VINTON, VA - The primary risk in Virginia's Roanoke Valley is from flooding caused by tropical storms and localized thunderstorms and heavy rains. The Roanoke River and numerous smaller streams traverse the valley, which is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. The area has experienced 17 major flooding events between 1877 and 1995 with the four largest floods occurring in the last 25 years.
The Midway community within the Town of Vinton, Virginia, is close to the confluence of Glade and Tinker Creeks. A large portion of the community is within a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Zone AE with 11 structures in the floodway. This area has had major flooding four times within 25 years.
FEMA, the State of Virginia, local governments and the Norfolk and Southern Railroad assisted in submitting this project for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds. The project removed the 11 houses from the floodway and purchased 13 vacant lots adjacent to the residential parcels.
Since the 11 homes have been removed, the area has not experienced flooding. However, based on past damage assessments, the savings in avoided future damages are expected to be at least $687,874, plus the savings in disaster response costs.
Craig Sheets, Emergency Management Services (EMS) Director for the Town of Vinton, said, “In November 2009 there was two feet of floodwater in the Midway area where the Acquisition Project took place, with no flooding to surrounding area homes.” The November 2009 storms tested the project area and proved it to be a positive investment in saving disaster response and repair costs.