – in the meantime. We asked engineers from the Spicer Group to look at frequently flooded areas and come up with ideas. »

Midland County Commissioners approved a resolution in support of the Midland Flood Reduction Plan, which was created by Spicer Group engineers, during a regular meeting Tuesday at the County Services Building. The Midland Business Alliance committee will ask the city council for the same on November 21. The group is meeting with the state next week.

“When the Tittabawassee River reaches high levels, it begins to back up into streams and causes significant flooding. In a 100-year event, approximately 800 acres are flooded when the Tittabawassee River backs up into these creeks,” said JW Fisher, co-chair of the advisory committee. “Spicer engineers have recommended reasonably feasible solutions to implement that can have a significant impact on flood protection.”

Here is a summary of the flood reduction plan:

Sturgeon Creek area

To prevent flood waters from backing up Sturgeon Creek, this part of the project would include the addition of flood gates at the mouth of Sturgeon Creek, upstream from Main Street. Open most of the time, the gates would be closed during periods of high water on the Tittabawassee River.

Modifications to culverts crossing under Main Street would be required to connect to the flood gate system. A pumping station would be located near the Main Street crossing to provide an outlet for stream flow when the locks are closed.

Rail Trail Area Flood Wall

To prevent flood waters from the Tittabawassee River from spreading over land, a flood wall would extend northwest of Sturgeon Creek along the Pere Marquette Rail Trail. Made from steel sheet piling, the flood wall would extend from higher ground at University Avenue southeast past the mouth of Sturgeon Creek (a total distance of approximately 2,500 feet). The sheet piles would extend up to about 4 feet above the ground surface and would be driven into the ground for sufficient stability. The ends of the flood wall would be connected to sufficiently high elements, such as the Main Street embankment. Since Main Street’s elevation south of the crossing is close to that required for protection from flood waters, its elevation would only need to be increased along approximately 800 feet of roadway.

Flood reduction berm

The Northwood University flood occurs due to direct overflow flooding from the Tittabawassee River. A series of surrounding berms would intercept this flow and prevent it from flooding this area. Approximately 3,500 feet of earthen berms, averaging three feet in height, would be constructed on the east, south, and west sides of campus and terminate on adjacent raised ground. The potential development of wetlands between these berms and the river would add to flood reduction efforts and create natural space for students and the community.

Snake Creek area

Flood valves would be located near the intersection of Snake Creek with Main Street. The pump station could be located in the northwest quadrant of the crossing.

Most of Main Street in this area is above flood stage except for a slump near Snake Creek. Therefore, flood walls are not included here. Instead, Main Street would be elevated for a stretch of about 400 feet. Reconstruction of the Orchard Drive/Emerson Park Road intersection would be required due to the change in grade of Main Street.

“These projects are an excellent starting point. However, they are not the only solution we will need for our region,” Fisher said. “They are part of a much larger effort that could take decades to complete. Larger projects could include the improvement and expansion of wetlands and the construction of floodwater retention systems, for example. There are a lot of ideas we work with, and we welcome other solutions people may have. »

“Throughout this planning, we continued to update local stakeholders as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE),” Keller said. “We continue to update a growing circle of residents, businesses, organizations, and local, state, and federal lawmakers. The advisory committee is also working to develop funding for this infrastructure upgrade. All of this takes time to coordinate.

About the Tittabawassee River Watershed

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources “Tittabawassee River Assessment”, the watershed covers 2,471 square miles, including all or part of the following counties: Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta, Midland, Montcalm, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon and Saginaw. The main stem of the Tittabawassee River is over 90 miles long, with over 600 miles of contributing tributaries including the Tobacco River, Pine River, and Chippewa River. Located in the central portion of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, this watershed is the fifth largest in the state.

. Midland flood plan unveiled

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