- The first step in protecting your home from flood damage is to assess the flood hazard.
- Flood maps and flood protection references are available at the Upper St. Clair Township Library.
- An Upper St. Clair Flood Insurance Rate Map is also available online.
- You may also visit the Department of Planning and Community Development in the Municipal Building to inquire about your risk. They can provide you with information on flood elevations, flood-proofing and past flooding.
- For your safety, Upper St. Clair regulates all construction and development in floodplains to ensure that buildings will be protected from flood damage.
- If requested, the Public Works Department will visit a property to review its flood problem and explain possible ways to stop flooding or prevent flood damage. These services are available without charge.
- The Department of Planning and Community Development has made available a list of Water Damage Restoration Companies for residents who might need professional cleanup and repair assistance.
- If you are in a floodplain or have experienced a flood, drainage, or sewer backup problem, seek these sources of assistance.
- Chartiers Creek Real-Time Stream Gauge Data
- www.dep.state.pa.us/ www.pema.state.pa.us/ www.epa.gov/ www.fema.gov/
- Flood Insurance (FEMA) www.fema.gov/nfip/
- Floodsmart: https://www.floodsmart.gov/ FEMA HMA Program
- Printable Elevation Certificate for Flood Insurance: (FEMA) https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/2020-07/fema_nfip_elevation-certificate-form-instructions_feb-2020.pdf
Flooding and other surface drainage problems can occur well away from a river, lake, or ocean. Whether you are looking at a property or are concerned about your own property, it is always a good idea to check possible hazards. Be aware:
- The force of moving water or waves can destroy a building.
- Slow-moving flood waters are forceful enough to knock people off their feet or to float a car.
- Water-soaked contents, such as carpeting, clothing, upholstered furniture, and mattresses often suffer irreparable damage and may have to be disposed of after a flood.
- Some items, such as photographs and heirlooms, may never be restored to their original conditions.
- Floodwaters are not clean; floods carry mud, disease, chemicals, road oil, and other noxious substances that cause serious health hazards.
- The impact of a flood (cleaning up, making repairs, suffering personal losses) causes great stress to you, your family, and your finances.
What You Can Do To Help
Several of the Township's efforts depend on your cooperation and assistance. Here is how you can help:
- Do not dump or throw anything into creeks, ditches, ravines, or streams. Dumping is a violation of several Township Ordinances. Even grass clippings and branches can accumulate and plug channels. A plugged channel cannot carry water, causing great danger during rains. Each piece of trash contributes to flooding.
- If your property is next to a creek or ditch, please do your part by keeping the banks clear of brush and debris. The Township has a maintenance program which can help remove major blockages such as downed trees.
- If you see dumping or debris in the creeks or ditches, contact the Public Works Department.
- Always check with the Planning and Community Development Department before you build, alter, regrade, or deposit fill on your property. A permit may be needed to ensure that projects do not cause problems on other properties.
- If you see building or filling without a Township permit sign posted, contact the Planning and Community Development Department at 412.831.9000.
- Help yourself by understanding flood-proofing, flood insurance and flood safety
There are several different ways to protect a building from flood damage, often at relatively low cost.
- Existing buildings can be protected from shallow waters by regrading your lot or building a small floodwall or earthen berm. Such methods are effective if your lot is both large enough and clear of the floodway. The Planning and Community Development Department can provide this information.
- There are other retrofitting techniques that can protect a building from surface or subsurface water. Waterproofing walls and placing watertight closures over doorways can greatly mitigate the risks of flood damage.
Check Before You Buy
Before you commit yourself to buying property, protect and educate yourself by doing the following:
- Ask your real estate agent if the property is in a floodplain, if it has ever been flooded, and if it is subject to any other hazards, such as sewer backup or subsidence.
- If the property is in a floodplain, ask both the seller and the neighbors about their experiences with floods or other hazards.
- Ask Upper St. Clair's Planning and Community Development Department about building or zoning regulations.