Resilience Plan Updates – Fall 2018:
In Phase 1, the Mid-South Regional Resilience Master Plan identified the most urgent climate and weather related threats facing the Mid-South. In Phase 2, the project team surveyed best practices and researched potential strategies to mitigate these threats and make the region more resilient. The project is currently in the middle of its final phase—Phase 3—which will result in a fully developed set of resilience recommendations and the final Master Plan report.
There are several milestones within Phase 3. The first milestone will be the completion of a comprehensive draft containing all of the resilience strategies. This draft will be completed in early 2019 and will be circulated publicly for comment. This process will be supported by a public outreach strategy similar to the workshops conducted in earlier phases. Upon receiving comments, the project team will edit the recommendations to reflect the input it has received and put together a full report that includes threat research, recommendations, and a technical appendix. In addition to the final report, the project team will deliver a comprehensive database that encompasses all base data and spatial recommendations presented in the Master Plan.
The recommendations currently being developed span a wide range of topics, including floodplain management, infrastructure upgrades, building-scale strategies, land use planning, post-disaster opportunities, innovative governance models, funding opportunities, and much more. The recommendations will combine best practices that are broadly applicable across all jurisdictions, resources targeted to specific communities, and spatial strategies that specify opportunity sites for various resilience projects.
Creation of the Resilience Plan:
While the activities proposed for Phase II will address the hardest hit areas of 2011, the project excludes many other affected areas without documented unmet recovery needs from the disaster. The fourth activity, a Regional Resilience Plan, provides a means to tie these and other similar efforts to the Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan and to identify future activities that will serve to increase the resilience of Shelby County and Greenprint partners to the shocks caused by severe storms and flooding. The plan will also consider recommendations to make Shelby County and Greenprint partners more resilient to other types of climate risk, such as heavy wind, severe snow and ice, extreme heat or cold, and drought.
The key elements of the plan include:
One of first steps in the regional planning effort is the development of a HEC-RAS model of the Loosahatchie, Wolf, and Nonconnah drainage basins, including their major tributaries extending in adjoining counties and states (Tipton County, TN, Fayette County, TN, DeSoto County, MS). This model would provide information on the effect a wetland or retainage basin upstream would have on the potential flooding in the lower portions of the drainage basin. This model will be invaluable in leveraging the development of future green space and wetlands with the long term effect of reducing flooding in the areas with the most vulnerable populations.
The model will also include methodology to predict cost of future flood events, including influence of a changing climate. By incorporating prediction of rainfall in a given area, the HEC-RAS model can be used as a tool to provide a map of the potential areas which are most subject to flooding prior to storm events. This will allow the county to recommend future projects that can serve to minimize the effect of severe storms and flood and maximize the ability to recover.
The plan process and development will be conducted by a master planning consultant team including planners, landscape architects, engineers, and other related professionals. Tasks include analysis of severe storm and flood modeling, consideration of other climate risks (heavy wind, severe snow and ice, extreme heat or cold, and drought), oversight of input process designed to incorporate local partners, community engagement, review of existing plans and initiatives, development of recommendations for resilience projects, design scenario development, implementation and finance strategies, and final plan development.
Internal Program Management Staff:
The plan process will be managed by internal staff, including a program manager and graduate intern. Internal staff will be housed within the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability, and will report to the Shelby County Resilience Council. Program manager will coordinate the process over a three-year period; graduate intern will provide staffing to eight working groups of partners, modeled after the Greenprint planning process, for two years and report to the program manager. Cost also includes costs for supplies and materials, travel, and other additional program needs.