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Dunloup Creek Watershed

Dunloup Creek Watershed


The Dunloup Creek Watershed Project is a voluntary floodplain buyout implemented through Public Law 83-566.  This rural watershed of 300 homes along Dunloup Creek is in the New River Gorge National Recreation Area. This is a distressed area with low housing values and a disadvantaged population.  Average home values are $35,200 compared to $119,600 nationally. Per capita income is $13,800 compared to $21,600 nationally.

The watershed has steep mountains and narrow valleys that exacerbate flooding and increase the velocity and destruction of floodwaters.  Public safety is a major concern. There have been 6 flood disaster declarations since 2001 and other non-disaster level floods nearly every year. The July 2001 flood caused an estimated $29.5 million in damages.

Studies showed that dams were not feasible due to extreme topography, tributary locations, and impacts from coal mining. Dikes, floodwalls, and channel work were not feasible due to the limited floodplain space in which to construct them – most homes would have to be removed to make room. Elevating structures and flood proofing homes was ruled out due to the age and structural integrity of the homes. Flood warning systems did not offer enough advanced warning due to the rapid runoff from the mountainsides.

The only viable solution was to relocate residents from floodplain. After many public meetings and media events, a 90 day signup was held in Summer 2009. A total of 255 applications were received, which exceeded expectations.  The buyout is 100% voluntary and interest in the project has been overwhelming. To date, there have been 67 closing and 58 homes have been demolished. The floodplain is being restored to natural conditions once the homes are removed.

Total project cost is projected to be $17 million. The cost share rate is 90% federal and 10% nonfederal.  Average annual benefits are $1,029,000 per year, providing a 1.5 to1 benefit-cost ratio.

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Final Watershed Plan – Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Dunloup Creek Watershed (3.92 MB)
Appendix E – Environmental Documents (1310 KB)

Watershed Agreement between the Southern Conservation District, State Conservation Committee, and the Fayette County Commission and the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (1.36 MB)


Buyout Area Maps and Photographs

Map Name JPEG Map PDF Map Location JPEG Photo
Kilsyth, WV
Map #1 of 8
map 1 PDF  (515 KB) Entrance Kilsyth Road map 1
Mount Hope, WV
Map #2 of 8
map 2 PDF (545 KB) Harvey map 1
Mount Hope, WV
Map #3 of 8
map 3 PDF (490 KB) Harvey map 1
Mount Hope, WV
Map #4 of 8
map 4 PDF (481 KB) Plant Farm Road map 1
Glen Jean, WV
Map #5 of 8
Map 5 PDF (471 KB) Glen Jean map 1
Glen Jean, WV
Map #6 of 8

 
map 6 PDF (498 KB) Community map 1
Red Star & Harvey, WV
Map #7 of 8

 
map 7 PDF (490 KB)
Harvey, WV
Map #8 of 8
map 8 PDF (496 KB)
Watershed Location Map of watershed PDF (175 KB)

Dunloup Creek Voluntary Floodplain Buyout Fact Sheet August 2013 (PDF 401 KB)

For additional information in West Virginia contact:

 

Contact Person Title Telephone Number
Greg Stone Assistance State Conservationist for Field Operations 304-255-9225 x 130