After every flood, the tendency has been for residents to rebuild their lives and pray that "this is the last destructive one." Structural projects have been built in hopes of controlling future flood waters. As time passes, people tend to forget about flooding and become complacent. Additional development occurs in flood-prone areas. Deforestation and upland development increase the amount of runoff. Stream channels are allowed to become clogged with debris. In short, residents of the Southern Tier Central region continue to grossly underestimate the destructive powers of their rivers, streams, and lakes. If future flood damages are to be reduced, flood mitigation measures will need to be incorporated into programs that will outlive the all-too-short memories of area residents.
Things you can do to manage flood risks include:
- Pay attention to flood
warnings and obey evacuation orders.
- Never drive through flooded
roadways: Turn Around Don't Drown!
- Do not dump or throw
anything into ditches, streams or other waterways.
- Maintain undeveloped vegetated
buffers along rivers, streams, and lakeshores.
- 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
- If you live in a high flood risk area, take
steps to protect your property from flood damage.
- Purchase flood insurance for buildings and contents in order to protect your financial investment.
Eleven municipalities in the STC region participate in the Community Rating System program by implementing floodplain management, flood mitigation and outreach activities that exceed the minimum requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program. By undertaking activities that save lives and reduce property damage, the following municipalities also secure reduced flood insurance policy rates within their communities:
- Town of Ashland
- Town of Big Flats
- Town of Chemung
- City of Corning
- City of Elmira
- Town of Elmira
- Town of Erwin
- Town of Horseheads
- Village of Horseheads
- Town of Southport
- Village of Wellsburg
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The Association of State Floodplain Managers Foundation assembled experts to evaluate existing programs and policies for managing flood risks and recommended dramatic shifts in current approaches and actions. These recommendations are summarized in a newsletter article (A Vision for Floodplain Management in 2050) and detailed in the 2007 Flood Policy Forum Report on the ASFPM Foundation website.