Flood Plain Maps and Flood Insurance

Flood Insurance/FEMA Information

Floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States, yet only a small fraction of homes are protected against the cost of flooding with flood insurance. Contact your insurance agent for information about flood insurance coverage for your home, apartment, or business.

Flood insurance information can be accessed online at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website, http://www.floodsmart.gov, or by contacting the Planning Services Department at 563-589-4210 or by email.
Flood Map Information
The City received updated flood maps dated October 18, 2011 and August 19, 2013. These maps are used to identify areas of special flood hazard (commonly referred to as the 100-year floodplain). These maps are used by the City to assess the risk of flooding to a property and identify where floodplain development standards are required. They also are used by insurance companies to establish rates for flood insurance.

To view these maps click here to access the FEMA Flood Map Center where you can insert your address and download/view a map of your property. 
Letter of Map Amendment - Out as Shown (LOMA-OAS)
FEMA has a relatively new process for a written determination where a property has a designated floodplain on it, but where the structure itself is outside the floodplain. These are called Letter of Map Amendments – Out As Shown (LOMA-OAS).

With the new maps, the City has identified over 200 properties that would qualify for this determination. The LOMA-OAS will help these property owners avoid the more costly flood insurance premiums.

The City will assist each property owner with the process to apply for a LOMA-OAS and prepare necessary documentation at no charge.  FEMA will provide a determination to both the property owner and the City Floodplain Administrator within 60-90 days of receiving a property owner’s application.  To date, the Planning Services Department has assisted 60 property owners with this process.

Contact the Planning Services Department at 563-589-4210 or e-mail if you have questions regarding the FEMA mapping project, a LOMA-OAS, or any flood plain issues in general.

City of Dubuque Flood Plain Development Regulations

The Planning Services Department acts on behalf of the City of Dubuque as the Floodplain Administrator.  The State of Iowa grants these Floodplain Administrators the police powers to adopt, administer, and enforce local codes and regulations.  The Floodplain Administrator is responsible for ensuring that development activities comply with the floodplain management regulations and other applicable codes and ordinances.

The City of Dubuque has adopted a local Flood Hazard Overlay District.  The provisions of the Flood Hazard Overlay Districts are intended to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare and to minimize the extent of floods and the losses incurred in flood hazard areas. 

Download the City of Dubuque Flood Hazard Overlay District Regulations.

Flood Plain Development Permit

A Flood Plain Development Permit is required for all development in the Special Flood Hazard Area (designated flood plains) shown on the FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map).  The permit is reviewed by the City's Floodplain Administrator to ensure that development activities within Special Flood Hazard Areas are done in compliance with the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program. 

Developments are defines as "any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment or materials.

Download an application for a Flood Plain Development Permit.

Flood Plain  Permit application form 11_10_Page_1

Elevation Certificate

An Elevation Certificate is an important administrative tool of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  It is used to provide elevation information to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinance, to determine the property insurance premium rate and to support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision based on fill (LOMR-F).  Elevation Certificates are completed by a licensed land surveyor, engineer, or architect who is authorized by law to certify elevation information.

Download the National Flood Insurance Program's Elevation Certificate and Instructions. 

Floodproofing Certificate

A Floodproofing Certificate is documentation of certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the design and methods of construction of a nonresidential building are in accordance with accepted practices for meeting the floodproofing requirements in the community''s floodplain management ordinance. This documentation is required for both floodplain management requirements and insurance rating purposes.

For insurance rating purposes, a building''s floodproofed design elevation must be at least one foot above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) to receive full rating credit for the floodproofing. If the building is floodproofed only to the BFE, the flood insurance rates will be considerably higher.

Download the National Flood Insurance Program's Floodproofing Certificate for Non-Residential Structures.