The currently effective FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for Allen County include panel dates of both August 3, 2009 and October 2, 2013, depnding on location in Allen County. The FEMA Flood Insurance Study (FIS) is dated October 2, 2013 for all of Allen County. The 2013 digital floodplain boundaries can be viewed on the AllenCountyGIS website, www.acimap.us. Alternatively, you may use the FEMA website https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home to view and purchase digital flood insurance rate maps. The Department of Planning Services (DPS) has hard copies of the FIRMs and the FIS available to view and can assist you with questions about the National Flood Insurance Program and Floodplain Management. Additionally, FEMA issued Letters of Map Change are available in our office. You can contact DPS at 260-449-7607 or visit our office in 200 East Berry Street, Suite 150 between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays.
Flooding in Allen County is primarily from overflows of the Maumee, St. Joe, and St. Mary's rivers and their tributaries. These tributaries are many of the creeks, ditches and streams covering Allen County. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) in cooperation with the Maumee River Basin Commission (MRBC) produce Flood Insurance Studies and Flood Insurance Rate Maps which lay out the special flood hazard areas in Allen County.
These mapped special flood hazard areas (areas subject to inundation by the 1% annual chance flood) cover many of the studied flooding risk areas; however, there are other areas in Allen County which may be at risk for flooding and are not currently mapped as special flood hazard areas.
Information pertaining to your property and the 2009 special flood hazard areas can be obtained by visiting the office of the Department of Planning Services in 200 East Berry Street, Suite 150 between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., calling DPS at 260-449-7607, or by visiting www.acimap.us.
Please contact the Department of Planning Services in 200 East Berry Street, Suite 150, between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or at 260-449-7607 for further flood related information and flood related questions.
The Department of Planning Services has elevation certificates for new development subject to floodplain management regulations since 1990 for Allen County. Please contact our office if you are interested in copies of these elevation certificates.
Permits and approval are required for nearly all construction activities and most other types of development prior to doing any work within a floodplain area.
CALL THE DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING SERVICES AT 260-449-7607 BEFORE YOU PROCEED WITH ANY DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY WITHIN THE FLOODPLAIN FOR PROJECT SPECIFIC REGULATIONS AND PRIOR APPROVAL FOR REQUIRED PERMITS.
All development within the special flood hazard areas, including but not limited to, construction of buildings, accessory structures (including agricultural buildings), structural additions or alterations, structure improvements, filling, excavation, and placement of fences is required to comply with Federal, and State regulations, as well as the Floodplain Regulations of the Allen County Zoning Ordinance.
Please contact the Department of Planning Services at 260-449-7607 to report any suspected illegal development activities.
You need to be prepared for the possibility of flooding and flood damage to buildings and their contents. Most homeowners' insurance policy will not cover losses due to flooding. Flood insurance is only available to those participating communities in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Because of our adoption and enforcement of floodplain management programs that attempt to protect us from the multiple flooding hazards, Allen County is part of the NFIP and thus, residents are able to obtain flood insurance. Additionally, because Allen County participates in FEMA's Community Rating System program, flood insurance premiums are discounted.
Be sure to check your policy to ensure you have adequate coverage. Usually these policies cover the building structure, and not the contents. Contents coverage can also be obtained by asking. There is a 30 day waiting period before flood insurance coverage becomes effective. Plan ahead; do not wait until a flood is predicted before purchasing flood insurance.
If your building is located within the special flood hazard area, the purchase of flood insurance is mandatory if using a federally regulated/insured bank for a loan.
Are you adequately covered? Contact your insurance agent and landlord now. For further information about flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program.
When rivers approach flood stage, warnings are issued by the City of Fort Wayne's Emergency Operations Center through the Public Information Office to all of Allen County. Warnings are disseminated by TV and weather radio through regular interruptions advising you of the situation. In addition, weather information is broadcast on Weather Radio 162.55 Mz and Comcast Cable TV Channel 74, 24 hours/day.
A flood hotline (260-427-2875) is activated for Fort Wayne and Allen County residents during an actual flood event.
The City of Fort Wayne, Indiana has an Advanced Flood Warning System that provides the National Weather Service Northeast Indiana Forecast Office in North Webster, Indiana with real time rain and level information that provides hours of advanced warning. This system has a total of 31 sites that has 29 rain sensors, 10 level sensors and 6 temperature sensors ranging from Newville, Ohio (25 miles northeast of Fort Wayne) to Rockford, Ohio (45 miles south of Fort Wayne). The National Weather Service Forecast Office uses this data to provide flood warnings and watches and crest predictions to the public for the rivers and streams that impact Fort Wayne, Allen County, and Adams County.
For up to date river gage data, please visit the United States Geological Survey.
- Clean everything that has been wet. Flood water will be contaminated with sewage and other chemicals which pose severe health threats to both humans and animals, especially pets. Many items must be thrown out due to potential health risks, while others will need to be appropriately disinfected. WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW THEM OUT!
- Take good care of yourself. Wear gloves and boots. Wash your hands frequently during clean up. Recovering from a flood is a big job. It is tough on both the body and spirit and the effects a disaster have on you and your family may last a long time. Keep your eyes open for signs of anxiety, stress, and fatigue in you and your family.
Contact the Allen County Department of Health at 260-449-7561 or visit the Department of Health for further clean up information.
If your property is susceptible to flooding, there are many flood damage reduction measures you can employ. To view a list of these measures click here. Please also visit FEMA's Floodsmart.org for further information
If you believe that a structure or portion of your property is incorrectly included in the mapped floodplain based on natrual grade, you may choose to proceed with applying for a letter of map amendment (LOMA) from FEMA. The LOMA is a free application with FEMA. Please visit the FEMA website for direct information pertaining to LOMA applications.
The letter of map revision (LOMR) is a request for a more engineering detailed map revision. Please contact the Department of Planning Services in 200 East Berry Street, Suite 150, between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or at 260-449-7607 for information prior to a LOMR request with FEMA for local ordinance regulations information. Please visit the FEMA website for further information pertaining to LOMR applications.
FEMA maintains a website library of previously issued Letter Of Map Amendments and Letter of Map Revisions (termed Letters of Map Change) for our community. Please visit FEMA completed letters of map changes and follow the tools and links link to the public reports tab for further information.
The National Flood Insurance Program requires that if the cost of improvements to a building or the cost to repair damages (from any cause) to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the current market value of the building (excluding land value), the entire building (original structure and any new additions) must be brought up to current floodplain management standards.
A structure is considered substantially damaged if it is damaged by any cause whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent market value of the structure before the damage occurred. A substantially damaged structure cannot be repaired without bringing the structure into compliance with the current floodplain management standards, which includes, but is not limited to, elevating the lowest floor of the structure to flood protection grade.
Building improvement projects include but are not limited to: exterior and interior remodeling, rehabilitation, additions and repair and reconstruction projects.
For further information, please contact the Department of Planning Services at 260-449-7607.
As simple as it may sound, keeping smaller ditches and streams free of debris can dramatically improve the run-off capacity of low-lying areas, as well as greatly reduce the occurrence of blockage that significantly contributes to flooding. Dumping in these areas increases the flood hazard. Property owners are encouraged to maintain the swales on their property, as well as keep any larger drainage channels or ditches that cross their property free of debris. For information pertaining to maintenance of the regulated drains within Allen County, please call the Allen County Surveyor's Office at 260-449-7625.
Floodplains are also known as inland wetlands. Inland wetlands provide a unique and important ecosystem for many types of plants and animals. They also store flood overflow, provide aesthetic pleasure, and regenerate the water quality through filtering nutrients. Floodplains that are relatively undisturbed provide a wide range of benefits to both human and natural systems.
The floodplains of the Cedar Creek, Little River (also known as the Graham-McCulloch Ditch), Hoffman and Flatrock Creeks, and Saint Mary's, Saint Joe, and Maumee Rivers provide natural erosion control and open space so further flooding damage does not occur.
It is important to protect these natural areas with projects, such as the Eagle Marsh wetland property on Engle Road, to help mitigate property and habitat damage.
If you are interested in further information regarding flood-related issues in Allen County, please contact these agencies:
Department of Planning Services
Maureen Voors, AICP, CFM
200 East Berry Street, Stuite 150
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
Maumee River Basin Commission
Rod Renkenberger, PLS, CFM
3864 New Vision Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46845
Allen County Surveyor
200 East Berry Street, Suite 350
Fort Wayne, IN 46802