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Flood Plain Management

Geographically, the City of Bessemer is located near Birmingham in Southwest Jefferson County, eight miles west of Hoover, and a little north of the center of the state. The general flow of ground water is westward, away from the higher elevations of the City, toward the Black Warrior River. Major creeks located in the area include Shades, Valley, Five Mile, Blue, Halls, and several unnamed tributaries. These creeks and tributaries contribute to the composition of several watersheds located within the city limits of Bessemer. 
The watersheds are: Five Mile–Valley Creek, Headwaters Valley Creek, Jordan Spring Branch-Valley Creek, Lick Creek-Valley Creek, Lower Shades Creek, Lower Valley Creek, and Upper Shades Creek. 
All seven watersheds comprise some portion of the 100-year floodplain. Floodplains serve a beneficial purpose to our quality of life. These low-lying areas are where rainfall goes to drain, commonly found adjacent to rivers and streams, and is the area subject to initial flooding. Floodplains function to filter stormwater runoff as it seeps through the ground and into our aquifer. The natural vegetation filters out impurities and improves water quality by removing excess nutrients. 
This aquifer is our only source of drinking water and filtering helps contain pollution before it reaches our aquifer. Such natural processes cost far less when compared to the future construction cost to correct flooding problems, storm water-water quality issues. and other community projects. 

The following links may be used to learn more about what you can do to prevent a flood event from occurring in your home: 

This link can help you understand what actions to take today to lower your risk of flooding tomorrow.
This is a link to the Jefferson County multi-hazard mitigation plan.
Everbridge is a Jefferson County EMA link for citizens to sign up for weather alerts on their cell phone
This link is a resource for flood and other natural disaster questions. The page explains what actions should be taken when you receive a flood watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area and what to do before, during, and after a flood. 
This link describes the National Flood Insurance Program. The City of Bessemer participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. Please follow this link to learn more about how the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by not only promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but more specifically flood insurance. 
Click on this link to get flood safety tips and resources. This page is designed to help teach you how to stay safe in a flood event. If you know what to do before, during, and after a flood you can increase your chances of survival. 
Click on this link to get real-time flood information. Streamflow data is vitally important to forecast flood magnitude and timing, operate flood control systems, and manage emergency response. 
This link lists the elevation certificates on record for the City of Bessemer. The national flood insurance program (NFIP) Elevation Certificate is an administrator tool of the NFIP which is used to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinance, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, or support a request for a Letter of Map amendment (LOMA) or a Letter of Map Amendment based on fill (LOMR-F). 
This link provides safety information for a variety of hazards and disasters. 
Clicking on this link and typing your address in the top right search box provide you with ability to determine the flood zone, base flood elevation, and floodway status for your particular geographic location.
Clicking on this link shows floodplains in the State of Alabama. The Alabama Flood Risk Information System (AL FRIS) is a new interactive flood mapping application currently under development. During the transition to this site, certain user-defined capabilities will be limited, but the flood maps will continue to be accessible for viewing. As always, verifying all information through official sources is the responsibility of the user.   
Interested persons are hereby notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Kansas City District proposes a plan for flood risk management at Valley Creek in Jefferson County, Alabama. This public notice is issued in accordance with rules and regulations published in the Federal Register on 26 April 1988. These regulations provide for the review of federally authorized projects under the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344) whenever dredged or fill materials may enter waters of the United States. After reviewing the draft flood study, public comments can be sent to bessemerfloodinfo@gmail.com
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* For more information on  flood-related questions concerning the City of Bessemer, contact Freddie Freeman, 
at tel: 205-424-4060, ext. 4188.