Tropical Storm IreneImpact on Buckland &Planning Efforts in theDeerfield River WatershedMAPD ConferenceJune 7, 2012
Challenges Faced By Local Officials Mostly volunteer decision makers Not enough money to meet local needs No professional planning or engineering staff Little if any training to “do it right” Emergency repair funding with strings attached FEMA NRCS MassDOT
Deerfield River - August 28, 2011Iron Bridge in Shelburne Falls Water flow gauge in Charlemont
During and After on Conway StreetLooking northwest toward villagecenter and Iron BridgeLooking northwest toward Ann Brauer’srelocated Quilt Shop
Conway StreetInfrastructure destruction Very strong fire hydrant
Clesson Brook RoadNew path for Clesson Brook Large chunks of road missing
Old Hawley Road BridgeIs now an islandSignificant debris loadingagainst bridge caused bothapproaches to wash away,widening the brookEstimated cost to replacebridge in the half milliondollar neighborhoodFEMA will pay to remove,but may not pay to fix orreplace the bridge
Shepard RoadSide hill location with steepdrop to brook.Lots of ledge makes itdifficult to install drainagepipe.Existing drainage quicklyplugged and overwhelmed.
Buckland’s Post-Irene Challenges Initial costs estimated between $6.2 million (byFEMA/MEMA PDA team) and $30 million (by engineer). 25% local share at least $1.5 million (total FY13 non-school budget = $1.7 million) Many roads impassable Residents cut off – many with no electricity or phones Need to open roads ASAP for emergency vehicles Make quick repairs that are affordable without good costestimates. Impending winter weather
What We Did / Are Doing Opened roads quickly for emergency access Hired an engineering firm to assess the damage,estimate costs and recommend fixes Briefed our Legislators Worked with MEMA / FEMA / NRCS / MassDOT Took heat from residents for not moving as fast as someof our neighbors Completed 11 NRCS projects before Christmas Negotiated the MassDOT Emergency Repair program Continue to try to figure out FEMA
Clesson Brook Road: A Quick Case StudyCulvert washed out in 1999and again in 2005 (slightlyincreased culvert size).Significant silt loading inClesson Brook.Engineer suggested addingan overflow pipe to handlehigh water events.Permitting authorities wouldnot allow any solution otherthan an open bottom boxculvert.Cost estimate at $100,000for box culvert vs. less than$1,000 for overflow pipe.
NRCS Project in 1999 – Survived IreneCulvert plugged and roadwashed out in TropicalStorm FloydSolution was to assumefuture overflow events andarmor the overflow areaNRCS designed, permittedand built the project. Townhappily paid 25%Water again came over theroad during Irene, but roaddid not wash out.
Deerfield River Watershed Project Steering committee with representation from local, state,& federal government entities as well as several not-for-profits – Led by Carolyn Ness of Deerfield, under theFranklin Conservation District umbrella “Planning Today to Build Resilient CommunitiesTomorrow” Focused on the entire Deerfield River watershed Networking across Massachusetts, New England andNew York Working with legislators and various agencies for funding
Steering Committee Goal Help local officials acquire the tools, information andfunding they need to make good decisions aboutinfrastructure improvements: Both before and after a flooding event To reduce future storm damage to infrastructure, and Provide benefits to river and stream ecosystems.
More Info?Bob DeanSelectman, Town of BucklandandDirector of Regional Services,Franklin Regional Council of Governments(413) 774-3167, ext. 108BDean@frcog.org