TOWN OF WESTBROOK --- FLOOD INFORMATION

The Town of Westbrook is participating with the Federal Insurance Agency in the “Community Rating System” which may result in the reduction of Federal flood insurance premiums for all Town policyholders. We are required to notify all homeowners of this program and of the flood potential in the Town of Westbrook.

FLOOD HAZARDS

FEMA has classified some areas of the Town of Westbrook as a special flood hazard area, otherwise known as the 100-Year Flood Plain. As required by FEMA, flood maps have been developed for the Town of Westbrook. The maps show flood zones and the predicted elevations that a 100-year storm could reach or exceed.

Water properties are vulnerable to storm damage during severe northeasters and hurricane conditions. Flooding can come with little warning. Even though they appear to move slowly (three feet per second) a flood two feet deep can knock a man off his feet and float a car. Our dunes are considered important. They are our first lines of defense against the onslaught of the incoming seas and waterways. Preserving those dunes is of the utmost importance. The Town of Westbrook maintains strict standards for dune restoration and preservation. Other properties that are susceptible border on the banks of Troutbrook, Menunketsuck, Patchogue and Cold Spring water courses which are affected by tides.

 

FLOOD INSURANCE

Approximately fifteen percent of the Town of Westbrook homeowners carry Federal flood insurance. Keep in mind that the standard homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover flood losses. In the regular Federal flood insurance programs coverage of up to $185,000 is available for single-family dwellings and up to $250,000 for other residential dwellings. Up to $60,000 contents coverage is available for the above. All homeowners are strongly urged to carry Federal flood insurance. Since it takes 30 days for a flood policy to take effect it is important to purchase flood insurance before flood occurs. Information on flood insurance may be obtained from your local insurance agent, or call the national Flood Insurance Program at 1-800-638-6620.

 

FLOOD PROOFING

The best way to minimize storm damage to your home is to raise the house above flood levels so that the lowest habitable floor is at or above your base flood elevation. Current cost estimates for this varies and your flood insurance premiums could be significantly reduced. Another approach is to make your walls waterproof and place watertight closures over the doorways. This method is not recommended for houses with basements or if water will get over two feet deep. The inexpensive and easy task of installing flood vents in your home can also reduce storm damage. You may contact Westbrook’s Building Official at 860-399-3047.

 

FLOOD SERVICES

The first thing you should do is check your flood hazard. The Westbrook Public Library has publications dealing with flood-related topics, such as, flood proofing, elevated structures, flood maps, flood emergency and flood insurance. This information can be helpful, if you are in a floodplain or have experienced a flood, or drainage problem.

FLOOD WARNING

When severe storms are forecasted for the Town of Westbrook, radio stations, and TV stations will broadcast emergency information. If evacuation is required, the police will use the P.A. systems on all police cars to alert and instruct residents. The Town of Westbrook has an Emergency Management Plan, which is under the supervision of our Police Chief.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Westbrook depends on your cooperation and assistance. Please remember the Town of Westbrook has ordinances, which prohibit the disposal of litter upon any public or private property other than in a litter receptacle. It is also unlawful for a person to sweep into or deposit in any gutter street, catch basin or other public place any accumulation of litter from any public or private sidewalk or driveway.

Always check with the Land Use Department before you build on, alter, re-grade or fill on you property to ensure that projects do not cause problems on other properties and to ascertain whether a permit is needed for the work.

FLOOD SAFETY

If someone in you home would need to be evacuated by ambulance, please notify the Fire Department in advance. In and emergency, contact the Police if the Fire Department does not have you on file. Knowing how high your property is to storm damage. Your FLOOD ELEVATION CERTIFICATE, or property survey may have this information.

FEMA suggests the following action when coastal storms or hurricanes are imminent.

  1. Turn off all electrical power at the service panel. Some appliances such as television sets, keep electrical charges even after that have been unplugged. Don’t use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned and dried.
  2. Close main gas valve. Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don’t smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless you know the gas have been turned off and the area has been ventilated.
  3. Move household items to the highest level you can. Also cardboard boxes and newspapers, as these materials disintegrate and will clog drains and vents
  4. Keep a full tank of gas.
  5. Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths, mostly during flash floods. Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
  6. Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. The number two flood killer after drowning is electrocution. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to power company.

 

If you evacuate your home, here are some essential items you should take:

First Aid Supplies – Supply of Non-Perishable Food – Batteries (Hearing aid, flashlight) – Battery-operated Portable Radio – Blankets – Dry Clothing – Especially Shoes and Socks – Important Papers – Medication- Bank and Check Books – Valuable and Cherished Items – Games for Children and Adults