Floodplain Mapping

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has identified more than 1,000 properties in Summit County as being located in a regulatory floodplain.

This designation has important implications related to flood insurance requirements, flood insurance rates, property sales and obtaining mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders.

View FEMA's current digital flood hazard maps for Summit County, which display the 100-year floodplain, the 500-year floodplain and changes to floodplain boundaries from the previous version of the maps.
Flooding in a neighborhood

Flood Map Modernization

Beginning in 2003, FEMA undertook the Flood Map Modernization initiative (Map Mod) to improve and update the nation’s flood maps; the agency provided 92 percent of the nation’s population with digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps. The initiative laid the foundation for FEMA's Risk Mapping Assessment and Planning program.

Through Map Mod, FEMA used state-of-the-art technology and advanced engineering to increase the quality, reliability, and availability of flood hazard maps and data and employed a collaborative process to involve state, regional and local partners in mapping tasks. In addition to providing more accurate and up-to-date flood hazard information, Map Mod enhanced community officials’ and citizens’ decision-making and their ability to manage risks and other issues locally.

Summit County and the incorporated municipalities within the county adopted FEMA's new digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for their respective jurisdictions in November 2011.

Flood Map Revisions

Summit County and the towns of Breckenridge, Silverthorne and Frisco are now working with FEMA to undertake a Physical Map Revision process to make necessary revisions to our communities' flood hazard maps. The revisions being undertaken at this time address only translational errors, i.e., flood hazard area boundaries that were not translated properly to the new maps during the Flood Map Modernization initiative.

The current revision process does not account for recent hydrological changes to the floodplain, such as those caused by the natural migration of water channels, activities of water-dwelling animals such as beavers, human development or survey control inaccuracies in the original adopted maps. It is our hope that FEMA will undertake these types of revisions on a community-wide basis in the near future for Summit County. In the mean time, individual property owners or groups can pursue such map revisions independently.

View FEMA's proposed revisions to flood hazard maps for Summit County.

In order to provide property owners with an opportunity to review the FIRMs and provide input, local officials held a community open house on Aug. 10, 2015, at the County Commons. Representatives from the County and the Towns, Colorado Water Conservation Board and FEMA were on hand to explain the process and answer questions.

Map Revision Appeals Process: Deadline Aug. 17, 2016

FEMA's proposed flood hazard determinations, if finalized, will become the basis for the floodplain management measures that our community must enforce to remain qualified for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Community officials and citizens may appeal the proposed flood hazard information presented on the preliminary revised FIRM.

More Information

For more information and background, visit FEMA's flood hazard mapping program. Also see FloodSmart.gov, the official site of the National Flood Insurance Program, including its page on the basics of flood insurance.

If you have questions, contact the local floodplain administrator for the jurisdiction in which your property is located:
  • Town of Breckenridge: Shannon Smith, 970-453-3196
  • Town of Frisco: Bill Gibson, 970-668-9121
  • Town of Silverthorne: Dan Gietzen, 970-262-7354
  • Unincorporated Areas of Summit County: Robert Jacobs, 970-668-4212