Floodplain Management

Floodplain management refers to the practices and regulations that work together to ensure that the integrity of the floodplain is maintained. Floodplains serve an important natural function for large-scale drainage and environmental benefits. A floodplain refers to the land that is adjacent to rivers or streams that is inundated with water from time to time. It includes the floodway and the flood fringe areas.

In most instances, the term floodplain is used to casually refer to the regulated floodplain as determined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).The FEMA regulatory floodplain is developed through the processing of scientific data with flood modeling software. 

The City of Stillwater’s modeled floodplain, in most instances, identifies a floodway, a 1%-chance-per-year flood zone and a 0.02%-chance-per-year flood. You may never encounter a flood over the year or even over a period of several years. Conversely, you might encounter several floods within a single year. Still, the probability for having such a flood within a year remains the same.

Floodplain Management is Required

Floodplain management is required by federal and State of Oklahoma laws and primarily supports risk reduction associated with the hazards of flooding. The City of Stillwater's municipal code, Chapter 23, Article XVIII of the Land Development Code, regulates development within the floodplain to ensure it is completed in such a manner that will not create adverse impacts for the current property owners and for those on neighboring properties.

The City also participates in the National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP) and the Community Rating System (CRS). As an NFIP community, citizens may obtain NFIP flood insurance policies for protection. In addition, the City has the ability to compete for federal funding, as programs become available, and to receive disaster assistance, if needed. As a CRS community, citizens with active floodplain policies have additional reductions in costs and the City also has added benefits. 

Safety Plans

It is critically important to remember that anyone can experience flooding. Even if you have never experienced or seen a flood in an area or if you do not live in a home within the FEMA regulatory floodplain, it is important to understand the risk associated with flooding within your community. 

  • Turn Around Don't Drown: Don't drive or walk into flooded areas and have a safety plan developed for you and your family, and view the City's Storm Event Check Map. 
  • Watch the City's public service announcement concerning shutting off your natural gas.



The City of Stillwater adopted the Land Development Code (LDC) in 2008 with Ordinance No. 3023, wherein Flood Hazard Regulations was Chapter 23, Article 14. In 2011, the City recodified the code and the Flood Hazard Regulations is referenced under Chapter 23, Article XVIII. 

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