Floodplain Information

FEMA FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAPS EFFECTIVE June 4, 2010 

Towns throughout Middlesex County, including Cambridge, received updated flood hazard maps as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) nationwide Map Modernization Program.

Flood hazard maps, also known as Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs), indicate whether properties are in areas of high, moderate or low flood risk. When maps are updated, many property owners may find that their risk is higher or lower than they thought. If the risk level for a property changes, so may the requirement to carry flood insurance.

Those 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.

If you feel there has been an error, you can file a Letter of Map Amendment

If you were unable to file an appeal or protest and believe that your property has been included in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) in error, then FEMA has established administrative procedures to change the designation for these properties on the effective FIRM. These processes are referred to as the Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) process and the Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill, or LOMR-F, process. Through these processes, an individual who owns, rents, or leases property may submit certain mapping and survey information to FEMA and request that FEMA issue a document that officially removes a property and/or structure from the SFHA. In most cases, the applicant will need to hire a Licensed Land Surveyor or Registered Professional Engineer to prepare an Elevation Certificate for the property. Upon receiving a complete application forms package, FEMA will normally complete its review and issue its determination in 4 to 6 weeks. You can call the FEMA Map Assistance Center at 1-877-336-2627 for questions and assistance.

Here’s where to go for more information

FEMA Disaster Information
FEMA Map Service Center
FEMA Region 1 (New England)
National Flood Insurance Program
Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Flood Hazard Management Program
Flood Insurance and Flood Map Fact Sheet
Answers to Tough Questions
Personal Property Coverage Fact Sheet
Saving on Flood Insurance - Information on Grandfathering Rule
Your Homeowners Insurance Doesn’t Cover Floods....
Renter's and Homeowner's Guide to Flooding

Flood Insurance Study (FIS) for Middlesex County, effective June 4, 2010

Middlesex County FIS Volume 1 of 8
Middlesex County FIS Volume 2 of 8
Middlesex County FIS Volume 3 of 8
Middlesex County FIS Volume 4 of 8
Middlesex County FIS Volume 5 of 8
Middlesex County FIS Volume 6 of 8
Middlesex County FIS Volume 7 of 8
Middlesex County FIS Volume 8 of 8


Flood Insurance Rate Maps (Cambridge maps only) effective June 4, 2010 

Middlesex County Map Index Sheet 1 of 2 and
Middlesex County Index Sheet 2 of 2
1. Map Number 25017C0418E: Includes a small area in Cambridge bordering with the Town of Belmont and includes portions of the following neighborhoods: Cambridge Highlands and Strawberry Hill.
2.  Map Number 25017C0419E: Includes an area bordering with the Town of Arlington and City of Somerville and includes portions of the following neighborhoods: North Cambridge, Cambridge Highlands, Strawberry Hill, Neighborhood 9 and Neighborhood 10.
3.  Map Number 25017C0438E: Includes an area bordering with the City of Somerville and includes portions of the following neighborhoods: North Cambridge, Neighborhood 9, Agassiz and Mid Cambridge.
4. Map Number 25017C0557E: Includes an area bordering with the Town of Watertown and the Charles River and includes portions of Neighborhood 10.
5.  Map Number 25017C0576E: Includes an area bordering with the Charles River and includes portions of the following neighborhoods: Neighborhood 10, Mid-Cambridge, Cambridgeport, Area IV, Wellington Harrington and MIT/Area 2.
6.  Map Number 25017C0577E: Includes an area bordering with the Charles River and Cities of Somerville and Boston and includes portions of the following neighborhoods: MIT/Area 2, East Cambridge, Area IV and Wellington Harrington.

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