Durbin Announces $2.2 Million for Keith Creek Flood Mitigation

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded $2,226,740 in grant funding to the City of Rockford for flood mitigation efforts. The funding was awarded under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program which provides grants to state and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration.


“Today’s funding is welcome news for the residents and businesses who have been hit hard by devastating floods,” said Durbin. “This additional assistance will help prevent future damage to homes and businesses in the Rockford area.”


This project will protect the health, safety and welfare of Rockford residents. Additionally, it will reduce future flood insurance claims and the financial obligation of federal, state and local governments after a disaster. The proposed project will involve the voluntary acquisition of land that will be returned to green space, allowing flooding to occur without damage to property. The City of Rockford is looking to enter into negotiations with roughly 38 property owners susceptible to heavy flood damage due to low lying and flat areas immediately adjacent to Keith Creek.


Durbin has worked closely with Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL) on flood mitigation efforts as flooding in the City of Rockford has raised concerns over Keith Creek and Alpine Dam. In 2009 they secured $526,000 in the Omnibus Appropriations bill to complete a feasibility study of the work needed to provide reliable flood protection along Keith Creek. The Keith Creek feasibility study will determine what steps need to be taken by the Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Rockford to prevent future flood damage to homes and businesses.


At least 350 homes and 50 businesses are located in the heavily developed floodplain in Rockford. The lower portion of Keith Creek does not have adequate capacity to contain flood flows and is downstream of Alpine Dam, a flood control dam constructed in 1942 by the City of Rockford. Alpine Dam’s spillway is 61 years old and is in poor condition. The dam does not meet current Federal design standards, and does not have adequate capacity to safely pass the Probable Maximum Flood. In addition, the dam does not provide adequate floor protection for heavily developed areas downstream.