Planning & Community Development - Flood Hazard Mitigation
Town of Braintree Department of Planning and Community Development
1 JFK Memorial Drive
Braintree, MA 02184
Fax: 781 794-8089
Director: Christine Stickney, 781 794-8232, firstname.lastname@example.org
Principal Planner: Melissa M. SantucciRozzi, 781 794-8234, email@example.com
Conservation Planner: Kelly Phelan, 781 794-8233, firstname.lastname@example.org
Louise Quinlan, 781 794-8235, email@example.com
Flood Hazard Information
Jefferson St. during March 2010 flood
Flooding can happen anywhere, but certain areas are especially prone to serious flooding. To help communities understand their risk, flood maps (Flood Insurance Rate Maps or FIRMs) have been created to show the location of high-risk, moderate-to-low risk, and undetermined-risk areas. High-risk areas (also known as Special Flood Hazard Areas or SFHA) have a 1% annual chance of flooding. These areas are shown on the flood maps as zones labeled with letters A, AE or V. To view the Flood Insurance Rate Maps, stop by the Braintree Engineering Department office or try the links below
Flood Insurance Rate Maps for Braintree -
Note: we have been having problems with the display of these maps. If you are not able to view them you may visit the Braintree Engineering Department at 85 Quincy Avenue to view the maps in person.
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When making or extending a property loan (including a home equity loan), lenders are required to make a determination (called a Standard Flood Hazard Determination) as to whether or not the building is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). All homeowners in Special Flood Hazards Areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to buy flood insurance.
If a person feels that a lender's determination incorrectly places the property in the SFHA, he or she may request a Letter of Determination from FEMA. This must be submitted within 45 days of the determination. For more information and the form you must fill out to request a determination see
How To Request A Determination Review .
For more information on flood insurance talk with your insurance agent or the National Flood Insurance Program 800 638-6620.
March 2010 Flooding
Flooding occurred throughout Braintree in March, 2010 as over 9 inches of rain fell over a period of a few days. The Monatiquot and Farm Rivers overflowed their banks, flooding residents, business and major intersections such as the Union St. rotary and the Hancock/Washington St. intersection.
Union St. rotary during March 2010 flood
March 2010 flooding at Hancock/Washington St.
Property Protection Measures
What measures can you take to protect your property from flood damage? Consider floodproofing.
Dry Floodproof of Your Building
Add Waterproof Veneer to Exterior Walls
Raise or Floodproof HVAC
Raise Electrical System Components
Anchor Fuel Tanks
Build With Flood Damage Resistant Materials
Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else during a flood. Don’t drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out.
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 the Braintree Electric Light Department at 781 348-BELD (2353).
Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don’t smoke or use candles, lanterns or open flames until you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated.
Watch where you step. Current can be deceptive; six inches of flowing water can knock you off your feet. If you walk through water, use a pool or stick to ensure that the ground is still there.
Functions of Floodplains
Floodplain lands and adjacent waters combine to form a complex, dynamic physical and biological system found nowhere else. When portions of floodplains are preserved in (or restored to) their natural state, they provide many benefits to both human and natural systems.
The most significant benefit of undeveloped floodplains is that they provide a place for the floods to go! When flood waters are able to spread out over a floodplain, the water velocity is reduced, sediments and debris settle out and less damage occurs downstream. For that reason, as well as the significant public safety benefit and to avoid property damage, development in the floodplain is restricted (see Permit Requirements below).
Floodplains also provide excellent habitats for fish and wildlife by serving as breeding and feeding grounds. They also create and enhance waterfowl habitats, and help to protect habitats for rare and endangered species.
Floodplain Development - Permit Requirements
Placing fill or building in the floodplain (the Special Flood Hazard Area or SFHA) requires permits from both the Conservation Commission and the Planning Board. Such permits include requirements that fill placed in the floodplain be balanced by removing fill from another area of your property. This balancing is known as “compensatory flood storage” and required by both the Wetlands Protection Act and Braintree Zoning Bylaw. Floodwaters displaced by the fill have to go somewhere, so it is up to the person filling to create a place for it to go. Also, the zoning bylaw requires that the lowest floor, including the basement, be elevated at least one foot above the 100 year flood elevation.
Contact staff from the Planning & Community Development to discuss your project and application requirements.
Useful Documents and Links:
For Property Owners
Flood Areas - PDF
Understanding Flood Insurance
and the Grandfathering Rule - PDF
FEMA Hompage: http://www.fema.gov/
FEMA map Center:
How To Request A Determination Review
Monatiquot River Watershed Plan --The final plan developed by the graduate students from the University of Massachusetts Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning program.
Hazard Mitigation Plan Update-- The Town of Braintree in collaboration with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) recently updated the Hazard Mitigation Plan. To view the Hazard Mitigation Plan click here.