Flood Maps

What are FloodplainsBikers on Greenway

Floodplains are the areas of low-lying ground typically adjacent to a river or coast which are subject to flooding.  We need floodplains because they’re necessary to store and convey floodwaters, maintain water quality, recharge groundwater aquifers, support populations of plants and animals, and provide benefits to communities.

FEMA studies and maps three primary categories of flood risk:  riverine, coastal, and shallow.  The City’s Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) are based on riverine flooding and are delineated on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).  The Zones shown on the City’s FIRM subject to insurance implications and regulatory requirements are:

Map of Flood ZonesSpecial Flood Hazard Graphic

Key Words 

  • Special Flood Hazard Area – The area on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) which is subject to the Base Flood. These areas are shown as Zone ‘AE’ or the Regulatory Floodplain on the City’s FIRM maps.
  • Base Flood – The flood having a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.  Sometimes referred to as the “100-year Flood.”
  • Base Flood Elevation (BFE) – Height of the 1% annual chance (100-year) flood measured in feet above sea level.
  • Floodway – Stream channel and adjacent floodplain that must be reserved to carry the volume of water associated with a 1% annual chance flood without causing an increase in water height of more than 1 foot at any one point.
  • Zone AE – High risk flood zones known as the base floodplain where Base Flood Elevations are provided.
  • Zone X (shaded) – Area of moderate to low flood hazard, usually the area between the limits of the 100-year and 500-year (0.2% annual chance flood).
  • Zone X (unshaded) – Area of moderate to low flood hazard, usually depicted on FIRMs as above the 500-year flood level.  Zone X is the area determined to be outside the 500-year flood.

Find Your Flood Map

FEMA Flood Map Service Center   The official public source for flood hazard information in support of the NFIP.  Go here to access FIRMs and Flood Insurance Studies (FIS), Letters of Map Changes (LOMCs), and historic products.

    Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Tutorial – Learn how to use the FEMA Flood Map Service Center to find a FIRM and how to read it.

FEMA Tutorial_01 FEMA Tutorial_02 Opens in new window

FEMA’s National Flood Hazard Layer  FEMA’s nationwide geospatial database of all digital effective FIRM data including LOMC’s.  Integrates FIRM data including LOMCs in GIS format.

City of Murfreesboro GIS   The City’s public GIS integrates the current flood hazard data in its layer list.