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Warren’s water challenge 2014

August 18, 2013

Let’s hope officials and engineers properly “guesstimate” the
modern amount of rainfall than “can” occur per day and build
in some safety margins to prevent the mishaps of the past.
Some might say buy a bit of flood insurance for the house, anyways.

Workers, on foot, visually looking, prying, touching physical drains
will be needed – as opposed to drive-bys in a truck checking a box.
Maybe even ringing doorbells, talking to neighborhood residents,
and getting the real scoop from folks who live 24/7 near problem areas.

The natural water table in Warren creates its own set of issues.

City of Warren has a Feb. 2012 Storm Water Management Plan
for NPDES Permit No. MI0053881 submitted by city engineers

http://www.cityofwarren.org/images/stories/engineering/SWMP%202011%20final%20draft.pdf

In that report it states clearly Warren needs to change
its stormwater quality and City Council will have to
adopt changes to the existing Stormwater Ordinance.

The City of Warren Master Stormwater Plan was last updated in 1974
by Hubbel, Roth and Clark Consulting Engineers.
The thrust of that document was to determine the current system
capabilities to convey runoff from the 10 year 1 hour design rain event.
It is important to note, that since that document was prepared,
no major drains have been constructed.
The existing trunk drainage system, or system of County Drains
is the same today as it was then, excepting the addition of the
Hartsig Relief Drain in section 32 of the City.

The Conclusions of that report were:
• The existing trunk storm sewers serving the City have an
average of 50% or less of the capacity needed for run-off
from the 10 year design frequency rain.
• The deficiencies in capacities of existing systems cause
flooding of City streets, parking lots and private properties.
• The Red Run Drain, to which all City drains are
discharging, is undersized and needs improvement.
• Most of the drains located south of the Red Run,
are deficient in capacities, and relief drains are
needed city-wide.
• The improved drains located north of the Red Run,
and some located south of it, including
Branches A, B, D, E, and F, 14 Mile Road Drain, Walker Drain,
Martin Road East Branch, Bear Creek South Branch and
Service Road Drains installed in connection with
the I-696 construction, have adequate capacities for
run-off from a 10 year frequency rain and do not require relieving.

The recommendations derived from the conclusions
all centered around the concept of increasing
capacity to convey the 10 year rain event.

This included $79 Million (1979 dollars) in total
recommended drainage construction, including improving
the Red Run Drain and installation of many
new County relief drains throughout the City.

Since that time, only one of the proposed improvements
– installation of the Hartsig Relief Drain in 1979-80,
was completed.

Consequently, the City’s drainage system is composed
of a few areas with adequate capacity, at the
time of the report, and a majority of areas with
less than the desired (at that time)
10-year design event runoff capacity.

An emphasis has always been placed on
transportation of flow away from Warren as quickly as possible.
The majority of Warren was developed in the 60’s and 70’s
under that concept.

Hopefully the Red Run Drain doesn’t make it past its banks
as people go to the Community Center on Dawson off of Ryan Road.
It’s gone very high a few times the past 10 years.

Red Run neighborhood

Red Run neighborhood

Red Run near Heavenly Lane

Red Run near Heavenly Lane

I wonder how much time and effort was spent on recent rain events.
A rainfall intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) analysis
is often performed on historical rainfall records to determine the
probability that a storm of a given size or larger
will occur in any given year.

For Michigan, it was found that the 24-hour, 100-year value
was exceeded 71 times, while only 21 exceedances were expected.

http://ascelibrary.org/action/showAbstract?page=437&volume=10&issue=6&journalCode=jhyeff&

http://hdsc.nws.noaa.gov/hdsc/pfds/pfds_map_cont.html?bkmrk=mi

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