Close to a hundred citizens of the Ciales area attended a Rio Grande de Manatí flood risk feasibility study public scoping meeting on Sunday, hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Jacksonville District.
The meeting, organized by Puerto Rico’s District 13 Representative Gabriel Rodriguez-Aguiló, was an opportunity for the community to not only learn about the scope and process of the study being conducted by USACE, but to express their concerns, ask questions and provide input on the considered flood risk management alternatives that were presented.
Pittsburgh District Engineer Ivan Peña gave a 30 minute presentation addressing the scope, the current issues, the process and the timeline for completion.
“We will be primarily focusing on approaches that reduce the risk of flooding to structures and will address stream bank erosion and transportation delays to the extent possible as allowed under the study authority,” said Peña.
The Corps’ structured study process involves comparing alternative flood risk reduction alternatives to identify which, if any, is the most effective and efficient at addressing the identified problems. Should the study identify a suitable plan, that plan would then be used to design and implement a flood risk reduction project, said USACE.
Some of the flood risk alternatives that could be determined by the results of the study include channelization, channel improvement or channel relocation, as well as non-structural recommendations such as buy-outs and flood-proofing options.
The study may find that a suitable plan cannot be identified, USACE said.