Speedway gets $500,000 grant to prevent flooding

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SPEEDWAY, Ind. (Aug 18, 2015) - Residents in the town of Speedway are getting some big money to try and prevent flooding, and they're also getting some help from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the process.

“In major rain events, the potential for damage is greatly reduced,” said town manager Ian Nicolini.

That's because the town's getting $500,000 in grant money from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs to build a bigger drainage ditch by 25th and Georgetown, and reduce the likelihood of flooding.

They're hoping next time FEMA revises its flood maps, this area near IMS would no longer be in a flood plain.

This part of town doesn't actually flood all that often, but because they're in a flood plain, people like Michael Allen have to get flood insurance, and it isn't cheap.

“Flood insurance keeps going up every year,” said Allen. “We started at about 600, now we’re up to about 1300 dollars a year.”

But if all this works, he might not have to pay it anymore.

“I’m just very pleased,” said Allen. “I’m glad the town is being very proactive about this.”

The town's also getting help from IMS, which donated some land to the town to make the project a reality.

"We were all in,” said IMS president Doug Boles. “Anything we can do to be good neighbors and give back to what the town of Speedway has given us we certainly were excited about."

“We have a truly symbiotic relationship here and this is a great opportunity to show that partnership yields benefits on specific streets and in specific properties,” said Nicolini. “Not only are we able to increase the amount of storm water this holds, but also lower the elevation of the flood plain in the area.”

Construction on the two-stage ditch is set to begin next summer and should be done by the end of 2016.

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