What has flooding cost the TRW in the last 20 years?
The TRWMA Flood Reduction Plan was released in June 2015 and has a price tag of approximately $32 million. In the plan, it was documented, based on reports from communities and counties, that floods had caused at least $20 million over the past 20 years. Since only a few of the communities and counties reported, it was deduced that this was a fraction of the actual cost. This assumption was correct.
The Storm Events Database hosted on the NOAA website provides data going back to 1950 for a myriad of different natural disaster events searchable by date, type of event, and locations. A search of the counties that make up the Turkey River Watershed from 1995 to present for the event categories; heavy rain, flooding, and flash flooding, revealed that 114 events were reported. The database also tracks the cost associated with these events. In the counties making up the TRW, these 3 event categories have cost $121.087 million in property damage and $47.025 million in crop damage. This means that flooding has cost nearly 6 times as much in damage as it would cost to implement the flood reduction plan. Not only has it cost 6 times as much, but since it was spent on recovery, we are just as vulnerable to flooding as 20 years ago. It should be of note that not all recovery money was spent in the TRW but within the county boundaries.
Another interesting fact revealed by the Storm Events Database, is the largest rain events for each of the past 3 years have happened within a few days of each other, June 18th-22nd.