Certain areas of Bartlesville along the Caney River and its major tributaries are subject to flooding and have flooded in the recent past. Engineers and hydrologists have developed maps to predict flood boundaries that would occur for what is known as a 100-year flood. This is not a flood that would occur once every 100 years, but a flood that has a 1-in-100 (1 percent) chance of occurring in any given year. Smaller floods have a greater chance of occurring and larger floods can and do occur.
Information on flooding may be obtained through the Engineering Department (401 S. Johnstone Ave.), in the reference area of the Bartlesville Public Library (600 S. Johnstone Ave.), on online through FEMA’s Map Service Center.
Bartlesville is associated with the Washington County Emergency Management Office. If you suspect that flooding may be a possibility, information may be obtained by calling Emergency Management at 918.331.2710. Other sources of information include local media.
Damage and losses caused by flooding are not covered under a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. For that, you need federal flood insurance. In fact, federal law requires that you carry flood insurance if you have a federally-backed mortgage and your home is located within a 100-year floodplain.
Because Bartlesville participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, flood insurance is available to everyone in the city. You do not have to live in the floodplain to qualify. Contact your local insurance agent or visit the National Flood Insurance Program website for more information.
Floodplain Development Requirements
Any development activity within the floodplain requires approval of a flood development permit issued by the City’s Engineering Department. This requirement is meant to protect your property and that of others by controlling alteration and development in flood prone areas. A floodplain development permit will be required for activities such as building or enlarging a structure, placing a manufactured home, mining, dredging, filling, grading, drilling, excavating, landscaping, installing a fence, storing supplies and/or equipment, repairing roads or bridges, placing a fuel storage tank and placing a recreational vehicle. In addition to the City’s flood development permit, any proposed work involving a structure must also have an elevation certificate submitted with the floodplain development permit.
Drainage System Maintenance
Clear and free-flowing streams and channels are necessary to maintain capacity and allow water to be removed quickly. It is illegal to fill, dump or dispose of any material in a ditch, stream or channel. This restricts the capacity of the channel and slows the water, thus creating bottlenecks. Disposal of grass clippings and other compost material and storage of firewood is also prohibited. You may report any violations to either Engineering 918-338-4251 or Code Enforcement 918-338-4244. Additional information may be obtained in Chapter 7 of the Bartlesville Municipal Code.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, floods are the most common of all natural disasters — except fire. Flooding has caused the deaths of more an 10,000 personal property damage from flooding now totals over $1 billion each year in the United States 50 states. Communities particularly at risk are those located in low-lying areas, near water from a dam.
To view flood prone and floodplain areas within the City Limits, please visit the City’s GIS Website and select the appropriate layer under the Waterways folder in the upper right corner of the window.