Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps Update
A project to re-examine Arlington’s flood zones and develop updated flood hazard maps is underway. The new preliminary maps, also known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), were release for public view in September, 2020 and are available below. The new maps reflect current flood risk based on the latest data and a more accurate understanding of our area’s topography. As a result, you and other property owners throughout Arlington will have up-to-date, internet-accessible information about flood risk to your property.
View the 2020 Preliminary Floodplain Maps
There are several places where you can view the 2020 preliminary floodplain maps:
- On the FEMA web site: click on “Search all products,” enter Arlington County in the dropdown box, and then choose “Preliminary Panels”.
- On the County’s mapping web site: View the Preliminary maps on the County’s mapping site.
- Click on the small grey arrow next to “I want to…” on the left side of the map to change the visible layers on the map.
- Choose “environmental layers”.
- Scroll down to “Flood zones” and click on the + sign to expand that section. Select effective or preliminary flood zones.
- View PDFs of the Preliminary Updated FIRMS for Arlington below:
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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. View the FEMA Preliminary Flood Insurance Study.
When do the new maps become effective?
The maps that were released September 18, 2020 are still preliminary. Property owners with floodplain on their property will be notified by the County of the new preliminary maps. The County held a public meeting in November, 2020 to discuss the map update process and answer questions. There will be a 90 day appeal period beginning on July 22, 2021. The public appeal period is a time when citizens can submit technical and/or scientific data to file a protest regarding their individual property, or an appeal regarding the accuracy of the mapping process in general. The new maps will likely become final in Fall, 2022.
How do I find the 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.
- Go to FEMA’s Map Service Center to view the floodplain map for your property. Click on the map to zoom to your address, or search by your address.
- Click on the blue View Map button to view a PDF map for your area, or click on Interactive Map to see a map with aerial imagery. You can also save a copy of the map.
- Zoom in to your property on the map.
- See what Flood Zone your property is listed in. Read the flood risk information associated with that zone.
- Learn more about flood insurance.
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.