DES MOINES, Iowa -- Flood waters inundated the City of Dyersville four times in 2008 between May 25 and August 13, damaging over 605 feet of a city street.
Thanks to a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mitigation project, however, that street has been repaired to a higher standard making it less likely to be damaged by future flooding.
“More than a year after flood waters hit our state, this project is one more sign that we are moving farther down the road to recovery,” said Iowa Governor Chet Culver. “While we have come along way, there is still much more to do. As Governor, I remain committed to working with all Iowans, as well as our federal partners, to further our recovery efforts. Together, we will rebuild a better, stronger, and safer Iowa.”
At the request of Governor Culver, the President signed a major disaster declaration for Iowa as a result of the storms, flood waters and tornados which hit the state between May 25 and August 13.
An application was made to FEMA through the Public Assistance Program to assist in the cost of repairing the damaged street. In most cases, Public Assistance repair and restoration funding brings the damaged infrastructure back to pre-disaster conditions.
However, a major policy goal of FEMA and Iowa’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD) is to mitigate, where it is cost-effective, when restoring damaged infrastructure so the repaired facility is better able to withstand future disaster damages. A little extra money spent now may save untold funds later.
In Dyersville, 2008 flood waters caused segregation or “waving” of a 605-foot asphalted section of 5th Street Southwest located between 3rd Avenue Southwest and 1st Avenue Southwest. This waving was visible throughout the entire length of the section of roadway due to inundation and long-term saturation of the base and sub-base materials.
For the repair of the section of the street, 2,632 square feet of 4-inch asphalt (going from curb-to-curb) and nearly 3,217 cubic yards of saturated base and sub-base materials were removed. In addition, workers disposed 3,510 cubic yards of roadway material.
The section of road was then built up by spreading and compacting 2,457 tons of 3-inch rock for the sub-base and 2,047 tons of 1.5-inch base material. The road was then covered by 2,632 square yards of 4-inch hot-mix asphalt.
The cost of the reconstruction of the section of street was $667,718.
However, an additional $16,561 was obligated for the mitigation aspect of the project. A 4-inch drain tile was placed approximately 16 inches below the asphalted surface on each side of the road 1,316-feet in length. The drain tile was tied into the existing storm sewer system.
This type of mitigation had already proved successful for Dyersville. Streets in the vicinity which had drain tile did not suffer segregation damage.
The total cost of the project was $684,279. FEMA’s share of the project was $615,851, or 90 percent of the cost, with the state paying the remaining 10 percent.
“This is an excellent example of a modest investment in infrastructure improvements that will pay dividends for years to come,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Parker.
“In Iowa, we know that investing in mitigation not only lessens the impact of a disaster on a community, but is also a smart way of doing business,” said David Miller, administrator of the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division.
Among the recovery programs activated by the declaration was the Public Assistance Program. This program reimburses eligible government jurisdictions and certain non profits for costs for debris removal, emergency protective measures and the repair or restoration of damaged public infrastructure.