Special to the Gazette
District 9 Boston City Councilor Liz Breadon and District 8 City Councilor Sharon Durkan have put forward, “An order for a hearing on stormwater management and flood hazard mitigation in the City of Boston,” for consideration at the August 30, 2023, meeting of the Boston City Council.
“Year after year, we’ve seen flooding across the City grow more destructive, and resources to help residents are scarce or marred by gaps in coverage, making low-income residents and tenants particularly vulnerable to property loss from flooding in basement locations and garden-level units. Congress has taken steps to bolster this coverage, but in Boston we have a responsibility to proactively identify and respond to flood risks and consider establishing programs that provide financial and technical assistance for mitigation,” said Councilor Breadon.
“Boston can develop our own programs and prioritize support for low-income households to provide retrofit support to property owners to protect homes before flood damage, like drainage reviews and installations. We have a huge population of renters in Boston – myself included – and I know how challenging it can be to grapple with damage like this, beyond your control. We can help to avoid these crises from the beginning with stormwater regulations and the adoption of accurate rainfall standards that take the long view of stormwater flooding,” said Councilor Durkan.
Studies of Massachusetts insurance flood claims have shown that the existing FEMA flood maps are poorly predictive of where stormwater flooding is most likely to occur, leaving most residents unaware of their risk. Low-income residents and tenants may be particularly vulnerable to property loss from flooding in basement locations without access to insurance coverage.
The hearing order (Docket 1385) will be introduced in the Boston City Council meeting of Wednesday, August 30 in the Iannella Chamber, 5th Floor, Boston City Hall (live-streamed at Boston City Council TV).