In 2008, Indiana experienced a series of major flooding events of a scale that had not been seen in many years. Resulting in three different federal disaster declarations and estimated total damages over $1 Billion.
On September 6, 2018, during the annual Indiana Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management (INAFSM) conference, the largest gathering of floodplain and stormwater professionals, Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LLC (CBBEL) was presented, alongside the Indiana Silver Jackets (ISJ), the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), an Excellence in Floodplain Management Award. INAFSM noted CBBEL’s work as a lead consultant on a Flood Response Plan (FRP) for 20 Indiana communities affected by record setting flooding during the June 2008 Indiana flood event.
Established in 1997, this award recognizes an outstanding floodplain management program or an outstanding floodplain manager. This award may be bestowed annually upon a local unit of government or an individual, affiliated with the state or a local government, who has consistently demonstrated leadership in the area of floodplain management and has instituted a pro-active approach consistent with the INAFSM vision of sound water resources management in the State of Indiana.
“By working together with the Indiana Silver Jackets, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the 20 individual communities, we were able to help each better understand their flood risks, plan and organize,” said Director of Planning, Sheila McKinley. “It’s really all about flood resilience and empowering communities to use their available data and resources to be better prepared and reduce future flood damage. Between the 20 communities, there was a lot of diversity. We really listened to each and customized a response plan to best work based on their individual resources and needs.”
The FRPs were developed over a two-year period from March 2016 to March 2018 and prepared for: Alexandria, Anderson, Bloomington, Crawfordsville, Decatur, Edinburgh, Elnora, Elwood, Franklin, Greenfield, Lebanon, Nashville, New Castle, Noblesville, Martinsville, Portland, Princeton, Seymour, Vincennes and Wabash. The individual Indiana communities came out of the project with a clear understanding of flood risks, documented data, possible future capital improvement mitigation projects, a flood response action checklist (that can be implemented by anyone in charge and is not dependent on institutional knowledge) and a mock table top exercise allowing their core flood fight team to practice readiness.