Flooding is a fact of life in the Town of Horseheads
Although Horseheads is located a safe distance from the Chemung River, it is subject to flooding from the following sources: Newtown Creek, Jackson Creek, Bannister Road Tributary, North Branch of Newtown Creek, Prospect Creek (also called Horseheads Creek), Old Chemung Canal, Beaver Brook, Latta Brook, McCann's Tributary, Halderman Hollow Creek, Catherine Creek, Goldsmith Creek, and May's Creek. Flooding can also result from local drainage problems.
Flood damages have occurred in the Town in 1972 (Hurrricane Agnes), 1975 (Hurricane Eloise), 1993 (snowmelt following the "April blizzard"), 1994 (Hurricane Beryl), January 1996, and November 1996.
Most of the flood damages in Horseheads have historically been sustained by the road system, but private property losses have occurred as well. Some of the areas subject to flooding are identified on the Town's Flood Insurance Rate Maps, which show areas expected to be inundated by the flood with a 1% probability of occurring in any given year (100-year flood) and the flood with a 0.2% probability of occurring in a year (500-year flood). Additional areas may also be at risk of flood damage due to obstructed flow, local drainage problems, erosion, or extreme events. Damage resulting from erosion of streambanks is a particular concern, with natural erosion processes accelerated during flood conditions.
Ongoing efforts to reduce future flood damage in the Town include: stormwater management, floodplain management, stream dumping regulations, technical assistance with floodproofing measures, levee maintenance, and a flood warning system.
Map of Special Flood Hazard Area (select map features and flood zones and zoom to location)
Map with historic flood information
Description of flood hazards in this region
Flood Safety Information
Flood Insurance can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program for any building in the Town of Horseheads. Because the Town participates in the Community Rating System program, properties in the Horseheads qualify for reduced insurance policy rates.
Flood insurance information at FloodSmart.gov
National Flood Insurance Program in Chemung County
Property Protection Measures
Floodproofing: Protect your property from flood damage
Natural Flood Protection
Stream corridors, floodplains, and the entire watershed can provide naturally beneficial functions in regard to flooding, water quality, and channel stability.
Prevention: Contact the Town Code Enforcement Office to report dumping in streams or illicit discharge violations: (607) 739-7605.
Reporting drainage problems: Please report drainage issues regarding culverts, catch basins, creeks, and roadside ditches to the Highway Department: (607)739-2410
Stream Processes Guide
Flood warning and effective flood response are the greatest defense against loss of life during a flood.
Information about flood warnings
Current river observations and forecasts
Floodplain Development Permits
A Floodplain Development Permit is required for any development within the special flood hazard area. Elevation Certificates are used to determine compliance and are available from the Town of Horseheads Code Enforcement Office at 150 Wygant Rd., Horseheads, NY or (607) 739-7605.
Substantial Improvement Rule: If the cost of improvements exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the building, then the entire structure must be brought up to current floodplain management standards.
Substantial Damage Rule: If a floodplain structure is damaged by flood, fire, or any other cause and the cost to repair the damage exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the building before the damage occurred, then any repairs are considered a substantial improvement, regardless of the actual repair work performed.
Information about floodplain development standards
Chemung County Hazard Mitigation Plan
Flood Hazards in the Susquehanna-Chemung Action Plan