At tonight’s City Commission meeting, Congressman Michael Waltz zoomed in to share a special announcement from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Daytona Beach’s request for a feasibility study to address chronic flooding has been included in the USACE’s 2023 Work Plan for Army Civil Works program! The city’s project will be funded through the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act. The other good news is that the $3 million study is fully funded meaning the city does not have to pay half of its cost. A big thank you to Congressman Waltz and the many who supported this important study, which is a prerequisite to be eligible for federal funding.
Background on Nova Canal Flood Mitigation
Low-lying areas south of International Speedway Boulevard between Nova Road and Ridgewood Avenue experienced significant flooding during the Hurricane Ian in 2022, with 269 people needing to be evacuated from rising waters. Mostly located within FEMA’s floodplain and directly influenced by the Nova Canal, this area has historically flooded during severe storms due, in part, to canal breaching. Drainage issues in this area are complex and challenging to mitigate because roadways and private properties are so low compared to the elevation of Nova Road, Nova Canal and Ridgewood Avenue, referred to as the “bowl effect.”
Working with local, state and federal partners, the City of Daytona Beach has pursued short and long-term solutions for significant stormwater remediation in Midtown.
A preliminary design report was conducted following the major rain event in 2009, where 790 structures were damaged by more than 20 inches of rainfall over a six-day period. The report recommended a regional solution with costs up to $100 million.
As a result of the large cost, the city submitted a request to Congress to approve funding of a feasibility study and design solutions by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Congress approved Daytona Beach’s project under the Water Authorization Bill in 2016; however, the city had been waiting on Congress to appropriate funding. The study is extremely significant because it is a prerequisite for federal funding.
While awaiting assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the city completed components of an overall plan to immediately address the flooding potential of this low-lying area including installing 15 “backflow preventers” in the banks of the Nova Canal, upgrading aged stormwater pipes in outfalls, building stormwater capacity at North and Mark streets and installing pump stations.
After Hurricane Ian, Mayor Derrick L. Henry, several commissioners and city staff have contacted local delegation representatives to share photos and videos of the extensive damage from the storm.