Floodplain Management

Strolling along a local creek can be very relaxing. Proposing to build along that creek, is not. Why? Floodplains, which you’ve probably heard of by now. If you’ve built in Washtenaw County—especially Ann Arbor—you’ve likely dealt with the restrictions and requirements regarding building within floodplains. Because much of the higher ground in the Washtenaw County area has been developed, most of us have had to respond to floodplain jurisdictional issues at some point.

If you’re getting ready to embark on another floodplain endeavor, we have a few resources to help you.

Image of Traver Creek, City of Ann Arbor

Traver Creek, City of Ann Arbor

Resource 1: The Michigan Stormwater-Floodplain Association (MSFA)

The MSFA is the Michigan Chapter of the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM). Our very own Senior Associate and Project Manager, Sue Dickinson, serves on the MSFA board as a Regional Representative. She suggests coming to the annual MSFA conference on Feb 21-23 in Lansing for the following reasons.

  • Opportunity to take the certified floodplain manager (CFM) exam.
    • Typically about 5 people in Michigan per year become CFMs.
  • 2 ½ days filled with information for building officials, floodplain managers, and stormwater engineers. You’ll learn about weather and climate change, and how that effects your building procedures. You’ll also learn about any new mapping coming from FEMA and MDEQ revisions to floodplain requirements.
  • Workshops on Building Codes, Community Rating System (CRS), and Floodplain 101 and Stormwater 101, classes provided by the MDEQ, are available at the conference.

Interested? Registration is available at www.mifloodsconference.org.

Bridge at Veterans Park, City of Chelsea

Veterans Park, City of Chelsea

Resource 2: The Midwestern Team

Maybe you don’t want to go to a conference. That’s ok. You don’t need to. We have experts on our team, so you don’t have to worry.

Here are a few reasons why you can trust us:

  1. Continuing education courses keep our engineers updated! Like the 2016 national ASFPM conference in Grand Rapids.
  2. We have relationships with the MDEQ district floodplain engineering staff. We know what permitting engineers are looking for. We learn what problems they’ve seen in the past, so you know not to do them in advance.
  3. We have one of 78 Michigan certified floodplain managers on our team.

As you might know, storm water management requirements are constantly changing.  Regardless of the cause, climate change is happening.  Michigan rainfalls are more intense than in the past.  The Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner Office has updated their rainfall intensity levels to compensate for this.  Other agencies are still considering changes, including the MDEQ.  We’ll stay informed and know when the changes happen.

If you need to shift the burden of floodplain management off of your team, you know who to call.

If you have any questions regarding floodplain management or the conference, give Sue a call, at 734 995-0200 or send an email to scd@midwesternconsulting.com.