FEMA is updating Virginia Beach’s
Flood Insurance Rate Maps.
Currently, preliminary maps are available. The City of Virginia Beach will hold a
Flood Risk Open House on the updated maps in Building 19, 2416 Courthouse
Drive, in the Municipal Center on Thursday, March 26, 2014, from 6:00 pm to
8:00 pm. Property owners
are encouraged to learn more about their risk for flooding and view the updates
shown on the preliminary maps. City staff will be available to answer
flood risk questions and explain the preliminary maps using interactive flood
maps for those attending.
Residents are encouraged to review the
maps and submit their comments or appeals between February 5 and May 5, 2014. An appeal is a formal objection to any proposed base flood elevations or
flood depths. Appeals must be based on technical data that show proposed
maps to be scientifically incorrect. Anyone who makes an appeal must include
the method, data and analysis used to support the claim. A comment is an
objection to a base map feature change, such as labels, incorrect roads,
jurisdictional boundaries or any other non-appealable change.
Comments and appeals should be sent to FEMA through the local floodplain
administrator, Rebecca Lear, Certified Floodplain Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (757) 385-1948.
How to View Your Flood Zone
FEMA has provided this interactive tool that allows you to see your current and new preliminary flood hazard zone.
To see your maps, open this link, and follow the steps below. Tips to help you read the maps are after the
- Read the disclaimer and click
- In the lower right corner, look
for the box titled “Find an address.”
- Enter your address (include
your city, state and zip) in the space provided and click on “locate.”
- A blue box will appear on the
map with a round circle over your address.
- Click on “zoom to” in the blue
box, and after it zooms, click “zoom to” again.
- A box appears that is titled
“Reporting Mode On.” Click OK.
- A blue box appears on the left
titled “Investigator” You can ignore this.
- Put your mouse over the main
building on the property on the map and click. Two maps will appear.
- The map on the left shows your
current flood hazard zone. The map on the right is the new preliminary
flood hazard zone.
- If you want to search another
address, the easiest way is to refresh the page or open the website again
in a new tab or window.
After you complete the steps, this
pdf shows you how to read the map.
What does the map mean?
- Both maps have no shaded color
on the parcel: You are not in a flood zone and will not be when the new
maps are adopted. This does not mean that you will never flood, only that
you are at a low risk for flooding.
- The map on the left is not
shaded but the one on the right is shaded: You are not currently in a
flood zone but will be when the new maps are adopted.
- The map on the left is shaded
and the map on the right is not shaded: You are currently in a flood zone
but will not be when the new maps are adopted. This does not mean that you
will never flood, only that you are at a low risk for flooding.
- Both maps have shaded colors on
the parcel: You are in a flood zone and will still be when the new maps
Understanding the Legend
Flood zones are geographic areas
that the FEMA has defined according to varying levels of flood risk. These
zones are depicted on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map. Each zone
reflects the severity or type of flooding in the area.
While flood insurance is
not mandatory under all circumstances, the City recommends all property owners
in Virginia Beach consider purchasing flood insurance.
Moderate to Low Risk Areas
Flood insurance is not required for properties in these areas; however, flood
insurance is available to all property owners and renters in these zones:
- X (shaded) Zone: Area of moderate flood hazard, usually
the area between the limits of the 100-year and 500-year floods.
- X (unshaded) Zone: Area of minimal flood hazard,
usually depicted on FIRMs as above the 500-year flood level.
High Risk Areas
Flood insurance is required for properties in these areas with a home or
building with a mortgage from a federal regulated or insured lender. These are
areas have a 1% annual chance of flooding and a 26% chance of flooding over the
life of a 30-year mortgage:
- A Zone (Approximated floodplain) - Detailed
analyses have not been performed on these areas; therefore, no base flood
elevations are shown.
- AE Zone - Base flood elevations have been
developed using detailed analyses.
- AH Zone - Areas of shallow flooding. Flooding
is usually in the form of ponding with average depths between one and three
feet. Base flood elevations have been developed using detailed analyses.
- AO Zone - Areas subject to flooding in the form
of sheet flow with average depths between one and three feet. Average flood
depths are shown as developed from detailed analyses.
- VE Zone - Areas along coasts subject to waves
greater than 3 feet. Base flood elevations have beendeveloped using detailed
For additional information, you may visit this website,
or contact Rebecca Lear
, CFM in
Public Works Engineering
at (757) 385-4131