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ANR Flood Recovery Resources

Find updates and information on the recent flood.

Property Concerns with Rivers and Streams After Recent Flooding

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release – July 27, 2023

Press Contact:
Maggie Gendron, Deputy Secretary
Agency of Natural Resources
maggie.gendron@vermont.gov

Property Concerns with Rivers and Streams After Recent Flooding

Montpelier, Vt. – Recent flooding has altered Vermont’s landscape and property owners understandably have questions. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has prepared answers to common questions:

Q: Recent flooding moved the stream/river extremely close to my home/business. Will the state come and fix it?

A: If you feel your home or business is unsafe, take necessary measures to protect your safety, including leaving the building.

If you think work is needed immediately to stabilize the river, you may hire a contractor to do the work as an emergency protective measure, under authorization of the town. Contact your town to alert them of the issue, as they are required to report within 72 hours. A DEC River Management Engineer will get there as soon as their schedule allows. There may be additional work required at a later date if emergency work further destabilizes the river.

If there is not an immediate threat to your home or business but you feel work is needed to stabilize the river, please send your name, email address, phone number, and full address including town name to anr.wsmdrivers@vermont.gov. A DEC River Management Engineer will contact you as soon as their schedule allows. They will work with you to schedule a visit to assess your property and advise you on work.

The DEC River Management Section is not a funding program but can help you determine the appropriate scope of work that meets state regulations.

Q: Will someone remove the wood and debris in the river near my property?

A: If the wood or debris is changing or redirecting the flow of the river and immediately threatening your home or business, contact your town to alert them of the issue. With authorization from the town, you may hire a contractor to do the work to stabilize the river as an emergency protective measure. Alternatively, towns have the authority to implement emergency protective measures to protect public infrastructure and public safety.

Emergency protective measures need to be reported within 72 hours. A DEC River Management Engineer will get there as soon as their schedule allows. There may be additional work required at a later date if emergency work further destabilizes the river or impacts adjacent infrastructure.

If there is not an immediate threat to your home or business but you feel work is needed to stabilize the river, please send your name, email address, phone number, and full address including town name to anr.wsmdrivers@vermont.gov. A DEC River Management Engineer will contact you as soon as their schedule allows. They will work with you to schedule a visit to assess your property and advise you on work.

Q: My home has been damaged or destroyed by recent flooding. What do I do next and what assistance is available?

A: Information and resources are available at https://floodready.vermont.gov/help-after-flooding.

Q: My town road is washed out next to my property. When will it be fixed?

A: Contact your town/highway department or road foreman to alert them of the issue. Towns are responsible for repairs to town roads. DEC River Management Engineers work closely with town officials to ensure repairs meet state standards.

Q: Who will stop heavy equipment from destroying the river?

A: Flood events require work within rivers and streams to protect public safety and existing infrastructure. Towns have the authority to implement emergency protective measures to protect public safety.

The DEC Rivers Program regulates activities in rivers and streams to ensure that work does not create additional flood hazards or cause damage to fish habitat.

The most common issue after a flood is over-dredging of rivers or excessive streambank filling. While limited excavations and streambank stabilization may be needed to maintain river channel capacity and protect nearby roads and buildings, over-dredging or over-filling creates a much more unstable river which threatens adjacent property and infrastructure during the next flood.

DEC may require a permit and follow-up work at a later date if deemed necessary for a safe river condition or restoration of habitat. 

You may report concerns regarding work in rivers to anr.wsmdrivers@vermont.gov. Please provide location information including name of town, name of river/stream, and nearest address and/or crossroads.

Q: Is there financial assistance for me to stabilize the streambank on my property?

A: The Emergency Watershed Protection grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service provides financial assistance for this type of work.

For more information on flood recovery resources from the Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation, Fish and Wildlife Department, or the Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, visit https://ANR.Vermont.gov/Flood.

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