The District is conducting a multi-phased flood risk study to better understand and characterize current flood potential as well as flood potential in future climate change. The study uses NOAA’s Atlas 14 climate model projections to inform flood risk modeling.


two people canoeing past a car poking out of flood waters in the street,
Residents canoeing streets during the historic Flood of 1987

One of the founding goals of the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District was to reduce flood risk throughout its urban landscape. Many of the District’s first projects focused on increasing flood storage to limit infrastructure and public safety impacts from flooding. In recent years, District projects have primarily focused on water quality protection. However, in the face of climate change and subsequent increase in the frequency and intensity of rainfall events, the Board of Managers has directed the District to refocus on flood risk mitigation.

The Atlas 14 Flood Study is split into several phases:

  • Phase 1, completed in 2021, focused on updating the District’s hydrologic models
  • Phase 2, completed in 2022, had a series of goals:
    • Create a watershed-wide flood risk assessment under different climate projections
    • Identify the cause of the flood risk; ex. culvert failure
    • Develop a framework to evaluate flood mitigation projects
  • Phase 3, currently underway, also has several goals:
    • Identify and evaluate cost-effective flood risk reduction projects in the creek corridor
    • Plan for flooding issues within the watershed
    • Develop an approach for partnerships in future flood risk reduction projects
    • Explore opportunities to improve flood risk resiliency and remove barriers to implementation of flood risk reduction projects
    • Develop a strategy to communicate flood risk information to the community

Following the completion all three phases, the Board of Managers will decide whether to pursue one or more projects to mitigate future flood events. A feasibility study for such projects is the first step in ordering a project.

Read the Atlas 14 Flood Risk and Resiliency: Phase 2 Report; check back in for Phase 3 updates.


Questions? Contact Erica Sniegowski, District Administrator, 952-358-2276.