ABSTRACT

FEMA Mitigation Best Practices: Alleviating Flooding in the Park Hill Drainage Basin   [open pdf - 35KB]

"Frequent flooding was no stranger to the Park Hill drainage basin in northeast Denver. The basin includes a mix of industrial, commercial, and residential properties. At least 716 structures were affected by urban flooding within the basin, including a critical infrastructure (police station) until mitigation measures were initiated. 'The city of Denver decided to construct a detention pond that would manage storm water, up to the five-year storm event,' said Saeed Farahmandi, senior storm drainage engineer for the Department of Public Works, Wastewater Management Division. 'This project was the most cost effective measure to minimize flooding in that area.' Before mitigation, the Park Hill drainage basin experienced frequent flooding due to inadequate storm sewer drains and no regional detention facilities within the 7.7 square mile basin. In 2005, the city and county of Denver applied for a grant under the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) pre-disaster mitigation (PDM) grant program. The PDM grant program is an annual competitive grant offered through statutory allocations. Almost every project type eligible for funding under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is also eligible under PDM. However, initiative projects, code enforcement and advance assistance are not allowed under this program. The city and county of Denver were awarded the PDM grant funding for the project that totaled $3 million. The project included using a seven-acre site dominated by abandoned buildings that was owned by Denver. The site was cleared and excavated to provide approximately 35 acre-feet of regional detention storage. Existing storm drain pipes were connected to the pond and an outlet was constructed."

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