U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick is pleased to announce that Navajo County will receive $499,000 from the Army Corps of Engineers for a Feasibility Study for the Winslow Levee. The funding comes from the Fiscal Year 2013 budget.
Winslow's critical infrastructure falls within a 100-year floodplain behind a levee that FEMA decertified in 2008 after multiple levee failures. Winslow's wastewater treatment facility is in the floodplain, as are the city's police, sheriff, fire, emergency response and healthcare facilities. In a 100-year flood event, first responders' ability to respond would be seriously compromised, leaving vulnerable communities especially at risk.
As a result of that decertification, about 2,700 property owners in the Winslow area had their property remapped and are now within a new floodplain. As a result of being mapped in a floodplain, these residents are required to purchase flood insurance by their mortgage companies.
Kirkpatrick, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said, "In our small towns and rural regions, infrastructure means progress and economic development. In Winslow's case, it also means protecting this community from a disaster instead of leaving it vulnerable. This feasibility study is an important step toward rehabilitating and recertifying the Winslow Levee."
Supervisor Jonathon M. Nez, Chairman of Navajo County Board of Supervisors, said, "Navajo County has worked with the Army Corps to make significant progress to complete the Winslow Levee Feasibility Study. This work is only possible with the continued support of Congresswoman Kirkpatrick and the Corps of Engineers."
Supervisor Jesse Thompson, District 2, Navajo County, said, "Thanks to our partners at the Army Corps, and Representative Kirkpatrick, this $499,000 appropriation will help us complete the Feasibility Study by September 2014 so that we can move forward to rebuild a robust levee."
Winslow is an important part of the transportation and commerce corridors that criss-cross Arizona. Interstate 40 and the BNSF Railway's main east-west rails run right through Winslow to service national markets. Winslow is also a tourist attraction because its main street, Route 66, is the most famous road in America.