Announcements / Progress / Science

Brandon Adopts River Corridor Protections

When it comes to flooding, Brandon has seen its share. Tropical Storm Irene was disastrous for the town and the Neshobe River has a long history of overflowing its banks. The most recent flood was July 1, 2017 after a severe summer rainstorm. These kinds of downpours that lead to flooding are becoming more commonplace throughout Vermont.

On July 27, 2020, the Brandon Selectboard adopted flood hazard regulations that include river corridor protections. These regulations are more stringent than federal minimum requirements, prohibit most infill and encroachment in the floodplain, and protect structures and properties up and downstream of floodplains and river corridors.

Flooding not only is commonplace in Brandon, it is increasingly expensive for the town. The summer storm in 2017 caused more than a half of a million dollars in damages. Because Brandon’s flood regulations were up to date, the town paid about half of what it would have paid for its share of flood payment. Keeping everything current saved Brandon $26,450 in disaster spending for that one storm.

Three years later, the town decided to update its flood regulations again to keep what it pays out-of-pocket in disaster relief at the lowest rate possible and to better protect the town – and its resident and businesses – going forward.

Vermont DEC floodplain managers and the Rutland Regional Planning Commission assisted the town with adding the new river corridor protections to its land use ordinance.