Within the last five years, there have been several significant storm events causing extensive street drainage problems and flooding of several neighborhoods in the city of Tempe. Although Tempe is nearly built-out, the advent of the light rail, ASU expansion plans, and the attraction of Tempe Town Lake is expected to lead to major redevelopment of portions of the city.
As a response to projected growth and regulatory requirements, the city is considering implementation of various green infrastructure and low impact design techniques as part of the recently adopted General Plan 2040. The Arizona Department of Transportation also has several large drainage infrastructure facilities associated with the freeways throughout this region, many of which are undersized and will require major investments in advance of projected freeway projects.
In response to these issues, the Flood Control District of Maricopa County recognized a need to assess flooding in the area, and has initiated the Tempe Area Drainage Master Study to identify flood hazards and develop any needed flooding mitigation solutions. The study area is bounded by the Salt River to the north, Loop 101 to the east, SR 202 to the south and I-10 to the west. It includes approximately 45 square miles located primarily within the city of Tempe, with portions in the cities of Phoenix and Chandler, as well as the town of Guadalupe.
The study includes data collection, development of a comprehensive two-dimensional hydrology model with integrated storm drain analytics, and preparation of a flood hazard assessment. An extensive stakeholder coordination and public outreach effort will be incorporated to help compile information (records and anecdotes, dated photos and videos of flooding and drainage incidents, and any other historic information available) as well as to help focus on acceptable mitigation alternatives.
To facilitate collection of flooding incidence information, the District has developed a web-based tool called Report A Flood which can be found at www.reportaflood.org. The tool includes an interactive map of the county and allows anyone to locate a specific location where flooding has occurred and upload photos or videos of flooding events they have observed. The site also allows the public to see photos that others have posted.
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The District initiated the ADMS in June 2013. Development of the regional hydrology model began in November 2013. Due to problems w/ the computer model, WA#2 has been delayed but will be completed by August 2015; The Flood Hazard Assessment will start in early 2015 and should alos be complete by August 2015.. The Project Team is currently working on development of modeling tools and procedures to evaluate the effectiveness of LID technology for flood mitigation, and is also working on redesigning a conventional flood mitigation project in the study area with LID including rainwater harvesting.