Flood Hazard Areas

A few locations in the Village are considered flood hazard areas.  Most of these flood hazard areas are located along Crystal Lake and Crystal Creek.  This page is dedicated to providing helpful information for residents who may be impacted by flooding.



If you are experiencing water backing up in your basement, please call the Village Hall at 815-459-3025 and leave a message with the operator including your name, address and phone number. 

Sandbags are available at the public works shop located at 6570 Haligus Road Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Well testing kits are available at the Village Hall Located at 2500 Lake Avenue Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides protection for property owners against flood loss while working with communities to develop Floodplain Management programs.  Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) identify areas of high risk.  Village Hall maintains current Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps for residents, contractors, realtors and engineers to access so they can determine whether a piece of property lies within a floodplain or not.  FIRMs are also available on-line at the FEMA website.


For the purpose of identifying flood zones to determine flood insurance rates, the Flood Insurance Rate Maps prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for McHenry County are currently used. 

For the purpose of regulating property development, the above mentioned FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps are used to determine whether or not a property is subject to special building requirements.


How do I read a flood map?

For step-by-step instructions on how to read a flood map, you may view the How to Read a Flood Insurance Rate Map Tutorial.


How often does FEMA update flood maps? When is my area going to be next updated?

There are three processes FEMA uses to revise a community's effective flood map. More information on each is available on the Flood Map Revision Processes web page. To learn about the progress of FEMA's active map updates, please visit the Flood Studies Tracker Map: http://arcg.is/0P8mjD.

What is a Base Flood Elevation (BFE), and how do I find the BFE for my property?

The BFE is the computed elevation to which flood waters are anticipated to rise during the base (1-percent-annual-chance) flood event. BFEs, typically rounded to the nearest whole foot, are shown on the flood map for areas where a detailed study has been completed. The BFE can be shown as a number on top of a black wavy line that bisects the floodplain, in parentheses underneath the zone label, or on top of a black straight line that bisects the flood plain. Examples of the two lines with BFE values may be seen below:

The BFE shown as a number on top of a black wavy line that bisects the floodplain, in parentheses underneath the zone label

The relationship between the BFE and a structure's elevation determines the flood insurance premium. For more specific BFE data, consult the Flood Insurance Study report for a given community. To learn how to read a Flood Insurance Study, including how to find the BFE for my property, review the FIS Tutorial fact sheet.