The City of Sultan sits at the confluence of the Sultan and Skykomish Rivers. Its location provides wonderful recreation opportunities. However, it also presents challenges, especially during times of heavy rain when the rivers rise and overflow their normal channels. About 30% of Sultan residents are located within the Flood Hazard Area.

The information on this page is intended to provide you with valuable information on how to prepare, respond and protect your property and family from the impacts of a flood disaster. This is only one of several documents available from the City of Sultan Building Department designed to inform the public about flood preparedness. For more information, please contact:

City of Sultan Planning Department
Phone: 360-793-2231

For specific information, please click on the links below:


Current river height:

USGS Water-data graph for site 12134500

Flood Hazard Areas in Sultan

There are three (3) flood zones in the City limits of Sultan:

  • The Floodway, which is located south of Dyer Road and Skywall Drive alongside the Skykomish River and West of 1st Street bordering the Sultan River.
  • The 100-Year Flood Zone, which contains a large portion of the City.
  • The 500-Year Flood Zone, which is a small fraction of the City found mostly on the fringes of the 100-Year Zone.


Flood Facts

  • Snohomish County is the 2nd most flood prone County in the State of Washington.
  • The floodplains of Sultan are created by 3 river systems. The Skykomish, the Sultan, and the Wallace Rivers.
  • Flooding occurs frequently on all of these systems. Records show that major flooding has occurred, 10 times since 1980, with the Thanksgiving flood of 1990, the largest on record.
  • Snohomish County is the #1 Repetitive Loss area in the Region.
  • Flooding problems associated with these river systems include: over-bank river flooding, rapid stream channel migration, and stream bank erosion.


Eight (8) Things You Can Do to Protect Your Home

  1. Buy Flood Insurance.
  2. Have sand bags and other items to protect your home such as plastic sheeting, plywood, and portable pumps at the ready.
  3. Store important documents and personal objects where they won’t get damaged.
  4. Elevate or relocate utilities and/or your entire home.
  5. Install backflow prevention devices in your sewer connections to prevent floodwaters from entering your home.
  6. Build and install flood shields for doors and openings to prevent the entrance of floodwater.
  7. Install a sump pump with backup power in crawl spaces or basements.
  8. Place openings in your foundation walls that will allow the entrance and exit of floodwaters to prevent foundation failure.


Where Can I Build

The City of Sultan regulates all development within identified floodplains to promote public safety and prevent flood losses through its Critical Areas Ordinance. Any filing, grading, new constructions or alterations to a property within the Municipal Floodplain will require a permit. Also, the City of Sultan Code will require any structure within the designated floodplain that is damaged or improved more than 50% of its market value to be elevated to the designated floodplain elevation. To find out if your property is in a designated floodplain, or to report any probable non-permitted development in the floodplain contact please contact the City of Sultan Building Department.

Flood Safety Tips

Following is a list of important considerations that should be followed during times of flooding:

  • Prepare and evacuation plan.
    • Before the floodwaters hit, develop an evacuation plan among all members of a household, which includes a meeting place outside of the house, as well as, an escape route out of the floodplain and away from floodwaters.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area.
    • More people down in their cars than anywhere else. Don’t drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires.
    • The number two flood killer after drowning is electrocution. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to the Public Utility District or the County Emergency Management Office.
  • Shut off gas and electricity and move valuable contents upstairs.
    • Be prepared in advance with a detailed checklist because warning of an impending flood may provide little time for preparation prior to evacuation.
  • Look out for animals, especially snakes.
    • Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours. Use a pole or stick to poke and turn things over and scare away small animals.
  • Look before you step.
    • After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris including broken bottles and nails. Floors and stairs which have been covered with mud can be very slippery.
    • Be alert for gas leaks.
    • Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don’t smoke or use candles, lanterns or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated.


 Natural and Beneficial Functions of Floodplains

Floodplains are a natural component of the City of Sultan environment. Understanding and protecting the natural functions of floodplains helps reduce flood damage and protect resources. When flooding spreads out across the floodplain, its energy is dissipated, which results in lower flood flows downstream, reduced erosion of the stream bank and channel, deposition of sediments higher in the watershed and improved groundwater recharge. Floodplains on scenic, valued wildlife habitat, and suitable for farming. Poorly planned development in floodplains can lead to stream bank erosion, loss of valuable property, increased risk of flooding to downstream properties and degradation or water quality.

 Things You Can Do To Prevent Localized Flooding

  • Do not dump debris in creeks, streams or channels. It is a violation of City Code to dump in the waterways of Snohomish County.
  • Keep roadside ditches and other conveyances free of obstruction.
  • Report any apparent illegal actions within the floodplain such as un-permitted development or dumping.


City of Sultan Elevation Certificates 

  • View ALL City of Sultan Elevation Certificates at the Elevation Certificate drop down under Flood Information.
    Elevation Certificates may have blank pages. This is due to the process of creating PDF files out of paper records. To preserve the integrity of the paper records, both sides of all records were scanned.


Services and Documents available from the City of Sultan Planning Department

The City of Sultan is pleased to announce we will provide floodplain information upon request. We maintain a complete library of City of Sultan Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). These maps are available at City Hall, and in the Sultan Sno-Isle Library.

At City Hall we also have topography mapping showing 75% of the City.

We have created flood maps that have the following attributes:

  1. Water Depth: Shows the base flood Elevation in relation to ground Elevation.
  2. Repetitive flood loss map: Showing location of flood losses that equal or exceed $1,000.
  3. LOMA map: Shows location of all Letters Of Map Amendment, includes case #.
  4. Base Flood Elevations mapping in some unnumbered A zones: Shows interpolated flood elevations using best available information.

This information is an incalculable asset helping you meet State and Federal law requirements.

We also maintain a library of Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency publications regarding all aspects of flood damage prevention.

The City of Sultan also keeps on record.

  1. Elevation Certificates.
  2. Elevation Determinations.
  3. Letters of Map Amendment.
  4. Conditional Letters of map Amendment.
  5. Reinstatement Letters.

We also provide on-site project review; we will meet with and/or your clients at the project site upon request.

Using the adopted Flood Insurance Rate Maps we will determine the Base Flood Elevation and incorporate this information in section B9 of an elevation certificate to be completed by a Washington State Registered Professional Land Surveyor.

We will review all certificates and documents for completeness and accuracy.


Flood Preparedness Information for the Floodplain Residents of the City of Sultan — No Comments

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