Flood Zones Huntsville Alabama

Huntsville Alabama is an area that is rapidly growing and always having flood zones changed.

We hear from people in areas like Madison Alabama or Owens Cross Roads Alabama. Why I am in a flood zone I wasn't last year.

Before we give an explanation of that remember everyone is in a flood zone and we will discuss flood zones in Huntsville Alabama in just a minute.

There are a couple of reasons why you might be notified that your Huntsville property is now in a special flood hazard area.

  1. Bank change
  2. Map change

Its not uncommon for when your mortgage is sold that your new bank pulls information that maybe your old bank didn't have before. We see it with small and large banks in Alabama everyday.

Many times banks or mortgage companies use different 3rd parties to verify this information. We have even seen where a bank had the wrong flood zone for more than 7 years.

So what can you do to fight the bank on the flood insurance. Unfortunately these banks are federally regulated so there are only ways to get this removed. You could order a letter of determination review which can take about 45-60 days to get back and there is usually a small charge.

The 2nd option is to appeal the flood zone. This is done through the letter of map amendment process. While it may not be required getting an elevation certificate is usually the best route here.

You can order one by clicking here.

This will tell you the different elevations of your property compared to the base flood elevation. FEMA looks at this to decide if you qualify for this letter of map amendment. You can also contact us to do a deeper review of this. This process still takes 30-60 days to get approved in the Huntsville Alabama area.

Now lets look at that 2nd reason why you might have been notified your property is in the special flood hazard area.

FEMA is always working with Huntsville Alabama communities on updating flood zones. When these zones have been agreed on by FEMA and the communities then flood zones are updated.

This process is called newly mapped areas. These are areas of Huntsville that go from a low risk area to a high risk area. The National Flood Insurance Program offers special rates to Huntsville residents for 12 months after this happens.

Now that we have discussed a few reasons why this might happen lets look at these flood zones.

                               Flood Zones in Huntsville Alabama

There are three flood zones in the Huntsville Alabama area that we want to discuss.

  1. Flood zone X
  2. Flood Zone A
  3. Flood Zone AE

Lets discuss flood zone x and the Huntsville Alabama area. The majority of the area falls within flood zone x. This is considered to be a minimal risk zone.

 

So is flood insurance required in flood zone x in Huntsville Alabama?

While it's not required it is recommended. If a property is in a flood zone x the bank is generally not going to require it unless maybe the property has flooded before.

So can these areas of Huntsville still flood?

Yes that is why it is recommended to buy flood insurance in Huntsville Alabama. These areas usually have the best rates on flood insurance because they are in preferred flood zones.

The residents of Muscle Shoals Alabama learned this lesson the hard way in 2019. Nathans Estates in Muscle Shoals Alabama was completely under water in early 2019 and it was in a flood zone.

So then what flood zones in Huntsville Alabama do require flood insurance?

The next two zones fall within the special flood hazard area. These are the areas that are at high risk of flooding according to FEMA and where banks will require flood insurance.

The first one is flood zone A.

So what is flood zone A?

 

Flood zone a is an area that falls within the 1% chance of flooding. Flood zone A many times has not had flood insurance study report done. This means it may not have a base flood elevation.

The video below explains flood zone A a little bit better.

 

The base flood elevation is the area FEMA thinks flood waters could come up to.

The other flood zone in the Huntsville Alabama area is flood zone AE

So what is flood zone AE?

 

Like flood zone A flood zone AE is also part of the special flood hazard area. The big difference here is that AE generally has a base flood elevation to compare the risk to. 

So the three main flood zones to Know in Huntsville Alabama are flood zone X, flood zone A, and Flood Zone AE.

If you want to check your flood zone you can click here.

If you have further questions about flood zones or flood insurance options in Huntsville Alabama then click here. We will be happy to review these with you.

You can also checkout our daily flood education videos on our YouTube channel or even check out our podcast.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation. These means we are here to help understand your flood risks, flood insurance, and mitigating your property long term.

 

Contact Us

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

It has been almost 5 wonderful years since my wife and I adopted our beautiful daughter Lydia. This kid sure loves life as you can see below.

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I wish my mom had lived to see her be born. For many years my mom watched our struggles as we tried to have children and when the day came she wasn't here to see it.

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As parents we all want what's best for our children. We want to get them on the best sports teams, we want them to have the best teacher, and we want them in the best schools. Most importantly we want them to be happy even if that means we aren't in the drivers seat.

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I know this story probably better than anybody. Growing up with a learning disability I watched my parents fight for me to have the best schools and resources.

Recently we were looking for homes in a certain area where the city, county, and school each charge their own tax. It made living in this particular area very expensive but the schools were also very good. I also think this tax may have also kept the enrollment level at the school at a manageable area.

Human hands holding model of dream house

These are some of the challenges good school systems face. You have an influx of people who move to an area to get their kids into a certain school system. This exact thing is happening in Franklin Tennessee and Madison Alabama.

Challenges written on desert road

It's also the same thing that happened in Shelby county Alabama the last 20 years. Shelby county was one of the fastest growing counties in the country for a long time. Maybe it should not be any surprise that Pelham, Helena, and Alabaster all struggle with flood prone areas.

Some areas are trying to find a way to manage this growth.

Madison Alabama has even looked at charging a one time fee for buying home in a certain area to help slow down some of the growth.

As we mentioned before when you have great schools in an area you have a lot of people that want to move to that area and many times that means building new housing to support that.

It's not unusual to drive through parts of Madison Alabama and Franklin Tennessee and see 6 different builders with signs on a corner.

So are these school systems and our best intentions as parents causing flooding?

Detail of a modern academic building

As crazy as it seems this could be one of the major factors in the increase of flooding in some of these areas. In a natural setting 90% of rainfall is consumed by the soil. However when this area is developed 90% of that rainfall now becomes runoff.

It has been proven that land development is a leading factor in flood maps changing and the risk of flooding increasing.

So you may ask why is my area getting flooded more often or more flood warnings at least?

Well this massive growth in these school systems can lead to quick land development leaving limited space for the water to go.

So what can you do to protect yourself?

Well it takes FEMA a while to catch up on doing flood insurance study reports. I mean some flood maps across the country were just updated for the first time in 50 years.

Even if your property is listed in a minimal risk zone or a flood zone x it is recommended that you carry flood insurance.

 

Almost 30% of flooding occurs in these areas and even regular flooding. Just ask the residents of Nathans Estates in Muscle Shoals Alabama who found their homes under water in 2019.

Want to find out where to obtain coverage and what the best coverage is for you?

Click here

To find more information on flood insurance you can also visit our website. You can also check out our YouTube channel where we do daily flood education videos.

 

Contact Us

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com