US Army Corps of Engineers
Institute for Water Resources

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Value to the Nation


Flood Risk Mgmt: Activities

Examples of flood risk management or flood damage reduction projects undertaken by USACE throughout the nation include:


The Corps has elevated all or parts of several hundred structures and relocated several hundred other structures in the Tug Fork and Levisa Fork areas of West Virginia and Kentucky. USACE also constructed floodwalls in densely populated areas. USACE improved the look of these projects by constructing walls that were textured, tinted and imprinted with graphics.


In 2008, USACE led the development of a collaborative regional approach to the long-term restoration of flood management systems damaged by the Midwest Floods of June 2008. By working with FEMA and other Federal, state and local agencies, USACE assembled a regional Interagency Levee Task Force (ILTF) to implement a uniform approach across the region. Interagency Levee Work Groups operated in state joint field offices to review assistance requests from local entities, evaluate non-structural alternatives and participate in the levee restoration process. The ILTF worked to restore and protect residential, agricultural, commercial and industrial interests across the region. Applicants received assistance with levee restoration and repair from the task force.


USACE has implemented a multi-objective flood risk management and ecosystem restoration project on Johnson Creek in Arlington, Texas. Ecosystem restoration alternatives include bank protection, natural channel design to restore, protect and expand the riparian corridor, aquatic habitat improvement, and construction of wetlands. Non-structural measures include acquisition and removal of structures while the structural measure is channel modification. The recreation component of the project consists of trails, footbridges and picnic spots.


The Napa (CA) River drainage basin comprises 426 square miles. The USACE Flood Protection Project includes floodwalls, levees, excavated bypasses, bridge relocations and pumping stations, all of which will help to significantly reduce the potential for flood damage. The innovative design approach, though, also allows for extensive ecosystem restoration in excavated areas.

The Snoqualmie (WA) Flood Reduction Project is a Section 205 proposal to lower flood depths in and around the city of Snoqualmie. Its three major elements include: rock excavation along the right bank upstream of the hydroelectric intake, earth excavation along the left bank downstream of the SR 202 bridge and removal of a partially-failed railroad bridge.

What is Section 205?

Section 205 of the Flood Control Act of 1948 allows USACE to implement small flood reduction projects without seeking separate Congressional approval. Through this program, the Federal government can contribute up to $7 million dollars to address specific local flood problems in a fast-tracked program with a feasibility study prepared in partnership with a non-federal sponsor. Both structural and nonstructural alternatives can be considered for these projects. Such works are instrumental for efficiently preventing or mitigating flood damages, particularly when the risk is localized. Recommendations are made in a feasibility report prepared in partnership with a local sponsor. Under these conventions USACE can enact flood risk management projects of the size and scope needed in many communities and maintain collaboration with local entities.

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