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Map of Fresh Pond Flood Plain

FEMA Flood Maps

Public Works

Floodplain Information


As part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) nationwide Map Modernization Program, the City of Cambridge is required to make Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) available to property owners as a resource in determining if they are required to carry flood insurance on their property. These maps were most recently updated in June of 2010. 

These maps indicate whether properties are in areas of high, moderate or low flood risk. Property owners who have a federally backed mortgage, or plan to refinance with a federally backed lender, are required to purchase flood insurance if their home is shown in a high-risk flood area known as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) on the DFIRMs. The SFHA is the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year, and shown on the FIRM as “AE”. If you do not have a mortgage, FEMA still recommends that you purchase flood insurance, but you are not obliged to do so. Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not provide coverage for damage due to flooding.

Areas outside of the SFHA shown on the FIRM as “X” are not required to purchase flood insurance. The Zone X area is the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 0.2% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. While flood insurance in these areas is optional, maintaining coverage is recommended by FEMA as the flood risk has only been reduced, not removed. Lower cost flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is available in low- to moderate-risk areas and you may also qualify for the even lower cost Preferred Risk Policy (PRP). Residents are encouraged to contact their insurance agent or visit FloodSmart.Gov to learn more about how and where to get a policy.

To determine if your property is located within the SFHA (100-year floodplain) please go to the City of Cambridge Interactive Floodplain Map and click on your property. If you have difficulty locating your property please call 617-349-4800 and we will be able to help locate your property.

FEMA Flood Plain Map

FEMA Legend

Additional Flood Resources

Residents are encouraged to visit www.floodsmart.gov to learn more about the risks of flooding, why flood insurance is needed, how to buy a policy and more. To learn more about National Flood Insurance Reform, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance-reform or visit https://www.mass.gov/guides/floodplain-management to learn about the state's Flood Hazard Management Program.

Current River Elevations: a river gauge monitors water surface elevation of a river, brook, or other source of water.  An active river gauge can help determine the extent of flooding when an extreme event is occurring. Following are links to the gauges that monitor the Charles River and the Alewife Brook in Cambridge.

Just because your property isn't officially location in a SFHA on these maps, does not mean it isn't subject to flooding. Please visit https://www.cambridgema.gov/services/floodmap to view an interactive map of Cambridge that uses modeling based on climate change assessments.

Page was last modified on 7/24/2023 8:10 PM
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