Understanding Floodplain Maps
Flood maps, known officially as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) show areas of high and moderate to low flood risk. Flathead County uses the maps to set minimum building requirements for floodplains, lenders use them to determine flood insurance requirements, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) uses them to help determine what you should pay for flood insurance. Flood zones on County parcels can be checked online with FEMA FIRM Panels. Flood maps show areas of high, moderate, and low flood risk as a series of zones. High-risk zones, also known as Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), begin with the letter 'A.' Moderate- to low-risk zones, known as Non-Special Flood Hazard Areas (NSFHAs), begin with the letters 'X,' 'B' or 'C.' There are also areas where the flood hazard is undetermined, labeled as Zone D.
Flooding is not covered by standard property insurance, but flood insurance is available for all insurable structures in Flathead County. If you are located within a designated floodplain, contact your insurance agent for more information about flood insurance or to purchase a flood insurance policy. If you don’t have an agent, or your agent does not write flood insurance, the NFIP has a toll-free number for agent referrals (1-800 CALL FLOOD) (1-800-225-5356) or TDD #1-800-427-5593). You can also get more details about flood insurance at http://www.FloodSmart.gov or the Flathead County Flood Insurance information page.
Useful FloodPlain Links
- National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) - Click HERE
- Answers to Questions About the NFIP - Click HERE
- Elevation Certificate - Click HERE
- Flood Tools Website - www.floodtools.com
- FEMA Website - https://www.fema.gov/