Floodplain Management

Floodplain management is the operation of a community’s program of corrective and preventative measures for reducing flood hazard. These measures take a variety of forms such as zoning, subdivision review, building permitting and floodplain regulations. Nye County’s adoption and enforcement of floodplain regulations is an important factor in making flood insurance available throughout the county. 

Flood prevention applies to all properties in Nye County lying within the mapped Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA). All development within Nye County must submit a Flood Damage Prevention Application Permit  to the Flood Plain Administrator for verification of the flood hazard. If your development is located within a SFHA, the county is required to review development-related activities for compliance with the adopted ordinances. A typical method of complying with the floodplain regulations is to elevate and anchor all structures. 

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) aka: Flood Maps

Flood maps show a community’s risk of flooding. Specifically, the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) show the flood zones, floodplain boundaries and base flood elevation.  An interactive map can be viewed online using the Nye County GIS Web Browser or through the FEMA Map Service Center.

Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) – is a term used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to refer to the land area covered by the floodwaters of the base or 100-years flood otherwise described as “approximate 1% probability of a flood occurring on the land in any given year”.  Location within a SFHA is generally a requirement for purchasing flood insurance for a federally backed mortgage. Flood insurance zone designations are based on the results of engineering analyses of the flooding sources studied.

Zone

Description

Zone A

is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to the 1-percent annual chance floodplain which is determined in the Flood Insurance Study (FIS).    Because detailed hydraulic analyses are not performed for such areas, no Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) or base flood depths are shown within this zone. This flood zone has flood insurance requirements 

Zone AE

is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to the 1-percent annual chance floodplain that is determined in the FIS report.  Whole-foot BFEs derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown at selected intervals within this zone. This zone has flood insurance requirements

Zone AO

is the flood insurance risk zone that corresponds to the areas of 1-percent annual chance shallow flooding (usually sheet flow on sloping terrain) where average depths are between 1 and 3 feet and velocities are assigned. Average whole-foot base flood depths derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown within this zone. This zone has flood insurance requirements

Zone X

is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to areas outside the 0.2-percent annual chance floodplain, areas within the 0.2-percent annual chance floodplain, areas of 1-percent annual chance flooding where average depths are less than 1 foot, areas of 1-percent annual chance flooding where the contributing drainage area is less than 1 square mile, and areas protected from the 1-percent annual chance flood by levees.  No BFEs or base flood depths are shown within this zone. This zone has no flood insurance requirements

Zone D

is the flood insurance risk zone that corresponds to unstudied area where flood hazards are undetermined, but possible. This zone has no flood insurance requirements

More information about flood insurance can be found at www.floodsmart.gov.

Flood Risk

Building code requirements change over time as conditions change, flood risks change, and maps are updated.  If you are building, remodeling, or rebuilding, consider elevating structures to or exceeding the depth number specified in feet on the FIRM or thirty-inches (30”) above the highest adjacent grade if no depth number is specified, to lower your flood risk, which in turn can lower your flood insurance rates and the financial impact of flooding. 

Elevation Certificates

If your home is in a risk-area an ELEVATION CERTIFICATE indicates the location of the building, lowest floor elevation as compared to base flood elevation (BFE), building characteristics, and flood zone. Without an Elevation Certificate to understand a property’s full flood risk, agents must assume a property is at high risk for flooding, this can potentially cause one to pay a higher premium for flood insurance. 

Where can I find an Elevation Certificate for my property?

First thing you can do is to contact your Flood Plain Administrator to find out if one is on file for your property. If not, you can hire a land surveyor, engineer or architect to complete one for your property and file a copy of it with the Floodplain Administrator’s office.  

Preventive maintenance can reduce your flood risk

  1. Keep litter, weeds, sediments, and debris out of your driveway culverts and bar ditches. 
  2. Keep your property in good repair, clear gutters, position rain spouts so that water drains away from your and your neighbor’s houses.
  3. Fill low spots adjacent to structures to prevent water pooling around the foundation. 
  4. If your property is large enough, use a low-lying area as an undisturbed, natural drainage system.
  5. Construct French drains that drain standing water away from structures and allows the water to slowly seep into the ground.
  6. Maintain or improve the positive grading of your property.  Positive grading allows your home to occupy the high spot on your property with all slopes leading away from the structure directing water to the lower parts of your yard and even out to the street (bar ditch). 
  7. Install a covered rain barrel, recycle to gardens and plants.

Nevada Drainage Law

Provides that a landowner must accept the natural drainage from upstream, adjacent parcels, and may alter the drainage pattern on their own land but cannot increase the drainage flow onto lower or adjacent parcels and must release the water in the location and manner it was released naturally.  

Nye County Floodplain Administrator review of the original wet stamped Elevation Certificate Application requires a fee of $75.00 payable to Nye County Planning at the time of intake. 

For information on Flood Elevation Certificates that may be on file contact either the Floodplain Administrator at 775-751-4249 or Nye County Building and Safety at 775-751-3773.