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Dubuque awarded FEMA grant for flood mitigation

City of Dubuque

The city of Dubuque recently received federal funding to help prevent flooding.

The funding comes from FEMA's pre-disaster mitigation grant program.

The agency awarded Dubuque $8 million dollars for its Bee Branch Stormwater Pumping Station project.

The project will result in a new stormwater facility in Dubuque. It's a part of the city's larger flood mitigation plan.

The funding will go towards new flood gates and pumps, as well as the installation of a back-up generator.

Deron Muehring, a spokesperson for the project, says over half of the city's population lives or works within the Bee Branch watershed.

Image of Dubuque resident's car due to extreme flooding in the Bee Branch watersehd.
City of Dubuque
Image of Dubuque resident's car due to extreme flooding in the Bee Branch watersehd.

"All the stormwater runoff has to make its way through the city," Muehring said. "It has to make it through this pump station. So, the more effectively and efficiently this facility operates, the less chance there is for flooding. This facility is basically at the mouth of the watershed. If it can't handle the rainstorm, those issues will probably head upstream and into the watershed and cause flooding."

From 1999 to 2011, Dubuque experienced flooding that resulted in six presidential disaster declarations. Muehring hopes the Bee Branch project provides peace of mind to Dubuque residents.

"Before we started many of these projects, there were citizens who would say, you know, they have a hard time going on a vacation in the summer," Muehring said. "Because if there is a rainstorm, they could get flooded and have to come back from their vacation or back from a vacation, only to find their house damaged or flooded. When you live in a community that gets flooded because of those rainstorms, it's a situation nobody wants."

Construction is set to be done by the spring of 2027.