The Rio Guayanilla drains approximately 96 square kilometers into the Guayanilla Bay which opens to the Caribbean Sea. There have been 10 major floods in the last 25 years, and most recently in September 2017 during Hurricane Maria. The overbank flooding impacts more than 1100 homes, businesses, industry and utilities with estimated damages to be $2.5 million as stated in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1990 Reconnaissance Report. That report, a preliminary analysis of possible solutions to flooding problems, considered five structural alternatives and concluded that a system of levees, channel improvements, diversion channel, and bridge reconstruction could reduce the flood risk for the community.
Supplemental funds are being used to study the Rio Guayanilla. A detailed analysis of possible solutions to flooding problems has been undertaken and the team has made tremendous progress towards a recommended flood risk reduction plan. The team passed the Tentatively Selected Plan milestone on 18 June 2019 and plans to release the results of the last 10 months of work to the public near the end of August. There are also plans for a public meeting on September 18th at the Costa Bahia Hotel and an Open House at a location to be determined on the 19th from 9am – 2pm. At these meetings the public will be given a chance to review the results of the study and give feedback and comments regarding the proposed plan. The comment period will be open for 30 days. After the public review period ends the team will revise the report based on any comments that are received and work towards a final report in early 2020.
The estimated cost of the feasibility phase is $3 million which, under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, is fully funded at federal expense. This study is authorized by Section 722 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-662).
Project Manager: Jeff Zuercher, USACE Chicago District, 312-846-5558
Lead Certified Planner: Susanne Davis, USACE Chicago District, 312-846-5580