The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will host a public open house on Wednesday, Jan. 16, to present preliminary floodplain maps to Story County citizens. The meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the City of Ames Water Plant Main Conference Room, 1800 E. 13th St., in Ames. There will be no formal presentation, and participants are welcome to come and go throughout the two-hour event.

The open house will provide property owners an opportunity to view the preliminary maps and learn how their flood risk may have changed. Representatives from FEMA and the Iowa DNR will be on hand to answer questions and address residents’ concerns about the preliminary flood maps.

Flooding is the number-one natural disaster in the United States. It is vital that property owners understand their risk and take advantage of tools or programs available to them, including flood insurance. These preliminary maps are an update of the existing maps, which date back to 2008, and will become the basis for Story County’s floodplain management measures. Insurance companies use these maps to determine flood insurance rates for buildings and contents.

As a result of these map changes, some buildings throughout Story County may, for the first time, be included in a high-risk flood zone, known as the Special Flood Hazard Area. This may result in those affected property owners being required to purchase flood insurance.

For additional questions, contact the Iowa Department of Natural Resources at 515-725-8333 or or Leanne Lawrie Harter with Story County at 515-382-7247 or