This is a great question to ask and is a big concern for a lot of buyers. The same creek that you see as a beautiful feature can also be a horrible risk. Now, first of all having a creek behind the house doesn’t always mean the house will flood every time there is a big rain. The fact is only about 25 of the homes along a creek such as Johnson Creek and Butternut Creek actually flood. (Those are just the ones you hear about on the news.)
Now, the best way to find out if a property has ever flooded is to call your insurance company. They will have a record of any claims ever made against a property. Now, if the owners never filed a claim, there are signs of damage that come with flooding to look for. (Cracked foundations, water stains and a sump pump)
Now, the other thing to consider when buying a water front property is that if you have this worry now, the next buyer that you try to sell to may also have the same worries. It is something to consider as it will limit the buyer pool on any given home that could possibly be in a flood plain.