Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA) Updates in VA and the Impact to Communities

The Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA) has been established by FEMA to acknowledge that structures outside the Coastal High Hazard Areas (CHHAs), also known as VE Zones, may still be at significant risk of damage from wave impacts during a severe storm event.  Many communities have special building codes that pertain to structures in Coastal A Zones, the zone between the limit of VE zone and LiMWA.  Communities that participate in FEMA’s Community Rating System can receive credit for incorporating these standards into their floodplain management ordinances. Most of the effective LiMWA in VA counties and city were delineated per the outdated FEMA guidance. FEMA had initiated an effort to re-delineate the LiMWA per the latest 2013 Operating Guidance (OG) for FEMA Region III and the revision for the LiMWA in all the coastal communities of Region III has completed.  The outreach to the VA coastal communities is about to start. Due to the new rules in the latest OG and the development of our GIS technology, the LiMWA changed significantly in some areas. This presentation will give a general overview of the LiMWA and a few examples in VA on comparison between the effective and the updated LiMWA.