In 2007, The
City of Athens recently began working to update its floodplain
management strategies. Since approximately 30% of the land and
structures in Athens lie within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA),
floodplain management is a very important consideration for the city.
Flooding along East State Street in Athens, January 2005
The main sources of flooding within the City of Athens are the Hocking River, Margaret Creek, and Coates Run. Flooding can occur anywhere along these waterways especially when the ground is saturated and a storm front stalls above the Hocking River watershed. Flash flooding can occur along any small tributary under these circumstances as well, though flash flooding does not occur along the Hocking River within the City of Athens. According to the city's 2005 Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, riverine flooding is the highest risk natural hazard for the City of Athens; flash flooding is the third highest risk.
Developing in a Floodplain
If you wish to develop in the City of Athens' floodplain, you must apply for a permit from the Department of Development:
Department of Development
Enforcement and Facilities
28 Curran Dr.
Athens, OH 45701
Please contact this department at (740) 592-3306 before you build, fill, or otherwise develop on the floodplain. Illegal floodplain development can be reported to this department as well. Permits can also be downloaded from the Department of Development, Enforcement and Facilities webpage.
Maintenance of drainage systems is another important part of floodplain management. If drainage systems are blocked or diverted, flooding may result even in areas far from a river or creek. In the City of Athens, regulations pertaining to drainage system maintenance are found in Athens City Code 27.02.04. Violations should be reported to the Department of Development, Enforcement and Facilities.