Flood Danger Report for Palm Beach Expected in January

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Posted December 6, 2018

A town consultant is expected to deliver early next year its assessment of Palm Beach’s flood risk amid rising sea levels.

Massachusetts-based Woods Hole Group is nearing the end of its two-year, $160,000 evaluation of the coastal vulnerability of the ocean and lake sides of the island.

Woods Hole is expected to present its findings and recommendations Jan. 24 to the Shore Protection Board, Coastal Program Manager Rob Weber said.

“I expect their final report will come to the town shortly after [that] presentation,” he said. “They want to come first and share results and get feedback from the community.”

The report will then be delivered to the Town Council, Weber said.

During its 2013 peer review of the town’s long-term coastal protection plan, Woods Hole wrote that there is “a need to consider upgrading bulkheads in certain areas particularly on the west side of the island.”

In recent years, flooding has become more noticeable along the Lake Trail during periods of heavy rain or high tides, especially king tides.

Over the study period, flooding pathways were to be mapped, at-risk structures identified, priorities determined and “adaptation alternatives” examined.

The cost was originally slated to be $100,000 but in April the council approved $60,000 more to pay for dynamic modeling in the study area.

In other coastal news, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hire a contractor to dredge the Palm Beach Inlet in January and February. About 200,000 cubic yards will be placed on the “dry” beach, west of the high tide line, between the inlet and Palmo Way, Weber said.

The town plans to move 25,000 cubic yards of the dredged sand farther south into Reach 2, between Palmo Way and Colonial Lane.

The construction should start immediately after the Army Corps contractor completes the dredging work.

The inlet was last dredged earlier this year.

Source: Palm Beach Daily News