flood1Bartholomew County lies at the point where several regionally significant streams – the Driftwood River, the Flatrock River, Clifty Creek, and Haw Creek – come together to form the East Fork of the White River.  Approximately 2,000 square miles of upstream land drains through Columbus and Bartholomew County, making flooding the most significant natural threat to the area.

The Planning Department is responsible for the administration of floodplain regulations for new development.  These local floodplain regulations are adopted as part of the Columbus and Bartholomew County Zoning Ordinances.  Their administration involves providing information to the public and coordinating with the Bartholomew County Department of Technical Code Enforcement, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

For information about the City’s and County’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and for information about local floodplain development regulations, visit our Floodplain Regulations page. To learn about the City of Columbus Flood Response & Evacuation Plan (FREP) and to view the stream gauges in our community, visit our Flood Response & Evacuation Plan page. To view the City of Columbus Flood Risk Management Plan, visit our Flood Risk Management Plan page.  To view recent studies completed on Haw Creek by the Army Corps of Engineers and Christopher B. Burke Engineering, visit our Haw Creek Information page.

The City of Columbus strives to provide timely and accurate answers to your floodplain questions. If you want to know if a property is in the Special Flood Hazard Area, you can check our local online GIS platform, Elevate .  You’ll find a wealth of information about the City’s Flood Insurance Rate Map, flood depths at your property, natural conservation areas, local floodplain boundaries, and more. Or you can call the Planning Department with all of your floodplain questions at (812) 376-2550.

For information about flood insurance, please visit FEMA’s FloodSmart.  Homeowner’s insurance excludes flood insurance. The City of Columbus (180007) and Bartholomew County (180006) both participate in the NFIP which allows stakeholders in the community to purchase flood insurance.  Discounts to annual flood insurance premiums are offered to stakeholders based on program class rating.  The City of Columbus (180007) is currently a Class 7 community eligible for a 15% discount and Bartholomew County (180006) is currently a Class 8 community eligible for a 10% discount.  There is a 30 day waiting period for insurance coverage to take effect so contact your local insurance provider to see if your home is protected.

Please visit the American Red Cross and Ready.gov (Department of Homeland Security) for information about how to protect your family and home before, during, and after a flood event.

For more information on potential financial assistance and funding sources for help with flooding disaster relief check out FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program at https://www.fema.gov/assistance/individual/program.