Flood Plain Map Updates

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The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are working with the City of Ames to present preliminary floodplain maps to Ames and Story County citizens. 


Flooding is the number one natural disaster in the United States. It is vital that property owners understand their risk and take advantage of tools or programs available to them, including flood insurance. These preliminary maps are an update of the existing maps, which date back to 2008, and will become the basis for local community’s floodplain management measures. Insurance companies will use the maps to determine flood insurance rates for buildings and contents.

As a result of these map changes, some buildings throughout the City of Ames may, for the first time, be included in a high-risk flood zone, known as the Special Flood Hazard Area. This may result in those affected property owners being required to purchase flood insurance.



The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is reviewing an appeal to the preliminary FIRM Map that was submitted by the City of Ames regarding the land immediately adjacent to Ada Hayden Lake. A letter confirming the appeal under review is linked here.


Existing flood plain map with proposed changes.
Individual FIRM Index Maps can be found here.


Upcoming Events 

Check back here for updates and future events.


More Information 

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Jason Conn: Jason.Conn@dnr.iowa.gov

City of Ames Planning Department

Justin Moore: Jrmoore@cityofames.org



The City of Ames participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. This program allows all property owners in the City to obtain flood hazard insurance for their structures and contents. In some instances, the purchase of flood insurance may be mandated by your mortgage lender. 

The Special Flood Hazard Area is determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency following a hydraulic and hydrologic study of the community. The most recent study was released on October 16, 2014. Its maps were adopted by the City Council as the City’s Flood Plain Map. The map identifies the areas in which there is a one percent chance of a flooding event in any given year (also known as the 100-year flood). Currently, the City is reviewing new proposed maps for all of Ames. more information can be found here.

Most activities in the Special Flood Hazard Area are regulated by Chapter 9 of the Ames Municipal Code. Any excavating, filling, grading, construction of new structures, or remodeling of existing buildings requires submittal of a Flood Plain Development Permit Application. In general, allowed activities within the Floodway are severely restricted. Activities within the Floodway Fringe may be allowed if they meet certain performance standards. These standards usually involve elevating or floodproofing a structure.

Please use the Staff Contacts link at the left to contact Justin Moore with questions.

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