City of Auburn Flood Protection & Preparation Information
In May 2014, the City of Auburn was accepted into the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS). Even though everyone does not own or live on property in a floodplain, the program benefits the community by protecting the environment, making people safer, and saving everyone money. The City received a Class 7 score for our CRS application which gave the citizens of Auburn a 15% discount on their flood insurance for those in the Special Flood Hazard Area and a 5% discount for those in the NonSpecial Flood Hazard Area. Below is some information you might find helpful regarding floodplains in the City of Auburn.
Local Flood Hazard
The City of Auburn has an annual precipitation of 52.6 inches and has a history of major storm events. During the last ten years, our biggest rain events occurred in March 2006, November 2006, February 2009, November 2009, July 2011, February 2012, February 2013, August 2013, and December 2015. During major storm events, flash flooding can occur when drainage courses, such as stormwater systems and natural ditches, overflow and flood. Local water bodies and roadways subject to flooding include:
Local Water Bodies: Choctafaula Creek, Parkerson Mill Creek, Town Creek, Moore’s Mill Creek, Chewacla Creek, Lake Chewacla, Lake Ogletree, Saugahatchee Creek, and Little Loblockee Creek.
Roadways: North Donahue Drive Bridge, Water Crest Drive Bridge, East University Drive Bridge at Summertrees Drive, Moores Mill Rd Bridge at Forestdale Drive, Windway Road Bridge, and Ogletree Road Bridge north of Oak Knoll Circle.
Flood Warning The City of Auburn, in conjunction with the Lee County Emergency Management Agency, work together to give citizens ample warning in cases of a flooding event. Emergency messages are broadcasted through local radio and TV stations including:
Radio: 93.9 FM WTGZ, 95.9 FM WQSI, 97.7 FM WKKR, 1400 AM WANI, 94.3 FM WGZZ, 1230 AM WAUD, 104.5 FM WAUF-LP, 91.1 FM WEGL, 1520 AM WTLM
TV: WRBL Channel 3, FOX 54 News Channel 8, WTVM Channel 9, WSFA Channel 12, and The Weather Channel (channel number may vary based on service provider) In the event of heavy rains, it is essential to monitor television and/or radio weather broadcasts for up-to-date forecasts on tornadoes, hurricanes, or flash floods. Please call 911 for any emergencies and 334-501-3100 for any non-emergencies.
Safety is a must when it comes to possible flooding in our area.
The following tips can keep you and your family from harm:
• Do not walk through flowing waters.
• Do not drive through a flooded area.
• Stay away from power and electrical lines.
• Shut off all gas and water valves.
• Have a departure plan in case of emergency.
Additional emergency preparedness tips can be found on page 11 of the 2015-2016 Real Yellow Pages telephone book.
Property Protection Measures
During the past 100 years, flooding has been the number one cause of property damage in North America each year. Property owners can apply permanent retrofitting techniques that can help to eliminate or reduce flood damage: • Elevating your house 1 ft. above the base flood elevation. • Flood proofing your house to make the walls and flooring watertight so that water cannot enter. • If you know you are in the flood prone area, flood vent the crawl space under your home so that water can flow through.
Employees from the Public Works Department are available for site visits to review flooding, drainage and sewage issues and provide one-on-one advice to the property owner on appropriate flood protection measures. We are also available to assist you with reviewing and critiquing retrofit plans for flood-prone residences and buildings.
Are You Insured?
The City of Auburn is an active participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The City feels that we have an important job in keeping citizens informed regarding the floodplain and how it can affect their property. Even if your property is not located in a high risk flood area it is a good idea to buy flood insurance, because almost 25% of all flood insurance claims come from areas with minimal flood risk. Two important facts that citizens should know are:
• Homeowner’s insurance policies DO NOT cover flood damages or losses. • Insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period BEFORE coverage goes into effect.
There are two types of Flood Insurance Coverage offered: 1. Building Property, up to $250,000, and 2. Personal Property (Contents), up to $100,000. The NFIP encourages people to purchase both types of coverage. Your mortgage company can also require that you purchase a certain amount of flood insurance.
Floodplain Development Permit Requirements
To ensure the highest degree of safety, the Public Safety Codes Enforcement Division enforces the Building Code for the City of Auburn. Please be advised that a permit is required for ALL construction in the City of Auburn. Any development without a permit is non-compliant and may result in fines. If you know of any development taking place without the required permits or would like to verify a contractor’s license, please contact the City of Auburn Codes Enforcement Division at 334-501-3170. They are located at 171 North Ross Street Suite 100.
Substantial Improvement Requirements
The importance of permit requirements plays an important part in this requirement. In order for the City of Auburn to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), we adopted regulations and codes that apply to new developments in the floodplains. Local floodplain management regulations and codes contain minimum NFIP requirements that apply not only to new structures, but also to existing structures which are “substantially improved (SI)” or “substantially damaged (SD).”
“Substantially Damaged” means damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to it’s before damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the structure before damage occurred.
“Substantially Improved” means any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvements of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure before the “start of construction” of the improvement. This term includes structures which have incurred “substantial damage”, regardless of the actual repair work performed. The City of Auburn requires an elevation of 1 ft. above the base flood elevation for new construction and for existing structures before they are repaired.
Do You Live In Or Around a Special Flood Hazard Area? The City of Auburn Public Works Department is available to assist in providing more information on whether a property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area. Upon requests the following Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) information will be provided: The community number, the map panel number and suffix, the date of the FIRM’s Index, the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) shown on the FIRM, the elevation datum used on the FIRM, and the availability of Elevation Certificates (EC’s) for review. For more general information, you can view your property in relation to the local floodplains online using the City’s interactive mapping system at http://www.auburnalabama.org/maps.
Drainage System Maintenance
The City of Auburn’s Public Works Department maintains the storm drainage system and helps to keep the creeks and streams in the City of Auburn clean and free of debris and pollutants. In order for the drainage system to operate efficiently the ditches, streams, and channels must be kept clean. Debris, even leaves and grass clippings, can obstruct the flow of water and cause overflow onto streets and yards. Residents and business and property owners can play a huge role in this effort by maintaining ditches and streams on their property and by notifying the City when maintenance is needed on the right of way. The City Code prohibits taking any action that can impede the flow of water in ditches and waterways. If you know of any illegal dumping of debris or any action that could affect the drainage system, please contact the Public Works Department at 334-501-3000.
Natural and Beneficial Functions of the Local Floodplain
Floodplain areas and wetlands provide a wide range of benefits to both human and natural systems. Wetlands in and around the City of Auburn are a valuable asset. Flood control and water quality are the two most important aspects of our local floodplain. Wetlands absorb water during heavy rainfall or flooding and slowly release the waters downstream reducing flood damage. Wetlands and wetland plants help to absorb and filter potentially harmful chemicals and pollutants into our waterways. The City of Auburn is home to several identified undeveloped floodplain areas which are VITAL for several endangered or threatened species unique to this area, as well as provide recreation, education, and research important to our local economy. The City of Auburn has implemented several successful projects to protect our local wetlands: Town Creek Park Stream Restoration, Pocket Wetland at County Dumpster/Compactor Site, Wrights Mill Road Elementary School wetlands, and Parkerson Mill Creek Restorations in 2013 and 2015.
For more information regarding the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System, please contact the Public Works Department at 171 North Ross Street Suite 200, 334-501-3000 Or visit our website at www.auburnalabama.org/pw
All of the above information came from the City of Auburn’s website. To go to their website please click here.