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Title: Santa Clara Pueblo Advance Measures Project : Environmental Assessment
Authors: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Albuquerque District
Keywords: Pueblo of Santa Clara, New Mexico
New Mexico
Flood control
Environmental management
Environmental protection
Publisher: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Albuquerque District.
Abstract: The Village of Santa Clara Pueblo is in imminent threat of large damaging floods with extreme life safety risk. Fine sediments mobilized by landslides and debris flows in the upper canyon have reached the Village. In 2011, the Las Conchas Fire burned a large portion of the Santa Clara Creek canyon upstream of the village. Flood potential has increased an estimated four-fold since the wildfire denuded the larger portion of the watershed. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service confirmed that flooding was imminent in 2014 over the Las Conchas burn scar. The Village for the Pueblo of Santa Clara (Village) is located on the alluvial fan at the outlet of the watershed where Santa Clara Creek joins the Rio Grande. Flood fighting and flood damage has occurred in all three years since the fire, with a total of five Presidential Emergency Declarations: one declaration in 2011, two declarations in 2012 and two declarations in 2013. At the time of the fire, four small dams were located along Santa Clara Creek, providing a modest amount of flood risk management in the watershed. Due to post-fire runoff in 2012, three of the dams breached; the last dam (at Pond #1) failed in July 2013. Dam failures were attributed to extreme post-fire peak flows and debris flows causing rapid reservoir filling and overtopping of the facilities. Transport of canyon landslide and debris flow sediment has reached the Village and is now reducing channel capacity within that reach. The channel through the Village aggraded seven feet between July 2013 and January 2014 during base flow conditions less than 20 cfs. In 2013, as damages and flood risk continued to escalate, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) recognized that the flood situation was beyond their mission. In November 2013, FEMA activated its National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) consistent with the vision set forth in the Presidential Policy Directive 8, to assist the Pueblo by creating a multi-agency recovery strategy. USACE has the authority for emergency construction to reduce flood risk in accordance with Public Law 84-99 and advance measures. Temporary emergencymeasures were required to reduce flood risk from the extreme sediment load and flood flows at the Village. New Mexico’s monsoon season is July-September during which intense rainfall from large thunderstorms causes flash floods. Therefore, to mitigate life safety risk at the Village in advance of the next flood season, a set of emergency measures were implemented in 2014 and 2015. USACE has the authority for emergency construction to reduce flood risk in accordance with Public Law 84-99 and advance measures.
Description: Environmental Assessment
Rights: Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited
Appears in Collections:Environmental Documents

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