Floodplains....what are they?A Floodplain, as defined by the National Flood Insurance Program, is an land area that is susceptible to being inundated by flood waters from any source.

As defined by FEMA, the land area covered by the floodwaters of the base flood is the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) on NFIP maps. The SFHA is the area where the NFIP's floodplain management regulations must be enforced and the area where the mandatory purchase of flood insurance applies. The SFHA includes Zones A, AO, AH, A1-30, AE, A99, AR, AR/A1-30, AR/AE, AR/AO, AR/AH, AR/A, VO, V1-30, VE, and V.

Development within a defined floodplain or Special Flood Hazard Area is governed through Floodplain Regulations adopted by a local community or county.

ONDN Floodplain Management Fact Sheet 12 - Floods and Flood Damage Prevention
fpdiagramFloodplain Regulations Floodplain Regulations are designed to guide development within Special Flood Hazard Areas. For regulatory purposes, the floodplain is divided into two areas based on water velocity: the floodway and the flood fringe. The floodway includes the channel and adjacent floodplain area that is required to pass the 100-year flood without unduly increasing flood heights. This is the hazardous portion of the floodplain where the fastest flow of water occurs. Due to the high degree of hazard found in the floodway, floodplain regulations require that proposed floodway developments do not block the free flow of flood water as this could dangerously increase the water's depth and velocity. The flood fringe is the portion of the floodplain, outside of the floodway, that contains slow-moving or standing water. Development in the fringe will not normally interfere with the flow of water. Therefore, floodplain regulations for the flood fringe allow development to occur but require protection from flood waters through the elevation of buildings above the 100-year flood level or floodproofing buildings so that water cannot enter the structure.

Richland County has adopted Special Flood Hazard Area (Floodplain) Regulations to promote the public health, safety and general welfare, protect the natural function of streams, and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in specific areas by provisions designed to:

  • Protect human life and health;
  • Minimize expenditure of public and private money for costly flood control projects;
  • Minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding and generally undertaken at the expense of the general public;
  • Minimize prolonged business interruptions;
  • Minimize damage to public facilities and utilities such as water and gas mains, electric, telephone and sewer lines, streets and bridges located in areas of special flood hazard;
  • Help maintain a stable tax base by providing for the proper use and development of areas of special flood hazard so as to minimize future flood blight areas;
  • Ensure that potential buyers are aware that property is in an area of special flood hazard, and
  • Ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions.
The Floodplain Regulations adopted by the Richland County Board of Commissioners apply to property located in unincorporated areas of Richland County only. Each community (cities and villages) in Richland County is responsible for its own Floodplain Regulations and enforcement of those regulations.

Richland County Floodplain Regulations and Flood Insurance Study Flood insurance is an important consideration when buying floodplain property. A person should be aware of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides flood insurance coverage for structures and their contents, in communities participating in the NFIP. Under this program, federally insured or regulated institutions must require flood insurance policies on all new loans for structures in mapped 100 year floodplain areas recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A person can find out if a piece of property is located in the floodplain by checking with the local floodplain administrator (ask for the "Flood Insurance Rate Map" or the "Flood Hazard Boundary Map" furnished by FEMA). A list of local floodplain administrator can be found here. If a person is considering the purchase or development of floodplain property, their insurance agent can provide information on the cost and availability of flood insurance. It should be noted that flood insurance is available for structures only in communities participating in NFIP. The structure does not have to be located in the mapped floodplain in order to obtain insurance.

ODNR Floodplain Management Fact Sheet 13 - Facts about Flood Insurance
Flood Insurance On July 6, 2012, a law took effect that made significant reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Among other things, this law requires FEMA to take immediate steps to eliminate a variety of existing flood insurance subsidies. Under the new law, flood insurance premium rates on many properties in special flood hazard areas will increase.

Please read the following 

Flood Insurance Rate Maps Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS) are issued by FEMA as part of the National Flood Insurance Program.
The hazard area or, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), shown on the flood map is known as the 100-year floodplain. It is more precisely defined as the floodplain associated with a flood that has a 1-percent annual chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The 100-year flood is not a flood event that happens once in a hundred years, rather a flood event that has a one percent chance of occurring every year. Flood maps may include:

  • Major highways, secondary roads, lakes, railroads, streams and other waterways
  • Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) identified on the FIRM as zones A, AE, AH, AO, AR,V, VE or A99
  • Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) or depths (BFE is the calculated elevation of the 100-year flood.)
  • Areas subject to inundation by the 500-year flood.
ODNR Floodplain Management Fact Sheet 21 - Flood Maps

The Map Index and Panel Numbers for Richland County Flood Insurance Rate Maps are listed below. Click the panel number to view the map. Richland County's Community Number is 390476.

Our Map Index is currently being updated. Please email with any inquiries.

39139C0018E 39139C0075E 39139C0126E 39139C0175E 39139C0226E 39139C0331E
39139C0031E 39139C0100E 39139C0128E 39139C0200E 39139C0227E 39139C0333E
39139C0032E 39139C0102E 39139C0129E 39139C0203E 39139C0230E 39139C0335E
39139C0041E 39139C0105E 39139C0135E 39139C0204E 39139C0250E 39139C0350E
39139C0042E 39139C0106E 39139C0140E 39139C0210E 39139C0275E 39139C0375E
39139C0043E 39139C0107E 39139C0141E 39139C0212E 39139C0300E Index
39139C0044E 39139C0108E 39139C0142E 39139C0215E 39139C0306E  
39139C0050E 39139C0109E 39139C0143E 39139C0216E 39139C0307E  
39139C0063E 39139C0115E 39139C0144E 39139C0218E 39139C0310E  
39139C0065E 39139C0120E 39139C0163E 39139C0219E 39139C0325E  
You can create a FIRMette using the online "FIRMette - Web tool. A FIRMette is a full-scale section of a FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that you create yourself online and are formatted to fit on printers commonly found in offices. There is no cost for making a FIRMette. FIRMettes can be used in all aspects of the NFIP including floodplain management, flood insurance, and enforcement of mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements.

You can also view Flood Maps using Google Earth. You need to download the National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) KMZ file below. Please download and read the instructions below for using Google Earth and the NFHL KMZ file.

Floodplain Determinations A floodplain determination can assist a property owner in determining what portions of their property and what structures on their property are in a floodplain. As well, when applying for flood insurance or a Letter Of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter Of Map Revision (LOMR), a floodplain determination will assist the property owner, the lender, and FEMA in applying the correct criteria when writing an insurance policy or making a determination. Floodplain determinations are provided at no charge for properties located in the Richland County jurisdiction. For more information or to request a determination, please contact our office.

Floodplain Links Below are a few web links pertaining to floods:

Interactive Weather Information Network (IWIN) provides a variety of weather data and imagery, including flood and flash-flood warnings. The URL is:http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/graphicsversion/bigmain.html

The National Weather Service Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) produces a map showing flood potential for the contiguous 48 states. Updated daily at 4 p.m., this five-day outlook provides an entry point for users seeking more detailed hydrologic information provided by the NWS's regional River Forecast Centers and Weather Forecast Offices. - URL: https://water.weather.gov/ahps/rfc/rfc.php

Generate an online hazard map for your area of interest. The URL is: https://msc.fema.gov/portal

Information on flood insurance rate maps (FIRM's). The URL is: https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance-rate-map-firm

Flood insurance rate information can be found at: https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home
The National Flood Insurance Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program

FEMA's map service center can be used to search for flood insurance rate maps. This page will show the most recent FIRMs for Richland County.

FEMA's handbook on appeals to new preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

FEMA Elevation Certificate

FEMA Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) and Letter of Map Revision-Based on Fill (LOMR-F) Process
Elevation Certificate Instructions and Tutorial for Engineers and Surveyors

For more information, please visit https://www.floodsmart.gov/
Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Floodplain Management Program includes information on floodplain regulations in Ohio.

A permit application may be found on our forms menu. For project that modify a watercourse and are located in Zone A where no Base Flood Elevations exist, a Zone Channel Modifications Form must be filled out on our forms menu.

Why do I Have to Purchase Flood Insurance?

Can I purchase flood insurance?

Where do I buy it?

How much will it cost?

My bank is requiring that I purchase flood insurance. I don't agree that my structure is located in a floodplain or I don't believe that its lowest floor is below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). What can I do to appeal the decision?