Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. Effects can be local, limited to a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states.
Flood reduction efforts
In response to large-scale flooding in 1998, our staff developed Rain to Recreation, a proactive, watershed-based, stormwater management program that works to reduce flooding and protect water while preserving wildlife habitat and providing recreation and education opportunities. Rain to Recreation addresses flooding by implementing Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs), as well as restricting development in floodplains, and reducing runoff volume and pollution.
Stormwater Maintenance staff also works to restore and maintain 22 miles of streams in Lenexa to ensure adequate capacity for large storms. We also maintain more than 160 miles of pipe, more than 9,000 storm drains and nearly 29 miles of roadside ditches as part of the storm drain system. Stormwater crews proactively inspect underground pipes to prevent issues, routinely clean pipes, storm drains and ditches, and fixes drainage problems when they occur.
You can help reduce flooding
Keep water flowing:
Most stormwater BMPs, such as neighborhood ponds, are owned either by a homeowners association or by all lot owners in the neighborhood. Keeping these in good repair can make a big difference in preventing flooding issues.
Our staff is available for technical assistance and to clarify ownership and maintenance responsibilities. For more information, email Tom Jacobs, stormwater engineer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Report illegal dumping: Our stormdrain system eventually drains untreated water into ponds, lake and streams, which can pollute natural habitats.
If you witness illegal dumping or a strange substance flowing into a stormdrain, please report it via our 311 Service Request or call the Municipal Services Department at 913.477.7680. If it is after business hours, please call Johnson County’s 24-hour hotline at 913.715.6900.
After-hours environmental complaint online form
Flood plain development
You must obtain a permit to build within a flood plain in Lenexa. Call our customer service permitting staff for assistance at 913.477.7500.
To report an unauthorized flood plain development contact the city’s Community Development Department at 913.477.7500.
See the Unified Development Code for complete information on our building codes and ordinances, including rules for new construction.
Several major streams flow through Lenexa. These larger streams have an associated floodplain that is identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you live along these larger streams, you are required by your home mortgage lender to purchase flood insurance. If you live close to a stream, you should take a careful look at your flooding risk and consider whether or not you should buy flood insurance.
You can pick up a copy of the FEMA Elevation Certificates at City Hall on all buildings constructed or substantially improved in the floodplain since January 2010. If you think your house is in a floodplain, call our Community Development Department at 913.477.7500 for assistance with floodplain boundaries.
You may be impacted by nuisance yard flooding issues that are unrelated to stream flow. The public drainage system typically begins after neighborhood drainage reaches the street, and it is not uncommon for several yards to drain through each other before reaching the public system. In this case, it is your responsibility to protect your property from flooding. Some things to consider are:
You may encounter water over the road at some locations in Lenexa during extremely large rain events. Never try to drive across flooded roadways. Just 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. Twelve inches of rushing water can carry away a small car, while two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is never safe to drive or walk into flood waters.
Frequently asked questions