New Website Helps Communities Plan for Floods

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 08/13 2014 06:18PM

Updated 08/13 2014 06:39PM

MONTPELIER, Vt. - After Irene left many areas devastated communities across Vermont have been working to clean up and prepare for the next storm. Now cities and towns across the state have another tool on their tool belt to do just that.

The newest tool is a website recently launched by the State of Vermont. It's called 'Flood Ready' and leaders describe it as a 'one stop shop' to help cities and towns create a more flood resilient community.

Like many towns across Vermont, Irene hit Northfield hard. The Town Zoning Administrator Michele Braun says roads were washed out stranding people and services - including first responders.

“It was a major setback to the ambulance department to have that happen,” said Braun.

Braun says the town is working to create a safer community she's using a new state website to do just that.

“Having everything flood related in one place is really helpful,” said Braun.

In the aftermath of Irene, the Agency of Natural Resources worked to create a new website called ‘Flood Ready'. It was recently launched as another tool for communities to prepare for a flood.

“We are seeing more flooding and more costly damage in Vermont than ever before from flooding, but it doesn't have to be that way,” said Sarah McKearnan, Special Assistant to the Secretary on Climate Change.

McKearnan says the website was designed to give communities a 'one stop shop' a place to find everything they need to rebuild a 'flood ready' community.

The website includes information on many topics, including the following–

● Prepare for disaster: Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund (ERAF)
● Identify flood hazards and take action to minimize future damage
● Find funding to reduce risk to existing buildings
● Update your community plans
● Find out what communities are doing to get flood ready

“We could go to the website and see what other towns are doing that's not necessarily the same thing they've always done. What towns are trying something new and who are they working with and where are they getting funding,” said Braun.

Braun says having all these tools at her fingertips is a quick and easy way to help communities plan for the future.

“It's really helpful,” said Braun.

Organizers say 'Flood Ready Vermont' compiles the best available information about what communities have done and what they should do to create a safer environment.

The website was designed with the help of multiple agencies and local leaders.

Click here to visit the Flood Ready website.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.