Floodplain management incorporates a community's actions for reducing flood damage.
A floodplain management program involves a variety of both corrective and preventative measures. These measures generally include requirements for:
- Special floodplain ordinances
The floodplain is the low, flat, periodically flooded lands adjacent to rivers, streams and lakes that are subject to geomorphic (land shaping) and hydrologic (water flow) processes. The floodplain consists of:
- Floodway - the land immediately adjoining the river channel that is the natural conduit for flood waters.
- Flood Fringe - the remainder of the floodplain lying outside of the floodway. This area is generally covered by shallow, slow-moving flood waters. Development is normally allowed in the flood fringe provided that residential buildings are placed on fill so that the lowest floor, including the basement, is above the 100-year flood level.
Flood maps and 100-year flood elevations are available in the St. Cloud Office of the Environmental Services Department.
(Image courtesy of Department of Natural Resources)
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), over 20,100 communities voluntarily adopt and enforce local floodplain management ordinances.
Stearns County's floodplain management ordinance specifies building standards for new and existing development that provide flood loss reduction as well as making flood insurance available to home and business owners through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Under the NFIP program, federally insured or regulated institutions (such as banks) must require flood insurance policies on all new loans for structures in mapped floodplain areas recognized by FEMA. If you are considering the purchase or development of floodplain property, your insurance agent can provide information on the cost and availability of flood insurance.
For more information or questions regarding the Stearns County's Floodplain Management Ordinance, contact the Environmental Services Department by phone or email.