West Virginia Flood Hazard Mitigation

West Virginia Flood Hazard Mitigation Overview

West Virginia

On June 23, 2016, areas of West Virginia received up to 10 inches of rain over a 12-hour period, leading to flash flooding that destroyed homes and infrastructure and led to 23 fatalities. A multidisciplinary team of GAI specialists are helping the region rebuild through a range of flood mitigation projects.


Home Reconstruction and Elevation – Logan County

GAI was selected by the Logan County Commission to provide engineering services in support of several flood mitigation-related projects to be funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). Sixteen Logan County homes were identified as having a high possibility for recurrence of flood-related damages. GAI’s engineers have evaluated each residence to determine whether it can be raised above Base Flood Elevation (BFE), or if the home will need to be demolished and reconstructed.


Island Creek Hydrologic and Hydraulic Analysis and Letter of Map Revision – Logan County

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Island Creek Local Flood Protection Project, which was completed in 2014, consisted of widening Island Creek to provide increased flood protection for nearly 250 homes. In 2017, GAI was selected by the Logan County Commission to perform a hydrologic and hydraulic (H&H) analysis of Island Creek and Copperas Mine Fork to determine how this project has impacted the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Based on results from the H&H analysis, GAI will also prepare a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) to revise the BFE, as well as the associated floodplain and floodway over three Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) panels in the study area.


Mud Fork Wastewater Extension and Upgrades – Logan County

The Mud Fork Wastewater Extension and Upgrades Project is a proposed sanitary sewer extension to construct approximately 1.7 miles of new gravity sewer in an area of Logan County, West Virginia, where municipal sanitary sewer currently does not exist. GAI will be assisting the Logan County Commission in preparing a Benefit Cost Analysis and Alternatives Analysis Report to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) application that would fund the proposed sewer line.


Home Reconstruction and Elevation – Kanawha County

The Kanawha County Commission and the Town of Clendenin hired GAI and PDM Architects to help rebuild affected communities by completing structural elevation assessments and reconstruction documents for 26 homes in the area. GAI’s engineers have been evaluating residences for structural soundness and for the feasibility of raising the homes two feet above Base Flood Elevation (BFE). GAI and PDM are further developing plans to reconstruct many other dwellings utilizing elevated foundations, as well as for building new modular homes. The number of homes GAI is working on continues to grow as more flood victims in the Elk River Valley area learn of the initiative.


Buffalo Creek Railroad Recreation Trail – Clay County

The floods of June 2016 washed away the banks of Buffalo Creek in Clay County, West Virginia, taking with it much of the Buffalo Creek & Gauley (BC&G) Railroad and Trail. The BC&G is a historic 18.6-mile-long, coal-hauling shortline that is now maintained by the Clay County Business Development Authority as an excursion train and recreation trail.

GAI performed damage assessments on the entire length of the BC&G. The team was able to graphically represent the extent of damage using scans of original 1904 railroad maps, indicating the exact locations of the damage and the type of remediation required, which ranges from simple debris removal to entire rail and trestle replacement. The assessments will be a part of the construction documents that GAI is preparing for the restoration of the historic rail line and recreation trail.

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