The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) presented the draft of its DeSoto County Flood Study on June 29, 2021. The presentation is available to view on line. The public had until July 12, 2021 to comment or ask questions about the findings.
The official name of the study is “The draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement for the Memphis Metropolitan Stormwater Management Project: DeSoto County, Mississippi.” The DeSoto County Board of Supervisors partnered with the USACE and local cities back in 2018. The study documents areas prone to intense flooding, highlights factors contributing to that flooding, and details options to mitigate future flooding risks.
“We went to Washington for years and years because of the flooding issues we have in DeSoto County,” said District Four Supervisor Lee Caldwell. “We would go and talk to our Senators and Congressman and ask for supportive funding to do this study and we were so blessed to get it.”
The study originally focused on just the northern part of DeSoto County but was expanded to include the entire county. “18 flood risk management alternatives were assembled and evaluated,” said Andy Carpenter, Environmental Manager, US Army Corps of Engineers, Memphis District. The tentatively selected plan involves both structural and non-structural components.
Ecosystem restoration is also a major component of the study. "Our county was a rural county,” said Caldwell. “We used to have large cotton fields everywhere. Now we’ve changed those cotton fields into rooftops. And with that comes stormwater runoff. We want to know how to go about repairing our ecosystem.”
“Nearly everyone in the County has been impacted by flooding one time or another,” said District Two Supervisor Mark Gardner. “It’s important people are able to voice their opinions about the presented options.”
There is a special website dedicated to the project.