Flood Protection Information

Floodplain Management Responsibilities and Duties
Floodplain management remains a significant issue for residents and property owners in Douglas County. Floodplain Management is the responsibility of Douglas County Community Development Staff and includes:

  • Providing information about the flood threat caused by Carson River, creeks, ditches, and snow melt in Douglas County (Evacuation Routes);
  • Providing restrictions and regulations that govern the use of special flood hazard areas and floodplains;
  • Providing information on how property owners can protect themselves from flood damage (Nevada Floods. Are You Prepared? - Tips for Douglas County Residents); and
  • Providing information on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and constructing in the Special Flood Hazard Areas or Floodplain.
Constructing in the Special Flood Hazard Areas or Floodplain
Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) are defined as the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The 1% annual chance flood is also referred to as the base flood or 10 year flood. These FEMA flood zones are typically A, AO (with a depth associated), and AH, and AE. X-shaded is defined as the 500 year flood, with a 0.2% annual chance of flooding in a given year.

The non-technical and simplified definition of a Floodplain is "an area adjacent to a body of water." But using this definition to determine if your property is in a floodplain is deceiving. You may be located five miles or more from a river or stream and find your house covered with water from the overflow of their banks. Floodplains have varying characteristics and may not be easily identified as such. The FEMA flood zones for a floodplain are typically AE and AE-floodway.  For more information about flood zones in Douglas County, please go to the Douglas County GIS flood zone viewer.

Special Requirements
Floodplain development permits, Special requirements for land division in SFHAs, and Standards for Construction in the SFHA and Floodplain are all covered in Title 20.50 Floodplain Management of the Douglas County Consolidated Development Code. Douglas County has had floodplain regulations since 1974 and also participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) in order for property owners to acquire discounted flood insurance. As a participating community, the County must follow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regulations at a minimum for the permitting of construction within the special flood hazard areas.

Constructing improvements in the SFHA and Floodplain has the potential to impact flood levels and may also adversely impact neighboring properties. All development or improvements in Douglas County require a Floodplain Development Permit. In addition if the improvements require a FEMA application or a Flood Impact Analysis then a Floodplain Development Review must be completed.

Additional Information

Smelter Creek Flood Study

Smelter Creek Technical Memorandum

Smelter Creek BCA Report $2.5 Flood Mitigation Project

Smelter Creek BCA Report $3.1 Flood Mitigation Project

Nevada Floods. Are You Prepared?

Please use the Quick Links on this page to find related information.

Carson River Watershed - REGIONAL F.P. MGMT. PLAN

Was this page helpful for you? Yes No