FLOOD HAZARD AREAS
Flash-flooding is the most common problem along the tributaries to both the Walnut and Whitewater rivers with some instances of backflow from small lakes such as Santa Fe Lake and Fox Lake in periods of substantial rain fall. Flooding along both, the Walnut and Whitewater Rivers, is caused from excessive flow following major rain events.
Past Substantial Flood Events in Butler County
- Two of the largest flood events in Butler County was the 1998 Halloween Flood and the October flood in 2003
- Information on whether your property is in the 100-year floodplain can be obtained by calling us at (316)322-4325 or you can go to we can also offer assistance with elevation certificates for new developments and help alleviate confusion over regulations for floodplain development.
If you do not have flood insurance, talk to your insurance agent. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. Flood insurance is only available to those participating communities in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Because of our floodplain management programs that attempt to protect us from the multiple flooding hazards, Butler County is part of the NFIP and thus, residents are able to obtain flood insurance. Additionally, because Butler County participates in FEMA’s CRS program, flood insurance premiums are discounted.
There is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance coverage becomes effective. Plan ahead; do not wait until a flood is predicted before purchasing flood insurance.
If you are building inside the floodplain, the purchase of flood insurance is mandatory if using a federally regulated insured bank for a loan. For more information on the National Flood Insurance Program , go to
The following common sense guidelines can help protect you from the dangers of flooding:
Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in cars than anywhere else. Do not drive around barriers. 2 feet of water can float a vehicle.
TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!!
Do not walk through flowing water. Six inches of water can knock you off your feet. Keep children away from flood waters, ditches, culverts and storm drains as small people can easily be sucked into culverts. Individuals can also be injured by debris or contaminants that have been picked up by the flood waters.
Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. If you know you are going to be flooded, shut the power off at the service box. Electrical current can travel through water. Electrocution is the 2nd leading cause of death during floods.
Be alert to gas leaks. Turn off the gas to your house before it floods. If you smell gas, report it to your gas company. Do not use candles, lanterns or open flames if you smell gas or are unsure if your gas has been shut off.
Do not use gas engines, such as generators, or charcoal fires indoors during power outages. Carbon monoxide exhaust can pose serious health hazards.
Clean everything that has been wet!! Due to contamination in floodwaters with sewage and other chemicals that pose a health threat, everything that has come in contact with floodwaters must be cleaned.
PROPERTY PROTECTION MEASURES
If your property is susceptible to flooding, there are many flood damage reduction measures you can employ.
- Watertight seals can be applied to Brick and Block walls. This is to protect your home from low-level flooding.
- Utilities such as heating and air conditioning systems, water heaters and other major appliances can be elevated to higher floors in the structure or on raised platforms.
- Temporary measures such as moving furniture and other valuables to higher floors and sand bagging exterior openings will also help.
- Elevating or relocating the entire structure may also be a feasible option.
For Flood Protection Information or additional Information, please contact the Butler County Planning and Zoning Office at (316)322-4325.
FLOODPLAIN PERMIT REQUIREMENTS
All development within the 100-yr. floodplain (not just construction of buildings, filling, excavation, fences, etc.) is required to obtain a Floodplain Development Permit and possibly a Building Permit. Applications must be made prior to any of the above listed work. To obtain information, Permits or report illegal development activities, please contact the Butler County Planning and Zoning Office at (316)322-4325.
NATURAL & BENEFICIAL FUNCTIONS
Floodplains play a valuable role in providing natural and beneficial functions to Butler County. Floodplains that are relatively undisturbed provide a wide range of benefits to both human and natural systems. These benefits provide aesthetic pleasure as well as function to provide active processes such as filtering nutrients.
Parts of both the Walnut and Whitewater River floodplain are used as a means to filter farm chemical run-off so that these areas can maintain bio-diversity and ecosystem sustainability. Both floodplains contain historic and archeological sites that provide opportunity for education and study. Both enhance waterfowl, fish and other wildlife habitats and provide feeding/breeding grounds. And lastly, both floodplains provide natural erosion control and open space so further flooding damage does not occur.
Additional Floodplain links
Search your address or parcel number to see if you are mapped within a floodplain. https://ww1.bucoks.com/portal/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=ea40cc58c9a34dbba1ff09a51c9afc08
There are three USGS stream gages in Butler County that are used to measure flood stages and forecasts.https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/current?huc_cd=11030017&index_pmcode_STATION_NM=1&index_pmcode_00065=3&index_pmcode_00060=4&index_pmcode_00062=5&index_pmcode_72020=6&sort_key=site_no&group_key=county_cd&sitefile_output_format=html_table&index_pmcode_DATETIME=2
For additional retrofitting techniques, clink the link to FEMA’s Six Ways to Protect Your Home. https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/2020-08/FEMA_P-312.pdf
Butler County enforces substantial improvement andsubstantial damage thresholds at 50% of the assessed structures value over 5 years. Cost ofconstruction or cost of substantial damage will result in brining yourinsurable structures into full compliance with the current FloodplainManagement Ordinance and design standards. New development in the Special FloodHazard Area has a 1’ freeboard construction standard. Learn more here, clink the link below.
Here is a link to a fun Flood awareness video …. Enjoy