The Story County floodplain map is receiving a comprehensive upgrade in 2019, and Story County residents are invited to see the overhauled map on Jan. 16 at city of Ames Water Plant main conference room starting at 5:30 p.m.


“This is a come-and-go open forum that we hope will allow Story County property owners to gain as much information about the updated and comprehensive floodplain layouts,” said Story County Outreach and Special Projects Manager Leanne Harter.


Among the updates are the inclusions of buildings throughout Story County that exist in high-risk flood zones, or a Special Flood Hazard Area.


The map will also map out the .1 and .2 percent chance flood, which predict flooding over the course of 100 and 500 years, respectively.


For affected property owners in the county, the re-examination of newly established flood zones could result in owners needing to acquire or update their current flood insurance plans.


In addition to Story County officials, representatives from FEMA and Iowa DNR will field concerns and questions from the public at the meeting.


“This open forum will give residents a chance to appeal to FEMA to ensure that they get adequate coverage for potential flooding,” said Local Floodplains Program Coordinator, Jason Conn.


On Feb. 20, 2008, FEMA drafted a floodplain map for Story County that pinpointed potential flood hazards and risks in the county.


The 2008 map found that the flood hazard areas of Story County were subject to periodic inundation; however, a few of the figures lacked detailed topographic pinpoints.


The 2008 map had slightly conservative estimates on certain flood zones, which can affect flood boundary lines — and certain homes and business in the potential flood risk area,” said Conn.


According to FEMA’s website, there are three reasons why a county’s floodplain would need to be re-mapped: population increase, better and refined science, and changing weather conditions.


“We want to accurately map out how future floods can affect Story County, and the open forum on the 16th is a step toward ensuring residents are both safe and insured,” said Harter


How To Read A Floodplain Map:


Zone C, Zone X: Minimally affected areas, that between the limits of the 100-year and a 500-year flood.


Zone B, Zone X, X500 - affected by the 500-year flood, these zones hold a moderate flood hazard but have less than 1” of flooding per square mile.


Zone D: Areas that are undetermined, but flooding is possible.


Zone AH, AO - affected by the 100-year flood,flooding could range between 1-3”.


Zone A or V: considered to be in a Special Flood Zone. In Zones V, flood insurance is mandatory.


Zone AR: These areas have a temporary heightened flood risk due to the construction of a levee or a dam.


Zone A99: affected by the 100-year flood, but are protected by a federal flood control system.


UNDES - a body of open water — which Story County has 16 of.