What are Flood Maps?

In order to understand the study's impacts, an understanding of what the flood maps are and why they're produced is important.

Flood maps, or Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM's), are produced to delineate the extents of probable flooding based on a defined recurrence interval. The recurrence interval of once every 100 years has been chosen to define the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), and is based on the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). The 100-year storm, as it is commonly referred to, is actually the storm event that has a 1% annual chance of occurring. Although this may seem like a small chance, this translates to a 40% chance of the storm occurring during any 50-year period.

The City of Taunton adopted these new maps in order for its residents to become eligible for flood insurance. Flood insurance is important since typical home owners insurance does not cover losses caused by flooding.

The location of your property, or your house more specifically, is important. If it located within the SFHA, flood insurance is required. If your house is not in the SFHA, your mortgage holder may still require flood insurance, but a much lower rate.

A brief word of caution: Delineating flood limits is far from an exact science. Changes in topography, inexact modeling of the ground and stream/river channels, changes in rainfall patterns, and even the timing of tides can all conspire to alter flood limits. Even if your house is not mapped in a flood zone and your mortgage holder is not requiring flood insurance, consideration should be given to purchasing it anyway.

Show All Answers

1. What happened in Taunton?
2. What are Flood Maps?
3. So how do these changes affect you?