There are floodways and floodplains. These are areas determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to be in an area prone to flooding.
Rivers and streams where FEMA has prepared detailed engineering studies may have designated floodways. For most waterways, the floodway is where the water is likely to be deepest and fastest. It is the area of the floodplain that should be reserved (kept free of obstructions) to allow floodwaters to move downstream. Placing fill or buildings in a floodway may block the flow of water and increase flood heights. Because of this, your community will require that you submit engineering analyses before it approves permits for development in the floodway.
If your home is already in the floodway, you may want to consider what you will do if it is damaged. If it is substantially damaged in a flood or by any other means (the costs to repair is equal to or exceed 50% of the market value of the building), your community, in accordance with National Flood Insurance Program regulations, will require that you bring it into compliance. In most cases, this means you will have to elevate the structure above the base flood elevation. Because placing fill dirt in the floodway can make flooding worse, you'll probably have to elevate your structure on columns, pilings, or raised foundation walls. If your land is large enough to have a site outside of the floodway, or even out of the floodplain, you may want to think about moving your home to a safer location.
Floodplain area means the area of a stream and its banks that are covered by water during a 100-year flood. A 100-year flood is the greatest flood that is likely to occur every 100 years; for example, that has a one percent chance of occurring each year, although the floodway occurred in any year and more often than once in any given year.
The Town maintains current FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps. To determine if you are in a floodplain or floodway, view the FEMA Flood Map website. If you have any questions, please contact the Zoning Office.
The Town also has strict guidelines for construction and grading in a floodplain. These strict guidelines help provide those who require it reduced flood insurance rates.
Please do not dump anything in a stream. These items may get washed downstream during a storm and accumulate, which may cause flooding.