Before, During and After a Flood
Within the Springdale city limits there are three primary waterways that originate and flow out of the city. These waterways constitute the regulated Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) within the city. Spring Creek originates in the East Central portion of the city. It then takes a Northwestern course as it travels through the Spring Creek-Osage Creek basin. This basin drains the majority of Eastern, Northern and the Northwest Springdale. Brush Creek is a second waterway that originates in the West Central portion of the city and travels to the West draining the Brush Creek-Osage Creek basin. This basin drains the Western portions of Springdale. The third and final waterway of significance to mapped flooding hazards is Clear Creek. This water way travels through the Southern portion of Springdale where it connects to Lake Fayetteville as well as drains further to the West throughout the Lake Fayetteville-Clear Creek basin. This basin drains the majority of Southern and Southeastern Springdale.
To see the above referenced boundaries throughout Springdale please see our Floodplain Interactive Map.
Many waterways throughout Springdale may be dry or contain very low flow levels a predominant portion of the time. However floodwaters in Springdale and a majority of Northwest Arkansas can rise quickly reaching heights of over 10ft. Such flash flooding can occur in many of these channels caused by heavy rainfall in a short period of time, generally less than 6 hours (National Weather Service).
Is your Property within a Flood Hazard Area?
Referenced Flood hazard areas consist of areas determined to have a one percent chance of flooding in any given year (100 year floodplain).
It is advised to become informed of where your property lies in relation to the established Flood Hazard Areas. The Springdale Engineering Department can review multiple sources of information along with flood studies on file to help determine your property's setting in relation to the mapped flood hazard areas. Flooding can also occur in all areas outside of floodplains. Partnered with the Springdale Building Department, information can be provided on potential hazard awareness for localized flooding in areas outside of mapped Special Flood Hazard Areas.
Information provided by the City is not an assurance that an occurrence of flooding will occur within your property at any given time, but provided as a guidance to potential flooding risks and aiding your determination for need of flood insurance.
Building or Buying Property?
Before buying or building property, check with the Springdale Building Department to ensure proper regulations are being followed. If your property is within a regulated floodplain, the Engineering Department requires the submission of a "Floodplain Development Permit." New structures within regulated floodplains or local flooding hazard areas are required to be elevated to at least two feet above the base flood elevation. The National Flood Insurance Program and Springdale regulations require that additions or improvements to existing buildings within a floodplain where cost exceeds 50% of the market value of the building to meet current regulations including elevating the building to or above the 100-year flood elevation.
Protecting your Property from Flood Risks
- Follow building requirements
- Elevate your home and utilities
- Raise electrical system components at least one foot above the 100-year flood level (at least two feet above within a flood hazard area)
- Build with flood-resistant materials
- Examples of flood-resistant flooring materials: concrete, concrete tile, latex, clay, vinyl, pressure-treated lumber, and cold formed steel
- Examples of flood-resistant wall and ceiling materials: brick, metal, concrete, polyester epoxy paint, pressure-treated lumber and form, and closed cell insulation
- Install sewer backflow valves
- Keep lawn waste and trash out of storm drains and waterways
- Buy Flood Insurance
The simplest way to ensure protection from flood damage is with flood insurance, and it is not limited to properties within a floodplain. Flood damage can occur anytime water crosses your property line from a neighboring property or right of way on the ground surface. These flood damages will not typically be covered by homeowner's insurance. Properties outside of a floodplain are typically eligible for lower rates of flood insurance through a "Preferred Risk Policy (PRP)." Renters' policies start at less than $10 per month for $20,000 structural and $8,000 content coverage, and are available for property owners covering all the way up to $250,000 structural and $100,000 content coverage for around $40 per month. Insurance is sold through the National Flood Insurance Program where it can be obtained from most insurance companies. For more information, please contact your insurance agent or find further details by visiting floodsmart.gov.
Preparing for a Storm
- Stay Informed: Visit weather.gov or tune into your local news for the latest forecast
- Determine whether your home, school or work is in an area likely to flood
- Learn which roadways are likely to flood and find an alternative route so you can avoid them
- Create a communications plan so your family will know how to connect during an emergency
- Assemble an Emergency Kit
- Prepare for possible evacuation. Pack your bags and include items for your pets so you are ready to leave at a moment's notice
- Charge all essential electronics
- Be Proactive: Leave before the flooding starts to avoid getting stranded
During a Flood
- Stay Informed: Tune into your local news for updates on flooding in progress
- Get to higher ground if you are in an area that is subject to flooding
- Follow evacuation orders and heed warning signs
- If you have time before you evacuate, disconnect utilities and appliances
- Avoid floodwaters: It is NEVER safe to drive or walk through them
- 6 inches of water can knock adults off of their feet
- 2 feet of moving water can carry off a car
After a Flood
- Stay Informed: Tune into your local news for updates on affected areas and the safety of your drinking water
- Avoid Floodwaters: Standing water can hide chemicals that can make you sick, power lines that can cause elctrocution and sharp debris that can seriously harm you
- Avoid Disaster Areas: Your presence may hamper emergency operations
- Heed road closure and cautionary signs
- Wait for the "all-clear" before returning to an area that was impacted by flooding
- Contact your family and loved ones to let them know you are okay
Preserving the Floodplain
Floodplains play a valuable role in providing natural and beneficial functions in and around Springdale. Floodplains that are relatively undisturbed provide a wide range of benefits to both human and natural systems. These benefits provide aesthetic pleasure as well as function to provide active processes such as filtering nutrients. The city’s floodplains enhance wildlife habitats and provide natural erosion control and open space so further flooding damage does not occur. As simple as it may sound, keeping smaller ditches and streams free of debris can dramatically improve the runoff capacity of low-lying areas, as well as greatly reducing the occurrence blockage that significantly contributes to flooding. It is illegal to dump materials into a required waterway and violators may be fined. If you see someone in the act of dumping or see debris in one of our watercourses, please contact the City’s Engineering Department at 479-750-8105.