Jun 19, 2020

Army Corps Develops $4.6 Billion Plan for Miami Storms

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing a network of more sea walls, gates and other barriers to protect the Miami waterfront from storms and hurricanes.

miami storms

Under a proposed Army Corps of Engineers plan being developed to protect Miami from storm surge, 13-foot-high flood walls could line part of Miami's waterfront. The $4.6 billion plan is one of several drafted by the Corps to protect coastal areas in the U.S, according to NPR.

The plan for Miami-Dade County intends to protect from coastal flooding and storm surge during tropical storms and hurricanes. Global warming is making hurricanes more powerful, according to a recent study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

“The study area includes coastal and inland areas that are at risk from coastal-storm flooding and sea-level rise,” according to the Army Corps of Engineers. “This study does not address barrier-island beach projects (Miami Beach, for example) undergoing a separate and concurrent study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The study examines current and future strategies and measures to address these coastal risks.” 

The Corps of Engineers plan calls for storm surge gates to be installed on three waterways that open onto Biscayne Bay, including the Miami River. The plan also seeks a series of pumps and floodwalls along Miami's waterfront as well as elevating and flood-proofing thousands of homes, businesses and public buildings in vulnerable neighborhoods.

Susan Layton, who is overseeing the project, said the Army Corps of Engineers looked at natural solutions like oyster reefs and living shorelines, but that many of these features fail to get significant storm surge reduction or coastal storm benefits. The storm surge initiative is also taking into account a projected three and a half foot rise in sea level in Miami over the next 60 years, according to NPR.

Planning for the storm surge project will not be complete until next year.

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