The greater Upper Valley region has experienced multiple recent storms where significant flood and fluvial erosion damages were caused, from Tropical Storm Irene to localized microbursts. As a land of upland peaks, rivers and valleys, the risk cannot be wholly removed; however, policies and planning can be used to mitigate risks.
Flood resiliency should be viewed with two goals in mind. The first is to prevent new homes from being built in flood prone areas. The second is to improve rivers’ capacity to manage flooding naturally by protecting or restoring a river’s access to floodplains, thus increasing land’s ability to absorb pollutants out of water. By safeguarding for our natural resources to reduce flooding, those resources will also provide other valuable services such as water quality, wildlife habitat, and attractive waterfront areas for recreation.