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Flood Maps


What are Flood Maps?

Floods are unpredictable and can happen almost anywhere. They may not even happen near a body of water, although river and coastal flooding are two of the most common types. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lists many flood hazards in Oregon.

Flood maps are one tool for communities to know which areas have the highest risk of flooding. FEMA maintains and updates flood hazard data through regulatory flood maps and other products. You can view FEMA's National Flood Hazard Layer—including pending, preliminary, draft, and official flood map designations—here

If you believe your property was incorrectly identified as a SFHA, you may submit an application to FEMA for a formal determination of the property's location and/or elevation relative to the SFHA. This is called a Letter of Map Change (LOMC) request.

Corvallis Natural Flood Hazard Layer in ArcGIS; Source: FEMA

Using a flood map, you can see the relationship between your property and the areas with the highest risk of flooding. Flood maps show how likely it is for an area to flood. There is no area that is without flood risk, but some areas have a lower or moderate risk. Any place with a 1% chance or higher chance of experiencing a flood each year is considered high risk and is designated a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). These areas have at least a one-in-four chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage.

Reading Flood Maps

Flood hazard areas

General structures and features

If a community is willing to set minimum floodplain construction standards, FEMA will map the area and provide flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This program was developed in 1968 to offer flood insurance to property owners, renters, and businesses. The NFIP works with communities required to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations to help mitigate the damage of flooding.​

Flood map changes may affect your flood insurance. Flood zones are not a rating factor for pricing NFIP flood insurance. However, a private insurance company may consider a change in flood zone when rating your policy. You can contact your agent to see if a flood map change will change your policy rates. If the new map shows your property in a higher risk area than before, it is good to know that and to act now to insure your property and investments.

FEMA offers premium discounts for Pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) subsidized and newly mapped properties. To take advantage of these options, contact your insurance agent. 

For additional information, please contact:

Deanna Wright, Oregon NFIP Coordinator, Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD)
(503) 373-0050 |

Scott Van Hoff, Flood Insurance Liaison, FEMA Region 10
(425) 487-4677 |

Risk MAP projects partner with local experts in state-of-the-art spatial analysis to deliver mapping and analysis products that aim to increase resiliency to flooding and other natural hazards. While Risk MAP products can be regulatory, such as updating flood maps for insurance compliance purposes, there are also opportunities to examine local natural hazards in the Risk MAP process. Examples of nonregulatory data collection opportunities through Risk MAP can include:

  • landslide and post-fire debris flow (PFDF) hazard
  • flood depth grids
  • bank erosion
  • channel migration analysis
  • fault line mapping
  • earthquake and coseismic hazard risk
  • coastal flood risk and tsunami hazards
  • groundwater resources

If there is a data collection or analysis project that could help inform your community's hazard response and mitigation activities, please reach out to:

Hannah Fattor, RiskMAP Coordinator, Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM)
971- 718-2106 |