Flooding & Floodplains
Property Owner Information
Property owners should use FEMA's online Map Service Center and search by address to see the official floodplain boundaries in effect. You can also call FEMA Map Specialists to discuss your floodplain map at 1-877-336-2627.
FEMA's mapping of floodplains approximates where floodwaters may rise, however even if the property is outside of a FEMA floodplain, it may still flood. FEMA chose a "standard size" storm to approximate the floodplain map boundaries, and that storm was the 100-year flood event. However, a 100-year flood is not something that occurs once every 100 years. It is more accurate to refer to it as a 1% annual chance of the area flooding in any given year. A 100-year flood could occur twice in five years. The FEMA map also does not imply that properties outside of the 100-year floodplain will never flood. A devastating rainstorm can occur and many properties outside the 100-year floodplain may be flooded in any given year.
To better understand the location of the FEMA floodplain boundary to your property boundary, you can use ChescoViews. Click on "Find" to enter your address. Click on "TOC" and click on the "Flood Risk Mapping" to see the FEMA floodplain boundaries. You can also click on a box to see the two-foot contours if you are interested in the topography.
For information about FEMA floodplains and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), visit FloodSmart.gov.
When purchasing flood insurance, you should check who the underwriter and their stability, whether the policy meets the NFIP standards, double-check that your elevation certificate is filled out properly for your property (this can affect what you pay) and read your policy's declaration page to make sure the agent accurately captured your property (ex. primary or secondary residence?).
For more information behind the science of the 100-year flood and floodplains, visit this USGS webpage.
Property owners can view a simplified floodplain map here.
2017 Municipal Stormwater Summit & FEMA Flood Resiliency Meeting presentations
- Flood Risk Products and Implementing and Enforcing your Ordinance
- Flood Risk Products
- Flood Mitigation Technical Assistance Grants – US Army Corps of Engineers
- Flood Hazard Mitigation
- Hazard Mitigation Planning, Actions and Funding – PEMA
- DCED Finance Programs and Resilient PA – PA DCED
Municipalities that have updated their floodplain ordinances can apply online for 50% reimbursement of costs through PA DCED's Municipal Reimbursement Program.
FEMA Floodplain Ordinance Reimbursement for Municipalities
FEMA Municipal Resources
Chester County Hazard Mitigation