Flood Zone Information and Flood Insurance

Standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover losses due to flooding. The City of Roanoke participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which makes it possible for Roanoke property owners of obtain federally-backed flood insurance. View the NFIP Flood Insurance Claims guide to know what to do before and after a flood, including filing a claim, and the steps involved in appealing a denied claim. 

The NFIP also includes Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage for all new and renewed Standard Flood Insurance Policies. This insurance is available to any owner of insurable property (buildings and/or contents) in Roanoke. The average annual premium for this insurance on a residential home is about $2000. The actual cost will vary depending on the amount of coverage and the degree of flood hazard. This insurance is required to purchase a home within or near the FEMA floodplain with a federally backed mortgage. 

If you are considering flood insurance, constructing a new building, or adding to an existing building, you may need to know if your property is located within a floodplain. Locate your address using the FEMA Flood Map Service Center to find your flood map. For any property located in the City of Roanoke, the Stormwater Division will provide the following information based on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM):

  • Flood Zone and Floodway Determinations
  • Base Flood Elevation (BFE)
  • FIRM and Panel numbers
  • Elevation Certificates (Click here for information on how to obtain Elevation Certificates, if available)
  • Information on areas with Natural Floodplain Functions
  • Information on local drainage problems
This information, as well as the FIRM zone, community number, panel number, FIRM date and elevation datum used on the FIRM is also available by using the city's Geographic Information System (GIS). The map information provided by the City is general in nature and is not considered a “guaranteed” determination. The mortgage lender is responsible for determining if a flood insurance policy is required for a loan. 

Permit Requirements

Always verify Department of Planning, Building and Development before you build, re-grade, or fill on your property. A special permit is required for any activity occurring within a floodplain area. New buildings in the floodplain must be protected from flood damage. Our building code requires that new buildings or ‘substantial improvements’ to existing buildings must be constructed with the lowest floor elevated or floodproofed to a minimum of two feet above the base flood elevation. A substantial improvement is any repair, reconstruction, or improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of that structure.

Myth: The “100 Year Flood” should only happen once every 100 years.
Fact: The “100 Year Flood” actually has a 1% chance of happening in any given year. These floods are likely to occur far more often than once every hundred years. Homes in these areas have a 26% chance of such a flood occurring during a 30 year mortgage period.