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 Fall 2020. Impacted residents, especially those with homes built before June 18, 1980, are urged to buy or renew flood insurance before Fall 2020. Buying flood insurance now may lock in future savings later when the updated maps go into effect. 

Property owners who have a federally-backed mortgage and are in a high-risk flood zone are required to have flood insurance. To check your flood zone or find a participating flood insurance provider, visit FloodSmart.gov

Appeals & Comments on the FEMA Preliminary Flood Hazard Information

Hillsborough County is currently in the 90-Day Appeal Period, where property owners and residents can review the updated maps and provide feedback by January 23, 2020. Submitted written appeals and comments will be consolidated by Hillsborough County and provided to FEMA for consideration. FEMA has provided these documents to assist property owners to participate in FEMA’s appeal and comment process on Preliminary Flood Hazard Maps.
 
To submit an appeal or comment for FEMA’s assessment of your property, please mail this application, along with all supporting technical data if applicable, to the following address no later than January 23, 2020:
 
Hillsborough County Hazard Mitigation
601 E Kennedy Blvd, 22nd Floor
Tampa, FL 33062
 
For assistance, please call Hillsborough County at (813) 635-5400.

Revised Maps Better Reflect 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

Preliminary Map Revisions for Coastal Areas

FEMA Flood Map Changes Viewer

Viewer instructions

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.
  • Revised flood maps will guide Hillsborough County's planning decisions and development requirements resulting in a more resilient county.
  • New FIRMs become effective in 2020, though the County will keep the public and stakeholders informed throughout process.

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 www.FloodSmart.gov

Update Timeline

All coastal counties in the Tampa Bay Area are undergoing coastal flood risk map updates. The timeline for Hillsborough County's update process is outlined below. Dates are subject to change.

  • Discovery, Data Collection, and Stakeholder Coordination - 2013
  • Modeling - 2013 to 2017
  • Work Map Production - 2018
  • Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Studies (FIS) Report - 2018
  • Appeal and Compliance Period - October 2019 – January 2020
    • FEMA officially notices and begins the formal 90-day appeal and public comment period
    • Scientific and/or technical appeals may be submitted to FEMA by anyone regarding flood zones, floodways, and base flood elevations
    • FEMA issues Letter of Final Determination (LFD). Maps become effective six months from LFD date
    • Hillsborough County will conduct outreach to property owners who may benefit from time-sensitive National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance rating options
    • Official adoption of required code changes by Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners
  • Effective FIRM and FIS Report - Summer/Fall 2020 (expected)
    • Changes in flood insurance requirements due to flood zone and/or Base Flood Elevation changes become effective
    • Public outreach and stakeholder engagement continues to inform citizens about the changes and insurance rating options available

More about FIRMs

A Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is an official map on which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (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. People outside of high-risk areas file over 20 percent of National Flood Insurance Program claims and receive one third of FEMA's disaster assistance for flooding.