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Flood Control Information

Flooding is a fact of life in the Chemung Basin. Flash floods may occur quickly with little or no warning. Since the devastating flood caused by Tropical Storm Agnes in June of 1972, various government agencies and theChemung Basin Flood Warning Service have made efforts to improve flood warnings and reduce the damages caused by flooding.

Reducing flood hazards

  • Do not dump or throw anything into ditches, streams, or other waterways.
  • Maintain an undeveloped vegetated buffer along rivers and streams.
  • Protect flood control structures: Do not operate motor vehicles on an earthen levee or engage in other activities that might damage the vegetation.
  • Make sure that land use activities do not increase the amount of runoff and thus contribute to increased flood hazards.

What is your flood risk?
Contact your municipal government or County Planning Department to learn whether your property is located in the mapped floodplain. Many areas subject to flooding are not mapped as floodplain, so talk to your neighbors as well. Find out all that you can about the history of flooding in your area.

Protect your property from flood damage
Any improvements or new development should be located away from streambanks and built in compliance with floodplain development standards. If existing development is prone to flooding, consult with your municipal building official about floodproofing techniques (such as elevating electrical equipment and utilities or installing a sewer backflow valve).

Flood insurance (National Flood Insurance Program)
Standard homeowners insurance policies DO NOT cover losses due to flooding. Federally subsidized flood insurance can be purchased for buildings and building contents located in and out of the mapped floodplain. Make sure that your flood insurance policy covers both the contents and structure of your home. (Policies required for a mortgage generally do not cover contents.)

Be prepared for a flood (Flood Preparation Guide for Property Owners)

  • For added information, buy your own NOAA weather radio to receive transmissions from the National Weather Service.
  • Assemble an emergency kit with battery radio, flashlight, extra batteries, first-aid supplies, blankets, ready-to-eat foods, drinking water, and infant supplies.
  • Have a Family Disaster Plan.

Flood safety

  • Monitor television and radio alerts. Keep an eye on nearby streams and drainage areas.
  • If you must evacuate or move to higher ground—act quickly
  • Never attempt to drive on a flooded road. Do NOT drive around barricades.
  • If water rises around your car, abandon the vehicle immediately.
  • Never try to walk, swim, or drive through swift water.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires.

More flood safety tips
For more information contact Janet Thigpen, Flood Mitigation Specialist,
Southern Tier Central Regional Planning & Development Board

Friends of the Chemung River Watershed • 111 N. Main St., Elmira, N.Y. 14901 • (607) 846-2242 • riverfriends@stny.rr.com