Flood resilient presentation 05.16.12


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  • View of Tropical Storm Irene as it hovers over Northeast
  • Note: Bolded flows are flow of record.
  • The Charlemont USGS Gage is approximately 11-12 miles downstream of the Fife Brook Dam, between the gage and the dam are several major tributaries including Pelham Brook, Cold River (Rte 2 – sustained all the damage), Chickley River, etc. The Power Company at the dam reported their peak water release was 58,329 (initiated Emergency Action Plan). So where did all the water go?
  • The floodplain…. Last minute photo along the Deerfield River just before evacuating to higher ground… note the HWM at the gazebo reached was above the railing, approx. 2 feet higher than pictured here.
  • Example of where river used its floodplain. Hawlemont School’s ballfields and playground covered in silt left behind by the flood. Water reached the building and cause some damage. In upper right-hand part of photo is the location of the sewage treatment plant which was also underwater and rendered un-operational post flood.
  • The before photo was captured a couple of years ago. Note the widening of the river channel and the loss of 3-4 acres of land on the outside bend. As the water recedes, deposition will occur on the inside bend where a new cobble bar has formed.
  • The star denotes where a structure stood approximately 65-70 feet from the river bank. The river eroded right up to the footings of this structure. The yellow area is the approximate area of land where the river eroded on the outside bend.
  • Cold River & Deerfield River Confluence 2005
  • Cold River & Deerfield River Confluence Sept. 18, 2011 Confluence of Cold and Deerfield Rivers. The Deerfield River splits around an island just upstream of here – the Deerfield’s channels are the ones in the upper left and lower left. The Cold River comes in on the lower right hand side of the photo. The confluence use to be further downstream and on river right. You can see the change in channel characteristics as the Cold now enters further upstream
  • View from the ground. 1 st photo is the before photo with the two channels of the Deerfield River meeting just to the right of the photo and Cold River channel on the left hand side of the photo. 2 nd photo post Irene.
  • Bank stablization structure installed in July 2011; notice bridge in background and vertical placement of the structure.
  • Same location looking from bridge. Note, according to Friends of South River, the river channel use to flow into the downtown, but was realigned to make this hard left-hand turn to go under the bridge. FOSR and local regional planning agency were conducting a geomorphic assessment prior to the floods to address known problem areas. This might rank as #1 now.
  • Gabion Baskets were installed in 1987 – a type of bank hardening protection. Failure occurred at upstream end where water got in and behind the gabion baskets and peeled them away from the bank.
  • Photo on left is of Zoar Gap on the Deerfield River. As you can see the channel is confined by the road and railroad. Large boulders the size of cars were placed on the slope going down to the river. It appears the river scoured out the toe of these boulders and the rest of the hillside and road slide down into the river.
  • Breach of Green River Water Supply Dam…. Note road leading to bridge downstream and water intake pipe were washed out.
  • Washed out in October 2005 Flood, Dimensions 4.5 foot round culvert and 6.5 foot x 4 foot elliptical culvert.
  • Photos of River Continuity Training – note each year volunteers found this crossing to be undersized when compared to bankfull width Replaced with three 4 foot round culverts in 2005 at cost of $60K+
  • Post Irene replaced with two 5 foot round culverts at a cost of $70K+ Estimated $300-$400k for clear bridge span
  • Bronson Brook in Worthington represented a good restoration opportunity, as the under-sized, perched double-box culvert, had washed out on several occasions. Bronson Brook is a high-quality cold-water tributary to the East Branch of the Westfield River. This culvert was selected for replacement.
  • Green Mountain National Forest Findings Crossings replaced to meet Aquatic Organism Passage (AOP) faired relatively well compared to other crossings USFS plan to: Capture post-geomorphic survey data Calculate and compare economic costs and impacts on communities Partner with Towns and Highway Departments to share and collect data
  • Flood resilient presentation 05.16.12

    1. 1. Massachusetts’ Rivers Responseto Tropical Storm IreneCarrie Banks, Division of Ecological RestorationCredit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project
    2. 2. Ford Brook, Bug Hill Road, AshfieldSource: You Tube
    3. 3. Station Drainage(mi^2)IrenePeak FlowPreviousPeakDate ofPreviousPeakSpecial RemarksNorth River 89.0 53,100 cfs 18,800 cfs 10/9/2005 72 yrs flow record, <0.2%probabilitySouth River 24.1 12,800 cfs 8,770 cfs 10/9/2005 45 yrs flow record, 0.5-1%probabilityDeerfield River(Charlemont)361 53,900 cfs 56,300 cfs 9/21/1938 98 yrs flow record, 1-2%probabilityDeerfield River(West Deerfield)557 103,000cfs61,700 cfs 4/5/1987 71 yrs flow record, flowregulated, 0.2-0.5% probabilityGreen River(Colrain)41.4 17,500 cfs 6,540 cfs 10/9/2005 44 yrs flow record, 0.2%probabilityMill River(Northampton)52.6 7,020 cfs 6,300 cfs 8/19/1955 73 yrs flow record, 1-2%probabilityWest BranchWestfield River94.0 36,200 cfs 28,000 cfs 10/9/2005 76 yrs flow record, 0.5-1%probabilityWestfield River(Westfield)497 26,200 cfs 70,300 cfs 8/19/1955 73 yrs flow record, 4-10%probabilityUSGS Provisional Data, Streamflow Peaks Resulting from Hurricane Irene RainfallAnnual Exceedance Probability: 0.2% = 500-year, 0.5% = 200-year, 1% = 100-year, 2% = 50-year, 4% =25-year,10% = 10-year recurrence interval
    4. 4. Peak flow at Fife Brook Dam,~58,329 cfsPeak Flow at USGS Gage inCharlemont, ~53,900 cfs
    5. 5. Rivers used their floodplains.
    6. 6. Protect floodplains from development.
    7. 7. Scour on the outside ofmeander bendsDeposition on inside ofbendsRivers erode and deposit.
    8. 8. Deerfield River, Charlemont
    9. 9. River and stream changed their channels.
    10. 10. Rivers remember where they have been.
    11. 11. South River, Conway (July 2011)
    12. 12. Rivers downcut, especially in areas where notable to access floodplains.Clesson Brook, Buckland~ 2-3 Feet
    13. 13. Swift River, CummingtonPhoto: Matthew Grallert Photo: NRCSPhoto: NRCSBank hardening transfers energy downstream.
    14. 14. Extreme impacts at pinch points
    15. 15. Green River, Water Supply Dam, Greenfield
    16. 16. Walker Brook, BecketWalker Brook, Becket(10/06/05)Minor Barrier Aquatic Score: 0.79462249989Undersized culverts block river processes.
    17. 17. 11/16/2010Moderate Barrier Aquatic Score: 0.5185041801146/30/2011
    18. 18. Post IrenePost Irene
    19. 19. Massachusetts Stream Crossing Standardswww.streamcontinuity.org/publicationsEstablish minimum criteria necessary tofacilitate fish and wildlife movement andmaintain stream continuityUse of these standards alone will notsatisfy the need for proper engineeringand design.
    20. 20. • General Standards– Open-bottom span preferred– If culvert, then embedded:• Min. 2ft (and at least 25% for roundpipe culverts)• Include substrate >15 inches indiameter, depths at least 2x D84 ofembed material– Min. 1.2x bankfull width– Matches stream substrate– Openness: 0.25m– Banks on both sides of stream,match horizontal profile ofexisting stream and banks• Optimum Standards– Bridge– Min. 1.2x bankfull width– Matches stream substrate– Openness: 0.5-0.75m, Height:6-8ft– Banks on both sides ofstream, match horizontalprofile of existing stream andbanks, sufficient headroomfor wildlifeMassachusetts Stream Crossing Standards
    21. 21. These or similar standards are required tobe met under:• U.S. Army Corp of EngineersMassachusetts General Permit(July 2011)• Massachusetts 401 Water QualityCertification (314 CMR 9.00, June2009)• Further, the performancestandards in the WetlandsProtection Act (310 CMR 10.00,June 2009) require crossings tomaintain the carrying capacity ofthe channel.• DEP Regulatory Reform – includepermit streamlining for ecologicalrestoration, including culvertreplacements
    22. 22. • 2- 10 foot box culverts washed out in 2003. Road was closed to all traffic.2- 10 foot box culverts washed out in 2003. Road was closed to all traffic.• Culvert had a history of clogging with debrisCulvert had a history of clogging with debrisBronson Brook, WorthingtonBronson Brook, WorthingtonDesign with the river in mind!
    23. 23. Bronson Brook During IreneBronson Brook During Irene
    24. 24. Bronson Brook Post IreneBronson Brook Post Irene• A channel spanning treelocated upstream of this culvertprior to the storm was mobilizedand easily passed through thiscrossing.• Road remained open andpassable.
    25. 25. Green Mountain National ForestFR17A/Jenny Coolidge BrookBottomless Arch OutletCompeted Channel Construction2010Post TS Irene September 2011Lost largest boulders near outlet and roughness along stem walls. Structure and roadundamaged.
    26. 26. Green Mountain National ForestFR54/ Sparks Brook Bottomless Arch Inlet and OutletPre-Irene July 2011 Post TS Irene September 2011Flood Stage
    27. 27. “Being in the floodplain is likesitting down in the bathtub”~Robert HunterTake home messages:•Use up-to-date data forsizing culverts and locatinginfrastructure•Increase infiltrationwherever possible•Design with the river in mind•Minimize stream bankhardening•Protect floodplains fromdevelopment