Remember the Floods of 2004? What’s Being Done to Protect Lives and Property?

If you lived in Swannanoa in 2004, the memories of the devastation our community suffered from Hurricanes Frances and Ivan are probably still fresh in your mind.  A number of steps have been taken to address flood concerns in our area since 2004, but much remains to be done. 

Last year, the City of Asheville — in cooperation with Buncombe County, the Town of Black Mountain, and the North Carolina Division of Water Resources — hired Brown & Caldwell Engineering to complete a flood risk management assessment for the Swanannoa Valley and make recommendations for projects to help save lives and property Swannanoa River - 2004 Floodsin future floods.  The study is not yet complete, but 48 possible flood risk management projects have now been identified, a number of which are in the Swannanoa Valley.  The projects include such things as stormwater detention structures and retrofits, stream channel improvements, flood-proofings, potential buyouts of floodplain property, and improvements in flood warning procedures.  

The next phase of the study, currently underway, involves further assessing each of the possible projects to identify those that hold the most promise.  Factors to be considered include: the degree to which the project will mitigate flooding, whether the project is economically feasible, the impact the project will have on the environment and the community, and whether the project can be practically implemented.  The final recommendations will go to Sate and local governments for consideration and possible implementation.  The recommendations will also be provided to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for consideration for federal cost-sharing in project implementation.  
Public input and participation is an important part of the flood study.  One public meeting has already been held, and additional meetings will be announced in the coming months.  If you’d like to learn more about the flood study and the possible projects, please visit the new public information website,  The website also includes contact information and a form you can use to submit ideas, concerns, or questions.            

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