Hydraulics/Hydrology Seminar Series
Tipton Resilience Plan: Strategies for Smart Growth and Flood Rish Reduction
Siavash Beik, PE, CFM, D.WRE
Vice President, Principal Engineering
Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LLC
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Despite millions of dollars spent every year on structural mitigation projects before or after floods, the communities’ exposure to flood risks and flood damages keep increasing. Unless we are able to break the vicious cycle of: “Allow construction of vulnerable assets – flood – suffer economic pain – try to mitigate risk at one or two vulnerable assets – add more vulnerable assets elsewhere”, we as a nation are not going to be able to rein in this runaway train of increasing flood damages. Over the years, we have tried many tactics to try to reduce flood damages and bring about resiliency to local communities. However, these tactics have been mostly unsuccessful in terms of sustainability of results and outcomes. To break the cycle, first we need to change the mindsets of those community officials and institutions that make land use decisions by educating them, followed by institutionalizing that new mindset through flood resilience-informed updates to ordinances, policies, and most importantly the community’s Comprehensive Plan. Only then does it make sense to start spending our hard-earned and limited funds to mitigate existing legacy vulnerabilities to reduce the existing extent of flood damages, improve lives, and make our way towards our ultimate goal of long-term resiliency. This presentation would provide an example of how a relatively small FEMA Hazard Mitigation Planning funding was used to develop such a “mindset changing” flood resilience plan for a flood-vulnerable community in Indiana based on relatively new Smart Growth approaches and strategies contained in a recently developed EPA publication on Planning for Flood Recovery and Long-Term Resilience in Vermont.
Siavash Beik is the Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LLC (CBBEL) Vice-president and its Principal Engineer. He is considered a national leader in promoting flood resiliency, flood risk management, and emergency action/emergency response planning for flooding from natural causes or dam and levee failures. He offers more than 35 years of professional experience in water resources engineering, planning and management, hydrology and hydraulics, and project management. Siavash holds a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Kansas and is active in many national and state professional organizations. He currently serves as the ASFPM National Technical Policy Committees’ Coordinator.