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Know your Flood Hazard
Information on whether your property is in the floodplain can be obtained by visiting Story County and having our Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) help you. Maps are available for viewing in Planning and Development (in the Story County Administration Building) and also available (in general format) on the Story County Assessor’s website.
Other flood-related information is also available both at the County and on the website. We also have Elevation Certificates available for new development (for the unincorporated areas of Story County) and older Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) from 1983.
Please contact us at 515-382-7251 or email the County Floodplain Manager.
Insure your Property for your Flood Hazard
If you do not have flood insurance, talk to your insurance agent. Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. Flood insurance is only available to those participating communities in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Because of our floodplain management programs that attempt to protect us from the multiple flooding hazards, Story County participates in the NFIP, and thus, residents are able to obtain flood insurance.
Be sure to check your policy to ensure you have adequate coverage. Usually, these policies cover the building structure, but not the contents. Contents coverage can also be obtained by asking. There is a 30-day waiting period before insurance coverage becomes effective. Plan ahead; do not wait until a flood is predicted before purchasing flood insurance.
If you are building inside the floodplain, the purchase of flood insurance is mandatory if using a federally regulated/insured bank for a loan. Story County participates in the NFIP Community Rating System (CRS) program which allows residents with flood insurance to receive a discount on their premiums. Please contact us at 515-382-7251 or email the County Floodplain Manager with any questions or concerns.
Protect People from the Hazard
There are many common sense things and practices we can follow to protect ourselves and each other from flooding.
DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH A FLOODED AREA
More people drown in cars than anywhere else. Do not drive around barriers.
DO NOT WALK THROUGH FLOWING WATER
Currents can be deceptive. Six inches of water can knock you off your feet.
STAY AWAY FROM POWER LINES AND ELECTRICAL WIRES
If your house is about to be flooded, turn off the power at the service box. Electrical current can travel through water. Electrocution is the second leading cause of death during floods.
BE ALERT TO GAS LEAKS
Turn off the gas to your house before it floods. If you smell gas, report it to your gas company. Do not use candles, lanterns or open flames if you smell gas or are unsure if your gas has been shut off.
KEEP CHILDREN AWAY FROM FLOOD WATERS, DITCHES, CULVERTS AND STORM DRAINS
Flood waters can carry unimaginable items that dislodged themselves. Culverts may suck smaller people into drainage pipes, rendering these individuals helpless.
CLEAN EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN WET
Flood water will be contaminated with sewage and other chemicals which pose severe health threats.
LOOK OUT FOR ANIMALS, ESPECIALLY SNAKES
Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours.
DO NOT USE GAS ENGINES, SUCH AS GENERATORS, OR CHARCOAL FIRES INDOORS DURING POWER OUTAGES
Carbon monoxide exhaust can pose serious health hazards.
Protect your Property from the Hazard
If your property is susceptible to flooding, there are many flood damage reduction measures you can employ:
- Watertight seals can be applied to brick and block walls to protect against low-level flooding.
- Utilities such as heating and air-conditioning systems, water heaters and other major appliances can be elevated to higher floors in the structure or on raised platforms.
- Temporary measures such as moving furniture and other valuables to higher floors or sandbagging exterior openings will also help.
- Elevating or relocating the entire structure may be a feasible option.
In the unincorporated areas of Story County, all development within the floodplain (not just construction of buildings, but filling, excavation, fences, etc.) is required to obtain a floodplain permit. Please call the Story County Floodplain Manager at 515-382-7251 or email the County Floodplain Manager.
You may report any illegal development activities to the above number as well.
Protect Natural Floodplain Functions
Floodplains play a valuable role in providing natural and beneficial functions in areas around and within Story County. Floodplains that are relatively undisturbed provide a wide range of benefits to both human and natural systems. These benefits provide aesthetic pleasure as well as function to provide active processes such as filtering nutrients.
Our floodplains contain historic and archaeological sites that provide an opportunity for education and study. They enhance waterfowl, fish and other wildlife habitats and provide feeding/breeding grounds. Floodplains also provide natural erosion control and open space so that further flooding damage does not occur.