Thomas Creek Community Meeting
8/8/22 @ 3:30 p.m.
Flooding along Thomas Creek has been an area of concerns for many years. Previous efforts to mitigate flooding with structural components, drainage system maintenance, and snag and clearing have been futile.
In November 2017, a meeting was held between representatives of the Army Corps of Engineers, Senator Aaron Bean’s Office, State Representative Cord Byrd, and various County staff to discuss other possible solutions. It was discovered at that time that there are programs available under the Army Corps of Engineers’ Continuing Authority Program (CAP). Subsequently, the Board sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers requesting an investigation of the problems under the authority of Section 205 of the Flood Control Act of 1948. The letter was signed at the December 11, 2017, Board of County Commissioner's meeting.
In April 2018, the County was notified that the project would exceed the limitation of the CAP Program and was recommended to seek a Planning Assistance to States (PAS) Study to help the County identify solutions to resolve the flooding issues. The study began in 2019. It entailed extensive modeling with multiple scenarios considered. The Board of County Commissioners approved the final report in June of 2022 with a directive to staff for an Implementation Plan to be presented in six months.
Part of the Implementation Plan includes community involvement. As such, Engineering staff hosted a community meeting the evening of Friday, August 5th to discuss the results of the (PAS) Study and to determine interest in the different types of grant opportunities (buyout or modification of structures).
Many in attendance questioned why the County isn't dredging Thomas Creek. To do so would require a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers and at this time, the Army Corps has NOT granted approval. This was discussed in great detail during a presentation made by Senior Stormwater Engineer, Katie Peay. The presentation can be found here. Anyone who provided an e-mail address should have received a follow up e-mail from her this morning containing a copy of the presentation and a recap of the meeting as follows:
"Dredging did not lower flood waters out of ANY structures. The biggest impact of 8 inches was never in someone’s home. This was mostly wetland areas or the Duval side. We are still looking at options with the Army Corps. Nassau County did install a rain gage and sensor on the Creek to continue to truth the model with actual rain events". (gage link below)
Engineering staff was very pleased with the community turnout and looks forward to working closely with the residents as we move forward. Multiple homeowners offered to walk with Engineering staff to review areas with debris and blockages including the stagnation around the railroad bridge and beaver dams. Staff will be reaching out to a few of those individuals to coordinate dates and times in the next few weeks. Staff will also be meeting today with the Army Corps of Engineers to further discussion options. Staff will continue writing the implementation plan with grant cycle information, community input, and gathering partners to team up on this large project.
If you have any questions, please contact Katie Peay at (904) 530-6225 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Information Officer
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