Lessons from the Flood – Floodplain Development Puts Communities at Risk

Structures built in floodplains like this one along the Danby-Pawlet Road are a risk for homeowners and the community at large. Floods can threaten to wash them downstream into bridges or other structures. Photo by Lori Fisher.

The flooding from Tropical Storm Irene made tangible the community costs that can occur when landowners develop floodplains. Homes and structures built too close to the water washed away becoming dangerous projectiles and in some cases damaging bridges or downstream properties. In the third installment from LCC’s Lessons from the Flood, we urge community planners and elected officials to develop strong regulations preventing floodplain development, and provide an abundance of examples of how failure to restrict such development enhanced the storm's damage. We offer guidance for what should be considered in flood resilience planning and explain why National Flood Insurance Maps (NFIP) are insufficient to protect communities and properties from flood damage. Learn more about how floodplain development puts entire communities at risk.