Floodplains are the low-lying areas generally next to a river or stream that carry water normally or after rain events. To promote public health, safety and general welfare, the floodplain management program works to minimize public and private losses due to flooding. To see if your property is in the floodplain, visit our page describing floodplains.

The Flood Management Program Reviews plans ranging from grading to building, issues floodplain permits, and ensures compliance with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) regulations. A permit is required before any work can begin in any City of Sioux Falls recognized floodplain area.

Avoid Active Flood Areas

Email All of Us: floodplain@siouxfalls.gov
Floodplain Administrator: Butch Warrington
Main Contact: Albert Schmidt (CFM)
Phone: (605) 367-8603
Additional Contacts: Mariah South (CFM)

Floodplain Permits FAQ

How much does a floodplain permit cost?

If a permit is required it costs $75 per permit. It is possible to have multiple properties on one permit for floodplain.


What does the floodplain management program do?

We review plans for items from grading to building, issue floodplain permits, and track for compliance with FEMA regulations. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Review applications and issue permits.
  • Interpret the boundaries of Flood Hazard Areas.
  • Use best available data when Base Flood elevations are not provided.
  • Determine substantial improvement/damage
  • Interact in variance appeal processes
  • Notify adjacent communities, the State, and the Administrator of Alteration or Relocation to the water course.
  • Ensure Maintenance of Watercourse
  • Conduct inspections
  • Investigate complaints of Code Violations
  • Coordinate Map Amendments and Appeals
  • Maintain for Public inspection all flood permit records i.e. Amendments, Revisions, Fill, Certificates, Elevation
  • Certificates and No-Rise Certificates
  • Maintain Floodplain Maps and Flood Data
  • Maintain and update the Floodplain Management Ordinance
  • Prepare and submit biennial reports


Why do I need approval for work in the floodplain

To ensure that the safety of the general public and properties along the floodplain are protected to the greatest extend possible.


New Development Restrictions Executive Summary

The City of Sioux Falls limits development in floodplains and for all lots since August 25, 2016 within one hundred feet of the regulated floodplain. Any property within the floodplain is not allowed to build in the floodway and is required to be at least two feet above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) for any part of the building not to be used for cold storage. Any storage areas with an elevation below BFE are required to have openings and are designed for water flow and damage. Some types of buildings are restricted from this area, they include hospitals, fire stations, nursing homes, schools, etc. For areas within one hundred feet of the regulated floodplain and platted since August 25, 2016 residential buildings are limited to having basements no closer than twenty feet from the edge of the floodplain, basement depth of no more than five feet lower than the BFE, and the lowest opening such as doors or windows to the outside no less than one foot above the BFE. These standards are designed to provide additional protections for these properties.

In Addition to these restrictions the City also has limits for substantial damage and improvements. These are applicable to all property within the regulated floodplain are intended to help owners make an educated decision when it comes to financially investing or reinvesting in a property. Once a property has been declared substantially damaged or improved the entire structure will need to come up to the current standard, usually this means raising the building up so that the floor is at least two feet above the BFE.

Substantial damage is when a building gets damage from any source (fire, air plan, flood, etc.) and the cost of repairing that damage is equal or greater to 45%, and starting in 2023 that limit will be for over a three-year period.

Substantial improvement is when a building gets permits to make improvements in the building (addition, deck, roof, siding, remodeling, etc.) and the cost of the improvement is equal or greater to 45%, and starting in 2023 that limit will be for over a three-year period.

If you have questions regarding  a property and substantial improvement or damage please feel free to reach out to us at floodplain@siouxfalls.gov.