City of Shawnee

Flood & Floodplain Management

A floodplain is a naturally occurring area near a river or creek that floods periodically. When development adds pavement, roofs and other hard surfaces, less rainfall is filtered into the ground. Runoff to the nearby river or creek increases, and any development within that area can be subject to flooding.

Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. Effects can be local, limited to a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states.

To find out if you are in a floodplain or floodway, for flood depth data and/or to discuss property protection measures within the floodplain, contact Public Works, at (913) 742-6009. To find out information about developing or building on a lot in or near the floodplain, contact the Community & Economic Development Department at (913) 742-6011.

Flood Insurance
Several major creeks flow through Shawnee. These larger creeks have an associated floodplain that is identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you live along these larger creeks, you might be required by your home mortgage lender to purchase flood insurance. If you live close to a creek, you should take a careful look at your flooding risk and consider whether or not you should buy flood insurance.

Yard flooding
You may be impacted by nuisance yard flooding issues that are unrelated to stream flow. The public drainage system typically begins after neighborhood drainage reaches the street, and it is not uncommon for several yards to drain through each other before reaching the public system. In this case, it is your responsibility to protect your property from flooding. Some things to consider are:

  • Ensure the ground drains away from your foundation.
  • Ensure that window wells are adequately covered.
  • Consider adding French drains or yard inlets to remove water more quickly between storms.

Roadway flooding
You may encounter water over the road at some locations in Shawnee during extremely large rain events. Never try to drive across flooded roadways. Just 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. Twelve inches of rushing water can carry away a small car, while two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is never safe to drive or walk into flood waters. Know your evacuation routes in the event of roadway flooding.

Flood and Floodplain Information
General Information
Floodplain Management
Kansas Floodplain Quick Guide (pdf)
National Flood Insurance Program

Rainfall and River Gage Data for Johnson County
StormWatch ALERT Flood Warning System
National Weather Service

Flood Warning and Safety
Severe Weather Resources
Hazard Mitigation Plan
Flood Safety

Substantial Improvement/Damage to Floodplain Structures
No permit for Floodplain Development shall be granted for new construction, Substantial-Improvements, and other improvements, including the placement of Manufactured Homes, within any numbered or unnumbered A zones, AE, AO, and AH zones, unless the conditions of this Section are satisfied.