Shawnee County Flood Map Modernization

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Properties within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage.

National Initiative

Map Modernization, an Important Nationwide Initiative

In the United States and in Kansas, flooding is the number one natural disaster. To identify flood hazards, the risks they pose to people and property, and the regulatory boundaries of floodplains, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) develops flood hazard maps, officially known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).

Outdated Maps

Why Shawnee County Flood Maps Need Updating

The County’s current flood hazard data date from the early 1980’s and are seriously out of date. Drainage patterns have changed dramatically due to land use, surface erosion, and other natural forces. As a result, the likelihood of riverine flooding in some areas has increased significantly. Moreover, the technology used to estimate risk has been much improved. Up-to-date maps will much more accurately represent the risk of flooding; they are an important tool in the effort to protect lives and properties in Shawnee County.

Updating Effort

Map Modernization Efforts in Shawnee County

The Shawnee County Flood Map Modernization project is a comprehensive effort to remap County flood risks using the latest flood modeling and digital mapping technologies. FEMA has produced preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report in Countywide Format, showing the flood hazard information for the entire geographic area of the county, including both incorporated and unincorporated areas. The new digital flood maps will provide detailed, property-specific flood risk data to guide construction and flood insurance decisions. With the release of the preliminary DFIRMs and FIS report, Shawnee County residents and business owners will have up-to-date, reliable, internet-accessible data about the flood hazards they face. The new countywide format will replace and combine the existing flood hazard maps for:

  • Shawnee County (Unincorporated Area)
  • City of Topeka
  • City of Auburn
  • City of Rossville
  • City of Silver Lake
  • City of Willard

Letter of Final DeterminationNEW: 

On March 29, 2011, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a Letter of Final Determination (LFD) with respect to the Shawnee County Flood Map Modernization process. By issuance of the LFD, FEMA has finalized the flood elevations and floodplain boundaries throughout Shawnee County. The letter was sent to Chief Executive Officer of each Shawnee County community stating that a new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) will become effective in 6 months. The letter also notifies each affected floodprone community participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that it must adopt a compliant floodplain management ordinance by the map effective date to remain participants in good standing in the NFIP. The new DFIRMs will take effect on September 29, 2011.

FEMA has issued to each Shawnee County community a final set of DFIRMs and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report. Both the DFIRMs and FIS report are available in the Flood Maps section of this website.

Letter of Map Amendment – Out as Shown (LOMA-OAS)NEW: 

Now that the final flood maps have been issued, property owners have the opportunity to request a formal determination from FEMA confirming their property is not located in the floodplain. The FEMA Out-As-Shown determination is a no cost application and will state that the property or building in question is correctly shown outside the Special Flood Hazard Area and, therefore, the mandatory flood insurance requirement does not apply.

PLEASE NOTE!  In order for your request to be considered based on the new flood maps, you will need to wait to file your request until August 8, 2011. Applications filed prior to that date will be considered based on the current flood maps as opposed to the new flood maps.

Refer to the Quick Reference Materials section on this web page for instructions on how to file an application for a LOMA-OAS and to download the MT-EZ application form.

Modernization Milestones*

  • March 3, 2010: 90-Day Public Comment Period (Appeals and Protest must be filed during this period).
  • Fall 2010: Review and resolution of Appeals and Protests by FEMA.
  • NEW: March 29, 2011: Letter of Final Determination (LFD) issued by FEMA; final flood maps and flood elevations issued; communities have 6 months to adopt the new flood maps and floodplain regulations.
  • NEW: September 29, 2011: New flood maps become effective.

* Dates subject to change pending completion of review processes.

Contact Information

Unincorporated Shawnee County
Shawnee County Planning Department
1515 NW Saline Street, Suite 102
Topeka, KS 66618
785-291-5410

City of Auburn
Wayne Coop, Building Inspector
161 W. 9th Street
Auburn, KS 66402
785-256-2426

City of Rossville
Jeff Overmyer, Zoning Administrator
438 Main Street, P.O. Box 337
Rossville, KS 66533
785-584-6155

City of Topeka
Development Services Division
620 SE Madison Street
Topeka, KS 66603
785-368-1631
785-368-3015

City of Silver Lake
Darlene Stadler, City Clerk
P.O. Box 92
Silver Lake, KS 66539
785-582-4280

City of Willard
Laura Lord
127 Holden Street
Willard, KS 66615
785-256-4614