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Posted on: July 11, 2019

Revised FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps Effective August 15

FEMA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is formally revising the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) within Harris and Galveston Counties which may affect the floodplain designation of your property within League City. These new maps will become effective on August 15, 2019. For League City, this revision means that approximately 10,674 acres and approximately 3730 homes will be located within FEMA’s Special Flood Hazard Area (commonly known as the 100-year floodplain). The revision also has approximately 6,420 acres and approximately 7,378 homes located with the 0.2% Zone (formerly called the 500-year floodplain).

The City is required to adopt the revised FIRMs to continue participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP allows the City and property owners to be eligible for federally managed flood insurance, federally backed mortgages, federal grants, and federal disaster relief, thereby providing a means for property owners to financially protect themselves (a risk not covered by standard homeowner’s insurance policies). 

All League City residents are advised to check their properties to determine if it’s flood zone designation will be changing August 15.  A good way to start is to visit  www.riskmap6.com . However, the City has noted some occasional errors on this website and would recommend residents contact the City’s Engineering Department at 281-554-1445 if an official determination of the flood zone designation for any given property is needed. 

After August 15, 2019, residents will be able view and print the official revised FIRMs from FEMA's map portal website at  https://msc.fema.gov/portal. Enter your full City of League City address in the search bar at the top of the webpage and you will see a dynamic view of your property with an aerial photography map background and a green grid overlying it. The green text within each grid block displays the number of your property's FIRM as well as its effective date. 

You can print the official FIRM for your property at the website above by clicking on the box, "Show All Products" on the right-hand side of the page above the map. On the next screen, click on "Effective Products" and then "FIRM Panels" in the drop-down list. A list of the official FIRMs displays in a table format. Click the "View" button on the right-hand side of the table to see the full FIRM. Click on "Make a FIRMette" on the resulting screen to print your property with an official FIRM border around it. 

For more information on the NFIP and the insurance requirements please visit www.floodsmart.gov or call (800) 427-4661.

Properties within 100-Year Floodplain 

If your property is in the 100-year floodplain, you are required to buy flood insurance if your lender is federally regulated or insured. If flood insurance is not required (but the property is within the 100-year floodplain), League City strongly recommends that flood insurance still be considered for the building and contents within it. 

When a property is within the 100-year floodplain, the owner may choose to have the house surveyed to determine if the lowest adjacent grade is above the predicted flood level (known as the Base Flood Elevation or BFE). This process requires an Elevation Certificate (EC) completed by a licensed surveyor or registered civil engineer (who is authorized to perform surveying). If the Elevation Certificate verifies that the grade is above the BFE, this can then be used to apply for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) through FEMA. Lenders have the option of waiving the flood insurance requirement if a LOMA has been approved by FEMA. 

Please note Elevation Certificates must be fully completed and will be checked by the City for conformance prior to acceptance, see NFIP EC & Instructions. All requests for a LOMA are done directly between the homeowner and FEMA—the City is not involved. However, the City will need a copy of your approved LOMA for our files for compliance with NFIP requirements. Therefore, please notify us at (281) 554-1445 in order that we may receive a copy of your approved LOMA from FEMA for our files.  More information on the LOMA process can be found at https://www.fema.gov/letter-map-amendment-letter-map-revision-based-fill-process.

Residential Construction in Special Flood Hazard Areas 

All new and "substantially improved" structures (the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure, tracked over a 10-year period) within the identified floodplain will be required to elevate the structure above the BFE, obtain an Elevation Certificate, and file it with the City. 

The City has created a PDF document to answer frequently asked questions and to serve as a guide to residential construction within the Special Flood Hazard Area. Download the PDF here

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