The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has completed the modernization of the city's Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). Since the last update in 1996, technology has improved dramatically and has enabled FEMA to more accurately define the boundaries of flood zones in our city.
A review by city staff indicates that the modernization appears to have moved approximately 2,000 structures out of the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) also known as a high risk area, located primarily along the Resort and North Beach. This is due in no small part to the completion of the Beach Erosion Control and Hurricane Protection Plan. While a majority of the affected structures were removed from the SFHA, there may be some structures that have been remapped into a high risk area. These structures appear to lie in the Windsor Woods area of the city.
Will the changes affect my insurance?
The federal government requires mortgage holders in high risk areas to carry flood insurance. However, if you are remapped into a high risk area and already have flood insurance when the maps are officially adopted, your premium will stay at the current rate structure when your policy renews. If you discover that your property has been impacted, contact your insurance agent immediately for information concerning mandatory flood insurance.
What is the timing for map reviews?
The public review period closed August 30, 2008. Virginia Beach City Council adopted the new maps during the April 28, 2009 meeting. The final maps were issued with a final FEMA determined effective date of May 4, 2009.
Who should I contact if I have questions about the new maps?
Please contact Rebecca Lear in the Public Works Coastal Engineering Office
at 385-1948 or RLear@vbgov.com