FEMA Flood Map Update


Over time flood risks change and maps need to be updated to reflect current flood risks. Using new digital mapping techniques, flood hazard maps are being revised to provide more detailed and current information. The result is a better picture of the areas most likely to be affected by flooding and a better foundation from which to make decisions.

What Is a Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Studies (FIS)?

The FIRM is the basis for floodplain management, mitigation, and insurance activities in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  FIRMS are important tools in the effort to protect lives and property.  They indicate the risk for flooding throughout the area and offer a basis for building and land use decisions.

A FIS is a report prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that summarizes an analysis of the flood hazards in a community. The analysis used to prepare a FIS is also used to prepare a FIRM, which is a map that shows the flood hazards areas in a community. The FIS provides information to supplement the FIRM.  

Why Did FEMA Change the Flood Insurance Rate Maps for the City of Eugene?

FIRMs provided by FEMA are an essential tool for flood mitigation, preparedness, disaster response, and insurance in the United States. The City of Eugene's existing FIRMs were identified as having some inaccuracies due to the outdated data and production methods. As a result, FEMA began a project in 2010 to improve and update the FIRMS for Central Lane County and Incorporated Areas.

What Are the Benefits of the New Maps?

The new flood hazard maps are available in a digital format which benefits people in different ways:

  • Public Works Engineering and Planning and Development gain a greater understanding of the flood hazards and risks that affect the community because they can use the maps in a geographical information system (mapping software) along with parcel, street, and zoning layers to more easily determine how flood hazards impact their community. This allows the City of Eugene to be better prepared for flood disasters.
  • Builders and developers have access to more detailed information for making decisions on where to build and how construction might affect local flood hazard areas.
  • Insurance agents, insurance companies and lending institutions have easier access to map-related information in order to serve their customers more effectively.
  • Residents and business owners throughout the region have a better ability to identify the risk to their properties which will allow them to make better financial decisions about developing and protecting their lives and properties.

What Is a Floodplain and How Do I Determine if My Property Is Located in a Special Flood Hazard Area?

Floodplains are the lowland and relatively flat areas adjoining rivers and creeks that are periodically subject to flooding. Floodplains are typically adjacent to lakes and rivers but may also be found in other usually dry lowland areas. FEMA identifies special flood hazard areas (high-hazard zones) within floodplains. The Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is the land in the floodplain within a community that is subject to the 1 percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. The SFHA is shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) as Zone A, AO, AH, A1-30, AE, A99, AR.

Please visit the FEMA Map Service Center to determine if you are currently in the SFHA: FEMA Flood Map Service Center | Welcome!

See Project Links below to view the Revised Preliminary FIRMS and FIS.

Projected Project Timeline

Meeting / Milestone & Deliverable Projected Date 
Public Meeting / WorkshopSpring/Summer 2022
Appeal Period Start Summer/Fall 2022
Appeal Period End Winter/Spring 2022-2023
Letter of Final Determination (LFD) Fall 2023
Map and FIS become Effective Spring 2024

*All project dates are subject to revision as the project progresses. 


For more information about the flood map updates:
Jack Blackham
Permitting & Floodplain Manager