Flood Information & Floodplain Maps

General Flood Plain Information

The floodplain consists of 2 areas:

  • The floodway
  • The floodway fringe

Any area determined to be floodway falls under the jurisdiction of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources - Division of Water (IDNR-DOW), meaning that all projects proposed in that area would need their approval 1st and would also require a local permit. The floodway fringe falls under local jurisdiction and persons proposing work in this area should contact either the Area Plan Commission or the Building Commission prior to initiating any work or project. Additionally, the local zoning ordinance prohibits clear cutting in the floodway. Please be aware that the strictest regulation, whether local, state or federal, applies.

Floodplain Zoning District

Tippecanoe County has adopted the floodplain as a zoning district, which is shown on the county's zoning maps and is represented by the initials FP. The zoning map is used to determine whether or not a property can obtain a building permit because our county (including our cities and towns) prohibits the construction of structures with walls in the FP zone and within 25' of its boundary. A 2nd map, the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), is a federal map used to determine whether or not flood insurance is required depending on how the property is classified.

FP Zone Land Removal

It may be possible to remove some land from the FP zone on the local zoning map through a county process known as a floodplain certification. For more information on this process, please contact the Area Plan Commission. It may also be possible to remove property, or a portion of it, from the zone that requires flood insurance on the federal map, but that cannot be done at the local level. There are various processes to do that at the federal level depending on the circumstances, e.g. whether the ground elevation is natural or whether fill dirt has been added.

More information on the federal process can be found on FEMA's website. Both the local and federal processes require property owner's to 1st obtain a regulatory flood elevation, also known as a base flood elevation (1 can be obtained from the Area Plan Commission's historical files and studies on record or an application form and some supporting documents can be provided by staff to request an elevation from the IDNR-DOW).