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This web page addresses the levee related references and details on Silver Jackets projects designed to aid the state's levee safety efforts.

The USACE’s National Levee Safety Program has established a risk portfolio that consistently approaches the risk assessment, risk communication, and the way forward to risk management in the shared responsibility of using levees to reduce the risk of flooding. The USACE Civil Works director’s memo, Placing Levee Systems in a Risk Context, Emphasis on Communication and Sponsor Engagement, introduced this push.

Levee sponsors are starting to see the gap that must be addressed to do flood risk management. Many need structural assistance, which is addressed with the USACE Civil Works programs for planning, design, and construction. The primary assistance Silver Jackets offers is with risk communication and better understanding flood risks.

Several risk management option tools are available to aid states and their communities:

Drs. Mileti and Sorensen collaborated with USACE to establish the booklet, A Guide To Public Alerts and Warnings for Dam and Levee Emergencies, which when combined with knowledge about flooding and necessary actions, may help community emergency managers and elected officials improve response to major flooding.

These tools listed above have been used and will be used for the following Silver Jackets projects associated with levees in communities in Kansas.

Manhattan, KS. This project used several of the tools noted above: flood warning, flood inundation maps, floodplain management plan, a tabletop exercise, enhancements to their evacuation maps in their emergency action plan, and a nonstructural assessment of flood proofing and building elevations. The process followed the Department of Homeland Security's HSEEP format.

Osawatomie, KS. This project used a tabletop exercise as a tool for managing flood risks.

Salina, KS. This project used a tabletop exercise as a tool for managing flood risks. The process followed the Department of Homeland Security's HSEEP format.

Florence, KS. This project reviewed multiple risk management options with the city, including conducting a nonstructural assessment of 300 buildings. The city also received two public signs (pdf, 5.34 MB) in the leveed area as tools for managing flood risks. The USACE team of planners summarized the work in a special report (pdf, 10.18 MB), which also offered additional insight guiding the community to enhance their emergency action plan and to make their critical facilities more resilient to floods.

Ottawa, KS. This project is pursuing and has used several of the tools noted above: floodplain management plan, public signs (pdf, 6.36 MB), and is considering a nonstructura assessment, enhancements to their emergency action plan, and a tabletop exercise.

Abilene, KS. This project is considering several of the tools noted above, later in 2019.

Hutchinson, KS. This project is considering several of the tools noted above, later in 2020.

If you are a local official looking for technical assistance similar to these risk management options above, please email the Lead Silver Jackets Coordinator. The annual call for Silver Jackets interagency nonstructural proposals is the chance to provide USACE technical experience to your community. Look at the Kansas Event Calendar to see expected due dates for the proposal and speak to the Kansas Hazard Mitigation Team leads about prioritizing proposals and ideas.

Read More about Risk Management Options for Leveed Areas

These articles offer more insight to projects in the State of Kansas with Silver Jackets.

Risk Communication and Manhattan's Levee

The project conducted a tabletop exercise that helps identifies needed enhancements to managing flood risks. On November 8, 2018, the Kansas City District, in cooperation with the Kansas Hazard Mitigation Team, Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Water Resources, Kansas Department of Emergency Management, and the local community, including Manhattan, KS, Riley County and Pottawatomie County, spent a day considering major flooding below Tuttle Creek and other Kansas Basin reservoirs. A total of 75 people attended. The event included 2-dimensional hydraulic analyses of overtopping locations. The exercise considered the floodplain management plan, and actions that could enhance the city's emergency action plan, as well as communication processes.

Nonstructural Assessment for Florence Levee

Kansas City District, in coordination with Tulsa District, established a report on how the city and county may diversify their flood risk solutions behind the Florence Levee. In the report shared in October 2018, a nonstructural assessment provides useful technical information to the city, county, and state hazard mitigation planners. The effort provides flood mitigation solutions for almost 300 buildings. Planners provide insight to guide property owners, possibly elevating to a height above flood elevations, and possibly flood proofing or relocation. The recommendations also will enhance the city's emergency action plan, address critical infrastructure in the leveed area, guide the community in the use of existing NWS and USGS tools, and emphasize the importance of flood insurance for the community's long-term resilience to floods.

Florence, Kansas Risk Management Options report (pdf, 10.2 MB).

Briefing to KS floodplain managers, risk management options for levees (pdf, 7.6 MB), Florence and Manhattan, KS, presentation to Kansas Association of Floodplain Managers (KAFM) annual conference, September 5, 2018.

Florence, Kansas Flood Risk Management Options report A page from the Florence, Kansas Flood Risk Management Options report A second page from the Florence, Kansas Flood Risk Management Options report A third page from the Florence, Kansas Flood Risk Management Options report

Risk Communication and Manhattan's Levee

The project conducted a tabletop exercise that helps identifies needed enhancements to managing flood risks. On November 8, 2018, the Kansas City District, in cooperation with the Kansas Hazard Mitigation Team, Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Water Resources, Kansas Department of Emergency Management, and the local community, including Manhattan, KS, Riley County and Pottawatomie County, spent a day considering major flooding below Tuttle Creek and other Kansas Basin reservoirs. A total of 75 people attended. The event included 2-dimensional hydraulic analyses of overtopping locations. The exercise considered the floodplain management plan, and actions that could enhance the city's emergency action plan, as well as communication processes.

Tabletop Exercise for Salina Levee

The project conducted a tabletop exercise that help identified needed enhancements to managing flood risks. Focus will included the actions to identify evacuation routes and enhance the city's emergency action plan. On March 8, 2018, the Kansas City District, in cooperation with the Kansas Hazard Mitigation Team, Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Water Resources, Kansas Department of Emergency Management, Saline County Emergency Management, and City of Salina, KS, conducted the tabletop exercise. About 90 people from local, state, federal governments, as well as nongovernmental organizations (Red Cross, Salvation Army, hospitals, etc.) participated (read more in the Salina Journal). The objectives include promoting awareness of Salina-area flood risk, simulating emergency response activities and interactions, and identifying potential areas for improvement. USACE also tied in the risk associated with Kanapolis Dam overtopping and potential downstream impacts.

Levee Safety Program

The KHMT gets periodic updates from this USACE Civil Works program. While USACE is not responsible for all levees in the Nation, USACE Levee Safety Program activities have complemented KHMT work and have included establishing a National Levee Database, inspecting levees, communicating risks, taking steps to reduce risks, and establishing an internal USACE levee safety portfolio to prioritize federal levee work

More information is coming!

The State of Kansas is proactive in helping communities deal with their leveed communities. A new proposal is looking into how to further enhance the risk communication tools available to communities and levee sponsors. If you have ideas, please email us.

Return to Kansas Silver Jackets main web page

The City of Manhattan, KS, along side both Riley and Pottawatomie Counties, develop their communication and message mapping in a tabletop exercise, November 8, 2018, that can enhance their emergency action plan and evacuation planning.

Manhattan Levee Safety event

The Florence, KS levee, as of October 2018, has a helpful report (pdf, 10.18 MB) describing other risk management options for those in the leveed area.

The Florence, Kansas levee

Additional Levee Safety Information

Communities in Kansas and partners with the Kansas Hazard Mitigation Team will find these items below helpful in enhancing levee safety efforts.

Resources and References

Did You Know?

KDWR created a good way to remember what else can be done to address flooding in the acronym FRED. FRED stands for Floodproofing, Relocation, Elevation, and Demolition. These are ways to compliment the community's overarching long-term action plan, in addition to the existing levee, or other features, and helps further reduce flood risks. See more at the links above, including KDWR's new levee safety web page. Learn more about how to diversify your community's flood risk management plan at this web page for floodplain management planning and see how one community assessed their current risk management options in this report.

Ottawa, KS has three signs in and around the leveed area of their community to encourage awareness not only of the flood risk, but of the other measures available. Levees do not eliminate the risk. This sign below offers a quick response code directly to the National Levee Database for the subject levee.

Ottawa Historic Flooding sign

Past Documents and Presentations Used with the Team

Many presentations, papers, and other products have been provided for the Kansas Hazard Mitigation Team, as listed below: