If you live along or near the Mad River or one of its tributaries, such as Folsom Brook, Shepard Brook, High Bridge Brook, Mill Brook, or Pine Brook, your property may be in a floodplain. The floodplain is an area identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with a 1% chance of being flooded each year, or once every 100 years. FEMA manages the National Flood Insurance Program, which has mapped areas in town based on studies of flood risk. The maps currently in effect were produced in 1984 and are available for review at the Town Office. In 2007, FEMA produced preliminary maps for review (right), which are expected to be finalized for adoption by the Town in 2009. In the meantime, the 1980/1984 maps are still in effect, which can be reviewed at the Waitsfield Town Office or at through the FEMA Map Service Center at msc.fema.gov.
The safest way to protect properties in high-risk flood prone areas is to not build structures or place objects there that could be damaged in a flood. There are many properties, however, such as in Waitsfield Village, that contain structures that could be at risk. An important flood protection device may be insurance. There are also many ways to physically protect your house, building, or property from damage due to flooding, such as elevating your building above the base flood elevation, installing closures and sealants around doors and windows, constructing new watertight walls, or constructing floodwalls or levees. If flood advisories have been issued, you may wish to consider moving valuables and irreplaceable objects out of basements and first floors to higher ground. See the links below for more information.
Development in the floodplain requires a permit from the Waitsfield Planning and Zoning Office. Properties identified on the most current FIRM maps as being in a flood zone are subject to the Flood Hazard Overlay District in Article 2. More information on permitting in the floodplain can be found at the following links:
Town of Waitsfield Zoning Bylaws:
- Article 2. Zoning Districts, Table 2.10. Flood Hazard Overlay District
- Article 5. Development Review. Section 5.03.F begins on page 57
Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Flood Hazard Area Permit information
Waitsfield Town Plan (2005) - Chapter 3. Natural Resources
Waitsfield Zoning Bylaws (2005) - Table 2.10. Flood Hazard Overlay District
Waitsfield Zoning Bylaws (2005) - Article 5. Section 5.03.F begins on page 57
Vermont Agencies & Information
Vermont Flood Hazard Management
Vermont Flood Hazard Area Permit information
Vermont Emergency Management
Flood watch: National Weather Service Monitoring Station at Moretown