The Office of Sustainability has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking professional services to develop a community-driven Flood Resilience Strategy for the Eastwick neighborhood. This will be a dedicated planning process to weigh the many different flood resilience options on the table and develop an implementation roadmap to bring those flood resilience measures into fruition. Through deep community engagement as part of the Eastwick: from Recovery to Resilience initiative, the Flood Resilience Strategy will ensure residents are guiding the decision-making process on the appropriate path forward.
Eastwick is one of the lowest lying areas in Philadelphia and is vulnerable to multiple sources of flooding. Historically, due to its location at the bottom of a watershed, Eastwick has repeatedly experienced riverine flooding, caused by heavy rain in the Darby and Cobbs Creeks watersheds. We anticipate these flooding events will grow in intensity and frequency due to climate change. Furthermore, Eastwick is vulnerable to coastal storms, when water levels in the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers rise, which may come up through the Darby Creek and flow overland into Eastwick. Sea level rise will make it harder for water to drain and may eventually cause water to pond in some areas, even on sunny days. Due to the growing complexity of Eastwick’s flooding challenges, there is not one individual measure that will solve all these sources of flooding.
The US Army Corps of Engineers recently released a draft feasibility study recommending a levee to reduce the risk of riverine flooding. Other partners are exploring concepts like a community-driven relocation plan, and wetland creation and expansion. Achieving flood resilience in Eastwick will likely require a combination of these measures and more to ensure residents are protected under current and future climate conditions.
The funding for this Flood Resilience Strategy comes from a $450,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant through the Flood Mitigation Assistance program. The City will contribute a $50,000 in-kind match, for a $500,000 total project. To seek further funding for the implementation of identified solutions, the City receives ongoing technical assistance from FEMA and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to apply for additional federal flood mitigation programs.
“Flooding in Eastwick is incredibly complex, and there is no simple solution to fully address the issue,” said Mike Carroll, Managing Director of the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability. “This funding ensures that we are in this for the long haul, and we look forward to working with Eastwick residents to develop comprehensive, community-driven strategies that make our residents whole. “
Proposals are due by 5 p.m. EST on Nov. 13, 2023.