What exactly is a flood zone?
FEMA defines Flood zones as geographic areas defined according to varying levels of flood risk. These zones are depicted on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Hazard Boundary Map. Each zone reflects the severity or type of flooding in the area.
ZONE DESCRIPTION : Moderate to Low Risk Areas
B, C, and X Areas outside the 1-percent annual chance floodplain, areas of 1% annual chance sheet flow flooding where average depths are less than 1 foot, areas of 1% annual chance stream flooding where the contributing drainage area is less than 1 square mile, or areas protected from the 1% annual chance flood by levees. No Base Flood Elevations or depths are shown within this zone. Insurance purchase is not required in these zones.
ZONE DESCRIPTION: High Risk Areas
A Areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding and a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. Because detailed analyses are not performed for such areas; no depths or base flood elevations are shown within these zones.
AE, A1-A30 Areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding and a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. In most instances, base flood elevations derived from detailed analyses are shown at selected intervals within these zones.
AH Areas with a 1% annual chance of shallow flooding, usually in the form of a pond, with an average depth ranging from 1 to 3 feet. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. Base flood elevations derived from detailed analyses are shown at selected intervals within these zones.
AO River or stream flood hazard areas, and areas with a 1% or greater chance of shallow flooding each year, usually in the form of sheet flow, with an average depth ranging from 1 to 3 feet. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. Average flood depths derived from detailed analyses are shown within these zones.
AR Areas with a temporarily increased flood risk due to the building or restoration of a flood control.
D Areas with possible but undetermined flood hazards. No flood hazard analysis has been conducted. Flood insurance rates are commensurate with the uncertainty of the flood risk.
Where can I find an aerial photograph of my land to see if it is located within the floodplain?
A. Using the internet go to go to the interactive map and enter the address or owner name to find a parcel. Once the correct parcel is selected click Layers. Scroll down to Flood/Hydrology and click on the plus sign. Then check the Flood Zones box. Scroll down and click on Refresh Map.
B. You can also meet with our Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Office, located in the basement of the Leavenworth County Courthouse, any time during normal business hours for a more detailed look at your specific parcel.
C. To get the official map from FEMA go to the FEMA Map Service Center . Enter your address on the left hand side of the page and click Find by Street Address. Then click on the View Icon. A map will pop up. From there you can zoom in to find the location of your property. If you are having trouble, contact the Floodplain Manager at Leavenworth County at (913) 684-0465.
What if I don't agree with the floodplain maps?
The ONLY way of effectively appealing the decision is to present scientific or technical data in the form of an Elevation Certificate and/or apply for a Letter of Map Amendment or Letter of Map Revision. (Scientific or technical data is produced when a licensed engineer or a surveyor performs field studies and then created documentation in a standard format.)
We really need to emphasize that calling or visiting the County to explain to someone here that "it has never flooded there" will do you no good, other than to make you feel a little better. FEMA will only accept scientific or technical data to make a change to the maps.
What is a Letter of Map Amendment or LOMA?
Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) is an official amendment, by letter, to an effective NFIP map. A LOMA establishes a property's location in relation to the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). LOMAs are usually issued because a property has been inadvertently mapped as being in the floodplain, but is actually on natural high ground above the base flood elevation.
Because a LOMA officially amends the effective NFIP map, it is a public record that the community must maintain. Any LOMA should be noted on the community's master flood map and filed by panel number in an accessible location.
What is a Letter of Map Revision or LOMR?
A Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) is FEMA's modification to an effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), or Flood Boundary and Floodway Map (FBFM), or both. LOMRs are generally based on the implementation of physical measures that affect the hydrologic or hydraulic characteristics of a flooding source and thus result in the modification of the existing regulatory floodway, the effective Base Flood Elevations (BFEs), or the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The LOMR officially revises the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Boundary and Floodway Map (FBFM), and sometimes the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report, and when appropriate, includes a description of the modifications. The LOMR is generally accompanied by an annotated copy of the affected portions of the FIRM, FBFM, or FIS report.
All requests for changes to effective maps, other than those initiated by FEMA, must be made in writing by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the community or an official designated by the CEO. Because a LOMR officially revises the effective NFIP map, it is a public record that the community must maintain. Any LOMR should be noted on the community's master flood map and filed by panel number in an accessible location.
Where can I find a qualified engineer or surveyor to prepare this data?
Any engineer or surveyor qualified to work in the state of Kansas is eligible to perform this type of work if it is within their area of competence. Leavenworth County provides a list of engineers and surveyors that do business in this area on the Forms tab or click here. The list is not a recommendation or endorsement of these professionals; rather it is a list on which they have asked to be included. Leavenworth County doesn't endorse or guarantee their work in any manner.
How do I know if I need a Floodplain Permit?
A floodplain development permit is required for all proposed construction or other development including the placement of manufactured homes in all lands within the jurisdiction of Leavenworth County identified as number and unnumbered A Zones, AE, ZO, and AH Zones, on the Index Map dated August 18, 2009 of the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).
How do I apply for a Floodplain Development Permit?
First contact the Floodplain Administrator at the County to determine if you are in the floodplain and if a Permit is an option. The Floodplain Development Permit can be found in the Document Center.
The following information shall be included in the application:
- Describe the land on which the proposed work is to be done by lot, block and tract, house and street address, or similar description that will readily identify and specifically locate the proposed structure or work;
- Identify and describe the work to be covered by the floodplain development permit;
- Indicate the use or occupancy for which the proposed work is intended;
- Indicate the assessed value of the structure and the fair market value of the improvement;
- Specify whether development is located in designated flood fringe or floodway;
- Identify the existing base flood elevation and the elevation of the proposed development;
- Give such other information as reasonably may be required by the floodplain administrator;
- Be accompanied by plans and specifications for proposed construction; and
- Be signed by the permittee or his authorized agent who may be required to submit evidence to indicate such authority.
I also have property inside the City of ______. Can I get more information from the County about my municipal property?
Unfortunately, no. Each city is mandated by law to handle this issue internally. Leavenworth County is not a central point of contact for this issue. You'll have to contact the respective city. Try the city engineer or planner first. A list of cities within Leavenworth County can be found on our homepage.
How many rural properties have flood zones?
There are approximately 10,866 rural parcels in Leavenworth County. Of those 2609 rural parcels have some floodplain. Of those, we estimate that only a few hundred are going to have more property included in the flood zones after the revisions.
What is the County's role floodplain management?
Leavenworth County currently has floodplain regulations and is required to follow them. As far as LOMAs and LOMRs, the County has no authority in granting these. They must go through FEMA. Nor does the County have the authority to allow a building in the floodplain without a floodplain permit and following the regulations.
Where can I get more information on floodplain rules?
Go to http://www.fema.gov/floodplain-management-requirements or write, call or come by the County Courthouse.
What if I don't have consistent access to the internet? How can I get more information?
Visit the Leavenworth County Courthouse any time during normal business hours and either go to the GIS department on the second floor or go to Planning and Zoning in the basement.