Floodplain Overlay District
Various areas of the City of Salem are susceptible to flooding. Nearly every year, and sometimes several times throughout the year during periods of heavy rain residential and commercial properties are threatened with the potential of flooding.
Standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover losses due to flooding. The City of Salem participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which makes it possible for property owners to obtain federally-backed flood insurance. This insurance is required to purchase a home within or near the FEMA floodplain with a federally backed mortgage.
If you are considering flood insurance, constructing a new building, or adding to an existing building, you may need to know if your property is located within a floodplain. For any property located in the City of Salem, the Department of Community Development will determine if your property lies within the Floodplain Overlay District.
Understanding your Risk
Always verify with the Department of Community Development before you build, re-grade, or fill on your property. New buildings in the floodplain must be protected from flood damage. Our building code requires that new buildings or ‘substantial improvements’ to existing buildings must be constructed with the lowest floor elevated or floodproofed to a minimum of one foot above the base flood elevation. A substantial improvement is any repair, reconstruction, or improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of that structure.
Flood Mitigation involves cost-effective measures taken now to avoid the loss of life and reduce future damages to public facilities, homes, and other improved property. By implementing flood mitigation measures you may prevent future damage to your property resulting from flood and potentially lower your flood insurance premium. You may want to consider discussing mitigation options with your flood insurance agent. Additionally, should your property qualify the Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Grant Program may provide grant funds to assist with flood mitigation.
Flood Zone Information
Once you enter the GIS system and locate your property select the layers tab and choose Floodzones:
Zone AE is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to the 100-year floodplains that is determined in the Flood Insurance Study by detailed methods. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.
100-year floodplain is the boundary of the flood that has a 1-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. Officially termed the 1-percent annual chance floodplain.
Floodway is the channel of a stream plus any adjacent floodplain areas that must be kept free of encroachment so that the 100-year flood discharge can be conveyed without increasing the elevation of the 100-year flood.
500-year floodplain is the boundary of the flood that has a 0.2-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. Officially termed the 0.2-percent annual chance floodplain.