Master Stormwater Management Plan

This project aims to develop a Stormwater Master Plan for the City of Tybee Island, to assist with mitigating flood risks to human life and property and reduce future flood risks for less frequent storm events.

Project Lead: Kevin Smith, Thomas & Hutton,  

Funding: $189,375 from Georgia Emergency Management Agency 

Project Summary: In 2019, the City of Tybee Island received a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Pre–Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant for the preparation of a city–wide, comprehensive stormwater master plan. The creation of the stormwater master plan is the first phase in the identification of stormwater capital improvement projects that are essential in minimizing the risk associated with rainfall and tidal flood events to Tybee Island citizens. 

In the past, the City has focused on spot repairs to the stormwater system to minimize localized flooding issues instead of identifying system-wide improvements. The City commissioned the preparation of this stormwater master plan to provide a holistic system approach to stormwater management and to ensure repairs and upgrades provide a cumulative flood reduction benefit throughout the City. 

The purpose of the master plan is to provide the City with a comprehensive document that evaluates existing stormwater system level of service and deficiencies within the primary, grey stormwater system. The analysis of the existing stormwater system results in recommended system improvements to protect against more intense rainfall events and higher tides resulting from climate change, setting project execution framework guidance for planning and implementation into the future. 

The stormwater master plan focuses on grey infrastructure, but on a similar and parallel schedule, the City of Tybee performed a separate green infrastructure initiative, the Tybee Island Coastal Marsh, and Community Resilience Adaptation Plan which was funded by a National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) grant. The stormwater master plan team participated in multiple design charrettes and collaborated throughout the process with the NFWF team, to ensure the stormwater master plan and NFWF study were closely aligned with, and complimentary to, each other. 

Goals: The stormwater master plan’s main objectives were to:

  • Analyze the City’s existing stormwater system infrastructure by modeling its ability to handle various storm events. 
  • Identify existing and proposed stormwater system capacity
  • Identify and prioritize needed stormwater capital improvement projects:
  • Determine costs required to execute the recommendations of stormwater capital improvement projects
  • Identify a schedule for the completion of the recommended stormwater projects
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