News Releases

5/6/2016 - Public Open House – Floodplain


Dean Andrew, Floodplain Administrator


Public Open House – Floodplain 


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which was created in 1968 to encourage communities to adopt floodplain management ordinances and to help offset rising disaster assistance costs to the federal government. The owners of property located in Special Flood Hazard Areas, or SFHAs (also known as the “100-year floodplain”), are required to purchase flood insurance if they have a federally insured mortgage and their property is located in one of these mapped areas. According to FEMA, property in an SFHA has at least a one-percent chance of being flooded in any given year, or a 26 percent chance of being flooded during the term of a 30-year mortgage.


Although flood insurance is sold by private insurers, the rates are set by FEMA and are based on a property’s hazard zone designation, which can be found on a participating community’s flood insurance rate map, or FIRM. Essentially, homes built above the flood level – the base flood elevation – are generally not required to carry flood insurance, while homes built below the flood level pay more, according to a risk-based sliding scale.


The federal program for replacing old and outdated paper topographical FIRM maps with digital versions began about 11 years ago. Replacing decades-old data with information generated by aerial laser surveys and new computer models is intended to allow FEMA to more precisely identify and map flood-prone areas. The digital maps should be easier to access by the public and easier to update.


The process of updating the existing flood maps for Salina and Saline County has begun. The Kansas Division of Water Resources, in a collaborative effort with FEMA and their mapping contractor AMEC Foster Wheeler, has sent a draft set of the updated FIRMS to community officials in Salina and Saline County.  The boundaries of many flood-prone areas within the city of Salina shown on the existing 1986 flood map have been revised. 


Public Open House

As part of the process of encouraging public input on the updated flood maps, a public open house to review the proposed new maps has been scheduled for Thursday, May 19, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Heritage Hall, at the Bicentennial Center, Salina, Kansas.


Officials from Saline County, City of Salina Planning and Engineering Divisions, AMEC Foster Wheeler, the Kansas Division of Water Resources and FEMA will be on hand to answer questions regarding the development of the flood maps, their future adoption and use and the revalidation of existing Letters of Map Change (LOMA and LOMR letters). Officials will also be available at computer stations to look up addresses to answer individual questions and address concerns owners may have about their property.  Maps will be available for viewing at this public meeting.  The public may also view the maps in our offices at the City-County Building, 300 W. Ash, Room 201, or you can view a map on the Maps Page of the City’s website at; from the home screen, click on Maps, then click on “Draft FEMA Floodplain maps” or use this link:


If you have any questions about properties within the city limits of Salina, please contact Dean Andrew, Floodplain Administrator, or any staff member of the Planning Division at 785-309-5720 or email You may also contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Water Resources, Dane Bailey, Program Manager at (785)296-7769.  For more information about Map Modernization or the National Flood Insurance Program visit