If you’re a contractor in Idaho, chances are, you already know what a floodplain study is, as well as why it’s so important to have one. If you’re just starting out or are building in a new area, however, the terms may be foreign. In short, floodplain studies help developers determine the risks of flooding and how to mitigate them.
When starting a project that could be located in a floodplain, you’ll need a floodplain study to assess your risk. Here’s an overview of floodplain studies and why they’ll prove to be important in your future development projects.
What is a floodplain?
Picture your favorite river or lake. Chances are, it’s on flat ground, which makes for beautiful views and good swimming—but it also increases the likelihood that the surrounding area will flood during inclement weather. Floodplains are the flat land susceptible to flooding when a body of water overflows.
Floodplains aren’t always limited to being adjacent to bodies of water, however. Even urban buildings can be considered “on a floodplain” if, for example, the land is prone to flooding due to something so simple as a blocked storm drain.
To find out if you’re on a floodplain, check your state and local government offices for floodplain maps. Keep in mind that these maps are changeable—you can ask the state or county to reassess your floodplain designation if you believe your property is on higher ground.
Why would I need a floodplain study?
Every development is a major undertaking, and the last thing you want is for your hard work to be damaged or even destroyed by a flood. Here are some of the things a floodplain study can accomplish in Idaho:
- Evaluate your risk of flood: Obviously, the most important aspect of a floodplain study is the risk assessment aspect. For developers and contractors, this is key information. First, it helps determine whether the land is a floodplain. Second, knowing whether it is will help guide your designers and architects when building the project, should you wish to proceed with it.
- Help insurance companies determine risk: Another benefit to a floodplain study is that it helps your insurance company determine your flood risk, which can make or break a project. (In fact, insurance companies conduct their own floodplain studies when determining how to insure their clients or figure out a reasonable rate.)
- Find mitigating actions or strategies: Sometimes the perfect piece of land is indeed on a floodplain. If you can’t (or don’t want to) move the project, you’ll need to figure out mitigation techniques to lessen the chance you’ll be affected by floods. Your floodplain study can help.
- Get a richer cost-benefit analysis: Finally, money is often a driving factor in development projects, which is why it’s key to have a full cost-benefit analysis before you start building. Floodplain studies help round out your research.
If you need floodplain studies in Idaho, work with Mason & Associates. Call us today to get started on your next project.