Floodplain Management in Benton County
Benton County has approximately 57,000 acres of land located within its floodplains and nearly 3,200 individual parcels that are partially or entirely located within a floodplain.
Click on the links below for information about floodplain development and local requirements as well as flood hazard and safety information, real-time river gage information, and more.
Benton County's Floodplain Program
Benton County’s floodplain program is designed to help ensure decreased flood hazard risk to county residents and structures, improved communication regarding flood risks and natural beneficial floodplain functions, and continued provision of flood data. As a result of Benton County’s efforts, county property owners have been receiving a discounted rate on their flood insurance premiums for the past 20 years. The following are a few of the services Benton County provides with regard to floodplain records and information:
- Maintain records of all development activity approved in the floodplain. Benton County does this through approval of Floodplain Development Permits. These records document the county’s commitment to responsible floodplain management.
- Provide floodplain and flood hazard related information. Typical types of information available at the Benton County Community Development office include:
- The location of a property in relation to the floodplain shown on the current and historic Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) for the county;
- Additional flood insurance data for a site, such as the flood zone designation shown on the FIRM panel and, if available, an approximate base flood elevation;
- Land use and building code regulations that apply to properties in a floodplain;
- A copy of FIRMs showing flood hazard boundaries and, when available, mapped floodway locations;
- Maintain a record of all elevation certificates submitted to the Community Development office. Elevation certificates are required for all new construction and are typically available for structures constructed or improved since 2002. Additional floodplain worksheets are sometimes available for structures constructed as early as the late 1980s.
- Provide outreach information to property owners whose land is in or near a floodplain. The county sends out a yearly Flood Facts mailing identifying high flood risk areas and providing reminders about development requirements in floodplains, information about how to prepare for and respond to flood events, helpful contact information, significant flood events that have occurred in the past, benefits of floodplain functions, and actions that help reduce damage caused by flooding.
- Provide information regarding flood mitigation options. The county Floodplain Manager can provide information about possible retrofitting options that can be helpful to reduce the risk of structural damage from flood events and potentially reduce flood insurance premiums.
Helpful Floodplain Resources
General Floodplain Information
- Floodsmart.gov - Learn about flood insurance benefits, options, and resources.
- FEMA Map Service Center - Look up the flood hazard zone for a property.
- Community Rating System & Flood Insurance Discount - Learn about Benton County activities that lower your flood insurance costs.
Local Floodplain Project Information
- Developing in a Floodplain - Learn about types of development affected by floodplain regulations and things to consider when planning a construction project in the floodplain.
- Floodplain Development Permit Information - Download the floodplain development permit application as well as step-by-step instructions for how to fill it out.
- Oregon-Licensed Land Surveyors - Use this page to help find a surveyors to complete an elevation certificate for your project site. (Note: This list is not comprehensive and not all of the surveyors on the list complete elevation certificates. Please contact the Floodplain Manager at 541-766-6819 to discuss what type of survey documentation your project will require.)
- Benton County Floodplain Regulations - Find out what local floodplain regulations apply to development in Benton County.
Local Flood Hazard & Preparedness Information
- Flood Facts Publication - Read through this yearly outreach publication to learn more about sources of local flooding, natural and beneficial floodplain functions, ways to protect and retrofit your structure, how to plan for and respond to flood events, and who to contact for more flood-related information.
- Local River Gages - Take a look at real-time local river gages and find out about flood hazard stages.
- Be Prepared for Flood Events - Learn what you can do to plan ahead so that when a hazard or disaster occur, you are prepared.
- Benton County Hazard Information - Find out more information about a variety of local hazards identified by the Benton County Emergency Management Division.
- Benton County Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan - Read about local hazards that affect Benton County and take a look at the progress the county is making towards completion of action items aimed at reducing and mitigating the negative effects of those hazards.