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House in a floodFloods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. Flood effects can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states.

However, all floods are not alike. Some floods develop slowly, sometimes over a period of days. But flash floods can develop quickly, sometimes in just a few minutes and without any visible signs of rain. Flash floods often have a dangerous wall of roaring water that carries rocks, mud, and other debris and can sweep away most things in its path. Overland flooding occurs outside a defined river or stream, such as when a levee is breached, but still can be destructive. Flooding can also occur when a dam breaks, producing effects similar to flash floods.

Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live, but especially if you live in a low-lying area, near water or downstream from a dam. Even very small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds, or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood. Every state is at risk from this hazard. (Source: FEMA)


Due to the numerous flood events experienced in Burleigh County, a flood annex was developed to include action items for Apple Creek and the Missouri River. This annex is reviewed on a yearly basis and after any significant flood event.

Burleigh County Flood Annex

Burleigh County Water Resource District: Flood Control Projects

Cover Page of Burleigh County Flood Annex

After the Flood

Structural or utility questions?
Contact Burleigh County Building/Planning/Zoning: (701) 221-3727

Environmental questions such as mold, septic systems, private wells?
ND Environmental Health Division: (701) 328-5188

After the Flood Links:

ND Department of Health: Flood Cleanup Health and Safety Information
NDSU Extension Service Flood Information
Environmental Protection Agency Flood Information
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Flood Information

Learn Your Risk

Find your maps: visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Map Service Center

Look up your address and the corresponding flood zone:

  • Zones AE, A, and AE with Floodway are high risk. Flood insurance is mandatory.
  • Zone X is moderate risk. Flood insurance is recommended but not mandatory.
  • Unshaded properties are low risk; however, low risk does not mean no risk! A Preferred Risk Policy may be right for you.

Questions? Visit to learn more, or talk to your insurance agent to see how you can prepare against flooding.

, You Live Behind a Levee! Preparedness Guide Cover Page

So, You Live Behind a Levee! Preparedness Guide

Most people know that levees are built near rivers and lakes to reduce flooding risk, but what does it mean to live behind one? Are your home and loved ones safe from floods? How much protection does the levee really provide? What do you need to know to be safe?

The American Society of Civil Engineers' (ASCE) public education booklet, So, You Live Behind a Levee!, was created to answer those questions and more, and to help individuals and communities better protect themselves against future flood threats. Written for both the engineering and non-engineering public, it covers issues such as flood size and risk, signs of trouble, ways to reduce risk, and how to prepare for and respond to emergencies. The guide will help you prepare now to protect against future threats. If you live near a levee, you shouldn't be without a copy.

(Source: American Society of Civil Engineers website) logo

Protect Yourself with Flood Insurance
Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters. Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers and the property's flood risk. website

All policy forms provide coverage for buildings and contents. However, you might want to discuss insuring personal property with your agent, since contents coverage is optional. Typically, there's a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect. That means now is the best time to buy flood insurance.

One-Step Flood Risk Profile:

  • Rate your risk
  • Estimate your premiums
  • Find an agent

Asbestos: Asbestos Hazards Due to Flooding

Basements: Flooding: Excess Rain and Basements
Basements, Cleaning and Repairing: Cleaning and Repairing Flooded Basements
Basements, Drainage: Basements may Flood if Drainage is Poor

Carbon Monoxide: Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Children: Helping Children Through the Flood
Cleanup: Creating A Healthy Home, A Field Guide for Clean-up of Flooded Homes

Damage, Avoiding Groundwater to Homes: Avoiding Groundwater Damage to Homes
Damage, Furniture and Appliances: Flood-Damaged Furniture and Appliances
Damage, Steps to Reduce Flood & Water: Steps to Reduce Flood and Water Damage
Damage, Wall, Ceiling, and Floors: Flood-Damaged Walls, Ceiling and Floors
Disposal - Food, Household Waste: Disposal of Food and Other Household Waste
Disposal - Hazardous Household Waste, Electronics: Disposal of Hazardous Household Waste and Electronics
Drains: Reduce Flooding from Drains
Dry Out: Dry Out Before Rebuilding
Drying Out: Floods: Drying Out

Emotional: A Flood of Emotions
Emotional: Strengthening your emotional well being ahead of the flood
Evacuate, Farm: Preparing to Evacuate Your Farm
Evacuation Guidelines: Evacuation Guidelines
Evacuation Tips: Evacuation Tips

Farm Implements: Reconditioning Flood Farm Implements
Farm Vehicles and Equipment: Flood Farm Vehicles and Equipment
First Entry: Floods: First Entry of a Flooded Home-Precautions
Flash Flooding: National Weather Service, Flood Safety Flash Card
Food, Frozen: Is Home-Frozen Food Safe to Use?
Food, Salvaging: Salvaging Food After a Flood

Hazardous Materials: Flooding and Hazardous Materials Do Not Mix
Health Precautions: Emergency Health Precautions for Flooded Areas
Heating Oil, Home: Home Heating Oil
Heating Systems: Restoring Heating Systems After a Flood

Livestock: Protecting Livestock During a Flood

Mold: Mold in Homes

Papers: Caring for Important Papers
Pesticides: Flooded Pesticides
Pets: Pets and Emergencies
Plan, Family Emergency: Family Emergency Plan
Prepare: Prepare for a Flood, How to

Repairs, Temporary Structural: How to Make Temporary Structural Repairs

Salvaging: Salvaging After Flooding
Sandbag Cleanup: Sandbag Cleanup After a Flood
Sandbagging: Sandbagging for Flood Protection
Septic Systems: Septic Systems Flooding
Stress: Manage flood-related distress by building resilience
Supply Kit, Basic Emergency: Basic Emergency Supply Kit
Sump Pump: Sump Pump Questions

Tetanus: Do I Need a Tetanus Shot?

Walls, Drying and Repairing: Drying and Repairing Walls
Water: Is My Water Safe To Drink?
Wells: Proper Well Disinfection

Contact Us

Burleigh County Emergency Management
4200 Coleman St
Bismarck, ND 58503
Phone: (701) 222-6727

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