Know your flood hazard
There are four main waterways that run through Derby - Spring Creek, Dry Creek, Trail Creek, and the Arkansas River. Floodplain maps, which are searchable by address, can be found on the FEMA flood map service center. There are high water crossings and the potential for flooding around High Park, Madison Ave., and Kay St. near Riley Park. There have been three significant flood events in the past 25 years, including the 1993, 1995 and 2016 floods that affected various parts of the city. Detailed floodplain maps for Sedgwick County are searchable by address.
Insure your property for your flood hazard
If you don't have flood insurance, talk to your insurance agent or shop around. Homeowner's insurance policies don't cover damage from floods. However, because the City of Derby participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy, but there is a 30-day waiting period. This insurance is backed by the Federal government and is available to everyone, even for properties that have been flooded. The City of Derby currently has a Class 7 Community Rating System, which provides homeowners a 15% discount on their flood insurance.
Some purchased flood insurance when they got a mortgage or a home improvement loan because it was required by the bank. Usually these policies cover only the building's structure and not the contents. During the kind of flooding that happens in Derby, there is usually more damage to the furniture and contents than there is to the structure. Make sure you have contents coverage. Remember, even if the last flood missed you or you have done flood proofing, the next flood could be worse. Flood insurance covers all surface floods. If your flooding problem is caused or aggravated by sewer backup, check out a sewer backup rider to your homeowners’ insurance policy. Additional information can be found on the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program website.
Protect yourself from hazards
- Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths, mostly during flash floods. Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you walk in standing water, use a pole or stick to ensure the ground is still there.
- Don't drive through a flooded area. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. Do not drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out.
- Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. The number two flood killer after drowning is electrocution. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to the power company or the police department.
- Have your electricity turned off by the power company. Some appliances, such as television sets, keep electrical charges even after they have been unplugged. Don't use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned and dried.
- Look out for animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours. Use a pole or stick to poke and turn things over and scare away small animals.
- Look before you step. After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris including broken bottles and nails. Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud can be very slippery.
- Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect damage. Don't smoke or use candles, lanterns or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated.
- Be aware of flooding warning signs. These signs could tell you when high water is going to be present in a flooded area, a sign like this is at James and Trail Creek intersection. Listen to the national weather service, as they will tell you when a flood risk is present.
Safety tips for your home or business:
- Buy and install sump pumps with backup power
- Have a licensed electrician raise electric components at least 12” above your flood elevation
- Waterproof your basement and any entrances to the basement including cellar windows.
- Create a check list of important items to do in case of a flood. Attach this list somewhere everyone will know where it is at.
- Hire a plumber install backflow values or plugs to prevent floodwater from entering your home
- Install alarms on septic pumps
- Anchor fuel tanks
- Have a backup water supply
- Have a backup waste system
Protect your property from flood hazards
Safe rooms can be designed and constructed within homes and buildings for greater protection against storms with high winds or tornados. For more information visit FEMA's Safe Rooms resource.
There are several different ways to protect a building from flood damage. One way is to keep the water away by regarding your lot or building a small floodwall or earthen berm. These methods work if your lot is large enough, if flooding is not too deep, and if your property is not in the floodway. Another approach is to make your walls waterproof and place watertight closures over the doorways. This method is not recommended for houses with basements or if water will get over two feet deep. For more information visit the FEMA drainage improvements section. It is also a good idea to have emergency floodproofing measures in place.
If dumping in the drainage system or waterways are identified in your community, it should be reported to the city for further investigation and correction action. Report suspected dumping or pollution problems by calling Derby Public Works at 788-0301.
Building responsibly is key to protecting the floodplain and our community. All floodplain development needs a local permit. To obtain permits or to report illegal floodplain development, contact City Hall at 611 Mulberry Rd. or 788-1519. You may also contact the Stormwater Manager and floodplain administrator at 788-0301 with questions or concerns.
The City’s floodplain management ordinance provides rules on new construction, substantial improvements and damages in section B) Specific standards part 2.2.A.2 section b.
Protect Natural floodplain function
Protecting the natural floodplain functions is one way we can reduce the impact of flooding within our community. The areas of natural function or floodway are any natural or artificial stream, river, creek, ditch, channel, canal, conduit, culvert, drain, waterway, gully, ravine or wash in which water flows in a definite direction or course, either continuously or intermittently, and has a definite channel, bed and banks, and includes any area adjacent thereto subject to inundation by reason of overflow or flood water. The regulations that protect the floodway is the floodplain ordinance under section E Floodway.