Flood Zones

Commonweath of Virginia Storm Surge Inundation Maps

Mathews County (The Pearl of the Chesapeake) is a coastal community on the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia. Being a coastal community, Mathews County is vulnerable to flooding and coastal storms (including nor’easters and hurricanes).

General Facts & Information

  • Flood or flooding is a temporary inundation of normally dry land.
  • Approximately 30% of Mathews County lies within a flood zone.
  • A flood zone is designated as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) by FEMA, and has a 1% chance of flooding annually.
  • The SFHAs or flood zones are shown on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).
  • The current FIRMs (flood maps) for Mathews County have an effective date of December 9, 2014 and are based on the 1988 NAVD.

Flood Zone Descriptions

The following flood zones are located within Mathews County: A; AE; Coastal A and VE

  • Un-shaded X - Area of minimal flood hazard
  • Shaded X - Area with 0.2% chance of flooding annually
  • A - 1% chance of flooding annually (no base flood elevation (BFE))
  • AE - 1% chance of flooding annually with BFE
  • Coastal A - 1% chance of flooding annually with BFE and wave heights of 1.5 to 3 feet (also referred to as LiMWA zone)
  • VE - 1% chance of flooding annually with BFE and wave heights greater than 3 feet (high velocity wave action)

A, AE, Coastal A and VE zones are Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) and commonly referred to as the 100 year flood zone.

BFE (base flood elevation) is the anticipated or estimated height of a flood; flood water surface elevation relative to mean sea level.