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Assessing alternatives to alleviate suburban flooding


The town of Collierville, Tenn., recently began construction on a regional detention basin designed to reduce flooding. Collierville is a suburb of the Memphis metropolitan area and has a population of approximately 44,000 residents. The town has experienced several major storm events in the last few years, and several homes within the Lateral J basin have reported flooding. Rather than looking at each flooding issue as an isolated problem, the town decided to investigate the root of the problem by using computer software to create a hydrologic and hydraulic (H&H) model of the stormwater infrastructure in the basin.

The Lateral J basin has a drainage area of approximately 1,600 acres (2.5 square miles) and drains into the Wolf River, which in turn drains into the Mississippi River. The basin is comprised of mostly residential areas although there is a small amount of undeveloped and commercial area. The study area comprises the entire Lateral J drainage area, including several sublaterals and other drainage networks that originate in nearby residential areas (see Figure 1).

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