MILTON, W.Va. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin spoke at Milton’s Fire Department on Friday to discuss the recent announcement that nearly $191 million in federal funds will be allocated to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Lower Mud River Flood Risk Management Project.
Manchin and several other speakers at Friday’s ceremony said the project will bolster flood protection by constructing a new levee and river channel, which will also move much of the town out of the floodplain, helping spur economic development.
The funding is part of the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus. Both Manchin and fellow U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito have supported the project.
“This has been talked about since 1993, and to finally come to fruition is something pretty special,” Manchin said. “A lot of devastating floods have happened between then and now and basically have really wreaked havoc on people and their businesses, so this is going to prevent that from happening.”
Manchin said the completion date depends on the supply chain and labor forces.
“The timeline depends on supply chains and labor forces, but I can tell you it’s a high priority, it’s been approved, and the money has been appropriated; now it’s time for construction,” he said.
Manchin added that the project would stop severe floods from happening more frequently.
“We are projected to have a serious flood every 27 years; now, it may be a flood every 250 years,” he said.
Milton City Clerk Susan Elliot said the floodwall would change insurance rates.
“Residents and businesses will save thousands on flood insurance, and property values will rise; all of that is great for Milton,” she said.
The most recent flooding in Milton was last month.
Story by Chayce Matheny