What is a floodplain? How does the floodplain affect my property?
The regulatory 100-year floodplain is an area mapped by the Federal Emergency Management Agency based upon the probability of that area flooding from stormwater on the order of once every 100 years. The Department of Planning and Zoning is a repository for FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and offers assistance in making floodplain determinations and understanding flood insurance requirements. Land located within the 100 year floodplain has a 1% chance of being flooded in any given year, or 26% chance during the life of a mortgage, is subject to restrictive building regulations.

County regulations prohibit most development in floodplains for several reasons. Structures built in floodplains are likely to be damaged or destroyed during a flood. These structures may collect debris carried by the flood and cause further damage to the area. In addition, development in a floodplain may cause floodwaters to be displaced to areas which were not formerly prone to floods thus causing damage upstream or downstream from the development site. Flood insurance is required for properties in the Special Flood Hazard Areas.

For more information about flooding, mapping, and actions that you can take in preparation or after a flood in Harford county, please download the Guide to Flood Hazards (PDF).

Show All Answers

1. What is a floodplain? How does the floodplain affect my property?
2. My home is located in a floodplain area. What are Harford County’s regulations regarding development or redevelopment in the floodplain?
3. I was told that I need an elevation certificate. What is that form and who is qualified to complete the elevation certificate?
4. I have lived here forever and have never been flooded. Why do I need flood insurance?
5. How can I see Harford County’s flood maps and find out more information?
6. Why did my bank tell me that flood insurance is mandatory?
7. How are rates determined for a flood insurance policy?
8. Where can I find out more about purchasing flood insurance?