Preventing flooding in the City of Ormond Beach
City of Ormond Beach
Ormond Beach, FL
A 2009 unnamed storm event caused excessive flooding and property damage in the City of Ormond Beach. Approximately 79 structures were impacted by the event with several impassable roads along Hand Avenue, a collector roadway located in the city’s Laurel Creek drainage basin area. With the assistance of FEMA and coordination with various city departments, an upgrade project was undertaken to not only address the flooding issues but also provide the ability to upgrade utilities within the area, enhance park elements, and bring the existing roadway up to current city standards.
To further minimize the risk of flooding, the City implemented the Laurel Creek Pump Station Additions and Improvements project, which was approved under its Capital Improvements Program. The stormwater pump station is located at an interconnected lake system (comprised of five lakes) and is responsible for providing flood control to the area. As part of this effort to maximize the flood storage potential of the lakes, the City partnered with Opti to control two variable-frequency drive (VFD) pumps with the objective of discharging water from the lakes in advance of a weather event.
The interconnected lake system receives runoff from a 7,680-acre watershed and has a total storage capacity of 250 ac-ft. In preparation for 2017 Hurricane Irma, the city utilized Opti CMAC to discharge approximately 70 ac-ft. of storage from the lake system. Even with the tremendous performance of the lakes’ new pump system, there was a total storage increase of 190 ac-ft. that occurred after pre-event drawdown. Given that local flooding occurs at a storage volume of 250 ac-ft. of storage, the pre-event drawdown likely prevented flooding of nearby roads and property. Without pre-event drawdown, the lake elevation would have exceeded the flood stage of 5 feet (i.e. a volume of 250 ac-ft.). Continuous monitoring before, during, and after Irma’s 8-inch rainfall on this basin was also an integral component of the city’s emergency operations and further enhanced infrastructure management.
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