Flood Protection Information

Community Rating System Program

Most homeowner insurance policies do not cover damages caused by flooding from storm events.  Properties that have been officially identified as being in floodplains are required by their mortgage lenders to have flood insurance. 

All affected property owners should consider obtaining flood insurance, which is available at reduced cost to affected City residents and businesses. Properties in the City of Decatur are eligible for a 15 percent discount on the typical cost of flood insurance by virtue of the City’s participation in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Community Rating System (CRS) program and having qualified as a Class 7 Community. Some restrictions established by FEMA exist regarding this discount and properties owners must verify eligibility through their insurance agent based on the configuration and elevation of the lowest floor of their structure.

The Design, Environment & Construction Division provides general floodplain information free of charge to City residents to assist them in determining if their properties are affected by floodplains. If needed for insurance or other purposes, a resident can obtain an official floodplain determination letter for a $10 fee.

More information is available on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website, www.fema.gov or at the National Flood Insurance Program website, www.floodsmart.gov. You may  also contact your mortgage lender, insurance company or the Design, Environment & Construction Division at (404) 370 -4104 for more specific information. 

New Floodplain Map

TThe City wide Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) which became effective on February 20, 2008 has been superseded through the Map Modernization Program for the State of Georgia as part of a Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP) agreement with FEMA, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and DeKalb County.  The revised Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) received final approval from FEMA in early 2013 and became effective on May 16, 2013, and received revisions to the FIS effective August 15, 2019.  The Map Modernization Program inventoried and analyzed the runoff generated with each of the City’s 4 drainage basins to current FEMA standards and criteria.  This information has developed new floodplain limits for the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), the 1-percent storm return frequency used by FEMA for all floodplain mapping.  The BFE floodplain limit means the flood has a one-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.  The revised FIRM mapping eliminates all previous studies and revisions approved by FEMA including the City’s LOMR effective February 20, 2008.  The new floodplain maps (see link below) can be used by individuals to view the extent of the floodplain’s impact on specific properties or within the City in general.

All elevation certificates produced or surveys conducted to establish the limits of the floodplain on specific parcels of land on or after August 15, 2019 must utilize the data and elevation information contained with the approved revised FIRM and FIS issued by FEMA.  Elevation Certificates must be prepared using the form effect at the time of preparation, see the FEMA website for information on the form to be utilized.  The Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) panel maps, Flood Insurance Study (FIS) profiles and flow rate data issued by FEMA on February 20, 2008 for the City’s LOMR have been superseded by the revised FIRM and FIS.  Please open and review the complete revised FIRM and FIS documents approved by FEMA to obtain general Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and any other data normally obtained from the superseded FIRM panels and FIS study.  Detailed BFE data must be obtained from the Design, Environment & Construction Division and has to be interpolated from the waterway Profiles found in the FIS, not from the FIRM panel maps.  Copies of this information can be obtained from the Design, Environment & Construction Division.  The cost of obtaining copies will be the cost of their reproduction.  Should you require additional information or clarification on the impact of the floodplain for any property within the City please contact the Design, Environment & Construction Division at (404) 370-4104 for assistance.

Elevation Certificates 

The Design, Environment & Construction Division also retains on file all Elevation Certificates for specific properties within the City that have processed a Floodplain Development permit, filed for Flood Insurance and provided the City with a copy of the Elevation Certificate that was filed within their insurance agent or coordinated Base Flood Elevation determination with the Design, Environment & Construction Division. These Elevation Certificates are available at the link below.

Decatur Receives FEMA Flood Grant 

April 2017 – The City of Decatur received a $349,875 federal grant to purchase a property on Willow Lane that flooded repeatedly.

November 2007 – The City of Decatur received a $1,239,962 federal grant to purchase four properties on Westchester Drive that was seven feet below base flood elevation and have been flooded many times.

Using these grants the houses on the properties were demolished and the land was left as greenspace. 

The 2007 grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA has invested $3,240,053.95 in projects to reduce residential flooding in Decatur and three other Georgia communities: Savannah, DeKalb County and Douglas County. Decatur’s grant was the largest of the four awarded.