If the property is in a Flood Zone A, without a letter or number after the "A", the flood zone is approximate and not based on a detailed flood study. No BFE has been determined for the area. FEMA can only approve a LOMA or LOMR-F if a BFE has been established using standard engineering methodology.
What to do? Sometimes, another government agency has actually conducted a flood study and determining flood elevations. Or possibly the prope1ty is located in a newly developed subdivision for which flood elevations were developed as part of the land development process. In any case, check with your local building, planning, zoning, or stormwater management office. If a BFE has been developed, we suggest that you request that the local government share this information with you.
If there is no existing flood study, one will have to be developed by a registered engineer in order to process a LOMA or LOMR-F. FEMA publication 263, entitled "Managing Floodplain Development in Approximate Zone A Areas", may help guide an engineer in conducting the necessary flood study. This manual may be ordered free of charge by calling 1-800-480-2520 or downloading the manual from the FEMA website.