Devastating floods occur throughout the U.S. every year, causing more than $2 billion in property damage each year nationwide. In Indian River County, flooding is caused by heavy rainfall that occurs in short periods of time, and from tidal surges and heavy rains that accompany coastal storms, tropical storms and hurricanes. Flooding sources include the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian River Lagoon and its associated tributaries.
The Indian River County Planning Division offers map location services to all members of the public, to locate areas that may be susceptible to flooding according to the National Flood Insurance Program, Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). You may call (772) 226-1237 for over-the-phone information or to arrange an appointment with the appropriate county staff, which will provide assistance in determining if a particular property is in a flood zone. For self-service review of the most current FIRMs for unincorporated Indian River County, the maps can be accessed via the Flood Zone Map link on this webpage. Elevation certificates for previously developed properties, dating back to 1997, are available from the County Building Division or County Environmental Planning Section. The County Planning Division also has copies of FIRMs for unincorporated Indian River County dating back to 1978, for archival flood zone reference.
In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by adopting the National Flood Insurance Act. In 1973, passage of the Flood Disaster Protection Act mandated that buildings located in flood hazard areas have flood insurance coverage as a condition of federal aid or loans from federally insured banks and as a condition of federal disaster assistance. Since 1978, Indian River County has been a participant in the NFIP. Under the NFIP, Indian River County is responsible for implementing certain requirements. One such requirement is to regulate construction design in “Special Flood Hazard Areas” (SFHAs) to address potential flood impacts. Another requirement is to ensure that buildings meet minimum “base flood elevations” (BFEs) as identified on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). In Indian River County, Chapter 930, Stormwater Management and Flood Protection, of the land development regulations (LDRs) contains the County’s flood protection requirements.
Indian River County participates in the Community Rating System (CRS) of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Under the CRS, the County undertakes flood protection measures beyond the minimum requirements of the NFIP. By doing so, Indian River County has achieved a “Class 6” certification, resulting in a 20% discount of flood insurance premiums in the unincorporated county.