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What is Floodplain Management?

Floodplain management means the operation of an overall program of corrective and preventive measures for reducing flood damage, including but not limited to emergency preparedness plans, flood control works and floodplain management regulations.

These measures take a variety of forms which include zoning, subdivision, or building requirements, and special-purpose floodplain ordinances. Risk reduction practices, such as floodproofing or retrofitting a flood prone building, are equally beneficial to reducing flood damages to the community.

Floodplain management is based on regulations established in the Code of Federal Regulation, Part 60.3. Regulations in Nebraska also include Nebraska Administrative Code Title 455, Chapter 1: Rules and Regulations concerning Minimum Standards for Floodplain Management Programs, Nebraska Revised Statutes Section 31, Article 10 Flood Plain, and locally adopted floodplain management resolution/ordinances.

The intent of floodplain management is to reduce future flood losses and promote health and safety through wise use and development within floodplains.

Development means any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including, but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment or materials.

Buildings are a primary component of floodplain management, but other types of development, as defined above, are regulated and can have impacts on flooding. New and substantially improved buildings must constructed/improved according to standards that meet the health and safety requirements of the regulations. buildings are typically elevated on earthen fill or foundation elements to raise the lowest floor to one foot above the Base Flood Elevation. A floodplain development permit is required from the community for any development taking place.

Development in Special Flood Hazard Areas will require additional expense to projects. Certifications by Nebraska registered surveyors or professional engineers may be required. Building to meet regulatory standards may mean additional fill or foundation elements and utilities will have to be elevated. Before anyone starts development is a Special Flood Hazard Area, they should contact their local floodplain administrator for permits and guidance to ensure that all building requirements are included in design planning/construction.