Preventing Flood Damage
There are various actions that you can take to reduce the flooding damage to your home or business. Electrical panels, furnaces, water heaters, and washers/dryers should be elevated or relocated to an area less likely to be flooded. Basement floor drains and backwater prevention valves can be installed and interior floodwalls can be placed around utilities. If flooding is likely, and time permits, move essential items and furniture to the upper floors of your home. Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency waterproofing. These actions will help minimize the amount of damage caused by floodwaters. The Office of the City Engineer maintains data on historic flooding elevations on various channels. The Stormwater Division is available to provide advice on flooding, drainage and storm drain problems. The Department of Planning, Building and Development is available to provide advice on retrofitting or modifying buildings to protect them from flooding. Learn more about different ways to protect your property here.
The city of Roanoke is drained by a combination of underground pipes and open ditches. Maintenance of these systems is very important. Depositing trash, grass clippings, branches, leaves, or soil in a storm drain, pipe, or ditch obstructs the flow of water, which can cause flooding of roads and private property. It is the responsibility of all property owners to keep ditches on private property clear and cleaned of debris. If you know of any unapproved filling or rerouting of streams or ditches, please contact the Department of Planning, Building and Development at 540-853-1730.
Flood Mitigation Projects
The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) requires local governments, receiving federal disaster mitigation funds, to have a mitigation plan that describes the process for identifying hazards, risks and vulnerabilities and prioritizes mitigation actions, encourages the development of local mitigation and provide technical support for those efforts. The 2013 Regional Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan, developed by the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, fulfills the Federal requirements in identifying hazards; establishing community goals and objectives and mitigating activities that are appropriate for the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany region.
The City of Roanoke remains very committed to the reduction of flood hazards. Many mitigation projects have specifically targeted repetitive loss homes. Since 1997, the city has purchased 50 homes that have experienced repetitive flood damage. The homes have been removed, and the lots will remain vacant and maintained in perpetuity. The city has also upgraded many storm drains and bridges to more quickly drain stormwater during heavy rains. In conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers, the city has completed the Roanoke River Flood Reduction Project (RRFRP) which will also reduce flooding and risk for some properties along the Roanoke River. These improvements will decrease flooding from smaller, more frequent rainfalls; however, it will not protect against larger floods like that which occurred in 1985.
The city continues to monitor and mitigate stormwater and flooding problems within its limits. If you are aware of a problem, or a potential problem, please notify the Stormwater Division at 540-853-5900.
Natural and Beneficial Functions
Help us preserve natural areas. Don't pour oil, grease, pesticides, or other pollutants into the storm drain. Both the streets and storm drains carry water to the Roanoke River. Polluting the Roanoke River will damage the resiliency that natural areas contribute to a community. Learn more about stormwater pollution and how you can help. Be part of the solution, not the pollution. Together, we can create a clean water legacy.
|Some Natural Functions of Floodplains|
| WATER RESOURCES
Natural Flood and Erosion Control
| BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES
Fish and Wildlife Habitats
| A United National Program for Floodplain Management FEMA-248 (1994)