Flood Protection Information

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Madison County Floodplain Management Information  Madison County currently participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a program that enables property owners to purchase insurance against losses from flooding.  In 1990, the NFIP implemented the Community Rating System (CRS) as a voluntary incentive program that recognizes community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP regulations.  

The information below highlights some of the information, services, and data available to interested parties regarding floods, flood insurance, and floodplain management in Madison County.

National Flood Insurance Program  Click here for the Official Website of the NFIP.

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Insurance Studies (FIS)  Preliminary FIRMs have been issued for Madison County and are dated May 13, 2016.  The current effective FIRMs for Madison County are dated October 2, 2014.   Please use this link to access the Madison County Online/Interactive Flood Map Tool.  In addition, hard copies of all FIRMs and FIS documents are located in the office of the Department of Public Works.  

FEMA Map Service Center  Please use this FEMA Map Service Center link to view Flood Insurance Rate Maps, Flood Insurance Rate Studies, FIRMettes, Letters of Map Change, and other flood-related documents.  

Community Rating System  The National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) Community Rating System (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:

  1. Reduce flood damage to insurable property
  2. Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP
  3. Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.

Madison County is currently a member of the CRS program which provides a 5% reduction in flood insurance premiums to policy holders in the unincorporated areas of Madison County.

Click here for additional information regarding the Community Rating System (CRS).

Map Amendments and Revisions  The current effective FIRMs can be revised and amended by the processes described below.  Click here for the link to FEMA's Online Letter of Map Change.

CLOMA: A Conditional Letter of Map Amendment (CLOMA) is FEMA's comment on whether a proposed project would be excluded from the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) shown on the effective National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) map. The letter becomes effective on the date sent. This letter does not revise an effective NFIP map, but indicates whether the project, if built as proposed, would or would not be removed from the SFHA by FEMA if later submitted as a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA).

CLOMR: A Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) is FEMA's comment on a proposed project that would affect the hydrologic and/or hydraulic characteristics of a flooding source and thus result in the modification of the existing regulatory floodway or effective Base Flood Elevations (BFE). There is no appeal period. The letter becomes effective on the date sent. This letter does not revise an effective NFIP map, it indicates whether the project, if built as proposed, would or would not be removed from the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) by FEMA if later submitted as a request for a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR).

CLOMR-F: A Conditional Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (CLOMR-F) is FEMA's comment on whether a proposed project involving the placement of fill would exclude an area from the SFHA shown on the NFIP map. The letter becomes effective on the date sent. This letter does not revise an effective NFIP map, but indicates whether the project, if built as proposed, would or would not be removed from the SFHA by FEMA if later submitted as a request for a Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F).

LOMA: A Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) is an official amendment, by letter, to an effective NFIP map. A LOMA establishes a property's location in relation to the SFHA. The letter becomes effective on the date sent.

LOMR: A Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) is an official revision, by letter, to an effective NFIP map. A LOMR may change flood insurance risk zones, floodplain and/or floodway boundary delineations, planimetric features, and/or BFE. The letter becomes effective on the date sent.

LOMR-F: A Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F) is an official revision, by letter, to an effective NFIP map. A LOMR-F provides FEMA's determination concerning whether a structure or parcel has been elevated on fill above the BFE and excluded from the SFHA. The letter becomes effective on the date sent.

Flood Zones  Flood zones are geographic areas that the FEMA has defined according to varying levels of flood risk. These zones are depicted on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or flood Hazard Boundary Map. Each zone reflects the severity or type of flooding in the area.  The flood zones described below are present in Madison County.

Moderate to Low Risk Areas:

X (shaded): Area of moderate flood hazard, usually the area between the limits of the 100-year and 500-year floods. Are also used to designate base floodplains of lesser hazards, such as areas protected by levees from 100-year flood, or shallow flooding areas with average depths of less than one foot or drainage areas less than 1 square mile.

X (unshaded): Area of minimal flood hazard, usually depicted on FIRMs as above the 500-year flood level.

High Risk Areas:

A: Areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding and a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. Because detailed analyses are not performed for such areas, no depths or base flood elevations are shown within these zones.

AE: The base floodplain where base flood elevations are provided.

AO: River or stream flood hazard areas and areas with a 1% or greater chance of shallow flooding each year, usually in the form of sheet flow, with an average depth ranging from 1 to 3 feet. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. Average flood depths derived from detailed analyses are shown within these zones.

Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance  The Madison County Commission has adopted the Madison County Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance (FDPO) to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions.  Please click here for a Flood Development Permit.

Elevation Certificates  Madison County's building permit file must have an official record that shows new buildings and substantial improvements in all identified Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) are properly elevated.  This elevation information is needed to show compliance with the floodplain management ordinance.  Madison County requires the use the FEMA Elevation Certificate.  Click here for a link to the FEMA Elevation Certificate.

Real-time Weather Gauge Data  Click here for a link to the USGS Real-Time Weather Gauge Data.

Madison County Building Inspection Department  If you construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or other residential structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by the applicable code enforced by Madison County, or to cause any such work to be done whenever the reasonable cost of the material and labor for such work is in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), you shall first make application to the Madison County Building Inspection Department and obtain the required permits. Whenever the work being performed includes any construction, alteration, addition, or modification to the plumbing drainage system, or requires disconnection of the electrical system in any way whatsoever, any owner or authorized agent shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit regardless of the reasonable cost of the material and labor for such work. Other work requiring permits and inspections include: roofing, re-roofing, window replacement, siding, swimming pools and spas, all commercial work regardless of cost, and any development within an identified floodplain.  Please visit the Madison County Building Inspection Department homepage for more information.

Floodplain Administrator  The Madison County Public Works Department serves as the Floodplain Administrator for the unincorporated areas of Madison County. The following floodplain management services are provided:

  1. Provide basic information found on a FIRM that is needed to accurately rate a flood insurance policy.
  2. Provide basic information that is not needed for insurance rating, including information about floodways.
  3. Provide information regarding Special Flood Hazard Areas and requirements for development within a SFHA.

Address Floodplain Management Questions to:

Houston Matthews, P.E.

Phone: (256) 746-2900

Email: hmatthews@madisoncountyal.gov 

 or

Jason Britton

Phone: (256) 746-2900

Email: jbritton@madisoncountyal.gov

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