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The Flood Source A County Wide Floodplain Newsletter
The Flood Source A County Wide Floodplain Newsletter

Welcome to the Flood Source!
This website will try to keep you updated on news about the floodplain in Lucas County. Soon you will be able to determine whether your property is in the floodplain on this website. Keep checking back for more news & updates.

Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP)
The Lucas County Engineer and the Lucas County Auditor, under the authority of the Lucas County Commissioners, have been accepted as a CTP with the FEMA. One of the goals of this partnership is to digitally map the floodplain. These new maps will show the floodplain as an overlay on the current aerial photo, this will allow the public to see the structures in relation to the floodplain. This will increase the accuracy of the floodplain maps and allow for greater ease of determining if the structure is in or out of the floodplain. These new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRM’s) are expected in 2008 as preliminary maps, several public meetings will then be held, and letters will be sent out to notify property owners that they are in or near the floodplain, with the final maps available in 2009.

Community Rating System (CRS)
The Lucas County Engineer is also the Community Rating System coordinator. The objective of the CRS is to reward those communities that are doing more than the minimum National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements to help their residents prevent or reduce flood losses. The CRS is a voluntary incentive based program that rewards property owners when local government undertake selected activities, including Public Information, Mapping & Regulations, Flood Damage Reduction, and Flood Preparedness. The reward is in the form of discounts to flood insurance premium rates on flood insurance policies sold for properties within the community

New Maps
Lucas County is scheduled to receive final Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRM) in 2009. The preliminary map should be ready in 2008. These maps will be available on line at the Lucas County Website. The new maps will show some homes that were in the floodplain are now out. It will also show homes that were not in the floodplain as now being in. It is important to realize that the risk of flooding did not change. New technology allows for better and more accurate maps. Those of you who will now find yourself identified as being in the floodplain should purchase insurance a couple of months before the map goes final in 2009. This could save you on your premiums as you would pay the current rate for your home (Zone X rate). Keeping your policy current protects you from the new rate (Zone AE rate). If you wait until 2009 you will have to pay the new rate (Zone AE).

New Rating
Some communities in Lucas County will soon be rated! A community’s floodplain management program is evaluated and assigned a class number from 10 to 1. The lower a community’s class number, the lower the flood insurance premium for property owners within that community. Eventually a discount of up to 20% may be attainable in Lucas County.

10 0% Discount 5 25% Discount
9 5% Discount 4 30% Discount
8 10% Discount 3 35% Discount
7 15% Discount 2 40% Discount
6 20% Discount 1 45% Discount

Problems we face
Lucas County is flat! Most of the county is quite flat and difficult to drain. Properties in Lucas County are subject to three flood problems: overbank flooding, local drainage and sewer backup. You could be faced with one, two or all three of these hazards.

Overbank Flooding: Lucas County has many open ditches, all draining to Lake Erie. When the lake is up there is no place for the water to go. On average most ditches will only contain the 10 yr storm, so when a more intense storm occurs the water will rise above the banks of the ditch. While intense storms are rare, we are often subject to several days of rain, and combined with the flat terrain of the county we often experience flooding.

Local Drainage: Most storm sewers are designed to drain the streets and the right of way only. They can easily be overloaded by heavy rain. Stormwater can sit in the sewers for days, waiting for the ditches to clear.

Sewer Backup: Your property and home probably drain to these sewers. The water will seek out the lowest level including your basement.

Here is what we are doing:
The ditches need maintenance, most ditches are silted up twelve to eighteen inches or more. Currently only the City of Toledo and the City of Sylvania collects and has funds to maintain their ditches. In the rest of the county there is no funding or regular program (outside the use of the Toledo Area Sanitary District) for ditch maintenance. Lucas County is currently in the process of preparing a listing of current activities to address both water quality and quantity issues and associated cost, evaluating additional needs and cost, and possible stormwater funding methods.

Here’s what you can do:
Do not dump or throw anything into the ditches, streams or catch basins. Dumping is a violation and considered littering. Even grass clippings and branches can accumulate and plug channels and sewers. To report dumping call: 419-255-STOP (7867)

If your property is next to a ditch or stream, please do your part and keep the banks clear of brush & debris. Keeping the brush down helps us to identify problems more quickly. Call your Community Drainage Department to report downed trees and major blockages.

Talk with a plumber about installing a backup valve. Many houses do not have a backup valve in their sewer lines, and many homes have two sewer lines one for sanitary and one for storm, you may need two backup valves.

It might be a good idea to purchase flood insurance, even if you are not in a special flood hazard area. Unlike a standard homeowners policy, flood insurance covers losses to your property caused by flooding. Some of the things a standard flood policy will cover include: structural damage, furnace, water heater and air conditioner, flood debris clean up, floor surfaces such as carpeting and tile. You can also buy a flood insurance policy to cover the contents of your home, such as furniture, collectibles, clothing, jewelry and artwork. Policies are available in three forms: Dwelling (most homes), General Property (apartments and businesses), and Residential Condominium Building Association (condominiums). It's important to know that if you have a federally backed mortgage on a home located in a high-risk area, federal law requires you to purchase flood insurance. Also, if you've received a federal grant for previous flood losses, you must have a flood policy to qualify for future aid. Keep in mind sewer back-ups are not covered in flood insurance policy nor are they part of a standard homeowners policy. Renter’s may purchase content flood insurance as well. Contact your insurance agent for more information.

Floodproofing a house means altering it so floodwaters will not cause damage. Different floodproofing techniques are appropriate for different types of buildings. Floodproofing does not relieve you of paying flood insurance, the only way to avoid paying flood insurance is relocating or elevating the house. Always check with your Community Building Department and or Floodplain Administrator before you build on, alter, regrade, or fill your property. A permit may be needed to ensure that projects do not cause problems on others properties.

Floodplain Regulations
New buildings being built in the floodplain must be protected from flood damage. Floodplain regulations require that new residential structures must be elevated to one foot above the base flood elevation. Floodplain regulations also require any substantial improvement (addition or repair) that exceeds 50% of the value of the existing building, must be protected to the base flood elevation. This is a cumulative amount for new construction. All additions & repairs are added up over the years once 50% is reached, you must protect to the base flood elevation. Call your Community Floodplain Administrator or Building Department for more information and permits.

Flood safety tips
Do not walk through flood waters: Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. Currents and depths can be deceiving, six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet, it can also prevent you from seeing the bottom. Flood waters also contain many contaminates from waste to petroleum oils, and cleaning chemicals, floodwaters are rarely “clean”.

Do not drive through a flooded area: Again six inches of water is all it takes to disable your car, blocking the road, or sliding off the roadways, forcing you to get out of your car and into the floodwaters.

Stay away from power lines: Electrical current can travel through water. Make sure the power is off in your home before going in. Report downed power lines by calling 911.

Be alert for gas leaks: Use a flashlight to inspect for damage do not smoke, use candles or lanterns. Make sure the gas is turned off before going in.

Siren Warnings
The general public is advised to seek shelter immediately. Once in a sheltered environment, citizens should tune into a tone activated weather alert radios and/or media sources. Media sources for information on severe weather include local television and radio, cable networks, and the internet.

Natural Functions
Floodplains should be seen in their natural context. They are more than just hazardous locations for human development. Open and natural areas absorb much more storm and flood water than lawns, reducing flood flows on downstream properties. Wetland plants filter storm and flood water runoff, making it cleaner for those downstream


Lucas County Floodplain Map
Lucas County Frequently Asked Questions
Lucas County Public Meeting Schedule
Lucas County Floodplain Timeline
Lucas County Floodplain Statistics
Lucas County Floodplain Appeals
Lucas County Floodplain, Building & Drainage Officials

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Questions to ask your Insurance Agent
Questions to ask your Real Estate Agent
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Lucas County Emergency Management Agency
Lucas County Health Department

Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map

Coming Soon !

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