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.
Flooding in Chesapeake
Flooding can happen anytime, anywhere, including an area not in a flood zone. The majority of homeowner's insurance policies do not include flood protection.
Information & Resources
- FloodSmart for Consumers- Risk Rating 2.0, new way to determine flood risk and prices for flood insurance.
- How to Reduce Future Flood Damage.
- Get Flood Fluent - Information on why you should purchase flood insurance.
- FEMA National Flood Insurance Program - Detailed information for property owners, claims adjusters, insurance professionals, lenders, state and local officials, and surveyors.
- FEMA's mapping center - Find out your flood zone.
- Video on the Flood Insurance Program - History, how it works, recent changes
- Using a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) (PDF) - FEMA
- Myths and Facts about the National Flood Insurance Program (FEMA)
- How To Request a Flood Hazard Determination Review from 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. It takes 30 days for flood insurance to go into effect so if you wait for the forecast to call for rain, it will be too late.
Community Rating System
The City of Chesapeake is a member of the Community Rating System (CRS) through FEMA. The City started at a rating of a Class 8 when it was accepted into the program in May of 2015. Since then, the City has lowered its rating to a Class 7, which means better incentives for homeowners with homes in a flood zone. Property owners in certain flood categories are eligible for a reduction in their flood insurance premiums. Residents in the “AE” zone, also known as the 100 year flood plain, are eligible for a 15% rate reduction, while those in the “X” zone, also known as the 500 year flood plain, can receive a 5% reduction. For specifics on individual premium changes, residents should contact their insurance provider.
Additional Resources for Homeowners & Builders
- Building Considerations: Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area (CBPA) Guidelines
- Chesapeake's Floodplain Ordinance Information
For information regarding Building and Developing within the Special Flood Hazard Area go to Development and Permits Floodplain Management.