The original FIRMs dated back to 1972, when
the county was first accepted into the National Flood
The update process resulted in changes
to the flood risk zones for some properties. The county is
notifying all affected households of the changes
by mail, and a meeting
was held May 9, 2011 to
provide an opportunity for discussion.
The DFIRMs will help local officials and
residents identify currently known flood risks. When
finalized, the maps will be used for flood insurance, land
use planning and development decisions. They will be
easier for users to access, and easier for FEMA to update.
Definition and Purpose
Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are
the official maps on which FEMA has delineated special
flood hazard areas and risk zones. They show the location
of a property relative to special flood hazard areas,
which is one of the factors determining flood insurance
rates. More information on FIRMs is available at
FIRMs are used by:
- Citizens, insurance agents and real
estate brokers to locate properties and buildings in
flood insurance risk areas.
- Planning staff and building officials
to administer floodplain management regulations and to
mitigate flood damage.
- Lending institutions and federal
agencies to locate properties and buildings in relation
to mapped flood hazards, and to determine if flood
insurance is required when making loans for the purchase
or construction of a building or for providing grants
following a disaster.
Until recently, these maps have been
available in paper form at cities and counties, and online
FEMA. The maps are now digitized, with updated
boundaries in some areas. They will be easier for users to
access and navigate.
The new maps are a GIS (Geographical
Information System) database of flood hazard information
which will align with the county’s existing GIS databases
for other property and development-related information.
Changes to the maps include:
- Revised floodplain boundaries based
on current topographic data for the County.
- Revised base flood elevations (BFEs)
for a small portion of the Deschutes River. See
map panel 53067C0315E.
- Revisions were also made to: city
limits; road networks (including revised road names);
streams and lakes, including names; and building
The changes may affect mortgage loan
requirements and flood insurance rates for those
properties in areas proposed for adjustment. Please see
FEMA summary on how map changes can affect flood
Thurston County partnered with FEMA to
hold an Open House style meeting May 9th at the New Market
Skills Center from 6:30 - 9:00 pm.