City of Knoxville
Stormwater Engineering Division
The Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) operates the National
Flood Insurance Program for communities to establish floodplains
and qualify for reduced flood insurance rates. The City of Knoxville
(Community 475434) has been a participant in this FEMA program since
1971. The primary requirement is to identify and protect floodplains
in order to reduce severe flooding.
For more information, see FEMA webpages entitled:
Are You Protected From The Next Disaster
& Claim Statistics for Flood Insurance
Map Service Center
Also see FloodSmart.gov
- An Official Site of the National Flood Insurance Program webpages
& Coverage Information
Insurance: Types of Policies
of Flood Insurance
Your Flood Risk
for Handling Your Flood Insurance Claim
The current ordinance for floodplain management (Chapter 12 of the
City Code - Flood Damage Prevention and Control Ordinance) has been
in effect since 1990 and is available as part of Appendix B of the
Land Development Manual.
This ordinance is a revised version of the earlier floodplain regulations
within the City Code of 1962. Commonly used terms (such as floodplain
and floodway) are illustrated in Chapter 11 of the Land Development
Manual. The City of Knoxville defines the regulatory floodway as the
500-year floodway, which is stricter than the national FEMA requirement
of a 100-year floodway.
There are nearly 400 communities from Tennessee that participate
in the NFIP, including the neighboring entities of Farragut (Community
470387) and Knox County (Community 475433). FEMA guidelines strictly
regulate any form of construction or development within a regulatory
floodplain. A developer must demonstrate that there are no impacts
to the flood water surface elevations, using FEMA application forms
and analysis requirements as shown on the FEMA website. For this reason,
it is very difficult and costly to develop within or near a floodplain.
In addition to FEMA requirements, any proposed work within a stream
typically requires permits from TDEC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
For a general understanding of how buffer zones and no-fill areas
relate to FEMA flood boundaries, click
here to view a Floodplain Cross-Sectional Diagram.
Each participating NFIP community is rated on a scale from 10 (no
flood insurance discount) down to 1 (45% flood insurance discount).
Nationwide, there are less than 1000 communities that qualify for
an insurance discount, as shown on FEMA's
Community Rating System webpage. Currently the City of Knoxville
is a Class 8 (10% discount rate) community.
TVA prepared and submitted an updated Flood Insurance Study for the
City of Knoxville to FEMA for review and approval. FEMA has approved
this study and the updated maps and profiles will become effective
on August 5, 2013. The newer TVA study included updated HEC-RAS water
surface profiles and digital mapping has been integrated into KGIS,
the geographic information system jointly funded by the City of Knoxville,
Knox County, and the Knoxville Utilities Board.
FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP PROFILES
The Flood Insurance profiles can be viewed using the following links:
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY-Table of Contents for Volumes 1 through 4
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY- Volume 1 of 4
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY - Volume 2 of 4
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY - Volume 3 of 4
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY - Volume 4 of 4
Flood insurance information can be viewed online and/or purchased
inexpensively through the FEMA
Map Service Center or viewed at the offices of the Stormwater
Engineering Division (Suite 480 in the City County Building). From
the map center web page clicking on the What
is a FIRMette? link will route the user to informatiion accessing
FIRMettes either via the web or via a desktop application. Additionally
on this page, there are tutorials and user guides available.