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Park Boulevard Realignment and Fort Hunter Park Enhancements Honored as Premier Projects by Dauphin County

Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. (HRG) is pleased to announce that two of our projects have been selected by Dauphin County in its annual Premier Projects award program.

Since its inception six years ago, the Dauphin County Premier Projects program has honored more than two dozen projects that promote smart growth and spark revitalization throughout the region. Among this year’s honorees, HRG provided engineering services for two of them: enhancements to Fort Hunter Park and realignment of Park Boulevard.

Park Boulevard

A broad range of local leaders from Derry Township, Dauphin County, and area businesses worked together on the realignment of Park Boulevard to support future economic development in Hershey.  The new roadway provides several safety improvements:

  • It replaces a 60-year old bridge over Spring Creek, which was structurally deficient and weight-restricted.
  • It converts a narrow roadway beneath the Norfolk-Southern underpass from two-way traffic to one-way traffic. This reduces the potential for vehicular accidents and allows for the installation of a sidewalk that is segregated from through traffic.
  • It improves emergency response time by adding a roadway connection from northbound Park Boulevard.  (Previously, first responders had to drive a circuitous route through several intersections to access this area. Now crews can reach the area 2-3 minutes faster.)
  • It provides a new shared-use sidewalk that will enhance safety for pedestrians traveling to Hershey’s attractions from downtown.
  • It adds a safe zone for people boarding and exiting buses at the Hershey Intermodal Transportation Center. This zone is physically protected from through-traffic.

Park Boulevard realignment wins Premier Project award

Front Row: Chuck Emerick, Matt Weir, John Foley, Susan Cort, Justin Engle
Back Row: Chris Brown, Patrick O’Rourke, John Payne, Brian Emberg, Tom Mehaffie, III, Matt Lena, Lauren Zumbrun

Fort Hunter Park

Fort Hunter Park seamlessly blends new amenities with environmental protection and a celebration of the area’s history and wildlife. The enhanced park includes two new boat launches that provide access to Fishing Creek and the Susquehanna River, new pedestrian paths, new seating to enjoy the scenic views, and new outdoor gathering spaces to accommodate park festivals.  It also includes expanded parking to make it easier for locals to access and enjoy these new park features.

To protect the scenic and tranquil environmental setting, engineers used innovative techniques to collect and treat stormwater like porous pavement. They also replaced two paved median areas with soil, stone and native plantings to retain and filter stormwater runoff while enhancing the appearance of the roadway. A new basin for collecting stormwater is designed to blend with the adjoining woodland edge, and herbaceous plantings and indigenous trees help to improve a local habitat area.

Signage in the enhanced habitat area describes local wildlife for park users, while other signs in the park inform visitors of past river activities such as Native American gatherings, early transportation, and coal reclamation.

Fort Hunter Park wins Premier Project award

Chad Gladfelter, Carl Dickson, John Hershey, Matt Bonanno, Steve Deck

ABOUT HRG

Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. (HRG) is a nationally ranked design firm providing civil engineering, surveying, and environmental services. The firm was founded in Harrisburg in 1962 and has grown to employ more than 200 people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.  For more information, please visit the website at www.hrg-inc.com.

 

MS4 Audit: Resolve to be organized and ready in 2018

Happy New Year!

Most people use this time of year to get organized, so that they can put their best foot forward over the next 12 months. Ads for your local hardware store are jam-packed with sales on storage bins and closet organizers.

But the need to be organized extends beyond the home into the office, too. With MS4 permit requirements on the rise, many municipalities have seen their program grow in complexity over the past 5-10 years. With that added complexity comes a lot of paperwork: mapping, inspection and maintenance reports, etc.

PA DEP and the EPA both conduct periodic audits of MS4 programs, and the first step of the audit is to review the municipality’s records. So it’s a good idea to make sure your files are complete and well-organized now – in case 2018 is the year an auditor knocks on your door.

Most audits occur at random.

DEP uses the audit process as a way of educating local municipalities about what the MS4 program requires and answering municipalities’ questions about compliance. It is not meant to be an adversarial experience; it’s an opportunity to see whether your program is working and what you can do – if anything – to improve it.  Because it is mostly an educational outreach, fines are rare at this time, but, in the coming years, audits will focus more on program results, and fines will be more likely.  That’s why it’s important to get your MS4 program audit-ready now.

MS4 audit

What documentation do you need to have for an MS4 audit?

DEP provides an Inspection Report, which lists the documentation inspectors typically will ask to see. However, the inspector can ask to see other documentation not specifically listed in the Inspection Report.

Is your stormwater mapping complete and MS4 audit ready?

Is your stormwater mapping complete and MS4 audit ready?

In addition to the actual permit and program document, you should keep all monitoring data and reports for at least one year after the permit expires. You should also keep meeting minutes, inspection schedules and records, as well as documentation of illicit discharges and the methods used to resolve them.

You should have a thorough inventory (with mapping) of the location and function of all your stormwater facilities and any municipal facilities that impact your stormwater program. This includes:

  • All of your outfalls with an outline of their drainage area.
  • Inlets
  • All of your post-construction BMPs (even those that are privately maintained. The MS4 is ultimately responsible for ensuring these facilities are maintained properly, even if private owners have agreed to perform that maintenance. Make sure you have a copy of the maintenance agreement you made with the private owner.)
  • Maintenance and storage yards
  • Composting sites
  • Wastewater treatment facilities
  • Streets and parking lots

Furthermore, you should assemble your policies and completion records for street sweeping and snow removal, lawn care and vehicle fueling and washing.

DEP says that poor or unavailable mapping is one of the main problems encountered in an MS4 audit. Even if you haven’t received notification of an impending audit, it’s a good idea to speak with your engineer about whether your existing mapping is adequate. By the time an audit notification arrives, it will probably be too late to update the mapping then.

 

DEP has gone on record saying that it hopes to audit each MS4 program once during its five-year permit term, so it isn’t a question of “if” you will be audited but “when.”

The list of records an auditor can request is extensive, so it is not the kind of information you can pull together quickly (particularly if your mapping needs updated). You ought to make sure your records are in order now.

In addition, your staff should be knowledgeable of the program and able to answer questions about it effectively. Your engineer can provide training to prepare your staff for MS4 audits, if desired.

With a little advance preparation, you can be sure you’re ready when DEP comes knocking on your door.


Alex GreenlyAlex Greenly is a staff professional in HRG’s civil group. He regularly assists clients with MS4 permit compliance and has additional expertise in erosion and sedimentation control, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, construction observation and municipal review of subdivision, land development, and stormwater management plans.

WEBINAR: Cutting Stormwater Management Costs Through Partnerships

Photo by Aaron Volkening. Used under a Creative Commons license.
Stormwater inlet

Stormwater management costs are on the rise.
MS4 requirements continue to become more stringent.
Aging infrastructure is nearing its useful life and will need replacement.
Can your community afford to address these issues?

 Yes, and this webinar can help.

In it, we provide real-world examples of how municipalities are working together to reduce the cost of regulatory compliance and infrastructure O&M. We also provide guidance on how to successfully negotiate intergovernmental agreements that protect everyone’s interests.

Adrienne M. VicariThe presenter, Adrienne Vicari, is our Financial Services Practice Area Leader. Her regional approach to stormwater management is projected to save municipalities in the Wyoming Valley more than $200 million over the course of 20 years. PA DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell praised the initiative, saying “By working together, these municipalities are reducing pollution less expensively than they could if they were making these efforts separately. I am certain that the rest of the state will be looking at their exemplary leadership.”

The webinar was produced in partnership with the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) and is eligible for 1 secondary credit to PSATS Municipal Government Academy (PMGA) enrollees.

PSATS members can view the webinar for $20. Non-members can view it for $25.

 

Mark Smith Joins HRG’s Water/Wastewater Team in Western PA

Mark SmithHerbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. (HRG) is pleased to announce that Mark Smith has joined our water and wastewater team in Cranberry Township. Smith will serve as a project manager, overseeing the planning, design and construction of water and wastewater infrastructure throughout Western Pennsylvania.

Smith joins HRG after more than 20 years working for Pennsylvania American Water. While there, he oversaw a team of more than 100 people providing water and wastewater service to 80,000 customers in the northwest region of the state. His experience includes operations and maintenance, budgeting, permitting, environmental reporting, and the preparation of bid packages for various capital improvements.

Chad Hanley, HRG’s regional manager of water and wastewater services, says, “Mark has vast experience in the water and wastewater industry at all levels, from field operations to executive management. He combines a deep understanding of our clients’ needs with engineering expertise. He will make a significant contribution to our team.”

ABOUT HRG
Founded in 1962, HRG has grown to be a nationally ranked Top 500 Design Firm, providing civil engineering, surveying and environmental services to public and private sector clients. The 200-person employee-owned firm currently has office locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. For more information, please visit the website at www.hrg-inc.com.

WEBINAR: Manage Your Infrastructure Easily and Cost-Effectively

Do you know the location of your infrastructure assets?

Do you know what needs inspected and when?

Do you know which assets are most critical and carry the highest risk to the community if they fail?

 

The answers to these questions are crucial to protecting the safety of people and property in your community.

You’re responsible for miles of infrastructure, and your job is to make sure it continues to function for the people you serve. Whether it be pipes and inlets, roadways, or bridges, you have to keep them performing at an acceptable level of service, and, more importantly, you must protect local residents and business from the consequences of failure.

This has always been a complex job, but new regulatory requirements, aging infrastructure, and tight municipal budgets make it even harder.

An asset management program can make it easier and more cost-effective, and this webinar will show you how.

Asset management is a proven methodology for determining where to best allocate your infrastructure dollars. It helps you cut through the questions and prioritize exactly what needs repaired or replaced. It can also help you effectively plan and mobilize the money to address those needs.

In this webinar, we’ll discuss:

  • What asset management is and how it works
  • What types of technology is available to assist with asset management and how to determine your particular needs
  • The many benefits of asset management for better targeting O&M dollars; providing justification for rates, fees or budget allocations; addressing government reporting requirements; and communicating with the public.

Howard HodderThe presenter Howard Hodder is our Director of Geomatics. He has worked with dozens of communities to create asset management solutions for water, sewer, stormwater and other infrastructure assets. He has also published several articles on the topic and spoken extensively at industry conferences.

The webinar was produced in partnership with the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) and is eligible for 1 secondary credit to PSATS Municipal Government Academy (PMGA) enrollees.

PSATS members can view the webinar for $20. Non-members can view it for $25.

 

How One Town Overcame Barriers to Address Aging Infrastructure and Enhance Economic Development

 Middletown Honored for Water and Sewer Improvements

This article was published by Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association in the August 2017 issue of their magazine, The Authority.

Construction equipment has become a familiar sight to the residents of Middletown Borough in recent years. New businesses are popping up alongside historic buildings in the borough’s downtown business district – thanks, in large part, to a major revitalization effort spearheaded by local government officials.

And it all began by replacing the area’s water and sewer facilities.

The success of Middletown’s revitalization effort illustrates the key role infrastructure plays in building and sustaining great communities. Borough officials and local business leaders wanted to enhance economic development by attracting new businesses to downtown Middletown, but water and sewer problems threatened to kill the success of their efforts before they’d begun. Many communities could’ve seen their dreams derailed by an obstacle like this, but the borough persevered because of strategic planning and the collective effort of a community united behind a common goal. The borough’s story illustrates how communities can overcome barriers and successfully address aging infrastructure in order to enhance economic development.

 

Aging Infrastructure Presents a Barrier to Development

The Borough of Middletown has the distinction of being the oldest community in Dauphin County. The town was first laid out along the Susquehanna River and Swatara Creek before the Revolutionary War, and brick sewers in the historic downtown area were first installed not long after the Civil War.

Middletown Pre-1900 Sanitary Sewer

Some of Middletown’s water and sewer lines dated back before 1900. 

Unfortunately, the sanitary sewer and water facilities located in the downtown business district were not supporting current demand (and they certainly weren’t adequate to meet the demands of new development). The condition of the assets were a risk to the downtown revitalization efforts. In addition, cross-connections between the sanitary sewer system and the storm sewer system led to surcharging and sanitary sewer back-ups.

These challenges made it hard to keep existing businesses downtown and attract new ones. In addition, the borough was planning a streetscape project that would place numerous aesthetic improvements directly above the aging water and sewer facilities. The community did not want to see their investment in these improvements threatened by excavation to repair the sewer and water facilities soon after construction was complete.

 

Water and Sewer Improvements Lay the Foundation for Future Development

Borough officials asked Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. to design upgrades to the water and sewer facilities in the heart of its downtown business district (along South Union Street from Spring Street to Ann Street). This project was to be the first phase of its downtown revitalization plan. It included:

  • Replacing deteriorated brick sanitary sewer mains with 1,467 feet of new PVC sanitary sewer main
  • Eliminating hydraulic “bottle-necking” that restricted sewer flows to the Mill Street Interceptor
  • Replacing 7 deteriorated manholes with new precast concrete manholes
  • Replacing 44 sewer laterals
  • Designing and replacing 2,042 feet of water main
  • Replacing 4 hydrants
  • Installing 14 valves to isolate future maintenance work as the community continues to upgrade its water infrastructure and to allow for future fire system services to new businesses

HRG began design work in 2013, and construction was complete in 2014. They accelerated the project schedule to reduce stress to the existing local businesses.   With the risk of failing water and sewer facilities mitigated, Middletown could begin Phase II of its revitalization effort: improving the streetscape (with new decorative paving, curbing, sidewalks, and street trees) and providing traffic calming devices to promote pedestrian access to the businesses.

Middletown New Sanitary Sewer Manhole

New sanitary sewer manhole

New sanitary sewer in downtown Middletown Borough

New sanitary sewer

New water main and valves in downtown Middletown

New water main and valves

 

The Community Comes Together to Make This Project a Success

Efforts to revitalize the downtown business district had generated excitement in the community. Local leaders, business owners, and residents understood that these infrastructure upgrades were vital to attracting new business to the area, and they embraced the investment this project would require.

The former Middletown Borough Authority, the borough, and the Middletown Borough Industrial and Commercial Development Authority led the revitalization effort and engaged the public throughout the process. They held numerous meetings with the public and with local stakeholders to communicate the vision and direction of the project. The project team worked extensively with the owners of local businesses along South Union Street, soliciting their ideas and accommodating special events to minimize disruption to business activity.

Thanks, in part, to these open lines of communication, the project team was able to maintain water and sewer service to the existing businesses in the area throughout the project (despite having a confined working area due to the presence of numerous other utilities).

The engineers also coordinated extensively with other project partners to ensure a smooth transition from Phase I (water and sewer improvements) to Phase II (streetscape enhancements). For example, they coordinated extensively with the streetscape design team to ensure that the water and sewer improvements would not conflict with proposed streetscape facilities, and they worked closely with the landscape architect to ensure that above-ground features like hydrants and manhole covers were installed at locations that would not impact the streetscape visual design concepts.  This saved the borough money and ensured that above-ground features would not have to be relocated during Phase II to achieve the aesthetic goals of the streetscape enhancements.

Detailed records about the location and depth of sewer laterals by HRG’s resident project representatives during construction of Phase I provided further cost savings. This information was used for deciding the depth of stormwater facilities in Phase II, reducing design fees in that phase.  It also prevented costly change orders that often come from unknown utility locations.

 

Middletown Streetscape

The Improvements Begin to Generate New Development Interest

It didn’t take long for all of this activity to generate interest from developers and business owners in opening new ventures in the area. While the project was in its construction phase, a developer proposed a 100-room hotel with retail space on the first floor just a block away from downtown. The developer also expressed an interest in working with the team behind the streetscape design to develop other projects in the area.  He specifically mentioned the downtown revitalization efforts as one of the factors in his decision to invest in the area.

Patrick Devlin of the Tattered Flag Brewery and Still Works also mentioned the flurry of activity downtown as a factor in choosing to locate his business in the old Elks Building. The brewery opened in December 2016 and was recently named the New Business of the Year by the Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau.

Business investment like this is expected to continue in Middletown and the surrounding communities. The new sewer infrastructure mitigated a known risk, increased efficiency, and gave the borough additional capacity for the anticipated development.

The water and sewer improvements were completed two weeks ahead of schedule and almost $400,000 under budget. This new infrastructure proved to have a much lower maintenance and operations cost than the aging infrastructure it replaced, and it has drastically reduced infiltration and inflow into the system. During an early phase of design, engineers found and eliminated a cross-connection between the aging sanitary sewer and the borough’s storm sewer system.  By eliminating this cross-connection, they were able to prevent approximately 500,000 gallons of stormwater from entering the sewer system during a typical rain event.  In fact, since the project was completed, the system has not experienced a single sanitary sewer overflow, and no sewer back-ups have been reported along North Union Street. (You can read more about the correction of this cross-connection here.)

Investing in a project of this magnitude is hard for many communities, but Middletown’s story shows it is possible and the benefits are wide-ranging. When well planned and executed, updated infrastructure lowers maintenance and operations costs, enhances the quality of service to a system’s customers, and helps to attract growth and investment in the community.   When citizens and business owners join forces with the local government and think creatively, the seemingly impossible task of upgrading our aging infrastructure while promoting economic development becomes possible!


Josh FoxJosh Fox, P.E., is the regional manager of water and wastewater services in HRG’s Harrisburg office. He is responsible for the completion of studies, designs, and construction contract administration for a wide variety of water and wastewater treatment facilities.  He served as project manager for these water and sewer improvements in Middletown, which were honored by Dauphin County in 2017 with a Premier Project Award.

HRG to Speak and Exhibit at 2017 PMAA Conference

Join us at the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association conference September 10 – 13, 2017. This year’s event is being held at the Hershey Lodge, and several HRG team members will be speaking:

 

Justin MendinskyErin ThreetJustin Mendinsky and Erin Threet will be discussing the Milton Regional Sewer Authority’s unique approach to meeting Chesapeake Bay nutrient reduction goals at its wastewater treatment plant. They’ll also be reviewing the impact of biological nutrient removal (BNR) on nitrogen levels within the Susquehanna River. (Monday September 11)

 

 

 

Tom HolleranTom Holleran will be participating in a panel discussion with representatives from Northern Blair County Regional Sewer Authority; M&T Bank; Link Computer Corporation; and the Fiore, Fedeli, Snyder & Carothers accounting firm. They’ll be discussing the discovery of a felony embezzlement at the Northern Blair County Regional Sewer Authority, specifically describing how the theft was executed.  They’ll also be offering tips authorities can use to protect themselves against embezzlement. (Monday September 11)

 

Adrienne VicariAdrienne Vicari will be talking about the innovative regional stormwater collaboration Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority is forming with more than 30 municipalities in Northeastern PA. This partnership has garnered praise from DEP secretary Patrick McDonnell and is saving local municipalities millions of dollars in stormwater management costs associated with MS4 compliance. She will be joined at this presentation by Jim Tomaine of the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority and William Finnegan of Pugliese, Finnegan, Shaffer & Ferentino, LLC. (Tuesday September 12)

 

Chat with Justin, Erin, Tom, and Adrienne at booth #53 and enter our raffle. Ed Ellinger, Jeff Garrigan, and Kiana Tralongo will also be there.

We look forward to seeing you!

 

Duke Street Bridge Honored with Safety Award

 

Wider bridge improves access for emergency vehicles and pedestrians while reducing the likelihood of car accidents

 

The Duke Street Bridge replacement has been honored with a Road & Bridge Safety Award from the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, and PennDOT.

Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. designed the project for Dauphin County, which improves safety for local residents in several ways:

  • It improves emergency access for residents who live near the bridge. The original Duke Street Bridge couldn’t carry vehicles weighing more than 3 tons, which meant most of the vehicles operated by the Hummelstown Borough Fire Company and Union Deposit Fire Company couldn’t use the bridge. The new bridge has no weight restrictions, and emergency vehicles can safely cross it (as shown in the attached photo).
  • It safely accommodates two lanes of traffic, whereas the original Duke Street Bridge was only wide enough for one lane of traffic at a time.
  • It makes it safer for drivers to turn onto South Hoernerstown Road from North Duke Street, thanks to increased intersection radii. Previously drivers of large vehicles turning right onto South Hoernerstown Road from Duke Street would cross into the opposing lane. Limited sight distance at this location meant that opposing traffic could not see these vehicles crossing over into their lane with optimum time to react. The new wider intersection will drastically reduce the likelihood of accidents at this location in the future.
  • It provides a new sidewalk. The previous Duke Street Bridge had no existing sidewalk; accordingly, pedestrians would often walk in the roadway lanes to cross from one municipality to the other.   The new bridge includes a sidewalk that will enhance safety for pedestrians trying to access the United Water Trailhead and Swatara Creek Trail.

 

ABOUT HRG

Founded in 1962, HRG has grown to be a nationally ranked Top 500 Design Firm, providing civil engineering, surveying and environmental services to public and private sector clients. The 200-person employee-owned firm currently has office locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. For more information, please visit the website at www.hrg-inc.com.

 

Adrienne Vicari Named One of Central PA’s Top 40 Under 40

Adrienne VicariThe Central Penn Business Journal named Adrienne Vicari to its 23nd annual Forty Under 40 list, which honors individuals for their commitment to business growth, professional excellence and the Central Pennsylvania community.  She and the other honorees will receive their award at a banquet on October 2 at the Hilton Harrisburg.

Adrienne is the financial services practice area leader at Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. She has more than 15 years of experience in financial consulting, project management and engineering design for municipal wastewater, water and stormwater clients. In her current role with the firm, she uses asset management and capital improvement planning as tools to complete long-range strategic financial planning for her clients.

But she began her career at HRG in a very different role: as a professional engineer designing water and wastewater treatment facilities. She quickly developed an interest in helping her water and wastewater clients obtain and manage their funding for capital improvement projects and transitioned into the firm’s financial service group. As communities have developed a growing need for increased stormwater management funding and utility valuation, she has become an industry leader in these areas, as well.

Russ McIntosh, a vice president of HRG, says:

“Adrienne is an unstoppable force. When she sees something needs done, she dives right in and gives it everything she has. She is extremely knowledgeable of the issues municipal water quality professionals face and very creative in addressing those challenges. There is nothing she can’t or won’t do to help her clients succeed.”

Adrienne Vicari volunteers for STEM educationThis dedication extends outside the office to the Central Pennsylvania community, as well. Adrienne encourages young people to achieve success in science, technology engineering, and math related fields by participating in STEM-related events like the “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” at the Whitaker Center. She also serves as a board member with the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania organization and takes part in their annual STEM expo. In addition, she coaches Central Penn Mini Sticks field hockey and a Cumberland Valley softball 10U team.

She also co-founded a women’s volunteer group for West Shore mothers that encourages them to pursue diverse volunteer opportunities with their children. The group has had a significant impact on mid-state organizations such as Caitlin Smiles, Leg Up Farm, Ronald McDonald House, Dress for Success, and others.

 

ABOUT HRG

Originally founded in 1962, HRG has grown to be a nationally ranked Top 500 Design Firm, providing civil engineering, surveying and environmental services to public and private sector clients. The 200-person employee-owned firm currently has office locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. For more information, please visit the website at www.hrg-inc.com.

 

Flood Control Article Advice from Erin Letavic in Borough News

Erin Letavic, a project manager in HRG’s civil group, published an article in the July issue of Borough News magazine about flood control entitled “Mitigating Flood Risk in Your Borough.”  In it, she discusses the costs municipalities face when flooding occurs and offers  tips for how to minimize the risk of flood damage as much as possible.

Topics she discusses in the article include

  • Understanding your community’s flood risk
  • Improving floodplain management in your community
  • Expanding vegetation that absorbs flood waters and filters pollutants
  • Promoting the construction of green infrastructure
  • Obtaining funding for flood mitigation measures
  • Gaining public support for flood mitigation measures

Flood control strategies can help communities manage their flood risk and lower the potential cost of flood damage

Severe floods can happen in any community, and, when they do, they can wreak serious havoc: destroying homes and businesses, threatening people’s safety, temporarily shutting down the economy, and damaging infrastructure.

Communities can manage flood risk by implementing a flood mitigation strategy. The first step in flood control is to determine what areas of your community are most vulnerable to flooding and model exactly how those areas would be impacted by particular flood events. The next step is to make sure your ordinances and codes limit development in flood-prone areas and promote the planting and preservation of vegetation that will absorb flood waters and reduce flood intensity.

Successful flood control plans require cooperation among all stakeholders in a community, so it is essential to involve them throughout the planning and implementation stages. Obtaining grants and loans to support the initiative will help reduce opposition and lessen the impact on tight municipal budgets.

While the risk of flood damage cannot be completely eliminated, municipalities can greatly enhance the safety of their communities with a forward-thinking approach. The planning a municipality does today is key to weathering the storms tomorrow may bring.

Read the entire article here or in the print edition of Borough News magazine.

 

Watch Erin and other HRG personnel discuss the flooding that occurred around Harrisburg after Tropical Storm Lee and the measures local communities are taking to prevent similar damage in the future.