Welcome to the Palo Alto County website!

Palo Alto County is located in the northwest region of the state of Iowa. The county has a total area of 569 square miles that contain a variety of lakes including Five Island Lake, Lost Island Lake, Rush Lake, and Silver Lake. Communities include Ayrshire, Curlew, Cylinder, Emmetsburg, Graettinger, Mallard, Rodman, Ruthven and West Bend.

The population of Palo Alto County is 9,421 (according to the 2010 census). County business is done at the county seat in Emmetsburg. Most offices are located at the historic 1880s courthouse located downtown near the business district.


                                                                                                                                        Updated Floodplain Maps Available for Palo Alto County


The Iowa DNR and FEMA will host an Open House on Thursday, August 29th from 5:00PM – 7:00PM at the Iowa Lakes Community College Emmetsburg Campus (3200 College Dr.) Classroom #17. Attendees will need to use the Smith Wellness Center entrance. The Open House will allow citizens the opportunity to learn about their potential change in flood risk and to discuss flood insurance options.

Flood risk can change over time, and Palo Alto County’s preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map shows how the flood risk has changed in your community.

The maps are currently available for review on FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center website at https://msc.fema.gov and at www.iowafloodmaps.org.

For questions on how to view the preliminary maps and learn more about the Open House, please contact Jason Conn of the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources at 515-725-8333 or Jason.Conn@dnr.iowa.gov.