Flood Mitigation

Help Protect the Estes Park Community From Future Floods

Unfortunately, many more homes and businesses than previously thought are at risk of property damage and economic loss from future flood events.

The 2013 flood taught us that the 30-plus year-old flood data significantly underestimated flood risk, highlighting the need for new floodplain mapping.

The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) conducted a flood risk analysis of flood-affected streams within communities most impacted by the 2013 flood event. Within Estes Park this included the Big Thompson River, Fall River, Black Canyon Creek, Dry Gulch, and Fish Creek.The analysis used model simulations to determine potential flood extents based on the calculated flows from Estes Park's recent hydrology study. The analysis also used post flood topographic data and survey data collected between 2014 and 2016. The draft results of this analysis were presented at a May 30,2018 public meeting in Estes Park.This allowed local stakeholders to get an initial view of what the results prior to FEMA's official review process. These results will be compared to the last study that was conducted by FEMA and is currently shown on FEMA's effective Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). The effective FIRMs are based on studies done in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  View the May 30, 2018 CWCB presentation and handouts.

Mitigation and Resiliency Efforts

Mitigation efforts made by the Town of Estes Park, business owners and residents can help to reduce the number of properties placed in the regulatory floodplains, property damage, and flood insurance premiums.

Residents and businesses can help with flood mitigation by engaging in educational opportunities, providing feedback and supporting the community's needs. They can also undertake mitigation and resiliency efforts on their own properties. See below for how to participate in community flood mitigation techniques for floodproofing property.


Hydrology Study (complete): A scientific study to further understand flood flows. This data is crucial in making future flood mitigation decisions and provides data for new floodplain maps.View the hydrology study report

Stormwater Master Plan (complete): A comprehensive plan that identifies potential stormwater infrastructure improvements that can help mitigate flood risk for the community. View the Stormwater Master Plan.

Downtown Plan (complete): A plan that lays a path to improve downtown flood resiliency, vitality, walkability and redevelopment. View the Downtown Plan.

Flood Insurance/Mitigation for Residents & Business Owners
  • Seal walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds.
  • When practical, use floodproofing techniques to stop floodwater from entering the home.
  • Relocate equipment, such as electrical, heating, air conditioning, etc., to above the base flood elevation.
  • Add proper flood openings to home foundation.
  • Elevate the home structure to above the base flood elevation. This is a more expensive option, but is the fastest way to reduce risk and flood insurance premiums.
Business Owners
  • Ensure that your building, including the basement, is watertight and capable of resisting flood-related forces.
  • Relocate utilities to above the base flood elevation and to be completely enclosed within the building's watertight walls.
  • Install backflow valves to protect buildings from sewage backups.
  • Anchor fuel and propane tanks to prevent them from being swept away.
  • Elevate building\'s structure to above the base flood elevation. This is a more expensive option, but is the fastest way to reduce risk and flood insurance premiums.
National Flood Insurance Program Workshop on Oct. 24, 2016
Town of Estes Park Completed Flood Mitigation Projects
  • Historic Fall River Hydroplant - Restoring the channel and stabilizing streambanks to be more resilient to future flooding.
  • Scott Ponds Dam Repairs- Repair of two dams in Scott Ponds Natural Area that were damaged during the flood.
  • Fish Creek Stabilization- Stabilization of creek banks at 10 sites along 4 miles of Fish Creek.
  • Moraine Avenue Bridge- With grant funding, the Town was able to replace the Moraine Bridge box culvert for an increased river flow.
Planning Projects
  • Hydrology Study(complete) - Hydrology study of Fall River, Black Canyon Creek, Dry Gulch and Big Thompson River to further understand flood flows.
  • Downtown Plan(complete) - Planning document to support improved flood resilience, downtown vitality, walkability and redevelopment.
  • Stormwater Master Plan (complete) - Comprehensive planning process to identify drainage infrastructure needs for the Estes Valley to help mitigate flood risk.
  • Fluvial Hazard Mapping - The Town worked with the State fo Colorado to develop a fluvial hazard map encompassing all hazards associated with flooding (not only those within the floodplain boundaries).
Hydrology Study


The Hydrology Study is a scientific study of Fall River, Black Canyon Creek, Dry Gulch and the Big Thompson River to further understand flood flows.This data will serve as the basis of flood mitigation projects, help the Town receive grants, and be used for the new floodplain maps.