Flood Zone Maps

​​​​​​The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) develops Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) to show areas in a community prone to varying levels of flood risk.

​Each zone reflects the severity or type of flooding an area is expected to experience during a 1% annual chance flood (also known as a 100-year storm). Virginia Beach received new maps from FEMA in 2014. View your FIRM and read instructions on how to determine your Flood Zone.

Understanding Your Flood Risk

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. The City recommends all property owners consider purchasing flood insurance. Just because an area has not experienced flooding in the past, does not mean it will not flood in the future.

  • 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 federally regulated or insured lender. These areas have a 1% percent annual chance of flooding and a 26 percent 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 been developed using detailed analyses.

For additional information, you may visit the FEMA Region III site, or contact Rebecca Lear, CFM in Public Works Engineering at (757) 385-4131 or rlear@vbgov.com.

Letters of Map Change

If a property owner thinks their property has been inadvertently mapped in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), they may submit a request to FEMA for a Letter of Map Change (LOMC). A SFHA is defined as the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. A LOMC reflects an official revision/amendment to an effective Flood Insurance Rate Map. If the LOMC request is granted, property owners may be eligible for lower flood insurance premiums, or the option to not purchase flood insurance. Only FEMA can change the maps.

Property owners may also wish to contact the FEMA Map Information Exchange, toll free at 1-877-FEMA-MAP (1-877-336-2627) for assistance with the LOMC process. Interested applicants can apply for LOMCs online. Learn more about Letters of Map Change from FEMA.

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