Benton County, Oregon

Making Benton County a Better Place to Live
Printed on Sep 02, 2015 @ 4:45 PM

Emergency Management – Flood Facts

Flood Facts Newsletter from Benton County, December 2013

Floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United StatesThis information is being distributed to property owners whom our records indicate own property within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated floodplain in Benton County, Oregon.

The FEMA floodplain for Benton County was determined in 1986 and may contain some inaccuracies. FEMA is committed to providing Benton County with updated floodplain information and improved maps as early as 2010.

Benton County has approximately 57,000 acres of land located within its floodplains and nearly 8,700 individual parcels that are partially or entirely located within a floodplain.

Flooding can cause significant property damage and poses a threat to life and safety.

Your home or outbuildings may not actually be in the floodplain; but some portion of your property likely is.

Benton County has committed to participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on behalf of its citizens. We encourage all eligible property owners to purchase cost-affordable flood insurance for their structures.

In 2007 media coverage announced that Benton County received an additional NFIP rate reduction that acknowledges our flood prevention and mitigation activities. This means that NFIP flood insurance is available at a rate discounted 20%.

We are working on ways to make floodplain information more useful and accessible to our customers.

The following information is provided to increase flood hazard awareness and to provide information about steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of injury and property damage in the event of a flood.

If you have questions or would like additional information, please refer to the contact information below.

Updated Flood Map Information

Benton County has been working toward adoption of the Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) provided by FEMA earlier this year as well as a revision of the county floodplain regulations. The new geo-spatially referenced maps are a significant improvement over the current paper maps produced in 1986 and are the result of improved information about topography and geographic features; no new analysis or modeling of flood hydrology was performed. A copy of the proposed changes to the floodplain regulations can be viewed on the Community Development website.

FEMA requires Benton County to adopt the new DFIRMs; failure to do so would result in loss of federally-backed flood insurance for all property in the county.

Upcoming Flood Map Projects

Although the new DFIRMs are a significant improvement over current maps, there still is room for further improvement. Benton County will be working with FEMA to attain even better accuracy in flood mapping. Once approach the county is taking is to document significant development and changes that have occurred in our floodplains since the original Flood Insurance Studies were performed, as well as identifying possible errors in the existing flood maps and refinements that can be made on the basis of newly available topographic data for some parts of the county. Additionally, Benton County will be requesting that FEMA perform studies to establish Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) for the portions of the county that lack them.

If you believe the floodplain has been incorrectly mapped on your property or if you have historical flood information – high water marks from previous floods or accounts of significant flooding by long-time residents – please submit this information in writing to the Benton County Community Development Department at 360 SW Avery Ave. Corvallis, OR 97333 or by e-mail.

For more information, please call the Community Development Department at 541-766-6819.

More Information

For more information on flooding, see:

Contact Information

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