STC promotes and assists with a variety of measures for improving the flood resilience of residents, communities, and businesses.

Flood Resilience

Flood Resilience

Flooding occurs naturally and is a fact of life in the Southern Tier Central region of New York.

Flash floods occur somewhere in the region almost every year.

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 floodwaters. 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.

flood resilience
Bath, NY, 1935

Where Will it Flood?

Where it rains, it can flood.

It is not possible to predict the behavior of the next flood and it is unwise to rely on any single source of information about where flooding may occur. However, water does run downhill, so it is possible to anticipate the highest risk areas.

Local Flood Hazards: Where Will it Flood?

Information about mapped and unmapped flood hazard areas.
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Flood Safety

You are responsible for your own safety!

Flood warning and effective flood response are the greatest defense against loss of life during a flood. Plan for floods and monitor warnings. There may only be a moment’s notice.

When a Flood Threatens: Flood Warnings & Safety

Links to current conditions, gauge information, and safety resources.
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Build High to Stay Dry

Floodplains flood! Safe and resilient communities can only be achieved if development is located in low risk areas or designed to withstand flooding.

Build in flood-safe locations. The best strategy for avoiding flood damage is to locate development outside of flood-prone areas. Local governments can use public education and land use authorities to promote safe development patterns.

Floodplain development permits are required for all floodplain development – not just buildings. Local laws enacted by each municipality and the NYS Uniform Codes establish standards for development within the high risk floodplain delineated on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (1% annual probability, 100-year floodplain mapped by FEMA).

Managing Floodplains: Regulations & Planning

Guidance for promoting safe use of floodplains, including information and resources about development standards, the floodplain development permit process, land use planning, and opportunities for strengthening development standards.
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"Floods are 'acts of God,' but flood losses are largely acts of man."

Gilbert F. White

Protect Your Property and Your Community

Disasters can and do happen!

A flood resilient community is one that has the capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover from flooding with minimal outside assistance.

Protect Property from Flood Damage: Floodproofing & Mitigation

Resources to assist with floodproofing existing buildings and links to local plans with flood mitigation recommendations.
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Flood Insurance.

Flood insurance doesn’t prevent flood damage, but insurance can be a valuable tool for protecting the financial investment in buildings and building contents. Flood losses are not covered by most insurance policies.

Flood Insurance

Information about flood insurance and the Community Rating System (CRS) program that enables reduced flood insurance premiums within participating municipalities.
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Use Natural Flood Protection.

The most cost-effective way to moderate flooding is to protect and restore natural systems.

Flooding Problems? Small Solutions with Large Results

Brochure with suggestions for managing runoff near where it falls and protecting natural stream functions. "The small steps that you take to manage runoff from your property and maintain healthy stream systems will combine with efforts of your neighbors to reduce flooding and erosion damage in your community."
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Live in Harmony with Streams: Let them Move and Let their Floodplains Flood

Understand and protect natural stream and floodplain processes, which include storing and slowing down floodwaters.
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Guidelines for Managing Debris in Streams and Rivers, Steuben County

Brochure with tips for managing debris in streams without impacting upstream and downstream neighbors. Includes information about permits and sources of technical assistance in Steuben County.
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Dredging: Is it a Good Solution to Flooding Problems?

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Watershed Planning Documents

Because any activity that affects drainage characteristics or erosion anywhere in a watershed can impact flooding problems, watershed management is a critical component of flood risk management efforts.
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Resilient Watersheds - The Funnel, the Sponge, and the Slide

Presentation provides an introduction to watershed functions and outlines strategies for achieving flood resilience: (1) Manage water where it falls. (2) Make space for water. (3) Live with floods.
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Stormwater

Stormwater management regulations require mitigation of adverse impacts from development by controlling the amount and timing of runoff. Flood damage can be reduced by managing runoff near where it falls: Slow it down. Spread it out. Soak it in.
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"No single raindrop believes it is to blame for the flood."

Protect the levees that protect your community.

Damage to the protective vegetation on a levee places the entire community at risk of catastrophic results. Do not drive on levees or damage the sod.

Educate the Public

Knowledgeable citizens make informed decisions that balance flood risks with other concerns and are more likely to take voluntary actions to reduce their risks.

Flood Education Messages Key messages about flood risks for public outreach in the Southern Tier of New York

Each message is presented as a short phrase or slogan, followed by bullets explaining why the person should act, what they should do, how those actions reduce losses, and where to learn more about how to proceed.
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Flood Education Plan

Regional plan presenting a long-term strategy for flood education in Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben Counties. The plan identifies key messages and proposed projects.
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Before Buying or Building: Flood Risk Identification in Steuben County

Brochure provides suggestions to help identify potential flooding issues before buying or building a home.
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NAI How-to Guide for Education & Outreach

Association of State Floodplain Managers No-Adverse Impact document presents guidance and tools for effective communication about flooding issues.
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Education and Research: Section 11 of Susquehanna-Chemung Action Plan (2012)

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Focus on Floods

This Nurture Nature Center website is designed to increase the awareness of flood risks and engage the public in preparing for floods. The key message is: Floods Happen. Lessen the Loss. Resources include a classroom poster, coloring sheets, activity worksheets, and a short animated video.
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“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Nelson Mandella
Additional Resources

ASFPM Flood Resource Library

Association of State Floodplain Managers maintains a searchable online library of flood-related publications.
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No Adverse Impact (ASFPM webpage)

NAI is a “good neighbor” approach to floodplain management based on the premise that it's not right to transfer or worsen a flooding problem. No one has the right to use their property to harm other people. Any adverse impacts should either be avoided or mitigated. Available resources include seven NAI How-to Guides.
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No Adverse Impact Floodplain Management Presentation

STC presentation challenges communities to consider additional strategies for managing flood risks.
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New York State Floodplain and Stormwater Managers Association

Website for this professional organization includes training resources and letters from the association advocating for improved flood-related public policies.
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