Central Point Flood Hazards


Central Point is a flood-prone community impacted by riverine and urban flood hazards.  The distinguishing factor between the two types of flood hazards is the source of water.  Riverine floods are associated with rivers and streams, whereas urban floods originate in the urban landscape from overwhelmed or backed-up storm drains, and standing water that pools in low-lying areas.  Although floods are a natural process that can provide benefits to people and the environment, they can cause extensive damages.  It is important to understand the local flood hazards, potential risks to your property and ways that you can protect your family, property, and community.

Riverine Flooding


Seven streams run through the city, including: Bear, Griffin, Jackson, Horn, Daisy, Mingus, and Elk Creeks.  Most originate in the surrounding mountains collecting water from surface runoff and groundwater seeps as they wind across the landscape making their way toward the Rogue River and eventually the Pacific Ocean.  Normally, these streams can handle every day runoff; however, severe storm events, like the event that occurred in December and January 1997, caused streams to overflow their banks and innundate floodplain areas.  Buildings and infrastructure were damaged during this event. These riverine flood hazards are mapped on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM), which assign flood zones to every property in Central Point.  Flood zones provide information about flood risk or the probability that a flood event will occur in any given year.


On the news we often hear about the 100-year flood, which is another way of saying a flood that has a 1% annual chance of occurrence.  The 1% annual chance floodplain is a high risk flood hazard area also referred to as the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).  Likewise, the 500-year floodplain is another way of saying the land area with a 0.2% annual chance of experiencing a flood.  The 0.2% annual chance floodplain has a lesser degree of occurring, but the magnitude of this event is much more severe.  We consider this a low to moderate risk flood hazard area.  It's important to carry flood insurance even if you live in a low to moderate risk flood hazard area, as more than 25% of all claims come from these flood zones.

Urban Flooding

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These types of floods are not mapped on the Central Point FIRM because the water source can be anywhere in the community.  Streets can flood as a result of backed-up storm drains due to obstructions in the system or insufficient capacity.  Additionally, low lying areas can collect water where it sits until it’s able to infiltrate the soil.  Central Point is prone to this, as the land is flat and many areas are composed of soil with high clay content.  Although urban flood waters typically don’t move across the land, they can damage structures if the water gets too high or causes conditions condusive to mildew and mold.  It’s a good idea to carry a flood insurance policy no matter where you live to protect your building from extensive urban flooding because most homeowner’s insurance policies will not cover water damage from flooding. 

Helpful Links to More Flood Information

Floodplain Beneficial Functions


Flood Insurance

Flood Map Information


Contact the Floodplain Coordinator

Stormwater Management   Low Impact Development





140 South Third Street, Central Point, OR 97502 | Phone: (541) 664-3321| Business office hours: M-F 8:30am - 4:30pm
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