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Planning & Community Development - Flood Hazard Mitigation

Town of Braintree Department of Planning and Community Development

1 JFK Memorial Drive                                

Braintree, MA 02184
781 794-8230
Fax: 781 794-8089

Director: Christine Stickney, 781 794-8232, [email protected]

Assistant Director: Melissa M. SantucciRozzi, 781 794-8234, [email protected]

Conservation Planner: Kelly Phelan, 781 794-8233, [email protected]

Administrative Assistant: Louise Quinlan, 781 794-8235,    


 Flood Hazard Information


Jefferson St. during March 2010 flood


Flooding can happen anywhere, but certain areas are especially prone to serious flooding. To help communities understand their risk, flood maps (Flood Insurance Rate Maps or FIRMs) have been created to show the location of high-risk, moderate-to-low risk, and undetermined-risk areas.  High-risk areas (also known as Special Flood Hazard Areas or SFHA) have a 1% annual chance of flooding. These areas are shown on the flood maps as zones labeled with letters A, AE or V.  To view the Flood Insurance Rate Maps, stop by the Braintree Engineering Department office or try the links below

Flood Insurance Rate Maps for Braintree -

If you are not able to view the maps you may visit the Braintree Engineering Department at 85 Quincy Avenue or the Planning Department at 1 JFK Memorial Dr. to view the maps in person.   Or call 781 794-8233 to speak with someone who can provide information from the maps.


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Flood Insurance

When making or extending a property loan (including a home equity loan), lenders are required to make a determination (called a Standard Flood Hazard Determination) as to whether or not the building is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).  All homeowners in Special Flood Hazards Areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to buy flood insurance. 

If a person feels that a lender's determination incorrectly places the property in the SFHA, he or she may request a Letter of Determination from FEMA. This must be submitted within 45 days of the determination. For more information and the form you must fill out to request a determination see

How To Request A Determination Review .

For more information on flood insurance talk with your insurance agent or the National Flood Insurance Program 800 638-6620.

Even if you are not required to carry flood insurance you may wish to do so to ensure that you are covered in case of flood damage. Renters may wish to buy coverage for their contents.

March 2010 Flooding

Flooding occurred throughout Braintree in March, 2010 as over 9 inches of rain fell over a period of a few days.  The Monatiquot and Farm Rivers overflowed their banks, flooding residents, business and major intersections such as the Union St. rotary and the Hancock/Washington St. intersection.


 Union St. rotary during March 2010 flood

March 2010 flooding at Hancock/Washington St.

Property Protection Measures

What measures can you take to protect your property from flood damage? Consider floodproofing.

Dry Floodproof of Your Building

Add Waterproof Veneer to Exterior Walls

Raise or Floodproof HVAC

Raise Electrical System Components

Anchor Fuel Tanks

Build With Flood Damage Resistant Materials

Flood Safety

Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else during a flood. Don’t drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out.

Stay away from power lines and electrical wires.  The number two flood killer after drowning is electrocution. Electrical current can travel through water.  Report downed power lines to the Braintree Electric Light Department at 781 348-BELD (2353).

Be alert for gas leaks.  Use a flashlight to inspect for damage.  Don’t smoke or use candles, lanterns or open flames until you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated.

Watch where you step.  Current can be deceptive; six inches of flowing water can knock you off your feet.  If you walk through water, use a pool or stick to ensure that the ground is still there.

Functions of Floodplains

Floodplain lands and adjacent waters combine to form a complex, dynamic physical and biological system found nowhere else. When portions of floodplains are preserved in (or restored to) their natural state, they provide many benefits to both human and natural systems.

The most significant benefit of undeveloped floodplains is that they provide a place for the floods to go! When flood waters are able to spread out over a floodplain, the water velocity is reduced, sediments and debris settle out and less damage occurs downstream. For that reason, as well as the significant public safety benefit and to avoid property damage, development in the floodplain is restricted (see Permit Requirements below).

Floodplains also provide excellent habitats for fish and wildlife by serving as breeding and feeding grounds. They also create and enhance waterfowl habitats, and help to protect habitats for rare and endangered species.

Floodplain Development - Permit Requirements

Placing fill or building in the floodplain (the Special Flood Hazard Area or SFHA) requires permits from both the Conservation Commission and the Planning Board.  Such permits include requirements that fill placed in the floodplain be balanced by removing fill from another area of your property.  This balancing is known as “compensatory flood storage” and required by both the Wetlands Protection Act and Braintree Zoning Bylaw.  Floodwaters displaced by the fill have to go somewhere, so it is up to the person filling to create a place for it to go. Also, the zoning bylaw requires that the lowest floor, including the basement, be elevated at least one foot above the 100 year flood elevation. 

Contact staff from the Planning & Community Development to discuss your project and application requirements.

Useful Documents and Links:

Answers to Questions For Property Owners Remapped Into

Higher-Risk Flood Areas - PDF

Understanding Flood Insurance and the Grandfathering Rule - PDF

FEMA Hompage:

FEMA map Center: :

How To Request A Determination Review



Monatiquot River Watershed Plan --The final plan developed by the graduate students from the University of Massachusetts Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning program.

Hazard Mitigation Plan -- The Town of Braintree in collaboration with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) updated the Hazard Mitigation Plan in 2013.    Also, The 2017 annual report on implementation activities.