Flood Protection Information
Floodplains serve important ecological functions but these areas, prone to inundation and erosion from flash flooding, can also be hazardous to human life and property. Arising from a variety of causes, including heavy rain, melting snow, ice jams, poor drainage, and dam breaks, flooding is the most frequent, damaging, and costly type of natural disaster experienced in the State and Central Vermont Region.
In the last 50 years alone, flood recovery costs have averaged $14 million per year statewide. The following resources focus on education, preparation, and prevention in order for communities, residents and businesses to be more resilient to flood disasters in the future.
- State and Regional Resources
- What is a floodplain?
- What other types of flooding put Central Vermont at risk?
- Is my home or property located within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SHFA)?
- How can I be prepared for a flood?
- The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
- Click for more information if you are a…
- Find an Agent
- What is the Community Rating System (CRS)?
This new online tool can help communities prepare for disasters, identify flood hazards, take action to minimize future damage, find funding to reduce risk to existing buildings, update municipal plans, and find out what other towns are doing to get Flood Ready.
- Vermont Flood Hazard Management (Watershed Management Division) >>
- Vermont Floodplain Management Blog >>
- Vermont Emergency Management >>
- U.S. Geological Survey River Gauges >>
Click on map points to view gauge summaries and hydrographs for rivers in your area.
The following towns have created Hazard Mitigation Plans to assist in recognizing hazards and identifying prevention, preparation, and risk reduction strategies to increase community resilience.
Staff compiled a table of past flood events that impacted the Central Vermont Region as part of the 2016 Regional Plan Update process. Contact Kim McKee (email@example.com) for more information.
A floodplain is the comparatively low-lying land adjacent to a waterway, and is generally defined according to its frequency of flooding. For a Floodplain Basics Fact Sheet prepared by the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Planning Commission, click here. Example: The “100-year floodplain” has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year.
Fluvial Erosion Hazards
Fluvial (or river-related) Erosion Hazards (FEH) refer to major streambed and streambank erosion associated with the often catastrophic physical adjustment of stream channel dimensions (width and depth) and location that can occur during flooding. Fluvial erosion becomes a hazard when the stream channel that is undergoing adjustment due to its instability threatens public infrastructure, houses, businesses, and other private investments.
- Fluvial Erosion Hazards Frequently Asked Questions and Answers >>
- Contact one of Vermont’s Floodplain Managers >>
- Fluvial Erosion Hazard Mitigation Guide for Municipalities >>
- Fluvial Erosion Hazard and NFIP Fact Sheet for Municipalities >>
- Mitigating Flood-Related Fluvial Erosion Hazards Using River Corridor Protection Fact Sheet for Municipalities >>
- River Corridor Planning and Protection >>
Long cold spells can cause the surface of rivers to freeze, leading to ice jams. When a rise in the water level or a thaw breaks the ice into large chunks, these chunks can become jammed at man-made and natural obstructions, resulting in severe flooding.
- National Weather Service on Ice Jams >> (click on Ice/Debris Jams)
- Ice Jam on the Winooski River in Montpelier, January 2014 >>
Snow Melt and Spring Thaw
Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
Click the map above to view the Special Flood Hazard Area in your town using the ANR Natural Resources Atlas.
- Click Zoom to Town
- Type in name of town
- Click Show Map Layers
- Expand Watershed Protection layer (turn off all other layers)
- Turn on Special Flood Hazard Areas (All Available Counties) and Special Flood Hazard Areas (Preliminary DFIRM) by clicking the boxes next to each layer
- Click Open the Toolbar to perform limited analyses (measure, identify, etc.)
- Export/print maps
Also check out the…
Flood Specific Web Resources
Get flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)!
Standard homeowner’s insurance does NOT cover damage from flooding. Do not wait until you are experiencing a flood or extreme weather event, as there is typically a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before the policy goes into effect. To learn more, continue to the next section of our webpage or click here to visit Floodsmart: Understanding the Basics.
What is the NFIP?
The NFIP is a Federal program created by Congress to mitigate future flood losses nationwide through sound, community-enforced building and zoning ordinances and to provide access to affordable, federally backed flood insurance protection for property owners. The NFIP is designed to provide an insurance alternative to disaster assistance to meet the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods. Participation in the NFIP is based on an agreement between local communities and the Federal Government that states that if a community will adopt and enforce a floodplain management ordinance to reduce future flood risks to new construction in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), the Federal Government will make flood insurance available within the community as a financial protection against flood losses.
- About the National Flood Insurance Program – Overview >>
- About the National Flood Insurance Program – The NFIP Partnership >>
- Information about the NFIP for Home and Property Owners >>
What are the benefits to having flood insurance?
Through the NFIP, property owners in participating communities are able to insure against flood losses. By employing wise floodplain management, a participating community can reduce risk and protect its citizens and the community against much of the devastating financial losses resulting from flood disasters. Careful local management of development in the floodplains results in construction practices that can reduce flood losses and the high costs associated with flood disasters to all levels of government.
- Everyone is at risk – Flood Risk Scenarios >>
- Protecting Your Home With Flood Insurance >>
- Costs Add Up – The Cost of Flooding: Measure Your Damage >>
- Is it required? >>
- Understanding the Basics >>
How much will it cost?
Use the One-Step Flood Risk Profile (red box on the right hand side of the screen) to rate your risk, estimate your premiums, and find an agent. The only information you will need to share is your address.
- A Homeowner >>
- A Renter >>
- A Condo Owner/Renter >>
- A Business Owner
- A State or Local Official
- Information about the NFIP for Municipalities or Floodplain Managers >>
- Community Rating System (CRS) Fact Sheet >>
- NFIP Minimum Regulations >>
- Outreach Tool Kit for Flood Map Updates >>
- Regional FEMA/NFIP Offices and Contacts >>
- Relevant Forms (Elevation Certificate, Public Awareness Materials Order Form, etc.) >>
- Get on the NFIP E-mail List >>
- A Real Estate Agent
- An Insurance Agent
- A Lender
- A Builder, Developer, or Surveyor
- Outreach Tool Kit for Flood Map Updates >>
- eLOMA >>
- Easy-to-use web-based application that allows surveyors to submit Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) requests directly to FEMA
- NFIP Elevation Certificate Form and Instructions >>
- Agent Locator >>
- List of Questions to Ask Agent – Residential >>
- List of Questions to Ask Agent – Commercial >>