During heavy rains, localized street flooding will occur if the rain falls faster than the drainage system can remove it. To mitigate the impact of flooding you can implement one or more flood protection measures such as helping the City in its flood protection activities, preparing yourself for floods and purchasing flood insurance.

Is your property in a floodplain or area that's experienced flooding? Find out! Contact the Division of Planning & Regulatory Services at 508-799-1400 x31440 or

Construction Requirements

Always check with the Department of Inspectional Services and the Division of Planning & Regulatory Services before you build on, alter, regrade or fill your property. A permit may be needed to ensure that projects do not cause problems on other properties.

There are several good references on retrofitting published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers available in the Worcester Public Library or online at the C/W MARS website. 

Do Not Dump

Streams, channels and catch basins are essential to preventing a flood. Do not dump or throw anything into streams, channels or catch basins that drain or carry stormwater. Dumping any material in a waterway or catch basin is illegal and may be a violation of the City of Worcester's Wetlands Protection Ordinance.

Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is highly recommended. An advantage of insurance is that your property is covered as long as the policy is in force, even when you're not home to implement your flood response plan. Most standard property insurance policies do not cover a property for flood damage. The City of Worcester participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Flood Preparedness

There are many things that can be done to prepare for the next potential flood. View the list below for suggestions about how to be prepared if a flood threatens your area.

  • Talk to your insurance agent about your coverage
  • Prepare a list of emergency telephone numbers
  • Assemble cleanup and recovery supplies 
  • Make a record of all of your personal property
  • Store photocopies of important documents at a location away from your house
  • Prepare a flood response plan
  • Identify two places where family members can meet if you are split up
  • Shut off the gas and electricity and move valuable contents upstairs

Learn more by visiting

Flood Safety & Tips

If you own property in the City of Worcester and are subject to flooding, the following information and suggested activities are important to you. Additional information can be found on the FloodSmart website.

View the tips below to learn how to be safe during a flood.

  • Do not walk through flowing water
  • Do not drive through a flooded area
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires
  • Have your electricity turned off by the Power Company
  • Look out for small wild animals
  • Look before you step
  • Be alert for gas leaks
  • Carbon monoxide exhaust kills
  • Clean everything that got wet 

FEMA Resources

There are many helpful resources available for free from FEMA to help understand and prevent losses to property. Click on the link below to expand and view a list of such resources.

Contact Information

Department of Public Works
20 East Worcester Street
Worcester, MA 01604

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-929-1300
Fax: 508-799-1448
Email Us

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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Phone: 311
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