As we have learned over the last several years, the Village of Johnson City is not immune to flooding. The floods in June of 2006 and September of 2011 caused tremendous damage to countless residents and to the Village’s Departments and infrastructure. The resolve and determination of our residents and employees have helped the Village to recover.
The Village strongly encourages our residents to purchase flood insurance. It is not always as expensive as people think and in the event of a flood, the insurance policy can more than pay for itself.
The Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) is a joint assessment used to determine the magnitude and impact of an event's damage. A FEMA/State team will usually visit local applicants and view their damage first-hand to assess the scope of damage and estimate repair costs. The State uses the results of the PDA to determine if the situation is beyond the combined capabilities of the State and local resources and to verify the need for supplemental Federal assistance. The PDA also identifies any unmet needs that may require immediate attention.
Once a disaster has occurred, and the State has declared a state of emergency, the State will evaluate the recovery capabilities of the State and local governments. If it is determined that the damage is beyond their recovery capability, the governor will normally send a request letter to the President, directed through the Regional Director of the appropriate FEMA region. The President then makes the decision whether or not to declare a major disaster or emergency.
After a presidential declaration has been made, FEMA will designate the area eligible for assistance and announce the types of assistance available. FEMA provides supplemental assistance for State and local government recovery expenses, and the Federal share will always be at least 75 percent of the eligible costs.
If your property is located in the 100-year floodplain, you should consider purchasing flood insurance. Properties within the 100-year floodplain typically adjoin the Susquehanna River, Boland Park and local streams. In this area there is a one-percent chance in any given year that the water level will rise that high, and flood your property. While this may seem like a small probability, what it really means to you is that there is a 25 percent chance that your home will be flooded during the life of a long-term mortgage. Minor flooding is even more likely. Flood danger is serious. Floods take lives, destroy property, and disrupt services. For most families, a home represents their largest investment. Therefore, the loss due to flood damage and its impact may be great. Structural damage can be extensive and expensive to repair. Damage to the contents of the home can be equally devastating. However, most homeowner’s policies do not cover losses due to flooding. While relief is sometimes granted in the form of disaster aid, this is relatively rare because it depends on how large an area is affected and how badly. For most flooding problems this source of aid is not a reliable source. To reduce the financial impact of flood damage, WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU CONSIDER THE PURCHASE OF FLOOD INSURANCE.
As a resident of Johnson City you are able to buy flood insurance. Our community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, which enables residents to buy flood insurance at federally subsidized rates. If your bank has not required you to purchase this insurance as a condition of a mortgage, or if you do not already have it, we urge you to see your insurance agent now. Information about the National Flood Insurance Program, types of coverage, or more generally about flood hazards and flood protection, can be obtained through your Insurance Agent, Your Home Library, the Planning Department or the Code Enforcement Office. If you have any further questions, please contact the Planning Department at 797-9098 or the Code Office at 786-2920.
For additional information, please visit www.floodsmart.gov – the website of the National Flood Insurance Program
Johnson City has flood damage prevention regulations, which require a permit to be obtained prior to any construction or other development in the special flood hazard area (map of area is available at the Planning Department and at Your Home Library). Development permits are required not only for construction or alteration but for activities that may affect the capacity of the area to carry off water, i.e. dredging, filling, or excavation. New construction or substantial improvements to a residence are subject to certain standards designed to minimize flood damage. If you are planning to do such work or if you would like more information, contact the Town of Union building inspector.
If your home was built prior to the adoption of the requirements, you can still reduce flood losses by taking measures to protect your home. The following are some common actions that reduce flood damage:
NOTE: Flood proofing requires expertise and should be designed by a professional. Some measures, if improperly designed or constructed, can actually increase the amount of flood damage.
Safety In The Event Of A Flood
During heavy rain, monitor the water level of the stream or river closest to you, and stay tuned to local radio and television stations. If a flood warning is issued, get to higher ground. DO NOT ATTEMPT to drive over water covered roadways. TURN AROUND – DON’T DROWN.
Act Now To Be Prepared
During the Flood
Travel With Care
The Hidden Danger - Low-Water Crossing
After the Flood - Helpful Recovery Tips
Drainage Basin - A part of the surface of the Earth that is occupied by a drainage system, which consists of a surface stream or a body of impounded surface water together with all tributary surface streams and bodies of impounded surface water. Land area drained by a stream or river.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - The federal agency under which the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is administered. In March 2003, FEMA became part of the newly created U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Flash Flood - The result of heavy or excessive amounts of rainfall within a short period of time, usually less than 6 hours, causing water to rise and fall quite rapidly.
Flash Flood or Flood Watch - Indicates flash flooding or flooding is possible within the designated watch area. When a watch is issued, be alert and ready to take action.
Flash Flood or Flood Warning - Flash flooding or flooding has been reported or is imminent. You should take necessary precautions and actions at once.
Flood - An overflow or inundation that comes from a river or other body of water and causes or threatens damage. Any relatively high streamflow overtopping the natural or artificial banks in any reach of a stream. A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is the policyholder's property) from:
Flood Frequency - Refers to a flood level that has a specified percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. For example, a 100-year flood occurs on average once every 100 years and thus has a 1-percent chance of occurring in a given year.
Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM) - Official map of a community issued by FEMA, where the boundaries of the flood, mudflow, and related erosion areas having special hazards have been designated.
Flood Insurance Claims Office (FICO) - An NFIP claims processing office set up in a catastrophe area when a sufficient number of flood claims result from a single event.
Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) - Official map of a community on which FEMA has delineated the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), the Base Flood Elevations (BFEs), and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
Flood Response Office (FRO) - The FRO provides a local presence in the affected area and supports the WYO companies, the NFIP Servicing Agent, and various federal, state, and local officials in providing answers to claims coverage questions, forms for claims handling, and survey and statistical input. One of the key requirements of personnel at the FRO is to coordinate and conduct reinspections of WYO and NFIP Direct losses. The FRO also tracks adjuster performance and provides such information to interested WYO and NFIP Direct companies.
Flood Stage - The stage at which overflow of the natural stream banks begins to cause damage in the reach in which the elevation is measured. Flood stages for each USGS gaging station are usually provided by the National Weather Service.
Floodplain - Any land area susceptible to being inundated by flood waters from any source. A strip of relatively flat-lying land that borders a stream and is underlain by sediment carried by the stream and dropped in the slack water beyond the influence of the swiftest current.
Floodplain Management - The operation of an overall program of corrective and preventive measures for reducing flood damage, including but not limited to, emergency preparedness plans, flood control works, and floodplain management regulations.
Flood-proofing - Any combination of structural and nonstructural additions, changes, or adjustments to structures, which reduce or eliminate risk of flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitation facilities, or structures with their contents.
Flood Wall - A primarily vertical artificial barrier designed to temporarily contain the waters of a river or other waterway which may rise to unusual levels during seasonal or extreme weather events. Flood walls are mainly used on locations where space is scarce, such as cities or where building levees or dikes would interfere with other interests, such as existing buildings, historical architecture or commercial exploitation of embankments.
Freeboard - An additional amount of height above the Base Flood Elevation used as a factor of safety (e.g., 2 feet above the Base Flood) in determining the level at which a structure's lowest floor must be elevated or flood proofed to be in accordance with State or community floodplain management regulations.
Gage Datum - An arbitrary datum plane that is established for a particular gaging station to which water-surface elevations can be compared.
Gage Height - See Stage.
Gaging Station - A site on a stream, canal, lake, or reservoir where systematic observations of gage height or water discharge are obtained by a gage, recorder, or similar equipment.
Increased Cost of Compliance - Coverage for expenses a property owner must incur, above and beyond the cost to repair the physical damage the structure actually sustained from a flooding event, to comply with mitigation requirements of State or local floodplain management ordinances or laws. Acceptable mitigation measures are elevation, floodproofing, relocation, demolition, or any combination thereof.
Levee/Dike/Dyke/Embankment - An elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels. It is usually earthen and often parallel to the course of a river in its floodplain or along low-lying coastlines.
Peak stage - The maximum height of a water surface above an established datum. Same as peak gage height.
Precipitation - Rain, snow, hail, or sleet.
Real-time Data - Data collected by automated instrumentation and telemetered and analyzed quickly enough to influence a decision that affects the monitoring system.
Recurrence Interval - The average interval of time within which the magnitude of a given event, such as a flood, will be equaled or exceeded one time.
Stage - The height of a water surface above an established datum. Used interchangeably with gage height.
Stream bank - The margins of a stream channel. Banks are called right and left as viewed facing the direction of flow.
Stream flow - The discharge or flow that occurs in a natural channel. Although the term discharge can be applied to the flow of a canal, the word "stream flow" uniquely describes the discharge in a surface stream course.
Surface Runoff - That part of the runoff that travels over the soil surface to the nearest stream channel. It also is defined as that part of the runoff of a drainage basin that has not passed beneath the surface following precipitation.
Surface Water - Water on the surface of the Earth.
Answers to Questions about the National Flood Insurance Program. November 1997