Mason City council to discuss application to look into hazard mitigation in Eastbrooke, along Mason Creek

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City tonight will consider approving the submittal of a Federal Emergency Management Agency Advanced Assistance Application to the Iowa Department of Homeland Security to assist with costs associated with the development of a hazard mitigation project to detain water in the Ideal Creek watershed above the Eastbrooke neighborhood and in the Mason Creek watershed upstream of South Federal Avenue.

Planning & Zoning Manager Tricia Sandahl says in a memo to the council that upstream detention would reduce the peak flow on the streams and reduce the area subject to a 100-year flood event. That in turn would allow the city to request an amendment to the floodplain maps, removing most structures in the Eastbrooke neighborhood and along Mason Creek from the 100-year floodplain.

After receiving the first draft of pending flood insurance rate maps, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources obtained services from a FEMA program that shows a detention project in those areas would reduce the number of structures in the floodplain. In Eastbrooke, they looked at upstream detention, increasing the span of the State Highway 122 bridge over Ideal Creek, or a combination of the two. Reducing flooding along Mason Creek would rely on decreasing the peak flow at the upstream end of the watershed on the west side of US Highway 65.

If approved, 75% of the costs of things such as engineering design and feasibility studies would be covered by FEMA, 10% by the state, with about $33,750 being the city’s responsibility. The council meets tonight at 7 o’clock in the Mason City Room of the Public Library.