Sign In

Special Flood Hazard Area

FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps establish the Special Flood Hazard Area, where FEMA predicts there is a 1 percent annual chance of flooding. Congress requires that mortgaged property in this area must have flood insurance. Within the Special Food Hazard Area, flood zones include:

  • A Zones - Areas subject to inundation by the 1 percent annual chance flood event. If the structure has a mortgage, the owner must have flood insurance. In A Zones, FEMA did not conduct detailed analyses to set the base flood elevation (BFE), which is the required height for construction. However, the County estimated BFEs for all A Zones in unincorporated Lee County.
  • AE Zones - Areas subject to inundation by the 1 percent annual chance flood event where base flood elevations are shown. The Base Flood Elevation appears after the “EL” in the zone designation. For example, a zone of AE-EL8 means the structure is in the AE Zone with a base flood elevation requirement of 8 feet. If the structure has a mortgage, the owner must have flood insurance.
  • AH Zones - Areas subject to inundation by a 1 percent annual chance of shallow ponding with depths of 1 to 3 feet. These areas also identify base flood elevations.

<Bookmark>Coastal High Hazard Area

The maps also establish the Coastal High Hazard Area, where FEMA predicts there is a 1 percent annual chance of flooding from offshore inundation. Congress requires that mortgaged property in this area must have flood insurance.
  • VE Zones – Coastal areas are subject to additional flooding from storm-induced waves. They also have an elevation requirement indicated by “EL” in the zone designation. For example, a zone of VE-EL10 means the structure is in the V Zone with a base flood elevation requirement of 10 feet. New construction in VE zones is typically elevated on piers or piles. Construction in VE zones also requires additional certification that the structure is anchored properly and has break-away walls for storage enclosures below the base flood elevation.

X Zone

Every parcel is assigned a flood zone. Outside the Special Flood Hazard Area and the Coastal High Hazard Area, the zone designation is “X.” Congress does not require flood insurance in the X Zone.
  • X Zone – FEMA predicts that this area has a 0.2 percent annual chance of flooding or may have shallow ponding of less than one foot in the 1 percent annual chance of flooding. No base flood elevations or other flood-protection requirements are set for new construction.

Flood Zone quick links


Learn more about these Flood Zone topics