Flood Protection Information
View 100% of the City's elevation certificates online, instructions on how to fill out elevation certificates, and obtaining the most recent forms.
Most Recent Flood Protection Information From the Office of the Chehalis Basin
- Call National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for information 800-638-6620 or go to or Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program
- Videos on the Flooding and the National Flood Insurance Program (Provided by the Iowa Sate University Extension and Outreach)
- Go to FEMA Flood Smart website or call 800-427-4661 to learn about:
- How to buy or renew flood insurance
- Why you need flood insurance
- Understanding your flood risk
- How to reduce your cost
- How to file a claim
- Learn about the NFIP - Community Rating System on FEMA's website.
- Important updates for flood insurance policies - Beginning March 2013 FEMA has enacted significant changes to the flood insurance program. To view fact sheets highlighting some of the major changes, see the FEMA Flood Insurance Reform Act 2012 (PDF).
- Why You Need Flood Insurance (PDF)
- Flood Insurance 101 (PDF)
- Facts and Figures From the National Flood Insurance Program (PDF)
- Your Homeowner's Insurance Does Not Cover Floods (PDF)
- The Benefits of National Flood Insurance Versus Disaster Assistance (PDF)
- NFIP Flood Insurance Claims Handbook (PDF)
- How to Save on Flood Insurance - English (PDF)
- How to Save on Flood Insurance - Spanish (PDF)
- Understanding Your Flood Insurance (PDF)
- Filing a Flood Insurance Claim (PDF)
- Appealing Your Flood Insurance Claim (PDF)
Expect Your Flood Insurance Rates To Increase
The U.S. Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 in July 2012, which calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other agencies, to make a number of changes to the way the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is run. The legislation will require the NFIP to raise rates to reflect true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and change how Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates impact policyholders. The changes will mean premium rate increases for some but not all policyholders over time.
- Centralia Floodplain / Floodway Map (PDF)
- Interactive Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodplain map (just add address)
- Centralia/Chehalis Area 2007 High Water Marks (PDF) (HWM) map developed by LC GIS.
- Lewis County tax parcel information (search by address or parcel number) also has all critical areas maps including floodplain, wetlands, and shoreline information
- FEMA Flood Map Service Center - Looking for a Flood Map? / FEMA FIRM Maps
- Live Centralia Flood Inundation Map (Chehalis and Skookumchuck rivers) developed by the Chehalis Basin Flood Authority
- Interactive Flood Gage Map - developed by the Chehalis Basin Flood Authority
- Flood Inundation Maps to Enhance Flood Forecasts for the Chehalis River - The maps were produced in partnership with the Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority and their contractor, WEST Consultants, with the assistance of the local stakeholders - City of Centralia; City of Chehalis; Lewis County; Washington State Departments of Transportation, Ecology, and Emergency Management; FEMA; and the United States Army Corps. of Engineers, Seattle District
- Real Time River Gage Data - River Readings, real time gages, Northwest River Forecast Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Skookumchuck River at Centralia by National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (NOAA)
- Chehalis River at Centralia by National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (NOAA)
- Skookumchuck River at Centralia by the National Weather Service- Northwest River Forecast Center (NWRFC)
- Chehalis River at Centralia by the National Weather Service- Northwest River Forecast Center (NWRFC)
- Lewis County Rivers
- United States Geological Survey Water Watch
- Centralia Emergency Management - Emergency updates, road closures, press releases, sandbag locations, river stage information, Emergency Shelter locations, Emergency Operations Center telephones numbers: 360-623-1373 and 360-623-1374, Flood Season Preparation slideshow
- Lewis County Emergency Management
- Chehalis River Basin Flood Warning System - Access real-time rainfall, river levels, and other flood related information - weather, rainfall, river forecasts, flood maps, plot gage date, gage data maps, radar rainfall, road conditions, United States Geological Survey Gages, and more.
- Flood Warning System - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), local radio stations (KELA 1470 am, KITI 1420 am, KMNT 104.3 FM); Flood Warning System Brief Sheet (PDF)
- Sign Up for Lewis County Flood Alerts
- Map of Evacuation Routes (PDF)
- 1993 Flood Phase Guidelines Manual and Map
Before a Flood Event
- Plan ahead for Disasters (Ready.gov) - Are you flood ready? Prepare now for the upcoming flood season by creating a hazard plan for your home and business. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created a great website to help you prepare.
- Property Protection Measures - Handouts providing ways to permanently retrofit a building, flood-proofing measures, and protecting against other hazards, etc.
What to do before a flood event:
- Plan ahead for disasters.
- Get flood insurance - Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. It usually takes 30 days for a policy to go into effect.
- Sign up for the Lewis County warning system.
- Learn and practice evacuation routes.
- Have at least a 36-hour emergency kit for all persons in your household and workplace.
- Keep important documents in a waterproof container.
- Elevate your home or flood-proof your home (PDF). Elevate your HVAC or utility systems (PDF).
- Protect your property move valuables to higher ground.
During a Flood Event
What to do during a flood event:
- Depending on where you are, and the impact and the warning time of flooding, go to the safe location that you previously identified.
- If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
- Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
- Do not walk, swim, or drive through floodwaters. Turn-Around. Don't Drown!
- Stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away without warning.
- If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, then stay inside. If water is rising inside the vehicle, then seek refuge on the roof.
- If trapped in a building, then go to its highest level. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising floodwater. Go on the roof only if necessary. Once there, signal for help.
After a Flood Event
What to do after a flood event:
- Document damage and start to clean up, Handouts on cleanup
- Flood Safety/Flood Response Preparations - National Weather Service (NOAA) safety information, evacuation tips, etc.
- Flood Safe - Information About Future Flood Damage Prevention (PDF)
- Flood Hazards for Centralia - Chehalis and Skookumchuck rivers, China creek, Salzer Creek, and Coffee Creek. View a Flood Informational Handout (PDF) that is distributed to all property owners, real estate, insurance agents, mortgage lenders, and lending institutions in the Special Hazard area of Centralia.
- Past (Historic) Flood Events, 1996 Flood Inundation Map (PDF), 2007 Flood Inundation Map (PDF)
- Centralia and Lewis County's Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (adopted June 2016)
- For additional hazards that could affect Centralia and all of Lewis County, view the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan, Chapter 4 (PDF)
- Skookumchuck Dam, Skookumchuck Dam Detailed Inundation Maps (PDF)
- Hazard Maps for the Centralia Area:
Floodplain Permit Requirements
Floodplain development needs a permit. Contact the Community Development Department at 360-330-7662 or visit us at 118 West Maple to determine if a property is in the flood zone, applicable regulations, obtain elevation certificates if on file, etc.
Protecting Natural Floodplains
Protecting and preserving our natural floodplains in Centralia such as Plummer, Hayes, and Borst lakes, or the Chehalis and Skookumchuck rivers or the small creeks such as Coffee, Salzer, and Scammon and their associated floodplains, shorelines, and wetlands, play an important role in our community. They play important roles in our community:
- Allowing floodwaters to spread over a large area reduce flood peak velocities, thus reducing property damage.
- The vegetation stabilizes soils during flooding.
- The floodplains act as recharge areas for groundwater, and filtering impurities from runoff.
- The floodplains also provide a healthy habitat for wildlife and attractive open space in our neighborhoods.
- Natural and Beneficial Functions of Floodplains (PDF) - Article on the Benefits of the Natural Areas
- Wetland Maps - National Wetlands Inventory Wetland Mapper (United States Fish and Wildlife Service), Centralia Wetland Map (PDF)
- Centralia Shoreline Maps and Plan
- Critical Areas and Sensitive Lands in the City
- Rivers and Lakes in Centralia (PDF)
- Centralia's Critical Aquifer (PDF)
Never dump waste, trash or place unauthorized fill in a drainage way or floodplain area.
- Rake a Drain
- Stormwater Information (PDF) - watershed and the effect it can have on the natural beneficial functions of floodplains and wetlands
- Surface / Stormwater Management Plan (PDF)
- Report Storm Drainage Problems
- Report Illegal Dumping Into Stormwater System
- Prohibited and Allowable Discharges Into Stormwater System