What are the main goals of the flood study?
- Reduce flooding to main stem of the Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania and Delaware
- Coordination with Delaware flood mitigation efforts
- Identify projects for flood attenuation, including pilot projects on Brandywine Conservancy-owned properties that may serve as models for watershed-wide sites
Why are we doing this flood study now?
The devastation brought on by the historic flooding from Hurricane Ida in September 2021 spurred this study. The storm caused significant threats to public safety and emergency services, along with over $100 million in flood damages to public infrastructure in our region. The flood study is a coordinated effort to better understand where and why flooding occurs along the Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania and Delaware so that we can identify the best approaches to protect our communities from future severe flooding events.
What is the coverage area of the flood study?
The flood study encompasses the mainstem of the Brandywine Creek and key tributaries in Chester and Delaware Counties in Pennsylvania, and travels downstream to impacted areas in Northern Delaware.
Who are the funders?
The study will be funded, in part, through grants from Chester County Government and Delaware County Council.
When will it be complete?
The study is expected to be completed by summer 2024.
What are the next steps after it's complete?
Once completed, the partners are committed to working with impacted communities, elected officials, key funders, and government agencies to implement the study’s recommendations so that the watershed and its residents in both states are better prepared, protected and equipped to rebound from future severe flooding events. Implementation funding is currently being identified and applied as appropriate.
Who is involved in the study?
This study is conducted in partnership with the Chester County Water Resources Authority (CCWRA) and the University of Delaware Water Resources Center (UDWRC). Additional partners include Stroud Water Resources Center, West Chester University, Meliora, Biohabitats, and other water resource technical experts. Local municipalities and residents within the study area will also have the opportunity to be involved.
Will the public have the opportunity to be involved?
Yes. We will have several public meetings throughout the flood study process and will be updating the website regularly with study information and opportunities to engage and provide input. We will be creating opportunities to share experiences of the effects of flooding in order to catalogue the data in a geographic manner. For now, please be on the lookout for our first public meeting to be held later this fall.
What will be studied?
The study will examine flood reduction to the main stem and key tributaries of the Brandywine Creek from the headwaters in Honey Brook, PA, to Wilmington, DE. The study will identify chronic flood sites, develop hydrologic and hydraulic watershed models using the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Hydrologic Engineer Center’s River Analysis System (HEC-RAS), and provide recommendations for structural and nonstructural flood solutions. This work will provide a deeper understanding of what contributes to the flooding of the Brandywine Creek and what can be done to mitigate those measures.
How will this study transfer to other communities outside of the Brandywine Watershed?
This study will serve as the framework for other watersheds throughout the state, region, and country. Watersheds in our area, and the broader region, share similar land use patterns, causes of flooding and opportunities for mitigation, therefore, the recommendations of this study may be transferable to other affected communities.
Are you working in collaboration with other flood studies in the area?
We are coordinating ongoing efforts in Delaware including mitigation projects in the City of Wilmington and the upcoming Lower Brandywine Flood Study. In Pennsylvania we are coordinating with efforts in Downingtown and Coatesville. The Leaders and participants of all these efforts are invited members of our Flood Advisory Committee.
How can I stay informed about the flood study?
Please sign-up for flood study emails here: Brandywine Flood Study Email Sign-up.