This page describes the successes that came about from implementing the Risk MAP process at Gwinnett County, Georgia. It is intended for state and community officials, mitigation and urban planners and other individuals interested in how the Risk MAP program and project cycle can benefit their community in identifying and mitigating flood hazards.
Gwinnett County, Georgia, lies at or within the upper limits of three major watersheds: the Upper Chattahoochee, the Oconee, and the Ocmulgee. As a result, overall flooding impacts are comparatively smaller than those experienced by other neighboring counties. Gwinnett County’s main flood-related concerns center on stormwater infrastructure maintenance and improvement. The county has an established Stormwater Management Utility, which is charged with overseeing these concerns. In recent years, the director of the Stormwater Management Utility has been compiling a list of culvert upgrades, repairs, and retrofits needed throughout the county, but has not been able to adequately prioritize the listed needs. Instead, he has been forced to rely on observation and historical accounts.
During the Risk MAP Resilience Meeting for Gwinnett County and its sovereign communities, the Stormwater Management Utility Director recognized the value of the Flood Depth Grids developed to help community officials and the public view and understand local flood risk better and began to ask questions related to road overtopping, approaches to culvert modeling, and other pertinent issues.
At the end of the presentation, feedback was sought from the attendees. The Stormwater Management Utility Director stated that he had been working to determine prioritization of the needed infrastructure improvements for several years and that in the last 30 minutes he had been shown where his biggest concerns were and narrowed his focus. He added further that he would be able to use the data to not only schedule repairs and upgrades but also as the basis for defending his decisions.
Risk MAP Project Phases
This success story is relevant to the Risk MAP project phases listed below:
- Resilience Meeting
- Flood Risk Products
- Planning for Mitigation Action