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What Is a 100-Year Flood?

What is a 100-year floodplain and why does it matter? You may be surprised to learn its definition! Learn about 100-year floods and floodplain management.

A 100-year flood may sound like a new action-adventure movie from Hollywood, but it is, in fact, a real-life flood event that has a slightly misleading name. 100-year floods are strong, damaging events that often come with little to no warning.

Here, we will take a closer look at the 100-year flood, floodplain zones, and floodplain maps.

If you’ve experienced water damage to your property as a result of a flood and need emergency water damage restoration services, call your local Rainbow International now at (855) 724-6269.

100-Year Floods: What Is a 100-Year Flood and Why Does It Matter?

There are many misconceptions surrounding 100-year floods and 100-year floodplains. No, a 100-year flood doesn't mean a flood that lasts 100 years or a flood that comes exactly once every 100 years. It is a flood that has a 1-in-100 chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

It is a larger-than-average flood, so the damage to property in its path is significant. Environmental agencies, builders, and urban planners consider the 100-year flood when they set the bar that new developments and new construction within the floodplain will need to meet to withstand future floods.

What Is a 100-Year Floodplain?

The 100-year floodplain is considered a high-risk floodplain zone that surrounds the waterways producing the 100-year flood. It features flat, low-lying land near the water source (river, lake) that, during the 100-year flood event, is covered in floodwater.

It is one of three types of floodplains designated by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). The other two types are the floodway, which is a no-build zone that regularly fills with floodwater, and the 500-year floodplain, which is a moderate-to-low-risk zone with a 6% chance of flooding over a span of 30 years.

Why Is Floodplain Management Important?

FEMA has minimum standards for floodplains to help communities prepare for floods and mitigate risk for flood disasters. It includes requirements for zoning, building codes, and floodplain ordinances – all designed to facilitate safer, more resilient communities.

Flood maps help communities know where the greatest areas of flood risks are, so they can plan and prepare accordingly. By identifying high-risk zones like the 100-year floodplain, builders, developers, homeowners, and business owners can know which areas are safe for buildings and structures, and which areas should be avoided.

FEMA offers floodplain management tools and resources to help communities adhere to guidelines for floodplain management. From adopting strict ordinances for builders to encouraging property owners to elevate their homes, floodplain management helps people living in floodplain zones enjoy the safest communities possible.

Floodplains and Flood Insurance

A flood affects everyone in a community. Floodplain maps are used by private insurance providers and public programs like the National Flood Insurance Program to assess risk set flood insurance requirements and to inform zoning to reduce the impact of floods on municipalities and individuals.

Remember, it’s important that all property owners who operate or reside within a flood zone have proper flood insurance to protect their home and family.

Trust Rainbow for Water Damage Restoration Services After a Flood

Are you trying to decide what to do after your home or business has been impacted by a flood? Your local Rainbow International offers expert water damage restoration, including 24/7 emergency service.

When you call on Rainbow, you get IICRC-certified service professionals who use the latest tools and technologies to restore your property to pre-flood conditions. Request an appointment online or call us at (855) 724-6269 to get started today.

During a flood, you may not be able to control standing water near your home, but avoiding standing water year-round helps keep mosquitoes at bay. Keep mosquitoes at bay with water mitigation tips from our friends at Mosquito Joe. Mosquito Joe is a fellow member of the Neighborly® family of trusted home service brands.