The City of Purcell participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). That means that the city has adopted a floodplain management ordinance that meets or exceeds the minimum NFIP criteria for building or making substantial improvements in the floodplain. Within participating communities, the Federal government makes flood insurance available throughout the community.
Q: What is a “floodplain”?
A: A floodplain is a generally flat area of land next to a river or stream. It stretches from the banks of the river to the outer edges of the valley.
A floodplain consists of two parts. The first is the main channel of the river itself, called the floodway. Floodways can sometimes be seasonal, meaning the channel is dry for part of the year.
Beyond the floodway is the flood fringe. The flood fringe extends from the outer banks of the floodway to the bluff lines of a river valley. Bluff lines, also called valley walls, mark the area where the valley floor begins to rise into bluffs. (NationalGeographic.org)
Q: Is there “Floodplain” in the city limits of Purcell?
A: Yes. The City of Purcell does have some regulatory floodplain within the city limits. (See picture).
Q: How do I know if my property/home lies within a regulatory floodplain?
A: You can visit FEMA’s Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov to search, or contact your local floodplain administrator for assistance.
Q: What is Floodplain Management?
A: Floodplain management is a community-based effort to prevent or reduce the risk of flooding, resulting in a more resilient community.
The following video explains what it means to have higher standards, and why the City of Purcell has adopted some higher standards for building or making substantial improvements in the floodplain:
Q: I live in the City of Purcell. Who is my Floodplain Manager?
A: Within the City limits of Purcell, Rachael Huey, CFM, is our Floodplain Manager and Program Administrator. Rachael, who is also our City’s Emergency Manager, is a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) . She is a member of the “Oklahoma Floodplain Manager’s Association”, as well as the “Association of State Floodplain Managers” with several years of floodplain management experience within Oklahoma.
Q: What does Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) mean?
A: A Certified Floodplain Manager has extensive knowledge in floodplain management. They have taken a certification course, and passed a rigorous exam. They must recertify every 24 months by taking additional training courses.
Q: What is a 100-Year-Flood?
A: The term “100-Year-Flood” is a bit of a misnomer. It does not mean that any given area will flood every 100 years. It is simply a percentage chance of flooding in a specific area. The term “100-Year-Flood” means there is a 1% (or 1 in 100) chance in any given year that your home will flood. It may flood twice in one year, five times in the next, and not again for 25 years.
Q: What is Flash Flooding?
A: A flash flood is a rapid rise of water along a stream or low-lying urban area. Flash flooding occurs within six hours of a significant rain event and is usually caused by intense storms that produce heavy rainfall in a short amount of time. (NASA.gov)
Q: When is Flood Insurance required?
A: If your home is located in a high-risk flood zone (Special Hazard Flood Area– SHFA), flood insurance will be required by your mortgage company.
Q: My home is in a floodplain. I want to build a shop/add onto my home/build a deck/install a fence/etc. What do I need to do?
A: If your home (or land) is in the floodplain and you want build any structure, add on to any existing structure, or make any substantial improvement (including decks, patios, fences, etc.) you will need a floodplain development permit.
Q: How do I obtain a floodplain development permit?
A: Contact the City of Purcell Code Enforcement office, or download the form here:
Q: My home/land is in the floodplain and I want to install a storm shelter. Can I do it?
A: Answering this is a bit complicated as a lot of factors must be considered. A below-ground storm shelter in a floodplain is never a good idea. During severe storms, torrential rainfall is possible. Rainwater, runoff, and riverine flooding will flow to the lowest areas. A below-ground storm shelter can very quickly fill with water, which would be detrimental to those seeking shelter within. For more information about your specific situation, please contact your local floodplain administrator.