Flood Plain Information
NOTICE TO ALL BENTON RESIDENTS Regarding the Special Flood Hazard Area
The Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is the area subject to inundation by a 100-year flood, as shown on the current Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) compiled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FIRM panels are listed on this website. This notice is designed to make you more aware of local flood hazards, the need to keep flood insurance in force, and other topics related to flood preparedness. Please take a few minutes to review all of the items presented and determine what actions you may need to take in order to protect yourself.
Flooding may be a real hazard in your area of town. Properties near the Saline River, McNeil Creek, Depot Creek, Salt Creek, Hurricane Creek, and Willow Depot Creek are most susceptible to inundation during the 100-year flood event. Heavy rains in 1978, and 2008 caused flooding and damage to buildings within these areas.
What You Can Do:
- Rake up and bag leaves as often as possible before storms. Leaves clogging storm drains are the primary source of most flood occurrences. Do not dump or throw anything into drainage ditches or streams—it is a violation of the City Ordinance. Even grass clippings and branches can accumulate and plug channels and outfall structures. Blocked drainage ways simply cannot carry water, and when it rains the water has to go somewhere. Every piece of litter contributes to flooding.
- Clean drains around your home, including roof gutters, downspouts, drain inlets, pipes. Drainage ditches and driveway culverts.
- Do not construct driveway ramps in street gutters.
- Always check with the Community Development Department (776-5938) before you build on, alter, regrade, or fill on your property. Permit(s) may be required to ensure that projects do not cause problems on other properties.
- If you do not have flood Insurance, talk to your insurance agent. Homeowner's insurance policies do not cover damage from floods.
- Get at least three quotes on flood insurance.
During A Flood Watch:
Listen to the radio for news; bring outdoor belongings indoors. If time permits, move valuable possessions to the upper floors or to safe ground. Be prepared to evacuate and if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
Report local flooding or severe runoff to 501-776-5930.
During A Flood - Flood Safety:
Listen to the radio for news; if told to evacuate, do so immediately. Do not walk through flowing water. If you are in a car, do not drive through a flooded area.
The above information is presented in an effort to remind all residents that flooding is a real hazard during the winter rainy season. Additional information regarding flood hazards in Benton, and possible flood proofing measures for structures may be found at the Bob Herzfeld Memorial Library. Should you have any specific questions regarding the FIRM, please call Community Development at 776-5938.
Floodplain Understanding and Regulations
Maintaining safety and preventing flood damage in the City of Benton requires that the government and the citizen’s work together to keep the city prepared for a flood.
Do not dump or throw anything into drainage ditches or streams: Not only is it a violation of City codes, it is the primary source of flood occurrences in Benton. Even grass clippings and branches can accumulate and plug channels and outfall structures. Blocked drainage ways simply cannot carry water, and when it rains the water has to go somewhere. Every piece of litter contributes to flooding. It also helps to clean drains around your home, including roof gutters, downspouts, drain inlets, pipes, drainage ditches and driveway culverts. If you discover a drainage course that is not functioning, please contact the City’s Street Department at (501) 776-5990. To see the specific regulations, see Benton Ordinances No. 6 of 1998, No. 2 of 2006, and No. 17 of 2012.
Obtain permits before building: Development in the City of Benton is carefully regulated, and any construction that takes place, inside or outside the building, requires permits from the City. In the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) special rules apply that require new developments be protected from flood damage, elevating their lowest level above the base flood elevation. They may be required to be anchored to prevent lateral movement in the case of flooding. These rules also apply to any substantial improvements to buildings or repairs to any substantially damaged buildings. A substantial improvement is defined as an improvement or repair worth 50% of the original building’s value. If you have any questions about permits or whether you need permits, call the Community Development Department at 501-776-5938. To see the specific regulations pertaining to flooding, see the Benton Ordinance No. 17 of 2012.
Recognize the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains: Understanding and preserving these areas provides many benefits to the city, including flood protection. These areas spread out floodwaters, reducing their velocity and thus erosion damage, as well as collecting silt and sediments from upstream. They also act as a non-damaging location for floodwaters to drain to, thus reducing property damage. Furthermore, these areas add to the beauty of our town and give an opportunity for wildlife to grow for mutual benefit.
Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Panels
The links below are for Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) panels for the City of Benton and adjacent areas.
Links to important Flood Protection Information
- River Flood Stages from USGS or phone 501-813-9035
- FEMA Product Catalog (current FIRM maps & FIS Information)
- FEMA Website