Eric Douglas Published

Justice Awards Community Block Grants To Flood Damaged Communities


Gov. Jim Justice awarded Tuesday nearly $66 million in community block grant development funds. The grants went to nine stormwater projects, two water treatment plants, two dams, one sanitary sewer line relocation, and four planning projects.

More than $40 million of the total will fund works that serve those with low-to-moderate incomes.

“These grant amounts are big numbers, so it’s a really good day for these communities,” Justice said. “We thank everyone who is putting in the licks to make this happen.”

The grants are part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Mitigation Program that helps communities affected by recent natural disasters by reducing future disaster risks and losses.

HUD approved West Virginia for $106.4 million. That means the state can still award an additional nearly $41.6 million for eligible projects.

West Virginia was approved by HUD for a grand total of $106.4 million in CDBG-MIT funds for hazard mitigation projects, meaning the state can still award an additional $41.6 million for eligible projects.

HUD requires that every funded project meets the HUD definition of mitigation: activities that increase resilience to disasters and reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of loss of life, injury, damage to and loss of property, and suffering and hardship, by lessening the impact of future disasters. HUD requires that at least 50% of CDBG-MIT funds directly benefit low-to-moderate income individuals and that 50% of CDBG-MIT funds directly benefit the most impacted and distressed areas determined by HUD (Clay, Kanawha, Greenbrier, Nicholas counties).

The grants announced include the following:


Project: City of Oak Hill-Minden Flood Mitigation

CDBG-MIT Amount: $4,739,000

Description: The Oak Hill-Minden project proposes to restore 375 feet of Arbuckle Creek to its natural state and improve flooding conditions along the only road between Oak Hill and Minden. Currently, Arbuckle Creek is narrow and has high velocities of water during storm conditions. There are three bridges that will be increased in size to increase flow. An overflow detention pond will accommodate overflow in a controlled area. These mitigation measures will mitigate against flooding along Minden’s main access road and serve over 300 residents.


Project: City of Hinton Flood Mitigation (Stormwater system)

CDBG-MIT Amount: $4,350,000

Description: This project will improve stormwater service to 1,240 existing customers and make 57 acres resilient to flooding. The City of Hinton will install 3,600 linear feet of storm drain piping, 24 drop inlets, 800 feet of long box culverts, 600 feet of open channel grated drains, and 48 feet of roof drain piping.


Project: Flood Control Barriers Assessment Project

CDBG-MIT Amount: $229,375

Description: This planning project will evaluate temporary flood control barriers and critical facilities for necessary short-term flood protection in Lincoln, Kanawha, Clay, Nicholas, Webster and Greenbrier counties. It will produce an assessment that analyzes the best temporary flood protection suited to specific communities for 40 critical facility sites. The produced data will be mapped, analyzed and compiled for cities and counties to implement in flood mitigation projects.


Project: Culvert and Bridge Mapping Project

CDBG-MIT Amount: $163,000

Description: This project will identify flood-prone culverts and low-flow bridge structures, record the location and attributes of these sites, and develop a methodology to manage an inventory that allows users to view data in real time. The project will take place in Monroe and Summers counties. It’s long-term goal is to develop a framework for identifying and recording bridges and culverts in need of resilience measures, and its short-term goal is to provide initial planning data for future selection and mitigation of flood prone culverts and bridges at critical locations. The initial locations of this project are in Monroe and Summers counties, but the scope of work includes outreach to other counties for similar implementation.


Project: Craigsville PSD Water Plant Relocation

CDBG-MIT Amount: $3,174,000

Description: This project will construct a new water treatment plant in Craigsville outside of the floodplain. The current plant is located in the floodplain and has suffered repeated damages from past events. It serves the town’s 2,021 customers.


Project: City of Summersville Stormwater Project

CDBG-MIT Amount: $1,042,350

Description: This project will install a closed stormwater system and detention areas to help slow and reduce flooding along Kentucky Road in the City of Summersville, serving 121 customers. The project area currently experiences repeated flooding during heavy rain events. The mitigation impacts of this project would be noticeable after any significant rainfall event.


Project: Crossing the Bridge to Safety Planning Project

CDBG-MIT Amount: $250,000

Description: This planning project will identify residential bridges at risk of flooding in Region 4; Greenbrier, Nicholas, Fayette, Pocahontas, Webster and Lincoln counties. The study will determine what bridges may need to be replaced and record their location. The project will specifically study bridges and crossing structures that serve multifamily units. An analysis will assess the corrective action required to mitigate against flooding risks, detail environmental review requirements, identify pre-construction permits, and create a final report for RPDC 2 and 4.


Project: Spencer Wastewater Line Mitigation Improvements

CDBG-MIT Amount: $3,880,000

Description: The project will relocate wastewater collection lines out of the floodplain and construct additional pumping and surge flow storage capacity at the treatment works in order to mitigate collection system overflows. These improvements will reduce the threat of flooding events to the wastewater treatment facility that serves 1,552 customers.


Project: City of Spencer Milltree #1 Dam Modifications

CDBG-MIT Amount: $535,000

Description: This project will mitigate a high-risk dam in Spencer. Plans include modifying the dam so that the permanent pool elevation of the impoundment is lowered by 10 feet. This project will mitigate against the risk of dam failure during severe storm and flooding events. It will protect 850 residents and surrounding farm and residential areas downstream of the dam. Failure of the dam, according to the WVDEP, poses potential loss of life to residents downstream of the Milltree Dam.


Project: Webster County Commission

CDBG-MIT Amount: $1,584,560

Description: This project will renovate infrastructure and a dam at Camp Caesar in Webster County. In times of emergency the camp is designated as an emergency shelter for a nearby nursing home, a space for the National Guard, and the 8,386 residents of Webster County. Renovations will include upgrading the dam, modifying the main and emergency spillways to bring it into compliance, improving streamflow, reinforcing stream banks, and infrastructure improvements to Camp Caesar to enable it to support citizens in an emergency situation. The dam is currently cited as a high risk dam by the WVDEP.


Project: Town of Addison Storm Sewer System

CDBG-MIT Amount: $4,388,000

Description: This project will replace an existing and undersized storm sewer in the Town of Addison, directly serving Addison’s population of 806 people. The current system is undersized, aging, and in disrepair.

The grants announced at the events in Marlinton and Alderson include the following:


Project: Town of Marlinton Storm Water Project

CDBG-MIT Amount: $8,655,040

Description: This project will construct a new stormwater system to manage stormwater runoff. Currently, stormwater and sanitary sewer drain into an existing sewer treatment facility. Construction of a stormwater system will mitigate flooding risks and decrease the excess water that overwhelms the sewer treatment facility. The Town of Marlinton storm water project will serve 699 customers.


Project: Rainelle Storm Water Project

CDBG-MIT Amount: $9,955,000

Description: This project will replace an aging stormwater system in Rainelle. The current system is undersized and inadequate to efficiently collect and remove stormwater. This project will replace the system with properly sized and constructed drainage systems, mitigating against flooding within the town and serving Rainelle’s 1,250 residents.


Project: City of White Sulphur Springs Stormwater Improvements Project

CDBG-MIT Amount: $2,980,000

Description: This project will rehabilitate and install stormwater infrastructure in the City of White Sulphur Springs. With the current system, the city experiences stormwater overflow during storm events. This project will mitigate against flooding issues by collecting and efficiently removing stormwater. This project will serve the town’s 2,475 residents.


Project: City of Ronceverte Storm Water Project

CDBG-MIT Amount: $8,800,000

Description: This project will construct stormwater infrastructure improvements to reduce flood hazards in the City of Ronceverte. The stormwater project will serve 1,750 residents by reducing flooding along streets and sidewalks in the city. Improvements will include storm drain upgrades and storm drain improvements to aging infrastructure.


Project: Town of Rupert Stormwater Improvements

CDBG-MIT Amount: $2,600,000

Description: This project will upgrade the town’s stormwater system. Installing new infrastructure will alleviate flooding issues within the Town of Rupert. Flooding in the town has caused erosion and prevented the community from reaching public facilities. This project will serve 942 residents.


Project: Town of Alderson Water Treatment Plant Relocation

CDBG-MIT Amount: $8,304,000

Description: The project will relocate a water treatment plant outside of the floodplain. By relocating the water treatment facility, flooding will not disable the plant from serving 704 customers within the Town of Alderson, surrounding counties, and the federal prison camp. The project will include installation of an alternative raw water intake, increasing the system’s resilience to flooding events.


Project: Lewisburg Stormwater Management Assessment Project

CDBG-MIT Amount: $250,000

Description: This planning assessment project will analyze, map and develop plans that address deficiencies in the aging stormwater system and the development of sinkholes caused by stormwater flow in the City of Lewisburg. The City of Lewisburg has well documented damage from sinkholes and continues to be at risk of future sinkholes due to the karst system underneath the city. This plan will identify and map problem areas in the stormwater system and potential sinkhole areas for city planners.