Macomb County is ranked number one of all Michigan counties
in flood insurance coverage. Most communities in the county
are participants in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Macomb County has a historical record of severe windstorms, thunderstorms,
tornadoes, winter snowstorms and heavy rainfalls that have led to flooding.
The Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMAP) monies come from
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
A revision, or Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) can be submitted
to officially adjust the floodplain designation of the area on the
NFIP’s – Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).
Back in 2001; local and county officials; met with a professional planner
to draft the Macomb County Hazard Mitigation Plan. The draft was reviewed
and finalized by officials at the state and federal level.
Some NFIP identified Repetitive Loss Properties in Macomb County
have been moved or removed. The flood-prone structures were are turned
back into a natural state to be used as parks and green space.
Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) were identified by first-hand knowledge
of local emergency management personnel, fire chiefs, public works officials,
and others with direct knowledge of community flood impacts.
In Sterling Heights a Community Rating System (CRS) went into effect.
In other cases, sewers are present, but due to limited capacity of the
system, the surface water depths in that area continue to rise
and eventually becomes hazardous. When the capacity of the sanitary sewers
in some areas is exceeded, sewage may flow back up the pipes into people’s homes.
Footing drains in many houses are tied into the city’s sanitary sewers.
Residents can get water to drain away from the foundations of their houses
to prevent basement flooding by extending the gutter downspouts and splashguards.
Rainfall that used to soak into the ground or take several days to reach
a river or stream via a natural drainage basin now quickly runs off
streets, parking lots, and rooftops, and through man-made channels.
Real estate development outstrips the ability of the drainage infrastructure
to properly carry and disburse the water flow.
New developments throughout the county require retention and detention facilities
to reduce the effects of heavy rainfalls in flood-prone areas.
Problems tend to be with older structures that were less carefully engineered
against flood threats when they were built.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has estimated
that about 6% of Michigan’s land is flood-prone.
The southern half of the Lower Peninsula, where Macomb County is located,
contains the areas with the most flood damage potential.