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City Hall
P.O. Box 2315
480 East Ave. N.
Ketchum, ID  83340
Ph: 208.726.3841
Fax: 208.726.8234
Flood and Natural Disaster Information

The City of Ketchum maintains the website monthly, checks the website, fixes any broken links, and confirms the content is still current and pertinent.

Know Your Flood Hazard

Contact the Planning and Building Department to find out more about the risk of flooding to a property you own, are considering purchasing, or are selling. The Planning and Building Department is open during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be contacted via phone at (208) 726-7801 or in person at 480 East Avenue North, Ketchum, Idaho.

Planning and Building Department staff is available to provide assistance with reading flood maps and determining flood zones, providing information needed for flood insurance policies, and providing copies of Elevation Certificates for specific properties. The City of Ketchum maintains elevation certificates for new and substantially improved structures in the SFHA since November 20, 1978. However, elevation certificates may not be available for buildings that were built prior to the certificate requirement.

You can also visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Map Service Center at https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search and search the address of your property to find out the flood map number covering your property and the effective date of the flood map. From the Map Service Center you can view a web version of the flood map and learn your flood zone. Flood Insurance Rate Map data is also available on the City’s online GIS map, accessible fromwww.ketchumidaho.org. On the main page of the City’s website click the icon that says “Maps”, this will take you to the City Maps main page. Click “Ketchum Geographic Information System Map (GIS)” to view all parcels of land in city limits with FIRM data overlaid on parcel boundaries.

Insure Your Property for Your Flood Hazard

Visit FloodSmart to find out more about flood insurance, why it is needed, how to purchase flood insurance, and more. The following documents also provide information on flood insurance available through the National Flood Insurance Program:

Protect People from the Hazard

  • Sign up for Blaine County’s Community Alert System (BCCAS), launched in 2015, to receive emergency communications via cell phone or landline telephone, text message, e-mail, and social media channels. When flood and other emergencies are imminent or ongoing you will receive real time updates about local hazards and how to stay safe. The emergency alert system is powered by Code RED. Sign up for Blaine County alerts online at https://public.coderedweb.com/cne/en-US/58D579DB8746.
  • Visit the Blaine County Local Emergency Planning Committee’s website for additional updates about flood emergencies and how to protect yourself during floods and other hazard events.
  • Heed Flood Warnings. Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated flood information. A flood WATCH means flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area. A food WARNING means flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground immediately and stay there.
  • Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankle or if you come across a flooded road while driving, stop, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
  • Create and practice a Disaster Plan. Talk to everyone in your household about what to do if a flood occurs. Decide where you would meet and who you would contact in case of flooding. Assemble and maintain an emergency preparedness kit (see below). Be prepared to evacuate your family and pets at a moment’s notice.

Protect Your Property from the Hazard

Flooding in Ketchum commonly occurs when the winter snowpack begins to melt in the mountain ranges surrounding city limits. Basic steps you can take to prepare your property before a flood event include:

  • Identify flood risks when snow and ice begin to melt. Remember that ground frost or frozen soils prevent snow melt from seeping into the ground, increasing the risk of flooding.
  • Safely remove excess snow from your roof using a snow roof rake or hire a contractor. Safely clear drains and gutters, making sure snowmelt flows away from your home.
  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
  • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.

If you do experience damage during a flood event, you can take steps to repair and rebuild that will mitigate risks during future flood events. In cases of substantial damage or substantial improvements certain mitigation steps may be required. See more in the Build Responsibly section.

Build Responsibly

The City of Ketchum Planning and Building Department administers the permit requirements for construction and development in the floodplain. Development is defined as “Any subdivision, construction activity, or alteration of the landscape (except routine maintenance), its terrain contour or vegetation, including any construction of structures, establishment of a land use, or alteration of an existing structure or land use.” This includes adding fill to the floodplain, grading in the floodplain, alteration of vegetation in the floodplain and/or the riparian setback adjacent to waterways, alteration of stream banks, and new construction and additions.

A Floodplain Development Permit is required for all development proposed to occur on properties located within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or adjacent to the Big Wood River, Warm Springs Creek, Trail Creek, or any tributary or stream, even if only a portion of the property is within the SFHA or adjacent to a waterway.

Staff is also available to make site visits to provide one-on-one advice regarding floodplain issues and flooding and drainage problems.  Retrofitting advice is also available.  Please call (208) 726-7801 to make an appointment or report a violation.

The following documents provide regulations or guidance for building responsibly:

Protect Natural Floodplain Functions

The City values the natural function of floodplains and has standards for building in the floodplain and maintaining native, riparian vegetation in areas adjacent to waterways. The city also prohibits dumping or interference in any water or drainage course in the city.

The following documents provide more information and guidance for protecting the natural function of floodplains: