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Thursday, May 14, 2009

FEMA And Downtown Caldwell

The following has been taken from the May 6, 2009 Caldwell East Urban Renewal Agency Minutes. You can draw your own conclusions on what actually happened but it looks like downtown Caldwell will remain in FEMA's flood zone.

"FEMA has tentatively announced their findings on the City’s appeal to the draft flood mapping. They have:
 Agreed that the Mora Canal intersects the flow from the northern portion of the Indian Creek basin, reducing basin water runoff
 Agreed that the probabilistic flow in the NY Canal will be lowered from 34% to 20%, reducing the flow in the canal.
 Accepted the City’s very conservative hydraulic analysis of basin flow (prepared in 2007)
 Ignored the data on physical barriers to basin flow
 Ignored the historical information on the 1910 flood
 Postulated a failure of the NY Canal levee in addition to its overtopping
 Predicted a ~3,200 cfs of flow in downtown Caldwell
• The best solution appears to be the installation of a spillway on the NY Canal downstream of the calipee gates to preclude failure of the Canal levee; however, legal strategy is being developed in the event that FEMA is not willing to accept a project-driven solution.
• The work could be done by June 2009 as a City-funded project, providing that the Bureau of Reclamation and the Boise Project Office agree to let the work go forward.
• With the spillway project initiative, FEMA will be requested to delay publishing their final flood plain mapping until the spillway is completed.
• There will then be no flooding of downtown Caldwell, but the flood maps would likely show Nampa being flooded, unless FEMA accepts the physical barrier data.
• A Strategy meeting will be held Friday, May 8th, in Caldwell to plan the response to FEMA’s findings. FEMA will meet with the City on Tuesday, May 19th, in Caldwell to discuss further actions and outcomes."

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