Devastating storms, runoffs from early snowmelt, and rising rivers can happen when you least expect them. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, and many properties have some risk of flooding. Being prepared now could not only save lives, but also reduce the emotional toll and property damages that may come with disaster.
The SFHA is also known as the 100-year floodplain, or the area with a 1% chance of flooding every year. To find out if your property is within the SFHA you can view King County iMap, visit Floodsmart.gov or call the Public Works Department. The Public Works Department can also help you find additional flood insurance information and help with Flood Insurance Rate Map Zone Determination.
King County also offers historical flood photos online, which can help you to determine the risk and type of flooding in your area. Historical Flood Photos
A floodplain development permit is also required prior to beginning any development within the SFHA. Development is defined as "manmade alteration of unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations, storage of equipment and materials and subdivision of land. For properties within the floodplain, development also includes the removal of more than 5% of the native vegetation on the property, or alteration of natural site characteristics."
Landowners can apply for a floodplain development permit at Public Works. Regulations for development within the SFHA are found within NBMC 14.08.
The floodplain is the area adjacent to rivers and streams that periodically flood. Floodplains are hydrologically important, environmentally sensitive, and ecologically productive areas that perform many natural functions. In addition to the scenic and recreational value of the floodplain, they also provide habitat, food, and protection to fish and wildlife, recharge aquifers, improve water quality, and created the rich farmland for which the area is known.
North Bend is located within the Snoqualmie Watershed. The Snoqualmie Watershed is the largest and most forested in King County, encompassing almost 700 square miles. North Bend participates in the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum which has a goal of protecting and restoring the health of the watershed.
The City's Floodplain Management Plan (PDF) describes local flood hazards, provides information specific to the natural functions of the floodplain within North Bend, identifies problem areas, describes preventative measures and property protection, and provides an action plan for projects identified within the plan.