Flood Facts

Flood Risks

  • Flash floods may occur with little or no warning. Learn how to prepare with flood safety and insurance information.
  • If you live in or near a 100-year floodplain, you have a 25% or greater chance of being flooded during the span of a 30-year mortgage.
  • Flooding from small streams, roadside ditches, ponds, and lakes have caused widespread damage to homes and properties in our tri-county area. In the last 150 years, rivers and streams have inundated vari­ous communities from Hornell to Wellsburg on an average of once every 4 ½ years.
  • Find out your FEMA-mapped flood hazard by looking at Flood Insurance RateMaps (FIRMs) at local government offices or FEMA’s online Map Service Center (https://msc.fema.gov).
  • Not all flood-prone areas were mapped by FEMA. Many additional areas may be subject to flooding from unmapped streams, ditches, or poor drainage.

Floodplain Stewardship

  • ALL development in a floodplain, not just building construction, requires local permits.
  • It is a violation to dump debris, including yard wastes, into a creek, stream or river and it should always be reported to your municipality.
  • A building in the floodplain that sustains substantial damage or is substantially im­proved must be brought into compliance with current standards.
  • Undeveloped floodplains can provide a green space for water to overflow and reduce downstream flooding.
  • Never ride bicycles, ATVs or motorcycles on flood control dikes because this can ruin the grass that actu­ally helps to hold the dike together in high water events.
  • Wetlands can store flood water and also improve water quality by filtering out impurities and nutrients from runoff.

Flood Insurance

  • Homeowner insurance policies do not cover damage to your home from flooding.
  • Residents in Chemung, Steuben and Schuyler Counties can obtain Flood Insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to cover flood damages to your home and its contents.
  • Without flood insurance, many residents have lost their homes and belongings due to flooding, and have never recovered financially.
  • Insurance through NFIP can also be purchased by renters to insure their personal belongings.
  • There’s a 30 day waiting period for coverage to begin. Find out about NFIP today, don’t wait until the next flood to find out your home is not covered.
  • Some municipalities in our tri-county area participate in the Community Rating System which can lower the price of flood insurance for the residents, making it more affordable.