US Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters Website

DeSoto Co., USACE: Partners in flood risk management

Published Jan. 24, 2020
.

IN THE PHOTO, an area of DeSoto County, Mississippi during what has been described as a “normal” spring rain event in 2016.

.

IN THE PHOTO, an area of DeSoto County, Mississippi during what has been described as a “normal” spring rain event in 2016.

.

IN THE PHOTO, members of the DeSoto County Project Development Team gather to review developed measures during their most recent meeting in the Memphis District. Pictured team members include USACE employees from the Memphis, Vicksburg, St. Louis, and New Orleans Districts. (USACE photo by Jessica Haas)

Desoto County is the fastest growing county in Mississippi. With a population of over 175,000 residents, it is also the third most populated county in Mississippi. Unfortunately, it experiences frequent floods that cause economic losses and threaten lives.

“Flooding inundates major transportation corridors and several neighborhoods, isolates communities, damages public infrastructure and development (residential, commercial and industrial), and threatens life,” Project Manager Marsha Raus explained. “Flood Risk Management is one of USACE’s major missions.”

Congress authorized a study in DeSoto County to determine the feasibility of providing flood risk management solutions to the area. The Project Delivery Team (PDT) responsible for conducting the feasibility study has been working for over a year now, with their most recent meeting taking place earlier this month.

The team consists of USACE employees from the Memphis, Vicksburg, St. Louis, and New Orleans Districts. Of course, this team would not be complete without the help and expertise of those living in DeSoto County as well.

“DeSoto County is our partner in this process and their staff is part of our team,” Raus added. “They have been involved in many meetings with us and have provided invaluable information to get us to this point in the study.”

Raus said the team is about 70 percent complete with the planning process and about 40 percent done preparing the document to be sent to the public.

“Studies require coordination among technical disciplines, agencies, stakeholders, partners and our entire Vertical Chain,” Raus added. “It demands a lot of time, energy, focus, and discipline. We are preparing a report for the chief of engineers to deliver to Congress. This part of the process is just the first step in moving dirt and providing benefits to the nation.”