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Brookfield is a city where superior schools, high quality public services, a wide range of employment, and broad based commercial services all help to create a unique community that is highly desirable to families and business alike. The parklands and natural landscape provide spaces for recreation as well as connecting safe and attractive neighborhoods.
From beautiful park space and pristine lakes to exceptional roadways and renowned public safety infrastructure, Waukesha County government is a critical component to ensuring and maintaining the high quality of life that our residents expect and visitors enjoy.
When doing a landscaping project in Elm Grove always check the website to make sure that you stay updated. 3600 Juneau Blvd. Elm Grove Wisconsin 53122 262-782-6700
Storms in 1998 and 1997 provide the most recent evidence of the threat posed by Underwood Creek and Dousman Ditch, the main sources of flooding in the Village. Floods are dangerous and may occur with little warning. The 1998 storm brought between 8 and 12 inches of rain within a seven-hour period. Underwood Creek rose six feet in fifteen minutes. It is estimated that more than one third of the properties in Elm Grove suffered damages from the overflow of streams, stormwater runoff, or sanitary sewer backup.
Your property may be high enough that it was not affected by flooding recently. If you are in the floodplain, the odds are that someday your property will be damaged. Often properties become at risk when power outages coincide with severe weather. This flyer gives you some ideas of what you can do to protect yourself.
VILLAGE OF ELM GROVE FLOOD SERVICES
The first thing you should do is check your floodplain proximity. Flood maps and flood protection references are available at the Village hall. Village staff can assist you in locating your property on the flood maps to determine whether the property lies in the floodplain. Staff can also provide detailed information such as past flood problems in the area.
If requested, the Public Works Department will visit a property to review its flood problem and explain ways to try to stop flooding or prevent flood damage. Call the Department at 782-6700.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Several of the Village’s efforts depend on your cooperation and assistance. Here is how you can help:
Always check with the Village of Elm Grove before you build on, alter, regrade, or fill on your property. A permit may be needed to ensure that projects do not cause problems on other properties. If you see building or filling without a Village permit, contact the Village hall at 782-6700.
• Do not dump or store anything into ditches or streams, especially firewood. Even grass clippings and branches can accumulate and plug channels. A plugged channel cannot carry water and when it rains the water has to go somewhere. Every piece of trash contributes to flooding. Contact the Village if you are aware of a blocked culvert.
• If your property is next to a ditch or stream, please do your part and keep the banks clear of brush and debris. The Village has a stream maintenance program which can help remove major blockages such as downed trees.
There are several different ways to protect a building from flood damage. These measures are called flood proofing or retrofitting. The most effective methods will actually keep water away from your home (as opposed to those that make the structure water resistant). Village engineer Mike Campbell recommends landscaping around your home to absorb excess water in the ground and making sure that downspouts are directed away from the house. For homes prone to flooding, he recommends downspouts that direct water 10 feet away from the home. In addition, beware of patios or other land uses that channel water toward the house.
Another way to keep water away from your home is to regrade your lot or build a small floodwall or earthen berm. These methods work if your lot is large enough, if flooding is not too deep, and if your property is not in the floodway. The Village can provide this information.
Another approach is to make your walls waterproof and place watertight closures over the doorways. This method is not recommended for houses with basements. And as a preventive measure, you should always keep window wells free of debris so water can adequately flow through them and away from your home.
Many houses, even those not in the floodplain, have sewers that may back up into the basement during heavy rains. A plug or standpipe can stop this if the water doesn’t rise more than one or two feet deep. They can be purchased at a hardware store for under $25.
Important note: Any alteration to your building or land requires a permit from the Village. Even regrading or filling in the floodplain requires a permit.
For deeper sewer backup flooding, talk to a plumber about overhead sewers, hung plumbing, or a backup valve.
Statistically, there is a greater chance that homeowners will experience fIooding than fire, yet many households do not carry flood insurance. If you don’t have flood insurance, talk to your insurance agent.
The Federal government backs all flood insurance and you can get it through an agent or directly from the government (to order direct from the government, see www.fema.gov or call 1-800-427-4661).
Typical rates for a $250,000 home outside the floodplain are approximately $300/year. Coverage for the same home in the floodplain would cost approximately $1,500/year. Coverage under these plans includes up to $250,000 for structural damage and $60,000 for content damage.
If you are already covered, check out the amount and make sure you have contents coverage. Flood insurance purchased as a condition of a mortgage or home improvement loan usually does not cover contents, only the structure. During the kind of flooding that happened in 1998, there was more damage to furniture and contents than to structures.
Also keep in mind that flood insurance only applies to water that enters your home from the outside; a separate policy (usually a component of home owner’s insurance) is necessary to cover sewer backup.
What you need to know when you contact your insurance agent:
• Your flood zone (contact the Village Hall for this information)
• Estimated value of your home and contents
• Whether you are covered for flood damage to structure and contents and from damage caused by sewer backup
Remember: Even if the last flood missed you or you have done some floodproofing, the next flood could again bring widespread damage.
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