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E-M:/ MDEQ on floods

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

July 2, 2004

Contact:  Robert McCann

Spring 2004 Weather Conditions and Recent Flooding

Much of southern Michigan set new records for the total amount of
rainfall in May, and many southern Michigan communities experienced
flood damage to homes and businesses.  Nationally, flooding is
recognized as the most costly natural hazard, causing greater loss of
life and property than all other natural hazards combined.  Over 10
million homes and commercial buildings are located in floodplains, and
managing and limiting development in these areas is the most practical
and effective means of preventing loss of life and property.

Floodplain regulations restrict development to elevations at or above
the base flood elevation, defined as a flood event having a 1 percent
chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.  This has
commonly become known as the "100-year flood."  This approach has helped
to keep development out of harm's way, and has helped minimize loss of
life and property damage.

Smaller floods can also cause damage, such as a 5-year flood event, a
10-year flood event, and a 25-year flood event, where there is a 20
percent, a 10 percent, and a 4 percent chance respectively of having an
equal or greater flood occurring in a given year.  The Department of
Environmental Quality floodplain engineers estimate that the May flood
events were generally in the range of a 5- to 10-year flood across most
of southern Michigan; a 25-year flood for the Huron River at Hamburg,
Livingston County; and a 50- to 100-year flood for the North Branch of
the Clinton River in Macomb County.

The May 2004 floods were unfortunate events that demonstrated to
residents in floodplain areas how susceptible lives and properties are
to flooding.  Actions to mitigate future flood impacts to residential
and commercial structures include structure relocation outside of the
floodplain, elevating structures above the site specific 100-year base
flood elevation, or various flood-proofing measures.  Federal financial
assistance may be available in some areas.

One simple action that some residents located within floodplain areas
can take is to obtain flood insurance for their buildings and contents.
This insurance is available to all citizens living in communities that
participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  This
program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency,
provides flood insurance at reasonable cost in exchange for floodplain
development management commitments by participating communities.
Standard homeowners and commercial property policies generally do not
cover flood losses.

Citizens living in a community not participating in the NFIP are
encouraged to discuss this with their local officials and support them
in becoming NFIP participants.

Persons or communities interested in learning more about the NFIP can
contact Les Thomas, NFIP State Coordinator, DEQ, P.O. Box 30458,
Lansing, Michigan 48909, (517) 335-3448, thomasl@michigan.gov or access
the NFIP website at www.fema.gov/fima/nfip.


Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy,
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com

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