March 16, 2023
Residents of Spanish Fork City:
Is your property located in or near a floodplain?
The property you own along or near the Spanish Fork River is subject to flooding as shown by
the enclosed flood hazard map. This map shows the 100-year floodplain where there is a 1%
chance of flooding in any given year. This means that there is a 25% chance of flooding in
these areas during a 30-year mortgage. This year the winter snowfall has accumulated to a
level much higher than normal in the mountain drainage areas. Rapidly increasing
temperatures and/or rain in the mountains could bring the Spanish Fork River to flood levels.
The Spanish Fork River has flooded a few times in recorded history, with the four most
memorable floods in 1952, 1983, 1984, and 2011.
Detailed flood information and maps with these flood zones and hazards can be located on the
Special Flood Hazard Area
Spanish Fork City has aggressively worked to remove the invasive trees and clear any debris
from the river channel or floodway to help prevent flooding. River waters from snowmelt can be
extremely fast, cold, and dangerous. Take care of children and elderly adults when recreating
near the river.
Spanish Fork City has been careful to not permit building in areas where the risk of flooding is
so high that flood insurance is too expensive. Flood insurance should be affordable for existing
homes and we highly recommend that properties in or near special flood hazard areas obtain
With the help of FEMA and experienced floodplain consultants, Spanish Fork City has adopted
a Flood Prevention Policy (Municipal Code, Title 15 Land Use, Part 4, Chapter 20). This policy
is very detailed with standards and requirements when it comes to developing or building within
certain flood zones.
Municipal Code, Title 15 Land Use, Part 4, Chapter 20
Facts about floods:
- Flooding is the most common weather-related natural disaster. In Utah, nine of the state’s 11 major disaster declarations have been related to flooding.
- You don’t have to live in a special flood hazard area, often called a flood zone, to be hit by flooding. About 25% of flood insurance claims are from properties outside of flood zones.
- Floods can be caused by heavy storms, melting snow, dam or levee failure, or inadequate or overloaded drainage systems
- Just an inch of water can cause costly damage to your property.
- Flood insurance policies are separate from a regular homeowner’s policy and have to be in place 30 days before a flood claim can be made.
- Usually, the flood hazard exists along the Spanish Fork River from Mid-April to the end of May.
- Flood insurance can be purchased on eligible residential and commercial properties for a relatively inexpensive yearly cost.
- Federal disaster assistance requires a Presidential Declaration, which happens in less than 50% of flooding events
- The most typical form of federal disaster assistance is a loan that must be paid back with interest.
What you can do to better protect yourself and your property:
- Gather emergency supplies now in case of flooding and the possibility you have to
- Divert gutters, downspouts, and sump pump drainage away from your home to prevent water infiltration back into your home.
- Cover bare soil with native plants to reduce soil erosion and water runoff.
- Make sure any landscape improvements slope away from your home so that water runoff does not end up inside your home.
- Purchase flood insurance. It is one more tool available to residents and business owners to help protect their properties from the impacts of flooding. Contact your insurance agent for more information about flood insurance or to purchase a flood insurance policy. If you don’t have an agent, or your agent does not write flood insurance, you can also get more details about flood insurance at FloodSmart.gov.
Property owners along the river have responsibilities too:
- Refrain from dumping grass clippings and debris along the riverbank or into the river.
- Remove fallen trees and any debris from the river to prevent damming and diversion of water onto your property or property downstream.
- Plant native trees, shrubs and other deep-rooted plants as part of a natural landscape in
- order to minimize mowing and watering.
- Between your home and the river floodway, plant a buffer of native plants whose deep roots will absorb more water during heavy rains and will stabilize the stream bank.
We strongly encourage you to follow these guidelines in order to better protect your property
from a flood. Everyone should be prepared for a flood.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to call the
engineering office at (801) 804-4550.
Travis Warren PLS, CFM
City Surveyor & Floodplain Manager
Spanish Fork City