What Is a Floodplain?
A floodplain is any area of land that is susceptible to being inundated by unusual and rapid accumulation of water from any source. The Floodplain Ordinance in Chapter 48 of the Arlington County Code regulates development in flood zones.
What Is a Flood Insurance Rate Map?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) publishes flood hazard maps, called Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM), for all areas of the United States, including Arlington. The purpose of a FIRM is to show the areas in a community that are subject to flooding and the risk associated with these flood hazards. Knowing your flood risk is the first step to flood protection. FEMA is updating the FIRM maps for Arlington.
How do I find the effective floodplain map for my property?
As a property owner, you should be aware of the flood risk for your property. All properties have some level of vulnerability. Knowing your flood risk is the first step to flood protection.
If you are having problems finding the flood zone information for your property, contact us, and we can help create a map for you. Contact Elizabeth Thurber at 703-228-3363.
View the 2020 Preliminary Floodplain Maps
There are several places where you can view the 2020 preliminary floodplain maps:
Floodplain Elevation Certificates
An Elevation Certificate is an important tool that documents your building’s elevation. If your home or business is in a high-risk area, your insurance agent will likely need an Elevation Certificate (EC) to determine your flood insurance premium. Floods mean rising water. Knowing your building’s elevation compared to the estimated height floodwaters will reach in a major flood helps determine your flood risk and the cost of your flood insurance. An EC documents the elevation of your building for the floodplain managers enforcing local building ordinance, and for insurance rating purposes.
Arlington Certificates of Elevation
Flood Information Resources
- Above the Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone House, FEMA-347 (2000)
- Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program, F-084 (2011)
- Coastal Construction Manual, FEMA-P-55, (2011)
- Elevated Residential Structures, FEMA-54 (1984)
- Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards, FEMA P-85 (2009)
- Mitigation of Flood and Erosion Damage to Residential Buildings in Coastal Areas, FEMA-257 (1994)(PDF, 8MB)
- Protecting Building Utilities From Flood Damage, FEMA-P-348 (1999)
- Protecting Floodplain Resources, FEMA-268 (1996)
- Reducing Damage from Localized Flooding, FEMA 511 (2005)
- List of Flooding Resources available in County library