Valley Creek Flood Risk Management Study

Location & Description: Valley Creek is a major tributary to the Black Warrior River system. The upper Valley Creek drainage area is approximately 65 square miles (the study area) and lies within the Birmingham metropolitan area in Jefferson County, Alabama. The creek emerges from an underground storm drain to an open channel in central Birmingham near Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street. From this point the creek flows southwesterly for about 18 miles through predominately residential, commercial, and industrial land uses in the cities of Midfield, Roosevelt, Brighton, and Bessemer.

Problem & Need: Valley Creek has a history of flooding with notable historic events occurring in April 1979, December 1983, September 2011, and April 2014. Other recent out-of-bank invents include: December 2015, December 2016, April 2017, September 2018, and December 2018. Frequent out-of-bank flooding occurs almost annually posing a potential threat to life safety and causing recurring economic damages.

Activities to Date: In January of 2020 several meetings were held to determine and approve the Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) for the Valley Creek Flood Risk Management Study. The TSP was selected after a year-long, detailed study effort by a team consisting of members from both the Kansas City District and the Mobile District. The results of the study effort discovered several viable alternatives with positive economic benefits with respect to reducing flood damages. Working with the sponsor, the USACE team identified the Tentatively Selected Plan to reduce flood risk as a series of three very large off-channel detention basins located in the northern half of the study area. These large detention basins will provide flood relief for communities for the entire extent of the study area along the main stem Valley Creek. The resulting Feasibility Report for the study will be added to the “Document Library” Link on this page.

Remaining Activities for FY20 and FY21: The Valley Creek Flood Risk Management Study is still in the study phase. Over the next several months, the Tentatively Selected Plan and supporting documentation will be reviewed and refined with a goal of a final Agency decision to support the plan in late mid-2020. The study is scheduled to conclude with a final report in October 2021.

Download Valley Creek CODEL Factsheet 19 MAR 2019