What Are Flood Zones?
Flood zones determine the premiums for flood insurance rates and set construction standards for parcels located in the Special Flood Hazard Area, commonly called the FEMA floodplain. Detailed definitions of all flood zones are available here.
Flood zones in the Special Flood Hazard Area begin with V or A. Most mortgage lenders require flood insurance in these zones. Parcels in an X Zone are outside the Special Flood Hazard Area. Parcels in the X Zone are eligible for preferred rates on National Flood Insurance Program policies, and mortgage lenders usually don’t require flood insurance.
Parcels in the V or A zones have an elevation requirement called the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). It will be indicated by “EL.” For example, a Rate Code of AE-EL7 means the parcel is in an A Zone with an elevation requirement of 7 feet as measured by the North American Vertical Datum of 1988. (Think of NAVD88 as “sea level” not ground level.)
Structures with a first floor at or above that level will be in compliance and will have the standard insurance rate. A first floor that is lower will generally have a more expensive premium. A FEMA Elevation Certificate is required for most new construction in the Special Flood Hazard Area to prove that it meets the base flood elevation requirement.
Some parcels in the Special Flood Hazard Area along rivers, creeks or large canals are also in the regulatory floodway, where FEMA restricts construction and does not permit the placement of fill.
Directions for Using “Lee Spins” to Look Up Flood Zones
Click here to download the directions to your computer.
The link below enables you to access the Lee Count Spatial Information System, commonly calls “Lee Spins.” It is a geographic information system that provides a variety of information about property in Lee County, including flood zones.
Please note that the flood zone status of parcels in Unincorporated Lee County is updated with Letters of Map Change approved by FEMA since the zones became effective Aug. 28, 2008. Parcels outside unincorporated Lee County in the cities of Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Sanibel and the town of Fort Myers Beach reflect the zone status as of Sept. 28, 2008.
Follow these steps to look up a flood zone:
- Wait for the viewer to fully load. If you see only a blank page, turn off your pop-up blocker or try holding the control key ("ctrl") while you refresh the page. Click on “Reset” to refresh.
- Under the “Search” drop-down menu, choose whether to search by address, STRAP or name. A data entry box will open to the right of the page to enter information according to your choice.
- Enter the requested information and click “Submit.” TIP: If searching by address, omit “road,” “lane,” “blvd.,” etc. Enter the address or name as it appears on Lee Property Appraiser records and your TRIM Notice.
- A parcel record will appear. Check to be sure this is the parcel of interest to you.
- Click on “Run” for a Spatial District Query Report summarizing basic information related to the flood zone on that parcel.
- Click on “DRAW” for an aerial view of your property with flood map boundaries.
- Click on the STRAP number for Parcel Report on as it appears on the Lee Property Appraiser’s Web site. This includes the legal description required for Letter of Map Amendment applications to FEMA.
- To customize the information illustrated on the map, go through the “folders” in the lower right corner of the screen. The Public Safety folder has the flood-related items. Choose what you want and click on the folder icon to close the drop-down menu and update the viewer.
- To customize the Spatial District Query Report, go to the “Applications” search field in the upper right corner of the screen. Select the "Districts Query" Report. Choose "settings" and go through the check list and select information. At the bottom of the settings menu, select "Update" to run the report and post it to the screen. Those selected settings will become the default for future reports.
Contact a Floodplain Manager
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