Flood Maps

Allegany County Flood Maps Now Effective Posted 4/29/2020

New Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood maps became effective on April 3, 2020, for Allegany County, Maryland.  Residents are encouraged to examine the maps online at https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home, to determine if their property is in a low to moderate, or high-risk flood zone. 

By understanding flood risks, individuals can decide which insurance option is best for their situation.  Community leaders can use these maps to make informed decisions about building standards and development that will make the community more resilient and lessen the impacts of a flooding event.

Flooding is the #1 natural disaster in the United States and most homeowner’s insurance policies may not cover the effects of flooding. All property owners are encouraged to purchase flood insurance because more than 25% of flood damages occur outside the Special Flood Hazard Area.

Anyone without flood insurance risks uninsured losses to their home, personal property and business. Flood insurance is available either through a private policy or through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for those in communities who participate in the NFIP.  Residents with federally backed mortgages must have flood insurance if the structures are in the Special Flood Hazard Area. 

Contact your local floodplain manager, Amy Stonebreaker, via telephone, 301-876-9544, or email, astonebreaker@alleganygov.org, in order to review the new flood maps and learn more about your risk of flooding.  

FEMA Map Specialists are also available to answer questions about the maps. 

Purchasing a flood insurance policy now may save you money.  There are cost saving options available for those newly mapped into a high-risk flood zone. L

Historical Background


This website provides information on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as well as an overview of the flood hazard mapping process underway in Allegany County, Maryland. The County’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are being revised using the latest technologies and the most current data so residents, homeowners, business owners, and community officials may understand the local flood risk and keep people and property safe from floods.

What is the NFIP?

Congress established the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) due to escalating costs to taxpayers for flood disaster relief. The NFIP is based on the agreement that if a community practices sound floodplain management, the Federal Government will make flood insurance available to residents in that community. FEMA maps include the Special Flood Hazard Area, which is the area that has a 1% or greater chance of flooding in any given year. Development may take place within the Special Flood Hazard Area provided that it complies with local floodplain ordinances that meet NFIP criteria.

What is a FIRM?

When FEMA maps flood hazards in a community or county, two products are produced – a Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report and a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). An FIS is a narrative report of the community’s flood hazards that contains prior flooding information, descriptions of the flooding sources, information on flood protection measures, and a description of the hydrologic and hydraulic methods used in the study. A FIRM illustrates the extent of flood hazards in a community by depicting flood risk zones and the Special Flood Hazard Area, and is used with the FIS report to determine the floodplain development regulations that apply in each flood risk zone and who must buy flood insurance. FIRMs also depict other information including Base (1% annual chance) Flood Elevations (BFEs) or flood depths, floodways, and common physical features such as roads.

Why Are the Maps Being Updated?

The most significant change is that the new maps will have an updated photographic base map that will improve the accuracy of floodplain determinations compared to the prior vector street map. With this update we have produced a Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map that will be compatible with GIS (Geographic Information Systems). The improvements in spatial accuracy provided by the new base map, and the availability of electronic floodplain information should greatly enhance the ability to use the maps for planning, permitting, and insurance applications. The digital files will be available when these maps become effective.

Adoption Process in Brief

DFIRM Adoption Process_In Brief


FEMA Letters of Final Determination

(Posted 10/7/2019)

PUBLIC NOTICE - Chapter 325 Floodplain Management comprehensive Revision

Pursuant to Section 5-803 of the Environment Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, Notice is hereby given that the Board of County Commissioners of Allegany County will be accepting testimony on a Comprehensive Revision of Chapter 325 Floodplain Management at a public hearing on Thursday, January 16, 2020, at 5:00 P.M.  The Planning Commission of Allegany County made recommendation on November 20, 2019, that text be amended in County Code Chapter 325, to maintain compliance with minimum standards of the National Flood Insurance Program.

The hearing will take place in Room 100 of the County Office Building, located at 701 Kelly Road, Cumberland MD.  Interested parties are welcome to attend and may view the proposed Chapter 325 Floodplain Management at the County Web Page at alleganygov.org or by contacting Mrs. Angela Patterson, Director of Planning and Growth, at 301-876-9509 or apatterson@alleganygov.org.

Board of County Commissioners of Allegany County, Mr. Brandon S. Butler, County Administrator

Proposed CHR Bill 3-19 Chapter 325 Floodplain Management Comprehensive Revision Dec 30, 2019

Floodplain Management Regulations Recommended by Allegany County Planning Commission Nov 20, 2019

Noteworthy Changes to Allegany County’s Floodplain Management Regulations