Flood Zone Management and Protection, Westerly RI

The following is taken from WesterlyRI.gov and can be found here.

Flood Zone Management & Protection

The waters which exist in and surround the north, south and west of the Town of Westerly produce a wealth of natural resources, economic activities and recreation opportunities for our community. They can also present a significant threat to many of our neighborhoods and villages during periods of heavy rain, melting snow or storm surge. This threat is flooding – the temporary gathering and/or overflowing of water onto typically dry land. Depending on the intensity of the weather condition producing the water, flooding can range from a minimal impact to a natural disaster. This webpage provides you an overview on flooding and flood protection in Westerly and the resources available to you to protect yourself and your property from flooding.

Flood Zones
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has identified four (4) flood zones within the Town of Westerly which are subject to regulation: Zone A, Zone AE, Coastal Zone AE and Zone VE. These areas are characterized as the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), meaning they are subject to inundation by a one-percent (1%) annual chance of flooding or, more simply, a flood event is projected to occur once every century. For this reason, the SFHA is also commonly known as the 100-year floodplain or the base floodplain. The Base Flood Elevation (BFE) is the water-surface elevation of the 1% annual chance of flooding.

In addition to the SFHA, there are also a Moderate Flood Hazard Area and a Minimal Flood Hazard Area. The Moderate Flood Hazard is also referred to as the 500-year floodplain because a flood event is expected to occur here once every five centuries (equivalent to a two-tenths percent [0.2%] annual chance of flooding). In Westerly, the Moderate Flood Hazard Area consists of Zone X (shaded). The Minimal Flood Hazard Area identifies those places which are least likely to flood and, in Westerly, consists of Zone X (unshaded).

Westerly Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) – Flood Zones

Westerly - Flood Zone Map Opens in new window
Flood zones are officially designated on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), which can be found through the FEMA Flood Map Service Center. If you’re interested in finding where a property in Westerly is located relative to a flood zone you can also use the Town of Westerly Geographic Information System (GIS) to find an address or Assessor’s Plat and Lot and visualize where any of these flood zones may be in relation to the property (select “FEMA” under “Map Layer” near the top right-hand of the screen).
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
Many homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies do not include protection from flood events. To address this, the National Flood Insurance Program creates the opportunity for property owners to obtain a flood insurance policy through a private insurance company or from the federal government. For more information on the NFIP, we recommend you visit its official website as well as FloodSmart.gov. To find out if your property is protected by flood insurance, contact your insurance agent.
Community Rating System (CRS)
In 2012, the Town voluntarily joined the NFIP’s Community Rating System (CRS). By exceeding the minimum requirements set by the NFIP for floodplain management, the Town has the opportunity to earn our property owners discounted policy rates. Currently, we rank as a Class 8 community.

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