Flood Plain Management

Delaware City has a floodplain ordinance and participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) [pdf]. Delaware City also participates in the Community Rating System (CRS) which enables property owners in Delaware City to get flood insurance at discounted rates.

On 2-4-15, FEMA’s new Floodplain Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) went into effect. With the new FIRM maps came changes to which properties are in the 100 year Floodplain (AE Zone-1%chance of flooding). Please review the Floodplain Parcels AE Zone 2015 updated 6-25-18 and see if your property is in the Floodplain.  If your property is not listed, your property is not in the AE Zone. You can also contact Town Hall 302-834-4573 to find out if you are in the floodplain or visit the Delaware website Flood Planning Tool . In the search engine at this site enter your address including Delaware City.

Delaware City is a member of the Community Rating System (CRS), and we receive a 10% decrease for those who purchase flood insurance. If your property is located in the AE Zone (1% chance of flood in any given year), it is highly recommended that you purchase flood insurance.  However, all of Delaware City is at risk of flooding.  Most of Delaware City if not directly in the floodplain is near the flood hazard area.  Statistics show that a lot of flood insurance claims come from people that live outside of the Floodplain.  Good resources for Floodplain information are www.fema.com|Federal Emergency Management Agency and FloodSmart.gov.  FloodSmart.gov has many tools and resources for the Community.  Town Hall and the library have literature and brochures to help you keep your property safe.  A few ways to protect your property from a flood hazard is to elevate your home, vent your property, elevate your furnace and utilities above the base flood and to store your valuables and insurance papers upstairs in a waterproof container.  Another change for those who live in the AE Zone is building requirements. If you have to repair your home after a storm, or at any time and your property is in the floodplain, please contact Town Hall at 302-834-4573 to get a permit and find out ways to build back stronger including the mandatory elevations for your property.  Most repairs will need a permit.  Please review Chapter 48 of the City Code which has been revised per FEMA requirements.  Any questions, please contact Town Hall 302-834-4573.

A You Tube presentation created by Jeff Bigby, a Floodplain Administrator from Oklahoma, explains how a flood occurs and ways to help lessen the flood waters.  Although he talks about Oklahoma it is relevant to Delaware.  The link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erhalqod3is&feature=youtu.be .


Before building or improving your property or doing any fill call Town Hall at 302-834-4573.  Special rules apply for development in the flood plain, including minimum base flood elevation and hydrostatic venting of foundations. You will need to complete a Floodplain Permit Application (Instructions and Inspections Needed at Completion).  For all non-residential structures you will need to complete a Floodproofing Certificate (Chapter 48 Section 26 Floodproofing Requirements).  You can find your base flood elevation (BFE) on the FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) or call Town Hall 302-834-4573 or visit the State of Delaware’s website Flood Planning Tool and enter your address.  Building to the BFE with freeboard (at least 12″ above the BFE) can not only save you on insurance premiums, but save your property from flooding.  Delaware City’s floodplain ordinance requires 12″ of freeboard when constructing new or substantially improving (51% improvement) structures.  Make sure all utilities are raised above the BFE plus 12 inches to save them from flooding (See Technical Bulletin 3 below).  You can stop by Town Hall or the Library to review FEMA P-348 Protecting Building Utility Systems from Flood Damage.  Review Delaware City’s Flood Management Ordinance, Chapter 48 of the City Code, for more building requirements. When building in the Floodplain one of the first things that you must do is obtain an Elevation Certificate.  You will also need a finished Elevation Certificate at the completion of your project.  Elevation Certificate & Instruction 2019-2022

There are a number of FEMA technical bulletins to help you with building in the Floodplain:


Delaware City participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  Properties in the AE (100-year, 1% chance of flooding) flood zone are subject to regulations under the Delaware City Floodplain Ordinance, which meets FEMA requirements for the NFIP.  These regulations are designed to save lives and reduce property losses when flooding occurs. Without access to the NFIP, property owners would find flood insurance to be prohibitively expensive, if available at all.  Some Consumers Facts and Myths about Flood Insurance.

Do you have flood insurance?  If so, make sure your contents are also covered!  Some people only cover the structure and forget about the contents within the structure.  You should obtain flood insurance if you live in the AE Zone (100-year -1% chance of flooding). Homes built before the adoption of the City’s floodplain regulations may likely be at greater risk of flooding during a severe storm.   Be advised that most homeowners’ policies specifically exclude damage caused by floodwaters from rising water, inadequate drainage and wind driven rain. Fortunately, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will provide this important flood insurance for purchase to a Delaware City property owner that resides in a floodplain.  This protection has been made available for purchase to Delaware City and other communities that have taken steps to manage and reduce the chances for local residential flooding. Our rigorous floodplain regulations, rated a “Class 8” designation by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), allows Delaware City residents to take advantage of Flood Insurance options that are 10% lower than the national average.  The NFIP coverage is available for purchase to any Delaware City owner or renter of insurable property.   Renters you can get a Preferred Risk Flood insurance policy for your contents.  To purchase NFIP flood insurance, contact any licensed property insurance agency or broker.   If your property receives substantial flood damage (more than 50% of the cost of the property) you may be illegible for Increased Cost Compliance (ICC) coverage.  In addition to being insured under the NFIP, a building must meet one of two conditions to be eligible to receive ICC coverage; it must have been either 1) determined to be substantially damaged or 2) meet the criteria of a repetitive loss structure.

If you are not sure if your property is located within the Floodplain Parcels AE Zone 2015 updated 6-25-18, please call Town Hall at (302) 834-4573.  Make sure your home, possessions and family are hurricane and flood safe.  Do not wait to get flood insurance.  There is a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect.  Act today! Floodplain maps and NFIP information brochures are available at Town Hall, 407 Clinton Street and the Delaware City Library, 250 Fifth Street.


Some Links that will inform you of what you should do to prepare for a hurricane or major storm:

Hurricane Preparedness ; Pet Preparedness Tips ; Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Checklist

Are you ready for a flood or other disaster emergency, have a family emergency plan.   If you should be driving and run into flooded roads – “Turn around, don’t drown”!  It is very hard to judge just how deep flood waters can be. 

In certain extreme emergencies an evacuation of the town may be ordered. Residents will be informed by means of the Code RED Telephone Alert System, Emergency Alert System and/or the DENS telephone notification system.  Register your information with the organization known as Code RED and you will be notified of any natural disaster such as floods, hurricanes and other weather related emergencies.  In addition you will be notified of all hazardous events.  It is as easy as clicking https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/BF93467E3FC5 and following the instructions.

The safest route out of town will depend upon the nature of the emergency. As a general rule, storm or flood evacuations will be directed north on Route 9/72 to Route 13 and Route 1.  Industrial incident routes will depend upon wind direction, but will probably be Route 9 south toward Port Penn.  Salem Nuclear routes will be Cox Neck Road west, or Route 9/72 north.

Post Disaster Information:  Post Diaster Flyer- Flood Response Prepartion (FRP)  If your property is flooded, you need to make sure you build back stronger.  The Red Cross Brochure on Repairing Flooded Homes gives you ideas on how to build back stronger.  Do not forget to contact Town Hall 302-834-4573 before repairing or building in the floodplain.  Check out the Post Damage Checklist.

You may be illegible for Increased Cost of Compliance Coverage.  Please contact your insurance agent for more information and to find out if you are illegible.