City Flood Mitigation Grant Awards Top $2.6 Million
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the fourth of four Hazardous Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) grants that the City of Pensacola applied for to reduce flood risk and mitigate damage in flood-prone areas of the city. Mayor Hayward applied for the grants after the April 2014 rain event that caused significant damage throughout the city.
The most recent award will provide funding to increase the capacity of the retention pond located between Fisher Street and Cross Street in the 1100 block. Currently, the pond overflows during a 25-year rain event, directly impacting multiple structures, including four properties on Fisher Street that suffered flood damage in 2004, 2012, and 2014. Twenty residential structures are located within the 25-year flood area, including a multi-family low-income housing complex. Given the ongoing risk to so many members of the community who can least afford the costs of flood prevention and flood recovery, this project has been Mayor Hayward’s priority for residential mitigation funding.
The mitigation plan is to acquire and demolish the four residences north of the retention pond on East Fisher Street. Fisher Street will be closed at this location and the pond will be expanded across the road and into the area vacated by the four properties. The entire system will be designed to meet the drainage needs of a 25-year rain event.
This latest grant raises the total amount of HMGP funding the city received to $2.612 million. By leveraging money spent on the Government Street regional stormwater pond the city will be able to fund all of the projects with FEMA money and eliminate the need to provide 25% in matching funds. The city will also be able to use the grant money to offset payments of over $60,000 made to ARCADIS, the consulting firm the city contracted with to prepare the grant applications.
“This latest grant award is fantastic news for city residents, particularly those around Fisher Street and 12th Avenue who were impacted by the 2014 flood and who have waited patiently for news that something would be done to minimize the risk of future flooding,” said Mayor Hayward. “Citizens consistently rank stormwater infrastructure as a top priority and we have responded with a full-court press to secure funding for projects far above what we collect in stormwater utility fees.
In the last three years, we have committed almost $21.8 million to expand and enhance our stormwater infrastructure and this latest award will allow us to complete a project that has been a top priority for years.”
More information about the Hazardous Mitigation Grant Program can be found at http://www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-grant-program