Engineering Director

Thomas V. Clabo, P.E.
[email protected]
(865) 215-2148

400 Main St., Suite 475
Knoxville, TN 37902

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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.  Click here to view the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Hazard Mitigation Plan Update
The City of Knoxville; Knox County, Tennessee; and the Town of Farragut have completed an update to the Multi-Jurisdictional Local Hazard Mitigation Plan to better protect the people and property of the communities from the effects of natural hazard events. 

It is important for citizens to become involved in mitigation planning in their community.  We request your feedback on the Draft Plan.

To view the updated plan, please click here.

To comment on the plan, please click here.

For more information, see FEMA webpages entitled:

FEMA Library
Protect Your Property from Flooding
Floodplain Management Publications 
Floodplain Management Summary
Policy & Claim Statistics for Flood Insurance
FEMA Flood Map Service Center
Flooding Brochure
Flooding Brochure (Tri-Fold)

Also see FloodSmart.gov - An Official Site of the National Flood Insurance Program webpages entitled:

Why You Need Flood Insurance
How to Buy or Renew Flood Insurance
Understanding Costs
Before and After a Flood
Understanding Your Risks (All About Flood Maps)
How To Reduce Your Cost
Things You Should Know About Flood Insurance

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.


The Flood Insurance profiles can be viewed using the following links:
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY - Table of Contents for Volumes 1 through 4 [PDF]

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).