Martin, Kentucky Redevelopment Plan

Case Studies

The following Case Studies were selected as illustrations of the proposed voluntary floodproofing and housing and community development components planned for Martin, KY because:

  1. They were planned, design and constructed under similar topographic and climatic conditions and were applied to house construction types similar to those found in Martin, KY.

  2. They were constructed under the same Congressional authority (Section 202 of Public Law 96-367) that the Town of Martin project is being implemented through, and

  3. Both the floodproofed residences and housing and community development sites were planned, designed and constructed by the Huntington District through private contractors; a process anticipated for use in the Martin Redevelopment Project.

Floodproofing—Tug Fork Valley, West Virginia and Kentucky

Floodproofing is an important floodplain risk management measure that can be used to reduce flood damages to buildings and their contents. Starting in 1985, the Corps of Engineers began floodproofing residential and commercial structures in the Tug Fork Valley (Williamson, WV) as part of the Section 202 flood protection project. The primary method of floodproofing used to date has been elevation of the first habitable floor of the home or business above the design flood elevation (usually either the April 1977 flood height or the regulatory 100-year flood elevation (also known as the base flood elevation (BFE). The first habitable floor of the structure is raised to the appropriate height and a new extended foundation (wood post, concrete columns or perimeter wall) is constructed beneath the structure to support it. Stairways and other access components are reconstructed to the higher first floor and utilities are extended. See Photos of floodproofed structures in the photo gallery.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has documented successes of floodproofing in the Tug Fork River Basin, which are described in the 1994 Corps of Engineers document, "Flood Proofing Technology in the Tug Fork Valley." Important technical and administrative lessons learned are documented in this publication for floodproofing structures located in Williamson and Matewan, West Virginia, and South Williamson, Kentucky under the Section 202 project. The publication also provides pictures of what residential structures look like after they have been elevated on new foundations, a primary concern of homeowners. That publication is available online at the Corps of Engineers National Nonstructural Floodproofing Committee web site under NFPC publications.

Voluntary Acquisition and Residential Relocations—Tug Fork Valley

In addition to the floodproofing program, structures that could not be elevated due to extreme depths of flooding, their location in the regulatory floodway or their deteriorated condition were designated for voluntary acquisition. Landowners were given the option of having their structure acquired by the Corps of Engineers at fair market value plus appropriate relocation benefits (in accordance with the Uniform Relocations Assistance and Real Property Acquisitions Policies Act Public Law 91-646) to secure a suitable replacement home. In many cases, suitable replacement housing was not available in that local area so the Corps constructed three relocation housing sites known as Valley View, Pond Creek and Mate Creek in which new housing could be constructed to be in compliance with Public Law 91-646. Those three sites and the replacement housing built within them are shown below and in the photo gallery.

Valley View—Williamson, West Virginia

The Valley View housing site near Williamson, West Virginia was constructed in the early 1990s and features 54 single-family housing sites. Many of these units are manufactured housing units built in Grafton, WV and transported to this site. The site was a former coal and slate refuse dump that was reconfigured and sealed for site construction.

Photo of Valley View Photo of Valley View
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Mate Creek—Matewan, West Virginia

The Mate Creek housing site in Matewan, West Virginia is actually attached to the Matewan Floodwall project. The site was built in the mid-1990s and includes approximately 25 homes.

From the floodwall downtown, there is a trail outside the wall that links the downtown all the way to the end of the Mate Creek housing site (under the highway and railway bridges) and to the new elementary school beyond the Mate Creek housing site.

Photo of Mate Creek Photo of Mate Creek
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Pond Creek—South Williamson, KY

The Pond Creek housing site near South Williamson, Kentucky was constructed in the mid-1990s. This site was a former highway spoil site that was reconfigured and designed for housing. Newly constructed homes were all mortgaged and mostly stick-built homes constructed.

Photo of Matewan Floodwall Photo of Matewan Floodwall
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Grundy—Grundy, Virginia

The Town of Grundy, Virginia is currently in the implementation phase of nonstructural flood control measures in the Levisa Fork basin. The project includes 48 structures eligible for flood proofing, 48 voluntary acquisitions, 69 mandatory acquisitions, construction of a flood safe commercial redevelopment site, and protection of 17 structures by ringwall/levee. The co-sponsors are the Town of Grundy and the Virginia Department of Transportation.