POINT PLEASANT — The City of Point Pleasant has completed its federally mandated accreditation report for its flood wall and levee system and will submit the report, on time, to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
What does this mean to the average person in Point Pleasant? It means since the city met or exceeded all of FEMA’s criteria, citizens which enjoy the protection of the flood wall and levee system will not be required to carry flood insurance on their properties. Had the city failed this accreditation, an additional burden of carrying flood insurance would’ve fallen to area residents.
The report on the accreditation was presented to this week at Point Pleasant City Council by Jennifer Casey of Fox Engineering. Casey said FEMA requires towns with levee systems to provide three feet of flood protection for residents with Point Pleasant providing eight feet - obviously exceeding this requirement. In addition, Casey said operations manuals about the levee system are now up to date and electronic and the city will need to keep logs on specific, required maintenance.
Mayor Brian Billings said he estimated this mandated accreditation to cost around $50,000 when factoring in not only the engineering report but the man hours of work, which included assembling and dismantling the flood wall gates, among other tasks.
Casey also presented history on the flood wall, saying the Point Pleasant Local Protection Project was authorized by the Flood Control Act of June 22, 1936 as modified by the Flood Control Act of Aug. 28, 1937. Work on the flood wall project was initiated in August 1948 and completed in 1951.
The project was constructed in three major portions or sections with section one consisting of constructing 1,475 feet of earth levee with one gate opening, 2,400 feet of diversion channel, one railroad culvert and two highway bridges. Section two consisted of primarily constructing 7,300 feet of concrete wall and 3,265 feet of earth levee with 14 gate openings and one traffic ramp. Section three consisted of constructing three pump stations complete, including furnishing and installing all pumping equipment. The slope of the top of the protection generally parallels the profile of the crest of the 1937 flood which was 62.7 feet.
In all, the project consists of 4,740 lineal feet of earth levee, about 7,300 lineal feet of concrete wall, 15 gate openings, one traffic ramp, three pump stations, about 2,400 feet of diversion channel, sewage facilities and other drainage structures.
After the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the levee system in New Orleans, FEMA required levees, such as the one in Point Pleasant, achieve the status of “Professionally Accredited Levee.”