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Escambia County has been awarded a $2.3 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, county officials announced this week.

The FEMA program funds projects which reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters. Escambia will use its grant to help fund the Delano Street Area Drainage Project, which will implement long-term hazard mitigation measures to reduce flooding around Delano Street in the Englewood area. That area, north of the city limits, was a crucial point of failure which contributed to widespread flooding in many parts of the city in April 2014.

The mitigation project would modify existing stormwater facilities and acquire new pond sites to better manage stormwater and increase pond and infrastructure efficiencies and capacities. The grant requires the completed project to provide protection against a 50-year storm event and significantly reduce the number of structures and infrastructure experiencing repetitive flooding. Many of these structures will be entirely protected from future flood events, eliminating future flood damage.

Map of planned improvements as part of the Delano Street Area Drainage Project. (Escambia County/Special to The Pulse)

Map of planned improvements as part of the Delano Street Area Drainage Project. (Escambia County/Special to The Pulse)

Drainage improvements for this project will address flooding of multiple properties in the area. Installation of a pond at the former Escambia County Sheriff’s Central Booking & Detention Facility (after demolition) is proposed in the grant. Flood protection for the Waterfront Rescue Mission on Herman Street, the former Escambia County Employee Credit Union building, Workforce EscaRosa Career Center, Escambia County Central Office Complex, Escambia County Area Transit and the Escambia County Sheriff Office Complex, are several focus areas where the goal is to reduce flooding impacts. This project will improve access to the new jail site by reducing public roadway flooding of surrounding roadways.

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