When it rains in Lincoln, stormwater flows into drainage inlets, gutters and underground pipes before reaching Salt Creek, which drains into the Platte River. Lincoln occasionally gets more rain than the storm drain system or streams can adequately convey, which can lead to flooding.
A floodplain is an area of land that is susceptible to flooding or that has flood prone soils. Approximately 13.8% of Lancaster County is covered by floodplains. Floodplains provide multiple benefits to both the natural (flood storage, habitat, water quality) and built (recreation, public health and safety, economic) environments. The overriding development policy for the floodplain is a "No Adverse Impact" policy for the City and County, which means that the community has a goal of insuring that the action of one property owner does not adversely impact the flooding risk for other properties.
The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary program developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to rate communities on how effectively they manage their floodplains. Local governments participating in the CRS go beyond the minimum standards for floodplain management. The City of Lincoln has been actively involved with FEMA’s CRS Program since October 1991.