Flood Insurance Rate Map Update
Flooding is the number one natural disaster in the United States. It is vital that property owners understand their risk and take advantage of the tools and programs available to them, including flood insurance.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has updated local flood maps, known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) in May 2023. The city is in the process of gathering and updating data and applying the updated FIRM information into the city GIS mapping. The FIRM and the associated Flood Insurance Study report are used by flood insurance companies to determine flood insurance requirements and costs.
For more information or to access the mapping portal where you can view the updated maps, visit www.msc.fema.gov. You may also speak with a map specialist at the FEMA Flood Map Information eXchange (FMIX) at 1-877-336-2627.
Believe it or not, Green Bay has experienced substantial flooding in the past and will again in the future. The primary source of this flooding is the high water level of the bay affecting the Fox River, the East River, Mahon Creek, and many smaller creeks and drainage ways.
Intense rainfalls, rapid thawing of ice and snow, and ice dams also cause flooding in areas of the City that normally do not experience flooding. This is intended to answer some of your questions and offer ideas on what to do in case flooding is a concern to you.
Flood Risk Potential
Areas adjacent to the bay, rivers, streams, creeks, and drainage ways serve as temporary storage areas for high water. If you live near or inside one of these areas, you more than likely will be impacted by the high bay levels. Do you know what measures are needed to protect your property from flooding?
There are many relatively flat areas of the City and areas having unusual drainage patterns. If you live down slope of an area that drains near or through your property, you could be at risk for flooding. Would you like to learn more about localized flooding and how to protect your property?
Our parkways, ditches, and stream banks provide effective drainage controls from flooding by providing storage areas for high water or flooding conditions. However, when people dump or throw garbage, grass clippings, brush, fallen trees, or other debris in them, drainage ways can become potential sources for flooding. If you live near a drainage way, report any debris in these areas, and of course, do not dump or throw anything into them as it is a violation of Green Bay’s Municipal Ordinance.
Free City Services
Stop in the Inspection Division office to see if your property is located in one of the mapped Special Flood Hazard Areas. If it is, you can obtain handouts or talk with an inspector about protecting your property from flooding.
The City periodically inspects the parkways, streams, and drainage ways for accumulations of debris and blockages. If you have questions about them or wish to report a blocked drainage way, call the Operations Division at 920-448-3535.
- What are the standards for constructing in a floodplain?
The standards for constructing in a floodplain can be reviewed in the following:
- What are the requirements for existing structures within the floodplain?
The requirements for existing structures within the floodplain can be viewed in the following:
- What can be done if a floodplain map may have an error or be to be modified?
If a map has an error or needs to be modified, contact a FEMA representative.
- What changes will we see on the new Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)?
Some buildings, for the first time, may be included in the high-risk area, known as the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
- If, based on the new maps, the building is in the SFHA (flood zones beginning with “A”, “AE”, “V,” or “VE”) and is mortgaged through a federally regulated and insured lender, the property owner will be required to carry flood insurance after the new maps go into effect.
- Some buildings will be shown in the new maps as being in a different high-risk zone (e.g., from Zone AE to Zone VE) or may have their Base Flood Elevation (BFE) increase or decrease.
- Premiums are generally higher in areas that are at greater risk of flooding than in those at moderate or minimal risk of flooding. Therefore, changes in the BFE will affect flood insurance rates.
However, some buildings may be removed from the mapped SFHA.
- If the building is currently mapped in an SFHA, but on the new FIRM it is mapped into a moderate-to-low-risk flood area, flood insurance is no longer federally required.
- However, the mortgage holder/lender may still require flood insurance.
- Homeowners and renters, at their discretion, may maintain flood insurance at the lower rates offered for buildings outside the SFHA.
- Will I have to buy flood insurance?
Flood insurance rates are determined by the current effective FIRMs. If, according to the new maps, your property is located in an SFHA and is mortgaged through a federally regulated and insured lender, you are required to purchase flood insurance. The new maps became effective on May 9, 2023. However, flooding can happen wherever it rains, which means purchasing flood insurance is a good idea even for property owners in low-risk areas.