ARMY ENGINEERS FIGHT FLOODS
ARMY ENGINEERS FIGHT FLOODS WALTHAM, Mass., Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Last week's Northeaster
caused severe damage to many coastal communities. During and in the wake of the storm, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers' New England Division provided assistance in flood damage prevention activities.
The New Bedford Hurricane Barrier was placed in operation at midnight on Oct. 31 in advance of the 2 a.m. predicted high tide. Wind velocity during the operation ranged from 25 to 40 knots per hour. Harbor levels remained at 4.5 feet, while the water outside the barrier rose to 5.6 feet. After preventing $200,000 in damages, the barrier was reopened at 4 a.m. The reconstruction of Revere Beach prevented an estimated $3 million in damages to nearly 150 private and public buildings, including MDC facilities, behind the beach. Reconstruction of the beach allowed the waves at the height of the storm to break nearly 100 feet from the seawall, preventing it from being overtopped and causing serious backshore flooding. At the start of the storm, a staff member from New England Division headquarters in Waltham was assigned to work at the Framingham headquarters of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency to coordinate requests for assistance from cities and towns along the Bay State coast. "Direct support, in the form of heavy equipment, was provided to eight Bay State cities and towns. The bulldozers, dump trucks, front end loaders, traffic barriers and pumps were provided at a cost, in federal funds, of over $315,000. Local contractors were used as much as possible to expedite delivery and reduce mobilization costs," according to Colonel Philip R. Harris, head of the Army Engineers in New England. Locations and services provided included: Plum Island, Newburyport - $3,520 was expended for a bulldozer to restore critical transportation routes to provide emergency access and to repair breeches to the barrier beach for coastal protection. All work was completed on Nov. 3. Nahant - $31,699.88 was expended for three separate contracts to provide two front end loaders and a gradall to restore critical transportation routes for emergency access and three pumps to alleviate coastal flooding. All work is expected to be completed on Nov. 5. Chatham - Three high capacity pumps were provided at a cost of $21,365 to alleviate coastal flooding. The pumps were on site for four days and completed the work on Nov. 3. Scituate - Two bulldozers, four front end loaders and six dump trucks assisted in restoring critical transportation routes for emergency access and repairing breeches to barrier beaches for coastal flood protection. The equipment was provided at a cost of $47,320 to date and will be completed by Nov. 5. Hull - Four contracts to provide four bulldozers, three dump trucks and three front end loaders at a cost of $34,462 were issued. Work, which included restoring critical transportation routes for emergency access and constructing temporary levees and repairing breeches to barrier beaches for coastal flood protection, is expected to be complete on Nov. 4. Duxbury - $162,880 was expended to restore critical transportation routes for emergency access by providing 10 front end loaders and 14 bulldozers. Work is expected to be complete on Nov. 5. Plymouth - Emergency dredging by excavating the Eel River to alleviate flooding was accomplished by Nov. 3 at a cost of $1,850. Salisbury - Four trucks, one backhoe and one front end loader were provided at a cost of $9,580 to reopen Route 1A and Central Avenue. Work was complete on November 3. "Requests were also received on Nov. 4 for flood fightingassistance to clear impassable roads in Gloucester, Marblehead, and Rockport. Division personnel are visiting those communities today to identify specific requirements," Colonel Harris noted. Technical assistance was provided to four communities. Gloucester - Blyman Canal was inspected to determine the structural integrity of the stone-wall lined channel. Marshfield and Plymouth - Damaged or eroded seawalls were examined to determine their stability. Nahant - The Town Pier was inspected to determine its structural condition. Preliminary Damage Assessments were conducted for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist in evaluating the extent of damage in advance of requesting a Presidential Disaster Declaration. Towns in which assessments were accomplished by the New England Division include Scituate, Marshfield, Cohasset, Plymouth, Hull, Orleans, and Duxbury. Should a federal disaster be declared, the Division stands ready to assist, as directed by FEMA, in recovery operations to include debris removal; utility (electric, water, gas, telephone) restoration; permanent repairs to roads, seawalls, beaches, sand fences, groins and jetties; and dredging. "Twelve members of our staff are still in the field locating high water marks along the entire coastal area. This flood data will provide invaluable hydraulic and hydrologic information for current and future study activities," Colonel Harris added. Assistance also may be available directly from the Corps to repair federal and nonfederal flood control works and federally authorized and constructed hurricane or shore protection structures damaged by the storm. To be eligible for up to 80 percent in federal funds for the repair work, structures must provide "appreciable and dependable effects" in preventing damage. Typical flood control structures include levees, channel improvements and dams. Typical shore protection structures are those that are designed and constructed to protect the beach or waterfront areas from erosion. Requests for this type of assistance must be received by Dec. 1, 1991, and must be made by a public sponsor, even if the structure is privately owned, to assure that the nonfederal share of the remedial work will be funded. More information about this program is available by contacting Thomas Rosato at 617-647-8270. For private property owners, an emergency general permit has been issued for the repair or replacement of previously permitted structures or fill damaged or destroyed by the storm. Under this authorization, marinas, private docks and floats may be repaired or replaced, in kind, without undergoing the individual review process. To be covered by the emergency permit, property owners must notify us of the extent and nature of the emergency work by calling 617-647-8338. The emergency permit will remain in effect until Jan. 31, 1992, and covers work regulated by the Corps under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. -0- 11/4/91 /CONTACT: Sue Douglas of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 617-647-8264/ DD -- NE019 -- 0806 11/04/91 14:41 EST
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|Date:||Nov 4, 1991|
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