Area streams and creeks, the Rock River, and the Mississippi River may place Rock Island County residents in a Special Flood Hazard Area. We want you to be aware of the hazard and what can be done to reduce flood damage. This information is sent annually to all properties located in the Special Flood Hazard Area as delineated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. It is part of the County's effort to save residents money by reducing flood insurance premiums.
Browse our website to find a wealth of information about the County's Flood Insurance Rate Map, flood depths at your property, natural conservation areas and wetlands, flood insurance, special rules for building in the floodplain, and ideas for protecting your property from flood damage. Or you can call the Building Department with all of your floodplain questions. Feel free to stop in or contact us in person so that we can ensure that all questions have been answered and to supply additional information on related topics. We also have copies of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Elevation Certificates on all buildings constructed or substantially improved in the floodplain since January 1995.
For more information on flood hazards, construction rules or flood protection measures, please contact us before you begin any project in the floodplain.
Would you like $30,000 to help you elevate or move your home? See the Increased Cost of Compliance Coverage (ICC) Program section on the Flood Insurance page for more information.
- What does 100-year flood mean?
The term "100-year flood" is misleading. News media has a tendency to call every minor flood a "100-year flood" even though it is not. As stated above, it is not the flood that will occur once every 100 years. Rather, it is the flood elevation that has a 1- percent chance of being equaled or exceeded each year. Thus, the 100-year flood could occur more than once in a relatively short period of time. The 100-year flood, which is the standard used by most Federal and state agencies, is used by the NFIP as the standard for floodplain management and to determine the need for flood insurance. A structure located within a special flood hazard area shown on an NFIP map has a 26 percent chance of suffering flood damage during the term of a 30-year mortgage.
- My home is in a floodplain. Am I at high risk for flooding?
Yes. Buildings in floodplains, or Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), are at high risk for flood damage. Some floodplains experience frequent flooding, while others are affected by only the severest of storms. As a homeowner in a floodplain, it's not so much a question of if a flood will damage your property as when. That's why the law requires you to have flood insurance. Did you know that an SFHA home has a 26% chance of being flooded over a 30-year period? That means that you're five times more likely to be damaged by a flood than a fire!
- If I read a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), what are the different flood hazard zone designations and what do they mean?
Zone A is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to the 100-year floodplains that are determined in the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) by approximate methods. Because detailed hydraulic analyses are not performed for such areas, no Base Flood Elevations (BFE) or depths are shown within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.
Zone AE & A1-A30
Zones AE and A1-A30 are the flood insurance rate zones that correspond to the 100-year floodplains that are determined in the FIS by detailed methods. In most instances, BFEs derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown at selected intervals within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.
Zone AH is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to the areas of 100-year shallow flooding with a constant water-surface elevation (usually areas of ponding) where average depths are between 1 and 3 feet. The BFEs derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown at selected intervals within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.
Zone AO is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to the areas of 100-year shallow flooding (usually sheet flow on sloping terrain) where average depths are between 1 and 3 feet. The depth should be averaged along the cross section and then along the direction of flow to determine the extent of the zone. Average flood depths derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown within this zone. In addition, alluvial fan flood hazards are shown as Zone AO on the FIRM. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.
Zone AR is the flood insurance rate zone used to depict areas protected from flood hazards by flood control structures, such as a levee, that are being restored. FEMA will consider using the Zone AR designation for a community if the flood protection system has been deemed restorable by a Federal agency in consultation with a local project sponsor; a minimum level of flood protection is still provided to the community by the system; and restoration of the flood protection system is scheduled to begin within a designated time period and in accordance with a progress plan negotiated between the community and FEMA. Mandatory purchase requirements for flood insurance will apply in Zone AR, but the rate will not exceed the rate for unnumbered A zones if the structure is built in compliance with Zone AR floodplain management regulations.
For floodplain management in Zone AR areas, elevation is not required for improvements to existing structures. However, for new construction, the structure must be elevated (or floodproofed for non-residential structures) such that the lowest floor, including basement, is a maximum of 3 feet above the highest adjacent existing grade if the depth of the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) does not exceed 5 feet at the proposed development site. For infill sites, rehabilitation of existing structures, or redevelopment of previously developed areas, there is a 3-foot elevation requirement regardless of the depth of the BFE at the project site.
The Zone AR designation will be removed and the restored flood control system shown as providing protection from the 1% annual chance flood on the NFIP map upon completion of the restoration project and submittal of all the necessary data to FEMA.
Zone A99 is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to areas of the 100-year floodplains that will be protected by a Federal flood protection system where construction has reached specified statutory milestones. No BFEs or depths are shown within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.
The Zone D designation on NFIP maps is used for areas where there are possible but undetermined flood hazards. In areas designated as Zone D, no analysis of flood hazards has been conducted. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements do not apply, but coverage is available. The flood insurance rates for properties in Zone D are commensurate with the uncertainty of the flood risk.
Zones B, C, & X
Zones B, C, and X are the flood insurance rate zones that correspond to areas outside the 100-year floodplains, areas of 100-year sheet flow flooding where average depths are less than 1 foot, areas of 100-year stream flooding where the contributing drainage area is less than 1 square mile, or areas protected from the 100-year flood by levees. No BFEs or depths are shown within this zone.
Please remember that all of the Questions and Answers only apply to properties in Unincorporated Rock Island County. If you live in a city or village, please check with their Floodplain Manager for rules and regulations.