(The Center Square) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded Savannah a more than $30.1 million Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities grant to address drainage issues in a pair of city neighborhoods.
The feds sent the city $2.7 million for the project’s first phase, covering surveying and engineering costs for Springfield Canal improvements in the neighborhoods of Cloverdale and Carver Village, a historically Black neighborhood dating to 1948 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
After reviewing the first phase’s deliverables, FEMA will release $27.3 million for construction work related to future Springfield Canal basin projects. The city will kick in another $12 million for the project.
Savannah Mayor Van R. Johnson II called it a “historic moment” for the city “as we continue to tackle issues of flooding in the Carver Village and Cloverdale neighborhoods.”
“We have done a lot over the years to address historic flooding around the Springfield Canal but with this federal assistance we will be able to initiate mitigation of flooding issues that will benefit these neighborhoods and the entire Westside of Savannah for generations to come,” Johnson said.
The federal tax dollars were awarded under the Justice40 Initiative, a federal initiative that aims to direct spending “to secure environmental justice and spur economic opportunity for disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution,” the city said in a news release.
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor