Mayor Hayward takes flood retrospective tour

Hayward0508It was on the evening of April 29, 2014 that the area experienced nearly continuous rain that dumped over 20 inches of rainfall. To mark the first anniversary of the April 2014 flooding, Mayor Ashton Hayward will make on Wednesday what his staff is calling the “Mayor’s Recovery Tour.”

First stop is an interview on Blab TV’s Daily Brew, sometime between 7-8 a.m. Then four hours later, at 11:30 a.m., he will visit the 3900 block of Piedmont Road, which literally washed down the hill into Bayou Texar last year. Then after lunch at 2 p.m., Mayor Hayward will visit the Airport Regional Stormwater Project on Airfield Road off of Summit Boulevard.

According to the city’s website:

Total preliminary damage estimate $17,635,632

Total City expenditures to date $5,991,582

Total reimbursed to date $1,008,855

Total insurance payments to date $380,154

Total projects 77

Projects underway 25

Projects completed 52

However, the narrative that accompanies the above costs states the damage estimates were $14.8 million and only 74 damage repair projects. The project table also only shows 74 projects.

Let’s assume the list above with 77 projects is correct, not the narrative. The 52 completed projects appear to be relatively inexpensive – less than $20,000 each according to the numbers above. The remaining 25 projects will cost an estimated $16.6 million. The city writes that it expects FEMA and the State will reimburse the City for 87.5% of those costs

Two community centers remain closed – Vickrey Resource Center and the Bayview Resource Center.

The city has five FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (404) Applications:
(All of the projects were submitted to the State’s Division of Emergency Management prior to the March 9 deadline. The deadline for the State to submit projects to FEMA is May 9. The city  expectsa to receive notification of awards within 3-6 months after FEMA’s deadline.)

12th and Cross Property Acquisition/ Drainage
Increase the capacity of the Fisher Street pond by acquiring and demolishing four adjacent residential structures to provide the space needed to enlarge the pond. Waiting for state approval

F and Lee St. Stormwater Pond
Extend the capacity of the existing pond by constructing a new pond to the south on the property of three residential homes that are to be purchased and demolished. Waiting for state approval

Lalone Property Acquisition/ Demolition
Acquisition and demolish a residential structure that has endured repeated flooding over the last 20 years. Waiting for state approval

L Street Drainage Improvement Project
Strengthen the drainage system on L Street to prevent further failures and to prevent flooding to nearby residences and commercial structures. Waiting for state approval

Port of Pensacola Generator
Procure and install a 150kW natural gas generator and automatic transfer switch system to reduce the vulnerability of critical port security systems to power interruptions. Waiting for state approval

Government Street Regional Stormwater Pond at Corinne Jones Park
Qualify the full amount of the Corinne Jones stormwater pond construction cost (est. $2.7 million) as an in-kind resource that can be used to provide the City’s 25% share of the cost of approved mitigation projects. Waiting for state approval

The city has submitted requests for FEMA Public Assistance (406) Mitigation Projects

Total projects 13
Projects underway 6
Completed projects (repair and mitigation work complete) 6
Applications approved 12
Estimated total cost $1,652,802

The city has also conducted four studies that covered the Piedmont Road, Aragon, Downtown Pensacola and Long Hollow areas with the goal of preventing future flooding. Three grant applications are being prepared, the largest being grant is the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The other two applications are for FEMA HMGP Initiative Grant and EPA 319 Grant.

FEMA HMGP Initiative Grant requests funding to make low impact development improvements at the County’s Central Office Complex that would provide benefits throughout the areas downstream, i.e., the Long Hollow, Aragon and Downtown sub basins.

The 319 grant (an EPA funded grant administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection) application requests money to establish a source of funds for low impact design retrofits for homeowners and business owners to mitigate stormwater impacts on our public stormwater infrastructure.