System controls storm damage on Florida channel slope

Jan. 14, 2015

For many years, the City of Opa-Locka, Fla., had experienced severe flooding throughout its residential and business districts, due in part to its development on a flood plain.  Several factors contributed to the flooding of the city’s low-lying areas, including a limited plan to manage surface water runoff and the lack of a regularly scheduled canal cleanup plan to prevent flow impediment. The city’s main canal experienced severe erosion that resulted in heavy sediment and a reduction of volume to handle storm water runoff. The city decided to dredge the canals and protect the side slopes from future erosion.

Based on the lengths of the canal-side slopes and the volume of water within the canal, a permanent hard armor-type system—such as gabions or articulating blocks—was originally considered. But a more natural look was desired, and the Geoweb channel protection system with topsoil/vegetation was chosen.

The Geoweb system was filled with topsoil and sod placed over the cell to the mean high waterline, and 1-in. crushed angular rock infill was placed in the system’s cells from the mean high waterline to 2 ft below the water surface. Over five miles of canals were protected using the Geoweb storm water channel protection system.

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