A floodplain is a land area that will flood in a storm event that has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year. Floodplains are designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and cover parts of Cary, particularly along the Fox River, Cary Creek, and behind Lions Park.
The floodplain is composed of a floodway and a flood fringe. The floodway is typically determined to be the channel of a river or stream and the overbank areas adjacent to the channel. The flood fringe is the area to either side of the floodway that is subject to flooding, but conveys little or no flow. Most often, this community experiences flash flooding, which is less predictable than river flooding. There is little time to prepare for a flash flood, so pre-planning is essential for safety and home protection.
In support of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has undertaken an effort of flood hazard identification and mapping to produce Flood Hazard Boundary Maps, Flood Insurance Rate Maps, and Flood Boundary and Floodway Maps.
What do these Flood Insurance Rate Maps show?
Effective November 16, 2006, the Village utilizes the Flood Insurance Rate Maps prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for McHenry County. These maps can be used to provide a preliminary determination regarding whether or not a property is subject to special construction and/or insurance standards.
Several areas of flood hazards are commonly identified on these maps. One of the areas commonly identified is the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), which is defined as an area of land that would be inundated by a flood having a 1% chance of occurring in any given year (previously referred to as the base flood or 100-year flood). The 1% annual chance standard was chosen after considering various alternatives. The standard constitutes a reasonable compromise between the need for building restrictions to minimize potential loss of life and property and the economic benefits to be derived from floodplain development.
The FEMA website includes an Information For Homeowners page which details information directly relating to home ownership, including obtaining assistance from a map specialist, map change processes for homeowners, how to obtain and view flood maps, and even their own list of Frequently Asked Questions.
If you would like further information, you are encouraged to contact the Village or review the Flood Control Regulations which are found in Section 15.40 of the Cary Municipal Code.