In order to minimize the threat to life and property from flooding and erosion hazards, the Zoning and Codes Department administers Douglas County's floodplain management program (see Douglas County's Floodplain Management Regulations 12-328). The program is managed in accordance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's policies, to provide these benefits:
- Provide a community effort of corrective and preventive measures for reducing flood damage to properties.
- Intended to protect public health and safety, reduce damage to buildings and contents, prevent increases in flood damage from new construction, reduce the risk of erosion damage and protect natural and beneficial floodplain functions.
- An opportunity for homeowners, renters, and business owners in our community to purchase federally-backed flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. By implementing floodplain management activities, residents of Douglas County’s Unincorporated areas qualify for flood insurance premium rate reductions.
Natural and Beneficial Functions
Floodplains left in an undeveloped, natural state can provide storage for floodwaters, which minimizes future flood damage. The natural vegetation can filter pollutants in runoff resulting from agricultural chemical use, or from septic systems, resulting in improved local water quality. Retaining natural floodplains also provides habitat for birds & wildlife.
Regular maintenance and cutting of brush and overgrowth from stream banks helps to retain the carrying capacity of a stream. Brush cutting should stop at the ground level and not remove the roots or disturb the soil. Root removal and soil disturbance can lead to bank erosion and loss of adjacent ground. State and Federal permits may also be required if the stream bank soil is disturbed.
Storm runoff can carry pollutants that are harmful to our health and environment. Waste materials, oil, fertilizer and pesticides should be controlled carefully and disposed of properly to prevent release of pollutants to ditches, streams and rivers.