Henrico County has participated in the National Flood Insurance Program since the early 1980′s.  Any owner or renter of property within the County can purchase flood insurance from one of FEMA’s authorized flood insurance companies, typically the same company that sells home hazard insurance.  As a requirement for participation in the NFIP, FEMA requires special development considerations within the boundaries of an identified 100-year floodplain.  Henrico County enforces higher standards for floodplain management including a prohibition on residential development.  Contact the Design Division of the Department of Public Works at 804/501-7460 for more information.

100-year floodplains in Henrico County are referred to as Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) in the County code. The SFHA consists of FEMA regulated floodplain as well as County only regulated floodplain.

All development in SFHAs must meet the requirements of the County code and any applicable FEMA requirements. County only floodplains, which are depicted on the County GIS database, do not mandate a flood insurance requirement however development within these areas is regulated by the County code.

Residential development within a 100-year floodplain is restricted.  If a developer wants to change the boundary of a 100-year floodplain, a no-rise certificate with supporting technical data must be submitted.  A “no-rise” certificate template is available here.  In addition the new boundaries of the 100-year floodplain must be supplied to DPW in ESRI shape file format.  Additional requirements can be found here.

Henrico County’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) effective date is December 18, 2007. This is the map that is used by lenders to determine flood insurance requirements on properties. FEMA has well-established procedures for determining whether a structure is within a floodplain and for correcting floodplain boundaries.

Citizens with questions are encouraged to visit the FEMA web site at (FEMA.gov) the FEMA Map Service Center for general information (MSC.FEMA.GOV) or Floodsmart.gov for flood insurance information. You can also contact the Design Division in the Department of Public Works for assistance.

 

CHANGES IN THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM

In July 2012, the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act was passed.  This Act brings significant changes to the National Flood Insurance Program:

  • Major increases in the rates for Flood Insurance on many older structures within FEMA identified 100-year floodplains.
  • Increases in minimum deductibles
  • After October 1, 2013, all new policies must be rated with an Elevation Certificate.

In 2014, the Grimm Waters “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act” was passed.  It delays some of the increases in flood insurance premiums, but add fees and surcharges.   For a more complete description of the changes, click here.

 

RETROFITTING

Some owners may be able to substantially reduce their flood insurance premiums by retrofitting to reduce potential flood damages. FEMA’s “Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting” can be downloaded here.  FEMA’s detailed Retrofitting Guidance (Engineering Principles and Practices) can be downloaded here.

FEMA issued the current version of the Elevation Certification in November 2012 (expires June 31, 2015). For a copy of the new Elevation Certificate with instructions, press here.

 

Willow Lawn LOMR

On April 7, 2014, a FEMA Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) will become effective for the section of Jordan’s Branch from Wythe Street to Markel Road (along Willow Lawn Drive). The LOMR basically eliminates surface flow from the 100-year floodplain (Full LOMR Here).

This LOMR changes the floodplain and flood insurance requirements for parcels on Willow Lawn Drive and some adjacent parcels on Cutshall Place, Markel Road, Monument Avenue, West Grace Street and Wythe Ave.

If you are the owner of a structure along one of these streets and are purchasing flood insurance, it will be worthwhile for you to get a copy of the LOMR and forward it to your mortgage company, asking that the flood insurance requirement be waived due to changes in the floodplain.  If you want to continue to buy flood insurance, sending the LOMR to your flood insurance company could save thousands of dollars per year.

If you would like to discuss flood insurance requirements and the affect of this LOMR on your property, please contact David M. Gunn, PE, County Floodplain Engineer, @ 804/501/7460 or Gun02@Co.Henrico.Va.US