Floodplains and Floodways in Hamburg Township
Connected by the Huron River are the "Chain-of-Lakes" which pass through the Township and are among the most valuable natural resources of the community. In combination, the Huron River, the lakes and rolling hills create picturesque views.
Hamburg Township has over 30 named lakes and a number of creeks, most of which are tributary to the Huron River and interconnect with the many lakes. There are several major streams in the Township that flow from the north down to the Huron River. These major creeks are Hay Creek, Chilson Creek, South Ore Creek and Horseshoe Creek.
Floodplains comprise a large portion of the immediate banks of the Huron River, with some floodway areas near the north bend of the River near the Buck Lake Subdivision. Additional floodway areas are located just south of the Whitewood Lake area. South Ore Creek, Hall Creek, Oneida Lake, Bass Lake, Zukey Lake and Hay Creek are some of the water bodies connected to and affected by the River's flows.
A large portion of the Township is comprised of 100-year floodplain, the majority of which is adjacent to the Huron River and the Chain of Lakes. Various floods from these water bodies and river have hit Hamburg Township in recent memory.
Information on whether your property is in the 100-year floodplain can be obtained by coming into the Township Offices and have the Zoning Administrator assist you. Maps are available to look at as well as other flood related information.
Is your property in a flood zone?
Please visit FEMA's website here, type in your complete address to view the flood map of your property: https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home
Basic Definitions (As defined in Article 2 of Township Zoning Ordinance):
Base Flood: The flood having a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
Base Floodplain: The area of lands adjacent to and including a river, stream, lake or other body of water that will be inundated by the base flood.
Flood or Flooding: A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land area from: (1) the overflow of inland or tidal waters; (2) the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
Floodway: The channel of the watercourse and those portions of the adjoining floodplains that are designated to be reserved to carry and discharge the base flood.
Floodproofing: Any combination of structural and non-structural additions, changes, or adjustments to structures which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water, and sanitary facilities, structures, and their contents.
Streams/Watercourse: Areas where surface water flow continuously or intermittently produces a defined channel or bed, including bedrock channel, gravel beds, sand and silt beds and defined channel swales. This definition does not include irrigation ditches, canals, storm or surface water runoff structures or other artificial watercourses unless they are used to convey streams naturally occurring prior to construction of such watercourses.
Hamburg Township is an NFIP Community
Hamburg Township joined the National Flood Insurance Program in 1986. It is now a Class 8 Community in the Community Rating System (CRS) Program. Both programs are administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The CRS was implemented to recognize and encourage community floodplain management activities that exceed minimum NFIP standards with the minimum requirements of the NFIP, and maintain FEMA elevation certificates for all new and substantially improved construction in the floodplain after the date of application for CRS classification.
The CRS provides a credit system that correlates to flood insurance premium reductions for participating Hamburg Township residents. Through the CRS program, Hamburg Township and its residents may receive federal assistance during natural flooding disasters and discounts on flood insurance premiums.
For additional information about the NFIP follow this link to the FEMA website: https://www.floodsmart.gov/
The Township also has Elevation Certificates for new development available back to 1986.
All development within the 100-year floodplain (not just construction of buildings, but filling, excavation, fences etc.) is required to obtain a Township Land Use Permit. Applications must be made prior to doing any work in a floodplain area. Please contact the Township Zoning Administrator to receive all the information you will need in order to properly develop in the floodplain. You may report any illegal development activities to the above number as well. Contact the Township offices at (810)-231-1000 Ext. 230 for further assistance.
Watch this short video to get an idea about how important it is to understand the impacts of development within the 100-year floodplain: Floodplain Demo - By: City of Broken Arrow, OK - Jeff Bigby .
"Floodplain Management 101 Workshop"
Presenter: Donna Cervelli, PE, District Floodplain Engineer (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Michigan Department of Environmental Quality/Water Resources Division.
This was a workshop held in February 2016 which covered details of the State Construction Code Permits and Floodplain Regular Requirements, including:
- What is a floodplain? What activities require a permit from the State?
- Code related issues based on the Michigan Building Code and the National Flood Insurance Program; i.e., elevation requirements, crawl space construction in floodplain, etc.
- Floodplain Management and updating FIRM maps
- Elevation Certificates
View video of workshop - click here.
Updated: November 2, 2020