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What is a Flood?
Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural disasters. Most communities in the United States can experience some kind of flooding after spring rains, heavy thunderstorms, or winter snow thaws. Floods can be slow, or fast rising but generally develop over a period of days. Flash floods usually result from intense storms dropping large amounts of rain within a brief period. Flash floods occur with little or no warning and can reach full peak in only a few minutes.
When severe flooding is predicted, the City may send alerts to affected areas. Sign up for Chesapeake Alert to make sure the City can reach you.
Information & Resources
Flood Zone and Insurance InformationFEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are changing. For Chesapeake property owners, this could mean a change in your flood insurance requirements and rates. Following are resources you can use for more information:
- FEMA National Flood Insurance Program - detailed information for property owners, claims adjusters, insurance professionals, lenders, state and local officials, and surveyors.
- Current and Proposed Flood Zones Online - find out if your flood zone will change. Includes step by step instructions and a link to FEMA's interactive map, which is searchable by address.
Citizens without access to the internet can call the Customer Contact Center at 757-382-2489 for more information. Representatives will be able to tell you where public access computers are located so that you can view your property information.
- Video on the Flood Insurance Program - history, how it works, recent changes
- Using a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) - FEMA
- Top 10 Facts Every Consumer needs to know about the National Flood Insurance Program (FEMA)
- Myths and Facts about the National Flood Insurance Program (FEMA)
Most of the city of Chesapeake is susceptible to some level of flooding, and officials encourage all property owners and renters to contact an insurance agent to inquire about purchasing flood insurance.
Community Rating System
The City of Chesapeake has begun the application process for the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of the CRS:
- Reduce flood damage to insurable property;
- Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP, and
- Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.
Additional Resources for Homeowners and Builders
- FloodSmart.gov provides an interactive tool to estimate flood damages based on the height of the flood. For example, if you enter the water level in the house as six inches, it equates the approximate dollar amount of damages. It makes clear the benefit of flood insurance.
- Estimate Flood Damages - FloodSmart.gov
- Chesapeake Storm Surge Map
- Health Concerns After a Flood
- Chesapeake's Flood Plain Ordinance
- Building Considerations: Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area (CBPA) Guidelines