February 27, 2023
Manchin Announces $190.7 Million for Milton Flood Reduction Project
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced $190.7 million from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the Lower Mud River Flood Risk Management Project in Milton, West Virginia. Senator Manchin secured this funding as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 omnibus and wrote a letter of support for the project earlier last year.
“I am thrilled the Army Corps has committed $190.7 million to complete the Milton floodwall project. This is 30 years in the making,” said Senator Manchin. “Milton has an extensive history of severe flooding that puts lives and livelihoods at risk in the community. Just last year, flooding took a man’s life in Milton. The Lower Mud River Flood Risk Management Project will bolster flood protection by constructing a new levee and river channel, which will also move much of the town out of the flood plain, helping spur economic development and changing this flood plain from a 27-year flood plain to a 250-year one. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I fought to secure this funding and I will continue to ensure our communities have the resources they need to thrive.”
Milton has a history of flooding dating back to the early 1900s. Several large record flood events have caused serious public safety issues and economic damage over the years, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) first recommended flood protections for the watershed over thirty years ago in 1993. The 1996 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) then transferred the study to the USACE.
According to the U.S. Army Corps, this project will construct an earthen levee with a length of approximately 8,300 feet, about 1.5 miles, along the Lower Mud River, providing flood risk reduction and management to the residences and businesses of Milton. The levee will be an average height of 19 feet, with the highest reach being 26 feet. The project begins in east Milton and extends approximately 2,000 feet before reaching the Mud River, then extends to the Bill Blenko Drive bridge, where is continues for approximately 2,000 feet to Newmans Branch and then river to high ground near the embankment of Abbot Street, about 500 feet south of U.S. Route 60. The project also includes a 33-foot-wide gate closure for use during high flood events, as well as two pump stations.
With this structure in place, the project is designed to significantly reduce flood risk for most of Milton by constructing a levee to an elevation that would have only a 0.4% annual chance of exceedance. This is the flood level that is expected to occur about every 250 years. The levee would provide protection to over 600 structures including residences and businesses, along with public structures, personal property, and critical infrastructure.
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