C and X (unshaded area) are where FEMA has decided that the risk is minimal compared to the higher risk area (whatever that means). C flood zones usually have ponding and/or local drainage problem that causes yearly flooding by 20%.
X flood zones are areas with some flood protection in places like byways, levees, or cemented rivers. However, many of these areas still flood because the rapid accumulation of rainwater is only made to carry so much volume, and if mother nature spells more, your home will be at risk of flooding.
Since the above flood zones are not considered high risk, our federal government doesn’t require those with loans to purchase flood insurance. This is the vast majority of properties in most communities in the US, so most people do not have flood coverage and are at risk.
You should consider that FEMA doesn’t have the funding or workforce to accurately map the county. Many maps are out of date or not accurate. And due to politicians and developers paying officials to redraw the maps, new developments don’t have to require the purchase of flood insurance. So your home may be at more risk than you think.
AE flood zones are the most common flood zones. This means that the study has been more in-depth, and a BFE has been established. The AE flood zone is FEMA’S equivalent to innovation, whereas a few terms ago, these areas used to be identified with the A1-A30 flood zone. After years of muddling through this, NFIP finally understood that the destination didn’t need to be that specific and changed all these areas to an AE flood zone.
AH is usually an area where FEMA has decided that the flooding would be shallow. That doesn’t mean that the “shallow flooding won’t cost as much as $25,000+ to repair; remember the 1-inch damage referenced earlier in this article? Oh, and these areas have a 26% chance of flooding.
An area with an AO flood zone is identified as an area that will flood along a river or stream. FEMA has also considered this area a low-depth flood zone, meaning that the water depth can range from 1 foot to 3 feet. I don’t’ know about you, but any water in my home is bad. I don’t really care about the depth; I just want to never have flood water in my home, and I hope it never happens to you as well.
And flood zone that has the designation of A99 is an area where the construction has reached such a high level that the flood water shed has effectively been changed. Think of the new mall; all the surrounding land that used to absorb water runoff is now asphalt or cement. That water has to go somewhere, hopefully not into your home.