Flooding happens when water bodies
receive a greater volume of water than they can handle at one
time. Floods are a natural part of the water cycle and can
even be beneficial, however humans have affected the landscape
drastically. By building on floodplains, draining wetlands,
and controlling storm water, we have increased the likelihood
of flooding and the extent of damage done by floodwaters such
as erosion, loss of property, loss of frontage and loss of
What is a Floodplain?
A river, stream, lake, or drain may
on occasion overflow their banks and inundate adjacent land
areas. The land that is inundated by water is defined as a
floodplain. In Michigan, and nationally, the term floodplain
has come to mean the land area that will be inundated by the
overflow of water resulting from a 100-year flood (a flood
which has a 1% chance of occurring any given year). It is
estimated that about 6% of Michigan’s land is flood-prone,
including about 200,000 buildings. Floodplain areas are
important natural features because they give time for sediment
to settle out of floodwaters, thereby keeping it out of water
bodies. Floodplains often support important wildlife habitat
and are frequently used by humans.
Why Flooding Occurs
With increasing development in the floodplain, open spaces,
and wetlands, our land has lost the ability to soak up rain.
Areas that were once effective at storing these excess flows
are now being replaced by buildings and pavement that have
made the land increasingly impervious. As a result, floods
have become far larger and more frequent.
There are also other factors that increase flooding:
Removal of stabilizing vegetation around streambanks and
Erecting structures that deflect or inhibit the flow of
Constructing bridges, culverts, buildings, and other
structures that encroach on the floodplain.
Building drainage systems that feed storm water quickly
into the receiving body.
Straightening meandering watercourses to hasten
drainage. This transfers flooding problems downstream and
also alters habitat.
Filling and dumping in floodplains. Floodwaters can
transport this debris, which may interfere with the movement
of the floodwater causing increased flood elevations.
Any construction, fill or alteration of a floodplain area
that has a drainage area greater than or equal to 2 square
miles requires a floodplain permit from the Michigan
Department of Environmental Quality. Remember, it’s illegal to
do any activity within the floodplain that may increase or
divert floodwaters onto neighboring properties.
Looking for Floodplain Information?
In order to help protect our residents, Bloomfield Township
participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
administered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
This program allows all of our property owners, regardless of
the location of the building, the opportunity to purchase
In 2002, Oakland County entered into a Cooperating
Technical Partners (CTP) Partnership Agreement with the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to create accurate,
up-to-date flood hazard areas for Oakland County. This
partnership has resulted in new Digital Flood Insurance Rate
Maps (DFIRMs) for all of Oakland County. The effective date on
the new maps is September 29, 2006. You can visit the
Township’s Building and/or Engineering & Environmental
Services Department where we have copies of the flood maps
available for viewing.
For your convenience, you can visit the Oakland
County ArcIMS Flood Hazard Site or view an
Interactive Map to find out more about your property and
its relation to the flood zone. This webpage offers an
interactive mapping function to provide you with flood hazard
information about areas throughout Oakland County.
Disclaimer: This site cannot be used by a property owner as a
legal floodplain determination for building or mortgage
Use the menu on the left-hand side of the screen and
selected the ‘search’ tab at the top. The search tab will
allow you to request information about a specific address,
community water body or road. To print the desired
information, select the ‘print’ tab at the top of the menu and
follow the instructions. The menu also features a ‘help’ tab
Please contact the Bloomfield Township Engineering and
Environmental Services Department
if you have questions about the material presented here.
Please visit the following websites for more information.
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
District Floodplain Engineers - 517.373.1170
Home | Government
| Services |
Current Events |
Contact Us |
E-mail List |
Site Map |
Site Use Policy
Township of Bloomfield
4200 Telegraph Road
P.O. Box 489
Bloomfield Township, MI 48303-0489
All information © 2013
Bloomfield Township, Michigan
Having trouble with Adobe? Click here.