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Bradenton officials begin planning flood reduction measures

  • New watershed management model shows much of city needs attention
  • City to prioritize flooding reduction projects
  • Model also can simulate how new development affects stormwater runoff

BRADENTON – A two-year $700,000 watershed management study is coming to an end and city officials continue to ask for public feedback before finalizing a key tool against potential flooding during a major storm event.

The study produced a model highlighting areas of the city potentially impacted by a storm producing 8 or more inches of rain during 24 hours. The model will be used for future flood-reduction measures.

“The purpose of the study was to identify ponding areas,” said Tracy Dayton, project engineer for the Tampa-based Jones Edmunds, which conducted the study. “We all know certain areas of the city ponds, but we wanted to quantify the amount of water in these areas and then post solutions to reduce ponding.”

Jones Edmunds collected historical data from the Southwest Florida Water Management District, which funded half of the study, as well as from city and Manatee County records. All data was entered into a hydrological model that shows much of the city has potential flooding issues.

“The results provide us with a level of confidence that our model is producing real-world results for a real-world storm,” said Dayton.

Kim Clayback, Bradenton public works project engineer, said once the model is finalized, the city will “develop conceptual high-level projects and ask how can we produce those projects in the city.”