Jun 08, 2010

Post-Storm Stabilization

The city of Kissimmee, Fla., is located in Osceola County in central Florida. In addition to being a popular vacation spot, the city is home to an estimated 61,000 residents.

Tropical storms and hurricanes are experienced regularly in the area. These storms not only cause extensive damage to existing property and land; they also create major safety and environmental hazards caused by eroding streambanks.

Streambank stabilization is vital to the city of Kissimmee as an emergency watershed protection measure. Benefits of streambank stabilization include:

  • Safeguarding lives and property from imminent floodwater hazards, debris-laden drainage canals and waterways;
  • Preventing loss of land and vegetation;
  • Reducing pollutants and sediment loading in waterways; and
  • Improving overall health of water bodies, which results in enhanced habitats for fish, wildlife and recreational use.

Cleaning Up After Fay

Erosion threatened local drainage structures.

After the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Fay in 2008, the city’s Department of Public Works and Eng. (DPWE) realized that additional streambank protection needed to be designed and installed to stabilize the eroded banks of both the East City Ditch and Mill Slough—two major drainage structures in the city’s storm water management system.

Repairs to each site included installation of earthen fill, geotextiles and rubble riprap. DPWE personnel and local contractor TSI Disaster Recovery LLC contributed to the success of the project. Work was completed within the scheduled time frame and at a cost less than the estimated budget amount of $601,000.

A federal grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service covered 75% of the project cost. A 25% match was provided by the city of Kissimmee.

Maintaining to Protect

A portion of restored streambanks.

In order to ensure continued project success and benefits, the city developed and continues to carry out a maintenance program comprising general inspections, replacement of riprap as needed, vegetation control, repair of slope stability as needed, drainage maintenance, access maintenance and site security.

Completion and continued maintenance of this flood management and restoration project directly benefits Kissimmee citizens, their properties, businesses and the environment by protecting each from erosion and adverse impacts from future storm events.

About the author

Ami L. Gore is public education coordinator for the City of Kissimmee, Fla., Department of Public Works and Eng. Gore can be reached by e-mail at [email protected].

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