Vernonia residents can view new draft flood maps today at Vernonia City Hall.
The new maps are the result of an Army Corps of Engineers study, commissioned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after the December 2007 storms and flooding in the city.
?After December we realized that the flooded areas in Vernonia did not correspond with the existing floodplain maps,? said Glen R. Sachtleben, federal coordinating officer of FEMA.
?The Army Corps study identified higher base flood elevations, also referred to as the 100-year floodplain,? said Abby Kershaw, state coordinating officer. ?Vernonia residents now have a tool to protect themselves against future flooding.?
Because the new maps are in draft form, they do not impact current flood insurance rates?even if a property switches from low/moderate- to a high-risk flood zone.
Flood insurance provides the primary insurance protection against damage from flooding. Underwritten by the federal government, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was established in 1968 to reduce future flood damage through floodplain management and to provide people with flood insurance.
The new maps are designed to guide the City of Vernonia in setting standards for rebuilding and new development. The maps will be available for public review until Feb. 7, 2008 when the Planning Commission meets at 5 p.m. and the City Council meets at 7 p.m. Both meetings will be held at the Scout Cabin in Vernonia.
At the meetings, the Planning Commission and City Council will consider adoption of the draft study, paving the way for it to be used as the basis for planning and rebuilding. Citizen input at these meetings is encouraged.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with State and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and other first responders.