- Revised Flood Insurance Maps Effective August 19, 2013
- FEMA last updated maps in 1982
- About 230 parcels removed from floodplain; about 81 parcels added to the floodplain
- Update required to maintain eligibility in the National Flood Insurance Program
- Residents within 100-year floodplain required to carry flood insurance if their mortgage is federally backed
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Board today adopted an ordinance updating the County's floodplain maps for the first time since 1982. The new maps reflect the best available data on flood risks and have incorporated:
- Updated tidal analysis of the Potomac River
- Remapped 100-year and 500-year floodplains based on two-foot contour intervals
- Removal of flood delineation from some locations where sections of stream channel have been enclosed in storm sewers
- FEMA-approved floodplain revisions over the past 30 years
The 100-year floodplain refers to the land area where there is a 1% probability of a flood event occurring within a given year. The 500-year floodplain refers to the land area where there is a 0.2% probability of a flood event occurring within a given year.
Prior to the map revisions, approximately 1,205 parcels of land in Arlington were considered within the 100-year floodplain. The updated maps remove approximately 230 parcels from the floodplain and add approximately 81 parcels that previously were not considered within the floodplain.
Chapter 48 (Floodplain Management) of the Arlington County Code must be amended in order for Arlington to continue participation in the National Flood Insurance Program, which makes flood insurance available to property owners in Arlington County.
The update includes amended definitions, adds a provision to allow the development of a Local Flood Hazard Map, outlines responsibilities of the Floodplain Administrator, and describes Flood Zones delineated on the Flood Insurance Rate Map and provisions for development within the flood zones.
The Board voted voted unanimously as part of the consent agenda to adopt the Floodplain Management Ordinance of the County Code. All affected property owners have been notified about the new maps.
Impact to Residents
Property owners who are in, or believe that they are very close to, the floodplain should refer to the updated maps to determine if their properties fall within the floodplain. The updated floodplain maps are posted on the Arlington website.
Residents whose homes are within the 100-year floodplain are required to purchase flood insurance if their mortgages are federally regulated. Mortgage companies may, at their discretion, require acquisition of flood insurance even if the buildings on the parcels of land are not within the floodplain. Homes that are newly designated within the 100-year floodplain, and were not considered to be within the floodplain under the 1982 maps or in an interim revision, could potentially be grandfathered into the flood insurance system under the old rates. The flood insurance would need to be purchased before the new FEMA maps become effective on August 19, 2013. To find out more about the National Flood Insurance Program, visit Floodsmart.gov and FEMA's flood insurance page.
Arlington's floodplain maps have not been updated since 1982. In September 2009, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) submitted a Preliminary Flood Insurance Study and Flood Insurance Rate Map to Arlington for review. Following a series of public meetings and comments submitted to FEMA, FEMA issued a Letter of Final Determination on February 19, 2013, stating that the updated maps become effective August 19, 2013.
For more information, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #14 on the Agenda for the June 15, 2013, Regular County Board Meeting to read the staff report. Or contact Allan J. Rowley, at 703-228-6542, firstname.lastname@example.org.