DENTON, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is presenting draft flood risk maps to communities in Ottawa County, Oklahoma. The maps will help county officials and local residents identify known flood risks and will be used for insurance and development decisions.
The preliminary maps revise and update information on the existence and severity of flood hazards in every community in Ottawa County as well as unincorporated areas. The maps are based on detailed ground elevation models, decades of rainfall and storm gauge information and current topographic data.
"Flooding is the most common disaster in the U.S. and I urge Ottawa County residents to look at the preliminary maps and be familiar with flood risks in their community," said Gary Jones, acting FEMA regional administrator. "These maps can help residents make informed decisions about flood insurance and flood protection."
Residents and property owners who believe the flood maps contain errors have from June 25, 2009 to September 23, 2009 to appeal by submitting scientific or technical information. Appeals are submitted through communities to FEMA. Once all appeals are resolved, FEMA will notify communities, insurance companies and residents of the effective date of the final maps.
Floodplain administrators in each community have copies of the maps available for public viewing. Information about the maps is available at www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/fhm/bfe.
When the flood maps are finalized and effective, some flood insurance policy holders may see changes in their policies. Jones recommends that all policyholders contact their insurance agent or company to ensure that they have adequate coverage and that policies account for new flood risk information. More information on flood insurance is available at www.floodsmart.gov.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.