Bedman Creek

Description: The Lee County Natural Resources Department hired JR Evans Engineering to prepare a more current and detailed evaluation of the hydrology and hydraulic conditions of the Bedman Creek/Dog Canal waterway system. The Bedman Creek/Dog Canal system consists of a natural creek feeding the Caloosahatchee River that becomes a channelized waterway at the upstream portion. The system is located in east Lee County, near the border with Hendry County. The previous 2008 FEMA Flood Insurance Study (FIS) for the system utilized data from 2000 and limited topographic information. As a result, the 2008 FIS indicated significantly high base flood elevations for the 1%-annual-chance storm event along the waterway and a regulatory floodway area that exceeded the banks of Bedman Creek and Dog Canal. These conditions have placed constraints and limitations for many property owners located within the watershed area of the Bedman Creek/Dog Canal system. Therefore, the County proceeded with an effort to further evaluate the base flood elevations and regulatory floodway boundaries with a more detailed analysis. The analysis objective is to determine new base flood elevations and more accurate boundaries of the flood hazard areas and regulatory floodway based upon a more detailed, specific study of the tributary and contributing watershed.

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Location: Village of Estero, FL

Duration: January 2017 – October 2018

The first task included data collection for the entire watershed including additional surveyed cross-sections for the waterway, as-built information for the in-line canal structures and bridge and culvert crossings, private pedestrian bridge crossings, hydrologic parameters, etc. In the next task, the J.R. Evans Engineering team prepared a complete hydrologic analysis of the watershed to determine the contributing flows into the canal and natural creek portions of the system. The watershed area consists of smaller tributary canals which have their own contributing sub-basins. Therefore, the hydrologic model involved numerous sub-basins with specific hydrologic conditions. The Inner Connected Pond Routing (ICPR) software was utilized to model the hydrology for this step in the analysis. Several different storm/rainfall interval events were simulated in the hydrology model.

The next task included updating the hydraulic model simulating the contributing flows within the Bedman Creek/Dog Canal waterway. The software HEC-RAS and GeoHECRAS was utilized to prepare the updates to the hydraulic model and properly geo-reference the study area. The updates included adding forty (40) new cross-sections to the system and updating the existing cross-sections with more detailed topographic information and verified land cover conditions. Once the hydraulic model parameters were verified, the contributing flows were incorporated, and many iterations were conducted to validate the model results and determine updated water surface elevations for the various storm events/durations. Upon completion of the hydraulic modeling, updated flood zone delineations for the 1% annual-chance-event storm and 2%-annual-chance storm events were completed. In addition, a new delineation for the regulatory floodway area was also prepared.

In summary, the results of the new detailed analyses indicated a reduction in the contributing flows, decrease in the regulatory base flood elevations and a reduction in the width of the regulatory floodway boundary. The final step in the project is facilitating a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) through FEMA for acceptance of the new detailed studies and revised mapping for the watershed. Once the LOMR is approved, many residents will experience the benefit of a reduction in the base flood elevations and reduction in the floodway area.

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