Schwenksville Case Study

“It only takes one flood to realize it’s too late.”

– —Dan DeMeno, Borough Manager, Schwenksville Borough

Download PDF version of the case study here.

About the client

Schwenksville is a borough in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 40 miles northwest of Philadelphia. With a total population of 1,431, it’s a residential borough with industrial and commercial businesses along the Main Street corridor. Its rich history dates to the Battle of Germantown, as George Washington and his army camped in and around the town prior
to the battle in 1777.

Flood Risk

The borough experienced devastating consequences brought upon Montgomery County by Hurricane Ida in September 2021. Rooms in a government building were filled with two feet of water. According to FEMA, the storm was once in a 500-year storm, and historically, water had never risen that high in the town’s recorded history. Schwenksville is, due to its location, threatened by storms surging from Florida and Georgia, making their way up northeast, bringing more than wind but torrents of rain.

Funding & Grants

At the encouragement of Town Council members, Schwenksville had previously been researching options for flood protection solutions but faced multiple hurdles. One was the labor force to deploy and maintain a solution, and more so, the town faced budgetary restrictions. As the team was going through damages reimbursements, working with FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, a mitigation fund was brought to the team’s attention. With the help of the FEMA grant, Schwenksville could proceed with acquiring a flood protection solution to safeguard the town’s assets and, foremost—its people.

Finding a rapidly deployable, lasting solution

Before proceeding with the FloodDefender®, the town officials looked at multiple solutions. As most required a large number of resources both to deploy and maintain, they were ruled out. Other solutions had raised concerns about durability.

After the Portadam, Inc. solution had ticked all the required boxes, the team was brought to the town for an on-site survey. The Portadam team made a thorough assessment to ensure compatibility of the solution and maximum protection of the site.

Emergency Response Plan, Training, & Deployment

The deployable, storable FloodDefender® solution includes a site survey and a full day of deployment training, starting in the classroom and ending with physical practice. The team goes through training on how to deploy the solution whenever required and is additionally provided with the material and knowledge needed to train others. The team at Schwenksville had implemented an Emergency Response Plan, including triggers, and assigned team leaders to deploy the solution.

How Portadam, Inc. Can Help You

Whether you have experienced past floodings or not, we help you identify your risks through multiple levels of assessments on and off the ground. Our services are tailored to meet custom needs, and with over 50 years of experience, our team knows with first-hand experience that no one situation is the same. Our patented, storable, rapidly deployable FloodDefender® has passed FM Global Functional Laboratory Testing and protects up to 100% of the system height. With an engineered structure and industrial nature, the system is designed to safeguard your assets

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