A floodplain is the part of the land where water collects, pools, and flows during natural events. Such areas are classified by FEMA as Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) and are located within identified 100-year flood zones. SFHAs have several components:
Floodway: Channel of a river or other watercourse and adjacent land areas that must be reserved to discharge the base flood. Identified on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) by red and blue hatches.
1% Chance Floodplain: There is a 1% chance in any given year that this flood level, the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), will be reached. Also called the 100-year floodplain and can be statistically interpreted as a 26% chance that flood waters will reach BFE over the course of a 30-year mortgage. This floodplain is regulated by Wagoner County and FEMA. This area is outlined by blue shading on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). The 100-year floodplain is divided into zones. Wagoner County is mostly concerned with Zone A and AE.
Zone A: Approximate 1% flood zone for riverine and lake areas. To obtain BFEs a hydraulic study must be conducted.
Zone AE: Engineered 1% flood zone for riverine and lake areas with CALCULATED BFEs.
0.02% Chance Floodplain: There is a 0.02% chance in any given year that this flood level will be reached. Also called the 500-year floodplain. This floodplain is not regulated by Wagoner County or FEMA. This area is outlined as orange shaded or unshaded areas on the FIRM.
Wagoner County joined the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1988 resulting in County residents qualifying for NFIP-offered flood insurance programs. Membership in the program resulted in the regulation of Wagoner County floodplain through the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance authorized by Oklahoma State Statute Title 82 OS 1601, Oklahoma State Statute Title 19 OS 866, and Wagoner County Board of County Commissioners resolution 2012-018. The Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance outlines the requirements to develop in Wagoner County Floodplain as well as the duties and responsibilities of the Floodplain Manager. Highlights include:
All development in the 100-year floodplain must be elevated a minimum of 2 feet above the BFE
No development may take place in any NFIP-regulated floodway
All the same rules apply, except the elevation of your home is measured from the tongue of your trailer rather than the wheels. Additionally, the home must be anchored, and any steps of landings cannot be attached to the home.
The maps are created to reflect the conditions of the watershed. Some areas have not undergone a detailed hydraulic study which may result in more conservative floodplain areas. There is also a chance that flood waters in this area have not exceeded the 100-year flood level (BFE). Considering your experience, it may be worth your time and expense to hire a surveyor to determine the actual elevation at your property and compare that to the BFE in this area. If you’re right, we just need to submit the elevation certificate to FEMA and get the map corrected.
If you do not make the required changes your property value will remain very low, your home will be at risk of flooding, face extreme insurance rates if applicable, have great difficulty in selling the home if applicable, will face code violation charges, and ultimately not be eligible for emergency relief in the event of a catastrophe.