FEMA Preliminary Flood Insurance Maps
 View FEMA Preliminary Flood Hazard Maps for the City of Des Moines

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued new preliminary
Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) for Polk County on June 17th, 2015, and for
Warren County on June 22, 2015.  The City of Des Moines has posted the
preliminary FIRMs on this page for viewing. 

Letter of Map Amendment – Out As Shown

Often when new Flood Insurance Rate Maps are issued for communities lending institutions will perform a review of the outstanding mortgages within that community to determine if any properties are located in Special Flood Hazard Area (i.e. 100-year floodplain).  Lending institutions are required by the Flood Disaster Protection Act (originally passed by Congress in 1973) to mandate property owners purchase flood insurance if the structure that is used as collateral for the mortgage is located within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
Lending institutions typically hire a flood zone determination company to review the new floodplain maps and make a determination on whether the structure is located in the SFHA.  To make such determinations these companies often utilize software programs that compare the new FEMA flood maps against parcel data.  Occasionally, the company will perform a determination and indicate the property is located in the new SFHA without reviewing the new maps to determine if the structure itself is located in the SFHA.   In some instances the new SFHA will be located on the property but does not encompass the structure. 

In these situations, property owners can apply for Letter of Map Amendment – Out as Shown with FEMA to remove the mandatory purchase requirement of flood insurance.  However, the new maps must clearly show the structure to be located outside of the SFHA. 

The Iowa DNR has provided additional information and specific instructions to assist property owners in applying for a Letter of Map Amendment – Out as Shown. 

CLICK HERE for more information