Floodplain

For Information regarding floodplain permitting requirements in unicorporated Garlad County, please contact the office of the Floodplain Administrator:

Charles Molsbee, CFM
501-767-3911

Permitting Authority

On May 24, 1990, the Garland County Quorum Court adopted Ordinance 0-90-58 which enacted flood damage prevention controls consistent with the regulations of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The county now requires individuals and developers to apply for construction permits through the Office of Emergency Management, Floodplain Administrator. However, if the construction is outside a flood hazard area, the Floodplain Administrator may issue an exemption certificate and the property to be developed may not be required to meet the permitting requirements of the county's flood management regulations. Development in the flood hazard areas must be constructed to ensure that construction materials and methods will be used to minimize flood damage. Questions concerning the flood permit application process should be directed to the Office of the Floodplain Administrator at 501-767-3911. View the Floodplain Ordinance (PDF).

FLASH FLOODING: Turn Around, Don't Drown

The National Weather Service and Garland County Department of Emergency Management,urge people to learn the dangers of driving into flooded roadways. Drivers often underestimate the power of floodwater. When there's water running across a road, drivers should always turn around and choose a different route.      Turn Around Don't Drown Video. (English)      Turn Around Don't Drown Video. (Spanish)

  • Six inches of water can cause tires to lose traction and begin to slide.
  • Twelve inches of water can float many cars. Two feet of rushing water will carry off pick-up trucks, SUVs and most other vehicles.
  • Water across a road may hide a missing segment of roadbed or a missing bridge.
  • In flash floods, waters rise so rapidly they may be far deeper by the time you are halfway across, trapping you in your vehicle.
  • Flash floods are especially treacherous at night when it is very difficult to see how deep waters may be or how fast water is rising.
  • Floodwater weakens roadbeds. Drivers should proceed cautiously after waters have receded, since the road may collapse under the weight of the vehicle.

Lives can be saved every year if drivers follow this one rule: WHEN THERE IS WATER ON THE ROAD, TURN AROUND DON'T DROWN

Manufactured Homes, Recreational Vehicles, and Trailers in the Floodplain

Manufactured homes must meet the same standards as any other residential building for elevation of the first floor, use of flood damage-resistant materials below the flood protection level, and elevation or protection of utilities.  The best way to meet this requirement is to elevate the bottom of the manufactured home chassis to the flood protection elevation. 

 Manufactured homes must be elevated on a permanent foundation and be securely anchored to an adequately anchored foundation system to resist flotation, collapse, and lateral movement.  A “permanent foundation” means more than a stack of concrete blocks.  It should include a below-grade footing that is capable of resisting overturning, deep enough to account for frost depth and expected scour, and sized appropriately for the site’s soil bearing capacity.   “Adequately anchored” means a system of ties, anchors, and anchoring equipment that will withstand flood and wind forces and will work in saturated soil conditions.  Usually this means over-the-top or frame tie-downs in addition to standard connections to the foundation. 

 If a solid perimeter foundation wall (or rigid skirting that is attached to the frame or foundation) encloses space below a manufactured home, openings are required to relieve hydrostatic loads and minimize the potential for damage to the home and its supporting foundation system. Flexible skirting or rigid skirting that is not attached to the frame or foundation does not trigger the requirement for flood vent openings, provided that the skirting does not provide structural support and will collapse under water loads without causing structural damage to the elevated home or the foundation.

What is your risk for flooding? Not just for Homeowners

Your chances of being flooded are much greater than some other risks you face daily. If you live in a 100-year floodplain, there is more than a 1 in 4 chance that you will be flooded during your 30-year mortgage. During a 30-year mortgage period you are 27 times more likely to experience a flood than having a fire. If you are planning on developing a property and you are unsure if it is in a Special Flood Hazard Area, ask your local realtor, or contact the Garland County Flood Administrator at 501-767-3911, or our office at 401 Mid-America Blvd.  e-mail to floodperm@garlandcounty.org

Flooding does not happen to just homeowners, but renters to. If you rent a home, look into a flood insurance policy that will cover your personal contents from flood damage, as most homeowners policies do not cover tenants contents. Check with you local insurance representative about a renters flood insurance policy.

Flood Insurance Rate Maps

Through FEMA's flood hazard mapping program, Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (MAP), FEMA identifies flood hazards, assesses flood risks and partners with states and communities to provide accurate flood hazard and risk data to guide them to mitigation actions. Flood hazard mapping is an important part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as it is the basis of the NFIP regulations and flood insurance requirements. FEMA maintains and updates data through Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and risk assessments

The Garland County Geographic Information System website has an interactive Flood Data Map which is a useful tool in determining whether a certain property lies in the floodplain. For official flood map information please visit FEMA’s Map Service Center.

Floodplain Reference Documents

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) provides a vast library of information to help you as a property owner, builder, insurance agent, or realtor, be knowledgeable about the Special Flood Hazard Areas in Garland County. These documents can be found at Garland County Government buildings, at the Garland County Library and the Office of the Floodplain Administrator. Also, below you will find links to many of the more valuable resources from the FEMA library. Just click on the links below and you will be taken to a PDF of the documents for reference or printing on your home computer.

Above the Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone House                       Answers to Questions About the NFIP

Elevated Residential Structures                                                       Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods & Other Hazards

Protecting Building Utilities from Flood Damage                              Reducing Damage from Localized Flooding

Have More Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), click here