EDWARDSVILLE — As part of the process to develop a plan that will address flooding in the Silver Creek Watershed, the Madison County Planning and Development department has teamed with the Heartlands Conservancy to survey those who live or own property within the watershed.
The watershed begins in Macoupin County, about six miles north of the Madison County line, and includes the communities of Williamson, Livingston, New Douglas, Worden, Hamel, Alhambra, Marine, Troy and St. Jacob before ending in northern St. Clair County.
Madison County Board Chairman Alan J. Dunstan said county, township and local officials have been aware of the Silver Creek flooding issue for some time.
“For decades, there have been issues with Silver Creek’s flooding and the resulting damage to homes, businesses, farmland and roads,” Dunstan said. “The survey gives gives us data on how the flooding impacts the people who live and operate businesses or farms in the area.”
“There have been modifications and improvements made in some areas of the watershed to improve the flooding and runoff,” Dunstan said. “Now, as a result of the association between Madison County and the Heartlands Conservancy, we will have a plan to address the drainage and flooding issues in the entire Silver Creek Watershed.
“Once the plan for the watershed is finalized, we can take steps to identify funding and be in a position to effectively do something about this problem,” Dunstan said.
Twenty-six percent of the respondents to the Silver Creek Watershed survey experienced flooding in the last 10 years. Forty-five percent of those who had flooding in the last 10 years had damage to their primary home, business or property, including significant crop damage.
The purpose of the survey was to gather information about the location, environmental impacts and causes of flooding in the watershed from the public. Two thousand surveys were distributed, 477 completed, giving a 24 percent response rate; a typical response rate is between five and 10 percent.
The two-year process to develop a plan for addressing issues in the Silver Creek Watershed begain in 2014. The long-term objective of the Madison County Planning and Development department and the Heartlands Conservancy is to improve water quality and reduce the impacts of flooding within the watershed. The plan will address issues identified in the survey as well as issues identified by the planning team.
Results of the watershed survey and report on the project can be found at www.heartlandsconservancy.org/uppersilvercreek.