Coeur D'Alene, Idaho -- The Harbor Island Home Owners Association hosts a groundbreaking ceremony today at 2:30 p.m. for a bridge that is designed to minimize damage from future floods. Funded under a Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMAP) grant administered by the Idaho Bureau of Disaster Services, the project was initially approved for $130,000 with FEMA providing up to 75 percent of project costs. The non-federal share was raised by the Harbor Island Home Owners Association. According to Harbor Island Home Owners Association board member Ron Green, the ground breaking ceremony represents another step in the Kootenai County Flood Task Force's comprehensive flood plan to reduce the impact of future flooding.
"The Spokane River has exceeded 100 year flood levels twice in the last four years. That's meant a lot of sand bags, a lot of hard work and serious financial burdens," said Green. "This project replaces two 84-inch Spokane River culverts with a clear span bridge, raising the bridge and road by 18 inches, and eliminating the culverts' damming effects. We'll all breathe easier when this bridge is up."
Idaho Bureau of Disaster Services area field officer Richard Wolfe concurs. "Harbor Island has consistently shown a real proactive stance in taking steps to protect its citizens from natural hazards," said Wolfe. "They've built an extremely effective partnership of citizens, businesses and local governments that has embraced BDS, FEMA and the Corps of Engineers."