MILTON, WV (WOWK) – The City of Milton is getting $190.7 million in funding to complete the Milton floodwall project.
According to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the funding comes from the US Army Corps of Engineers for the Lower Mud River Flood Risk Management Project in Milton. Manchin says this funding is needed for the project due to the city’s history of flooding.
“I am thrilled the Army Corps has committed $190.7 million to complete the Milton floodwall project. This is 30 years in the making,” said Manchin. “Milton has an extensive history of severe flooding that puts lives and livelihoods at risk in the community. Just last year, flooding took a man’s life in Milton. The Lower Mud River Flood Risk Management Project will bolster flood protection by constructing a new levee and river channel, which will also move much of the town out of the flood plain, helping spur economic development and changing this flood plain from a 27-year flood plain to a 250-year one. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I fought to secure this funding and I will continue to ensure our communities have the resources they need to thrive.”
According to the senator’s office, Milton has had a history of several large, record flooding events that have caused both public safety issues and economic damage throughout the years. Just this month, the city experienced what City of Milton Code Official Dan Ramsey called a “100-year flood” after severe weather that put all 55 West Virginia counties under a state of emergency.
Manchin’s office says the Natural Resource Conservation Service first recommended flood protections for the watershed around Milton in 1993.
According to Manchin, the US Army Corps says the project will involve constructing a 8,300-foot, or about 1.5 miles-long, earthen levee along the Lower Mud River to reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses in Milton. Manchin says the average height of the levee will be approximately 19 feet on average, and approximately 26 feet at its highest point.
Officials with Manchin and the US Army Corps say the levee will begin in east Milton extending to the Mud River, then to the Bill Blenko Drive Bridge toward Newmans Branch, and then from the river to the high ground near the embankment by Abbot Street.
According to Manchin’s office, constructing the levee will significantly reduce flood risk for most of the city, taking the risk of water exceeding the levee to a 0.4% chance annually.