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Public meeting scheduled for Watertown Flood Risk Management Feasibility Study

USACE, Omaha
Published Dec. 20, 2022

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District in cooperation with the city of Watertown, South Dakota, will hold a public meeting on Tues., Jan. 31, 2023, at 1901 Ninth Ave. SW in Watertown. The purpose of the meeting is to share information on the recently initiated flood risk management feasibility study. The study location includes the Big Sioux River and its tributaries within the vicinity of the Watertown community.

As part of the feasibility study, a public scoping meeting will also be held on Jan. 31, at the Watertown Event Center at 5:30 p.m. A brief presentation and an open house will be the format for the public meeting. During the public meeting and open house, the community is welcomed to join USACE representatives and technical experts to discuss possibilities of this new project and have questions answered.

Input may be submitted at the public meeting, emailed to: sarah.j.miller2@usace.army.mil, or mailed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, CENWO-PMA-A, ATTN: Sarah Miller, 1616 Capitol Ave., Omaha, NE 68102-4901.

Anyone with questions about the public meeting may contact Justin Petersen, Assistant City Engineer, with the city of Watertown at: jpetersen@watertownsd.us.  

BACKGROUND: The focus of this General Investigations feasibility study will be to reassess feasible structural and nonstructural measures to reduce flood risk for the city of Watertown. A planning charrette was held between USACE and the city of Watertown on Oct. 18-19, 2022, to discuss flooding history, problems and opportunities, and formulate potential measures to be combined into alternatives. Structural measures formulated during this charrette preliminarily included a traditional dam and reservoir, dry dam, underground diversion, channel widening, floodproofing and nonstructural measures, and wetland-riparian habitat complexes. These measures were evaluated against screening criteria that included public acceptability, environmental impacts, operation and maintenance, constructability, and how each measure would benefit properties in Watertown, Lake Kampeska, Pelican Lake, and the climate resiliency of each measure. These measures will be further analyzed by the team and combined into alternative plans or screened from analysis. As part of this GI, the USACE will conduct an Environmental Assessment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to analyze potential environmental and social effects any proposed actions would have.

Release no. 22-057