Flood Insurance Rate Map

Flooding is the most frequently occurring natural hazard in King County. Recently, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) completed a multi-year project to evaluate current flood risk and update the flood maps for Burien and King County. The new maps went into effect on August 19, 2020.

What does this mean for property owners?

Due to newly identified flood hazards, the flood maps may indicate that your property’s flood risk has changed. Go to kingcounty.gov/floodmap to see what the new flood zone designation is for your property.

Each situation may have implications for flood insurance requirements. Flood insurance coverage is mandatory for properties with federally backed mortgages located in the high-risk flood area. Flood insurance is an important tool in protecting financial investments, and because homeowners and renter’s insurance doesn’t cover flood damage, now is a good time to discuss flood insurance with your agent.

Learn more at floodsmart.gov


If you have any questions about the updated flood maps, please contact the City of Burien's Floodplain Administrator Joseph Stapleton, Building Official at [email protected] or (206) 241-4647, or contact King County’s River and Floodplain Management Section at [email protected] or (206) 477-4727. For flood insurance questions, be sure to contact your insurance agent.

Flood Insurance Rate Map Revision Process

The Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for a community depicts land that has been determined to be subject to a 1 percent (100-year) or greater chance of flooding in any given year. The FIRM is used to determine flood insurance rates and to help the community with floodplain management.

The City of Burien applied for a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS-FEMA) in 2010 to revise FIRM 53033C, Panels 0935F, 0953F, and 0955F for King County Washington and Incorporated areas along the Puget Sound shoreline within the Burien City limits. The LOMR was approved with an effective date November 2011 for new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS).

The current Flood Insurance Rate Maps establish Base Flood Elevations (Zone VE) and flood depths (Zone AO) for properties adjacent to the waters of Puget Sound.  

In February 2013, the City received a letter from FEMA presenting the City with Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map’s (FIRM) based on a new flood insurance study report prepared for King County. City staff performed a detailed review of the changes that would take place on each property if the Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map’s (FIRM) are enacted and found many properties along the Puget Sound coast line of Burien will be placed back in a flood zone.

To view the current maps, proposed maps, and comparison, please click on the links that follow. Map panel files are very large and may take some time to download.

*Click on the number in the square where the property is located. These are very large files so it may take a little time to download.

Request for revalidation of existing maps and correspondence

The City of Burien recently engaged the services of a qualified Coastal Engineer who prepared the flood study on behalf of the City that was approved by FEMA November 2011, to analyze the data and help prepare a request for revalidation of the current flood maps. The City sent a letter to FEMA requesting revalidation of the City’s study. FEMA provided a letter to the City indicating it will treat the request as an appeal.

View correspondence between the City and FEMA

Updated May 8, 2023