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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Huntsville's Regulations & Planning To Minimize Flooding

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Huntsville's Regulations & Planning To Minimize Flooding According to the National Weather Service (NOAA). "Approximately 75% of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding."

With all of the rain over the weekend, many communities in the Tennessee Valley have experienced some flooding issues.  The most common cause of flooding is water due to rain that accumulates faster than soils can absorb it or rivers can carry it away.  While the weather can't be controlled, there are proactive measures that can be taken to minimize flooding. 

Thirteen percent of Huntsville’s developed property is within floodplains.  Here are some steps that city officials have put into place to minimize flooding:

  • Huntsville officials established strict flood mitigation regulations in 1991 that have been constantly re-examined and updated
  • All new commercial and residential development must have retaining areas or draining that can manage the flow of excess water
  • Any building within the flood zones must be elevated or flood-proof
  • Homes in newer neighborhoods in south Huntsville with a proximity to the river and the feeder creeks must be a foot higher off the ground than standard
  • Public Works, Landscape Management and Engineering share the role in keeping waterways free of debris, though landowners must assume a role in clearing banks and ditches adjacent to their property
  • Land in floodplain area that couldn’t be adopted as commercial or residential has been transformed into greenspace (recreational areas for walking, hiking and biking)
  • Most Huntsville residential draining systems are designed for a 10-year storm, meaning an event that has a 10 percent chance of happening each year
  • Huntsville is a participant in a National Flood Insurance program through FEMA and also provides updates to residents whose homes are in floodplains

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