Flooding and Management of Flood Hazards
James City County urges residents and property owners to take steps to reduce injury and damage resulting from flood events in the County. There are several steps that can be taken both before and during flooding events to guard against losses.
Steps to Take Before Flooding Occurs
1. Identify Your Flood Risk
The majority of areas subject to flooding in James City County are identified on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Other areas subject to flooding have been identified on separate flood studies conducted by the County. These maps and studies are available at the County’s Development Management. Contact the Development Management at 253-6671 for more information on determining if your property is located in a flood prone area.
2. Purchase Flood Insurance
Standard homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover a property for flood losses. If your property is located in a flood prone area, you should purchase a separate insure policy for flood damage. James City County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which enables County property owners to purchase federally backed insurance protection against losses from flooding.
3. Protect Your Property
Take steps in and around your home to safeguard against flood damage. You can find suggested ways to protect your property against floods at the FEMA website or at the Williamsburg/James City County libraries. Make sure that you obtain all necessary permits before starting any construction project or modifications to your house or lot.
4. Ensure Drainage Systems are Working
Maintenance of drainage systems is critical to reducing or preventing flood damage. Dumping of debris in ditches or streams can partially or completely obstruct the free flow of water. This can cause water to back up and overflow onto yards and roads. When storms are approaching, make sure that ditches, storm drain inlets and stream channels are free of debris.
Steps to Take During Flood Conditions
1. Heed flood warnings. Listen to the radio or television for information.
2. Do not walk through flowing water. It can knock you off your feet.
3. Do not drive through a flooded area. The road or bridge can be washed out. If your vehicle stalls in high water, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.
4. If possible, cut off electricity, water and gas supply. Stay away from power lines and gas leaks. Electrical current can travel through water and lead to electrocution.