For more information about the Emergency Watershed Protection Program call Jesse Wilson at 352-338-9557.
Before: Walker Creek Drive August, 2012, shows the undercut bank and exposed utilities. Photo by Alan Wise.
After: A new retaining wall stabilizes Walker Creek Drive. USDA photo by Jason Stenth.
Public Affairs Florida
Emergency Program Repairs Wakulla County Community
GAINESVILLE, Fl., May 2, 2014—Tropical storms in Florida do a lot of damage in a very short time. In June, 2012, Tropical Storm Debby dumped almost 30 inches of rain, flooding Florida’s panhandle and spawning tornados.
In the small coastal community of Shell Point in Wakulla County the storm washed out a roadway, downed trees and exposed utilities. Canal water was washing soil out from under 2,200-feet of Walker Creek Drive, which is the only access to about 30 homes.
The Wakulla Board of County Commissioners contacted the Natural Resources Conservation Service for financial assistance through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program to repair the damages. NRCS provided 75 percent of the estimated $500,000 to stabilize approximately 2,200 feet of canal bank using sheet pilings, turf reinforcement mat and sod. And just last week, workers swept up the road and picked up the last of the trash left by construction, finishing the job.
The Emergency Watershed Protection Program addresses imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, windstorms and other natural occurrences. Public and private landowners are eligible for assistance, but must be represented by a project sponsor, such as a city, county, conservation district or any Native American tribe or tribal organization.
Brent Pell, the county’s assistant project manager said they couldn’t have afforded to fund a permanent repair without the assistance. “This is a huge benefit to the community and the taxpayers of Wakulla County,” he said.
In Santa Rosa County contact Trent Mathews, 850-623-3229 x109; Escambia County, Josh McElhaney, 850-587-5404 x105; Okaloosa County, Darryl Williams, 850-682-3714 x109; Walton County, Jason Hayford, 850-892-3712 x107; Calhoun County Brian McGraw, 850-674-8271 x104; Holmes County, Greg Nolan, 850-547-2916 x116; Jackson County, Mary Jane Nelson, 850-526-2610 x127; Gadsden County, Karyn Ruiz-Toro, 850-625-6355 x106; Jefferson County, Stephen Tuller, 850-997-4058 x105.