The national flood insurance program (NFIP) was created by Congress to reduce annual flood losses through careful planning by communities and to provide property owners with affordable flood insurance. Butte County recognized the inherent flood risk of the Belle Fourche River, Redwater River, Willow Creek and South Moreau River and other potential flood tributaries which flow through the county. Flooding can be expected to occur along these water courses at any time.
Loss of life and property damage can be avoided through proper floodplain management. Flash floods rank first as the cause of flood-related deaths in the United States. In the 1970’s, four flash floods in a five-year period killed 570 people. In June of 1972, 236 people died when heavy rain and a dam failure inundated the area near Rapid City, South Dakota. Property damage exceeded $100 million dollars from that flood.