Flood Proofing

There are several ways to protect a structure from flood damage. One way is to keep the water away by regrading your lot or building a small floodwall or earthen berm. These methods only work if your lot or building is large enough, if the flooding is not too deep, and if your property is not in the floodway. The Adams County Highway Department can provide this information. This is not a practical solution for properties located along Bonansinga Drive or along the banks of the river.

Another approach is to make your walls waterproof and place watertight closures over the doorways. This method is not recommended for houses with basements or if the water will get over two feet deep.

A third approach is to raise the house above flood levels. This is the most common approach used in Adams County. A small wood frame house can be elevated for less than $10,000. If you are interested in this method, drive down Bonansinga Drive and see the houses which were elevated after the flood of 1993. During flooding since 1993, the water never came near the floors of these houses.

Many houses, even those not in the floodplain, have sewers that back up into the basement during heavy rains. A plug or standpipe can stop this if the water doesn't get more than one or two feet deep. They can be purchased at a hardware store for under $25. For deeper sewer backup flooding, talk to a plumber about overhead sewers or a backup valve.

These measures are called floodproofing or retrofitting. More information is available at the Quincy Public Library and the Adams County Highway Department. Important note: Any alteration to your building or land requires a permit from the Adams County Highway Department.Even regrading or filling in the floodplain requires a permit.

If you know a flood is coming, you should shut off the gas and electricity and move valuable contents upstairs or out of the structure. It is unlikely that you will get much warning, so a detailed checklist prepared in advance would help ensure that you don't forget anything.