For Immediate Release – April 10, 2023
Ned Swanberg, Regional Floodplain Manager
Department of Environmental Conservation
Spring Flood Safety Tips from the Vermont DEC
Montpelier, VT – During spring flood season, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) wants to remind Vermonters about safety, insurance, and the benefits of floodplain protection.
“Our floodplains serve as the brakes on our rivers, slowing down water and keeping our friends, families, and properties safe,” said DEC Commissioner John Beling. “Each spring flood season, it’s key for us to remember the functions and values of floodplains while we take steps to stay safe.”
Most streams fill with spring rains and snowmelt every year or two. As they spill over onto floodplains, small frequent floods offer many benefits from clean water to wildlife habitat. The sounds of wood frogs, spring peepers, and red-winged blackbirds fill the air while geese graze on nearby fields. Silt and nutrients help build nearby soils instead of polluting downstream lakes.
“Floodplains serve Vermonters by reducing disaster costs due to the erosive power of high water,” said Beling. “Floodplains are also critical for clean water – they capture sediment and phosphorus and keep our rivers and lakes swimmable.”
Vermonters can better prepare for potential floods by following a few tips:
- Find out if a building is in a Special Flood Hazard Area by viewing the Vermont Flood Atlas or FEMA Flood Map.
- Work with a homeowner’s insurance agent to get flood insurance. Adequate flood insurance is essential to recovery after flood damage.
- Sign up for Vermont Alert to get flash-flood and other weather warnings.
- Have an emergency plan.
- Do not cross or drive on roads that are covered in water.
Flood insurance is available for any building in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance program (about 90% of Vermont communities). The cost varies with location and insurance is required for any mortgage or loan to a building in a high-risk flood hazard area.
To learn more about floodplain protection and flood insurance, visit floodready.vermont.gov. Communities and towns can also explore state and federal funding opportunities to help become more flood resilient.
The Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for protecting Vermont's natural resources and safeguarding human health for the benefit of this and future generations. Visit dec.vermont.gov and follow the Department of Environmental Conservation on Facebook and Instagram.