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To the national news media and many decision-makers, flooding events are catastrophic disasters, characterized by basin-wide flooding, the evacuation of people, and massive property losses. The planner working in urban areas, however, faces a more subtle but equally serious flood hazard, the non-catastrophic urban flood. The United States Water Resources Council has estimated that overflowing rivers and streams and related drainage problems cause significant damage and disruption in almost 3800 cities, with annual losses exceeding $2 billion. They also forecast that annual public and private flood losses will escalate to $5 billion by 1985. Within individual urban centers, increased flood hazards can be related to the widespread urbanization of flood-prone areas and the increasingly impermeable landscape created by highways, roofs, and parking lots. In many cities the results are more localized flooding, particularly in headwater settings. Older neighborhoods which previously suffered only occasionally from overflowing streams find themselves facing increasingly frequent and severe flooding events. Once treated as a nuisance, the flood becomes a threat. For persons living in these areas it is a frustrating experience leading to greater expense for protecting one's property. Moreover, decreasing property values may make it difficult to leave the neighborhood without financial loss. If planners are expected to mitigate the losses associated with localized urban flooding, it is critical that we understand public reaction and perception of the problem. Without insight into public response and adjustment to these events, it is impossible to develop technically sound and socially acceptable remedial measures