Glencoe Swale Study & Letter of Map Revision
The City of Hillsboro listened and heard the concerns voiced by Friends of Glencoe Swale about adverse affects caused by the 2016 Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). The red line on this map shows the current 100 year floodplain boundary which adversely affects forty-four homes in our small watershed. The blue line indicates how a drop in base flood elevation (BFE) of about 6 feet changes the 100 year floodplain limits. The changes resulted from the Glencoe Swale Study, a resurvey of the wetland conducted by Otak under contract by the City of Hillsboro.
Impact and LOMR Time Line
The new data allows the City of Hillsboro to file an application to FEMA for a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR). Once approved, almost all the properties in the Glencoe Swale watershed will be taken out of the 100 year floodplain… a positive outcome for those homeowners when it comes to flood insurance and property value concerns. Four properties still remain in jeopardy. Either way, no one will experience any change in FIRM status for about a year.
Representatives from the City of Hillsboro Planning Department, the City of Hillsboro Public Works Department, and Otak were available to answer questions.
Many questions were property specific.
Other concerns were broader in scope. In addition to a LOMR application, the Glencoe Swale Study supported infrastructure updates the City of Hillsboro will need to make to culverts located in the watershed.
Two projects involve culverts under city streets. One, an update to culverts located at Lenox/Lorie Street, has been approved by the City. That project is funded and will be scheduled soon. The other, new culverts on Jackson School Road, are in road construction plans that will begin this year.
A third project, replacement of an antiquated culvert system under the railroad at Connell Street, could be 10-15 years away due to a three-million dollar cost estimate and a complicated permit process.
Major concerns were voiced about delaying the railroad culvert project. The box style culvert was engineered near the time Hillsboro was established, when the small city was in the middle of an agricultural area. Today, there are concerns about culvert blockage/failure that could cause crippling flood water on two major arterials: Glencoe Road and Harewood Street. Replacement of the railroad culvert would drop the BFE approximately six more feet… enough to remedy major city street flooding, and take the four homes, mentioned before, out of the 100 year flood limit.
First steps are appreciated
The future appears very positive for most who live in the Glencoe Swale watershed. We are fortunate to live in a city where our voices and concerns are heard. Friends of Glencoe Swale will keep in touch with the Planning Department and Public Works Department during the times in between LOMR approval and culvert project starts and completions.