Coastal Flood Risk Map Update

Hillsborough County is part of a multi-year process led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to update coastal flood maps. The coastal flood risks shown on today's flood maps are based on obsolete data and technology more than 30 years old. The 2007 countywide flood map update did not include an updated analysis of the coastal flood risk and does not reflect new development or changes in shoreline.

Changes to the coastal flood maps are based on FEMA's multi-year assessment and will take effect October 7, 2021. Impacted residents, especially those with homes built before June 18, 1980, are urged to have a flood insurance policy in effect or renewed the maps become effective. Having a flood insurance now may not only lock in future savings later when the updated maps go into effect, but also provide financial protection during hurricane season and beyond.

Property owners who have a federally-backed mortgage and are in a high-risk flood zone are required to have flood insurance. To learn more about flood insurance, contact your insurance agent or visit FloodSmart.Gov

FEMA Public Comment Period is Closed

FEMA’s 90-Day Appeal Period, where business owners and residents could review the updated maps and provide feedback, ended on January 23, 2020. Submitted written appeals and comments were consolidated by Hillsborough County and provided to FEMA for consideration. FEMA has finished addressing any appeals and comments and has issued a Letter of Final Determination stating the new coastal flood maps will be effective October 7, 2021. Once they are effective, new flood insurance and building requirements will then become effective.

Revised Maps Better Reflect Flood Risks

FEMA’s map revision more accurately reflects today's flood risks, which will:

  • Provide property owners along the coast of Hillsborough County with up-to-date, reliable, Internet-accessible information about their risk of storm surge-driven coastal flooding
  • Help residents and business owners make more informed decisions about protecting their property and financial stability
  • Allow community planners, local officials, engineers, builders, and others to make important determinations about where and how new structures and developments should be built

What to Expect

  • Expect changes to loan requirements and flood insurance costs in areas where updates occur. Some residents and business owners will find that their flood risk has increased, while others it may actually have been reduced. The NFIP has insurance cost-saving rating options to help reduce financial impacts. Property owners should contact their insurance agent to determine what the best option and coverage is for them.
  • Revised flood maps will guide Hillsborough County's planning decisions and development requirements resulting in a more resilient county.

Additional Resources

Contacts

  • Unincorporated Hillsborough County property owners: call (813) 635-5400
  • City of Tampa property owners: call Construction Services at (813) 274-3100, between 8 AM to 4:30 PM, or visit the City's information page
  • Insurance impacts: contact your insurance agent or visit FloodSmart.Gov

More about Flood Maps

A Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is an official flood map on which FEMA identifies areas of high, moderate and low flood risk. Since the late 2000s, FEMA has been updating Flood Insurance Studies and Flood Insurance Rate Maps for the entire populated coastline of the country to provide improved flood risk information to coastal communities along the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes.

 Important Note: Flooding occurs not only in high-risk areas, known as Special Flood Hazard Areas, but also in areas with a low to moderate risk on a FIRM. Anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. Policyholders outside of high-risk areas in Florida file about 25 percent of National Flood Insurance Program claims and receive one third of FEMA's disaster assistance for flooding. Lower-cost flood insurance is available in these areas with premiums starting at less than $300 a year.