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The purpose of this page is to define basements, a commonly used term in floodplain management.


Any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides. The lowest floor of a residential building including basement must be above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Basements below the BFE are only allowed in communities that have obtained a basement exception from FEMA. Floodproofed non-residential basements are allowed.

NFIP Requirement


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Special Topic Resources

  • Basement exceptions  
    • 60.6 (b) and ( c)
    • Federal Register Vol. 51, No.60, March 28, 1986, Proposed Rule, pp. 10746-10747
Last Updated: 
03/27/2018 - 09:40