US Army Corps of Engineers
Buffalo District



EM Factsheets

Fact Sheet Advance Measures


Who is responsible for protecting distressed communities experiencing flooding from high lake levels?

Primary responsibility rests with the affected community. Secondary responsibility is with successive levels of government through the State. The Federal Government can, in certain instances, supplement the maximum efforts of local and State governments.

What Federal assistance is available?

The Corps of Engineers may authorize an Advance Measures Program under Public Law 84-99, which can assist communities trying to reduce damages to improved property and the loss of life; when there is a well-defined threat of flooding. There is no authority under this program for the prevention of damages caused by erosion.

How is erosion differentiated from flooding?

Flooding is when the average water level has reached a point that is high enough to enter into a habitable structure. Erosion is the damage caused by high water levels that are below the first floor entry point elevation of a habitable structure.

How is the program initiated?

The Corps can only respond to a written request from the Governor of the State. The Corps participation in addressing the potential flooding must, by regulation, complement the maximum efforts of the State and local authorities. Therefore, the Governor's letter must identify the actions that non-Federal interests have taken or will undertake.

How much of this effort will be financed by the Federal government?

In general, temporary protective measures will be 75% Federally funded.

Will assistance be provided for all flood problem areas?

All sites identified by the State's emergency management representative, will be investigated to determine its eligibility for protective measures. The Corps' assistance will be temporary in nature, technically feasible, designed to deal effectively with the specific threat and capable of construction in time to prevent damages. For an inland body of water, the imminent flood threat period will be based upon lake level projections, the storm season and precipitation predictions. Permanent type work may be considered when the permanent project costs less or is more cost effective than the temporary solution. Also, the Corps of Engineers will only undertake the construction of projects which exceed the resources and capabilities of non-Federal interests and have a positive benefit to cost ratio.

How does the Corps identify problem areas for evaluation?

Problem areas are designated to the Corps by the State. A Site Investigation will then be accomplished by the Corps to determine whether Federal assistance is appropriate.

Will this program provide the final solution to all shoreline communities?

Unfortunately, assistance is limited to those problem areas meeting the eligibility criteria of this program. Also, approved protective measures are intended to be temporary. Local interests will be required to sign an agreement, maintaining the structural integrity of the completed facility during the project's design life.

Can a community do their own work with Federal funds provided?

Advance Measures assistance is provided under a law which does not authorize a "grant program". All approved projects will be designed and constructed by the Corps of Engineers. Communities must concur with the proposed method of protection prior to initiation of construction.

What is the Advance Measures - Self Help Program for protecting distressed communities experiencing flooding from the high lake levels?

In addition to temporary construction projects, the Corps of engineers will consider implementing an Advanced Measures Self-Help Program (under P. L. 84-99) to provide flood fight materials (sandbags and plastic sheeting) and technical assistance to local communities. Materials and technical assistance will be provided through participating State and county agencies.

What will be the cost of the Self Help program to the county and/or local community?

The Federal Government will provide 100% of the cost for procuring/distributing sandbags and plastic sheeting to the county. The State, county and local communities will be responsible for all costs, to include labor, associated with the distribution of the materials to the project sites and construction of the individual projects. Additionally, all costs incurred by non-Federal interests, to procure sand and to supervise and administer the program at the State and local levels, are not eligible for reimbursement by the Federal Government.