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Monday, December 28, 2015

Floodplain Issues

We are about to experience the second highest recorded flood on the Mississippi River.  It will probably come in third or fourth on the flow list.  Floods bring out the floodplain management specialist in me.  One of the issues that always comes up with a big flood is that we should return the floodplain to nature.  I would contend that farming is a compatible use for floodplains if you are prepared for the crop loss.

However, residences are not as compatible.  Federal Floodplain policy is to remove insurable structures from the floodplain, or flood proof them.  Elevated structures like the one below east of Litchfield are allowed.  The problem is that you u need a boat to get home.  In the case of the one below, it appears to me to be in the floodway.  Construction in a floodway is prohibited.  This house was allowed because of a poorly drawn map.  The house is about 50 feet from Shoal Creek and stream bank erosion could easily compromise it.

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