To request any of the documents referenced on this page, please contact Jim Williams.
Floodplain Administrator: Jim Williams CFM
120 Malabar Road SE Palm Bay, FL 32907
Phone: (321) 733-3042
The Floodplain administrator and Community Rating System (CRS) coordinator for FEMA flood Insurance is located in the Growth Management Department at the City Hall Annex building, 120 Malabar Rd. Currently Palm Bay has a CRS Rating of 7 which equates to a 15% reduction in FEMA Flood Insurance for the residents of Palm Bay. This office maintains copies of all floodplain permits with FEMA Elevation Certificates issued since 1993. Copies of all Letter of Map Amendments and Revisions (LOMA/ LOMR) from FEMA are also available.
For flood insurance questions, flood zone determinations, Base Flood Elevations, Elevation Certificates, Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) applications and floodplain permits please contact the Floodplain Administrator at (321) 733-3042.
Floodplain Permit Procedure and Ordinances
FEMA Elevation Certificate - NOTE: The current version of the EC has an expiration date of November 30, 2018, and the revised version is pending approval. This webpage will be updated with the revised version once approved. The current version of the EC can be used until further notice.
FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and City Determined BFE Map
You can find Flood Zone, FEMA Base Flood Elevations (BFE), FEMA LOMA/LOMRs and more on the FEMA Digital Flood Insurance Map (DFIRM).
Click on one of these links:
Here in Palm Bay approximately 2000 structures and over 5000 residential lots were removed from the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) on the new March 17, 2014 FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). This Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) replaces the paper maps done in 1989. These home owners now qualify for a “Preferred Risk Policy” if they choose; flood insurance for these properties is no longer mandatory for a federally insured mortgage.
NFIP Transformation and Risk Rating 2.0
FEMA is focused on building a culture of preparedness by closing the insurance gap. Recognizing that purchasing flood insurance can be confusing and time-consuming, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is redesigning its risk rating plan to improve the policyholder experience. We are committed to a NFIP that people value and trust; that is fair, understandable, and less complex to navigate.
Risk Rating 2.0 aims to accomplish this by leveraging industry best practices and current technology to deliver rates that are fair, easy to understand, and better reflect a property’s unique flood risk. FEMA - Risk Rating 2.0
Risk Rating 2.0 will fundamentally change the way FEMA rates a property’s flood risk and prices insurance. The current rating methodology has not changed since the 1970s. But since then, technology has evolved and so has FEMA’s understanding of flood risk. Currently, FEMA develops rates based predominantly on Flood Insurance Rate Map zone and Base Flood Elevation. With Risk Rating 2.0, FEMA is pairing state-of-the-art industry technology with the NFIP’s mapping data to establish a more comprehensive understanding of risk at both the community and individual level. FEMA - NFIP Transformation and Risk Rating 2.0
The new Risk MAP program discusses what the program can mean to communities. The Risk Map is intended for a variety of audiences, including state and community officials; homeowners, renters and business owners; real estate, lending, insurance professionals; engineers, surveyors and architects. FEMA - Risk Map
General Local Flood Zone Information
Historically, even during major storm events, there has been little structural flood damage in Palm Bay. We have the Indian River Lagoon on our eastern boundary and the St. Johns River and Marsh to the west that poses flood hazards during severe rain events. The City is working continuously to minimize flood risks to you and your property. We want to make you aware of flood hazards and what can be done to minimize these conditions. Our staff of Professional Engineers, Floodplain Manager, and drainage experts has received special training that makes them a resource for you. They can help inspect your property to identify potential weaknesses that increase your risk of damage, and they can provide recommendations on things that can be done.
Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. Why? The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded. Whether you are driving or walking, if you come to a flooded road, Turn Around Don't Drown. You will not know the depth of the water nor will you know the condition of the road under the water.
Useful Links to Flood Insurance, Flood Zone Facts, and Emergency Information
USGS River Gage Stations – Real Time River Gage Data
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) provides on-line access to river gauge stations along the St. Johns River, Turkey Creek, North Prong St. Sebastian River and Canal 54. These sites provide real-time data on river levels and flow rates, as well as historical data, to allow users to make informed decisions on flooding threats at any given time.
Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) / Letter of Map Revisions Based on Fill (LOMR-F)
A floodplain permit requirement is that all new structures and projects in the Special Flood Hazard Area submit a LOMA or LOMR-F application as a condition for the Certificate of Occupancy (CO).
Structures that are elevated above the base flood elevation are eligible for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision - based on - Fill (LOMR-F) to have the structure removed from the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and the requirement to carry flood insurance. An Mt-1 application from FEMA must be submitted for a Letter of Map Revision. Application fees vary upon circumstances, information is provided at fema.gov or you can contact the Land Development Division’s Jim Williams CFM at (321) 733-3042. This office will provide the necessary documents to accompany the elevation certificate to complete the application. We now file LOMA and LOMR-F applications to FEMA on line, there is no charge for this service, and you just need an Elevation Certificate done by a Registered Land Surveyor. Elevation Certificates are on file at the city for homes that were built after 1993 that were required to have a Floodplain Permit.
Presently for a Letter of Map Revision based on Fill (LOMR-F) application, FEMA charges a $425 one time application fee. For a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) application, where a structure has just been built on a simple house pad of the natural grade, there is no application fee. With an approved LOMR or LOMR-F, Flood insurance is not mandatory for a federally insured mortgage; the home owner qualifies for a “Preferred Risk” flood insurance policy, if they choose. Subdivisions and other projects have a fee schedule available online.
FEMA Mandatory Purchase of Flood Insurance
NFIP:This community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance available for all buildings, whether they are in a floodplain or not. Flood insurance covers direct losses caused by surface flooding, including a river flowing over its banks, a lake or ocean storm, and local drainage problems.
The NFIP insures buildings, including mobile homes, with two types of coverage: structural and contents. Structural coverage is for the walls, floors, insulation, furnace, and other items permanently attached to the structure. Contents coverage may be purchased separately provided the contents are in an insurable building.
MANDATORY PURCHASE REQUIREMENT: The mandatory purchase requirement applies to all forms of federal or federally elated financial assistance for buildings located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). This requirement affects loans and grants for the purchase, construction, repair, or improvement of any publicly or privately owned buildings in the SFHA, including machinery, equipment, fixtures, and furnishing contained in such buildings.
Financial assistance programs affected include loans and grants from agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs. Farmers Home Administration, Federal Housing Administration, Small Business Administration, and Federal Emergency Management Agency. The requirement also applies to secured mortgage loans from financial institutions, such as commercial lenders, savings and loan associations, savings banks, and credit unions that are regulated, supervised or insured by Federal agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of Thrift Supervisions. It also applies to all mortgage loans purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in the secondary mortgage market.
HOW IT WORKS: Before a person can receive a loan or other financial assistance from one of the affected agencies or lenders, there must be a check to see if the building is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The SFHA is the base (100-year) floodplain mapped on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). It is shown as one or more zones that begin with the letter "A" or "V".
Copies of the FIRM are available for review in most local government buildings or planning departments. Many lenders and insurance agents also have copies. It is the agency's or the lender's responsibility to check the FIRM to determine if the building is in an SFHA, although many communities provide assistance.
If the building is in an SFHA, the agency or lender is required by law to require the recipient to purchase a flood insurance policy on the building. The requirement is for structural coverage equal to the amount of the loan (or other financial assistance) or the maximum amount available, whichever is less. The maximum amount available for a single-family house is $250.00.
The mandatory purchase requirement does not affect loans or financial assistance for items that are not covered by a flood insurance policy, such as vehicles, business expenses, landscaping, and vacant lots. It does not affect loans for buildings that are not in the SFHA, even though a portion of the lot may be flood prone. While not mandated by law, a lender may require a flood insurance policy as a condition of a loan for a property in any zone on a Flood Insurance Rate Map.
FEMA Flood Insurance Cancellation/Nullification and Refund Policy
The new FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for all of Brevard County was activated on March 17, 2014. Here in Palm Bay over 2000 structures were removed from the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and the requirement to carry flood insurance for a federally insured mortgage. Many of these home owners opted not to carry flood insurance and were able to get a full refund of the previous year’s flood insurance premium (reference #9 of the Cancellation/Nullification Policy). Another option is these properties are now qualified for a “Preferred Risk Policy” (PRP) which has the same coverage as a standard policy but at a reduced rate.
The refund also applies to a property owner who applies for and gets an approved LOMA or LOMR-F. FEMA will go back 12 months from the date on the LOMA and refund that premium in full (reference #19 of the Cancellation/Nullification Policy). The Cancellation/Nullification Policy and Form [PDF]can be viewed for further cancellation and refund information.
Please check with your insurance agent for more detailed information or contact Jim Williams CFM, Floodplain Administrator, City of Palm Bay, at (321) 733-3042 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.