Friday, June 14, 2019

Experts Come to CO to Talk Watershed Restoration, Climate Change - Public News Service

Experts Come to CO to Talk Watershed Restoration, Climate Change - Public News Service


Experts Come to CO to Talk Watershed Restoration, Climate Change - Public News Service

Posted: 14 Jun 2019 12:07 AM PDT

Engineers restoring some areas impacted by extreme flooding are deploying four-stage channel designs that emulate river systems to naturally accommodate water flows during drought and 100-year floods. (FEMA)

Engineers restoring some areas impacted by extreme flooding are deploying four-stage channel designs that emulate river systems to naturally accommodate water flows during drought and 100-year floods. (FEMA)

June 14, 2019

ESTES PARK, Colo. – The Rocky Mountain Stream Restoration Conference comes to Estes Park next week, bringing watershed experts and engineers to the state.

Russ Schumacher – associate professor and Colorado State University's climatologist – says it's an opportunity for policymakers to look at a host of challenges facing the Intermountain West, such as extreme weather events like the Big Thompson and 2013 floods in Lyons and Boulder.

Schumacher says mitigating flash floods is especially important along the Front Range, where moisture from the Gulf of Mexico pours down through steep canyons.

"Clearly extreme precipitation and flooding has always happened, but there's also kind of growing evidence that the warming climate and more moisture in the atmosphere is leading to more extreme precipitation," says Schumacher.

He says hotter and more destructive wildfires also need to be addressed. Burn scars don't absorb water, so heavy rains can send crippling debris flows into streams, affecting fish habitat and drinking water.

He adds while population growth and development in flood plains have put structures and people at risk, cities and counties can restore flows in ways that limit flood damage and even capture water for drier days.

Dave Rosgen, the owner of Wildland Hydrology, speaks on Tuesday about natural channel design, which he describes as a four-stage approach that emulates stable waterways to accommodate water needs during drought as well as 100-year floods.

He says streams can be stabilized, for example, by adding willows and cottonwoods, which send their roots into wood workers sink into the riverbanks.

"Very natural and aesthetically pleasing, as opposed to hard control with high walls of concrete," says Rosgen. "And the use of 'toe wood' is really helpful for not only reducing bank erosion, but really helps for fish habitat."

Rosgen adds natural channel design costs about ten cents on the dollar compared with hard-control designs that he says end up being temporary after the next 100-year storm.

The conference, organized by Resource Institute, starts Tuesday, June 18, at the Stanley Hotel. Information is online at 'RockyMountainStream.org.'

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO

A year after massive Center City water main break, repairs finally wrapping up - The Philadelphia Inquirer

Posted: 14 Jun 2019 10:46 AM PDT

Those affected can also apply for a claim for damages and loss of revenue, though there's a city-liability cap of $500,000 for all businesses. According to DiGiulio, the claims process is ongoing, with more than a million dollars in claims submitted, "well over" the cap. Disbursement amounts haven't been determined.

Supervisors approve $15 million contract with state for Middle Creek Restoration Project - Lake County News

Posted: 14 Jun 2019 03:47 AM PDT

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Supervisors approve $15 million contract with state for Middle Creek Restoration Project  Lake County News

LAKEPORT, Calif. – The long-running Middle Creek Restoration Project, which is designed to massively reduce sedimentation and nutrient load in order to ...

Local News: The work begins after floodwaters recede (6/11/19) - Standard-Democrat

Posted: 11 Jun 2019 01:30 PM PDT

Members of the Illinois National Guard build up existing sandbag barriers to hold back floodwaters Monday along Brookwood Drive in East Cape Girardeau, Illinois.

Jacob Wiegand/Southeast Missourian

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — As the Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau crests this week more than 14 feet above flood stage, clean up and restoration companies say it's important to address water damage quickly.

Meanwhile, the Better Business Bureau is advising consumers to beware of "fly-by-night" contractors offering to help clear flood debris and repair damaged structures.

According to the National Weather Service, the Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau crested Monday evening at 46.3 feet, 14.3 feet above Cape Girardeau's flood stage of 32 feet.

Several streets and highways throughout the area remain closed this week due to high water including sections of highways 74 and 25 between Interstate 55 and Dutchtown. In addition, Illinois Route 3 north of Jackson County is closed and a section of Route 3 between Illinois Route 146 and Gale, Illinois, was reduced to one lane Monday when floodwater covered part of the pavement.

According to Whitney Quick, regional director of the Better Business Bureau office in Cape Girardeau, floods and damaging rainfall are sometimes followed by "unscrupulous storm-chasing contractors seeking to cash in on the destruction."

She said it's not unusual for the BBB to take complaints about contractors who took deposits from property owners and did little or no work to repair water or storm damage.

"Storm victims need to do their due diligence and not be rushed into making a decision," Quick said. "Consumers should do their research to find qualified and reliable contractors before they sign a contract or pay any money."

More information about identifying reputable contractors and avoiding storm repair scams can be found on the Better Business Bureau's website, bbb.org.

Sources at two local water damage restoration companies -- Servpro and ServiceMaster -- say that while they've received some service calls related to flooding in recent days, most of the water damage they've seen has been more directly connected to excessive rainfall.

"We've had a lot of rain this year, so the ground is saturated," said Virgil Jones, owner of the ServiceMaster franchise in Cape Girardeau. "What's happening is it's leaching into people's basements because the ground is so saturated, but we haven't had a ton of calls that have been directly connected with river flooding at this point."

Jones said the situation would have been different years ago when more homes and businesses were located in flood-prone areas.

"After the last bad flood happened a few years ago, they tore down a lot of houses in the Red Star District of town, so there aren't as many houses there to flood anymore," he said.

"We're not getting a lot of 'emergency' calls, but instead we are hearing from people who are calling because they know their buildings are going to flood and they want to get on our list for cleanup," Jones said.

Some of those structures are near the junction of Highway 74 and Interstate 55 on the south side of Cape Girardeau. "Owners of buildings that are getting flooded now know they're going to get wet and they're prepared for it," he said, adding that it is important to address water damage as quickly as possible.

"As soon as water goes away you need to get on it," Jones explained. "It's really all about removing the wet building materials that won't dry including flooring, cabinets, drywall and insulation. Say the water goes up a foot in your house you need to take two feet of drywall out to be safe, and the sooner the better."

Kaleisha Walker, marketing support coordinator with Servpro in Cape Girardeau, agreed with Jones. "A lot of people don't realize when you have water damage there's a potential for mold damage as well," she said, adding flood water is typically more destructive than so-called "clean" water resulting from a broken water line or faulty plumbing.

"There are three different categories of water damage," Walker said. "Category 1 is clean water from your washing machine or something like that. Category 2 could be a toilet overflow and then category 3 is external water damage from the river or sewer or something similar."

Flood damage is often the most difficult to resolve and often requires removal of carpet, drywall and other building materials.

"The majority of what we're working on right now is water damage that resulted from storms, not necessarily from floods," Walker said.

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