Cities’ flood mitigation innovations outpace feds

Every dollar spent on flood mitigation saves $4 in recovery costs. Cities around the U.S. are planning for these disasters although federal spending remains heavily weighted towards post-disaster services instead of prevention, as we see in this article from Governing.com.

After a devastating 1984 flood, Tulsa, OK established systems and procedures that reduced future flood damages. They

  • Established a stormwater management utility
  • Used nature-based solutions for flood control along a critical stream
  • Established a stormwater utility fee for hard surfaces
  • Used open areas for detention
  • Removed structures in floodplains.

In 2013, Boulder fared better than other Colorado communities because they had tied drainage improvements to developments and established funding to buy at-risk properties.

Washington D.C. issued the nation’s first municipal environmental impact bonds. In North Carolina, Charlotte-Mecklenburg County uses storm water fees to relocate buildings and encourage people to move out of flood-prone areas.

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