NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has revised the flood maps for many areas of Arkansas. Pulaski County Flood Insurance Rate maps are in the appeal period and will be released at a future date. The revised maps will allow community planners, engineers, builders and others to make important determinations about where and how new structures and developments should be built.
Historically, flooding is one of the most costly natural disasters affecting Pulaski County and communities. The modernization of outdated flood maps represents an important step towards increasing public safety by better equipping our residents to make decisions about protecting themselves and their properties.
The newly released maps are part of a larger effort to modernize the nation’s aging flood maps to reflect the most current flood risks and areas of recent growth. In partnership with FEMA, Pulaski County and its communities new flood maps were developed after an extensive, multi-year study of the county’s and communities’ floodplains that used state-of-the-art technologies and risk modeling techniques.
Flood hazard maps, also known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), indicate whether properties are in areas of high, moderate or low flood risk. In reviewing the new Pulaski County and incorporated communities maps, many property owners may find that their risk is higher or lower than they thought. If the risk level for a property changes, so may the requirement to carry flood insurance.
The modernization of outdated flood maps addresses a real need. Water flow and drainage patterns have changed dramatically in Pulaski County over the last 20 years and the likelihood of flooding in certain areas of the county has changed as well. To ensure that all residents and business owners understand the map change process and are aware of their options, an educational and outreach meeting will be held March 11, 2010 so that residents can view the new maps, understand how their properties may be affected and learn more about financial steps that they may need to take to protect their investment.
These changes have generated many questions from our insurance agents, government officials and the local public. The City of Sherwood has agreed to host a meeting so that everyone with questions will have the opportunity to learn how this will affect them. How are your insurance premiums determined? What can you do to prepare for future floods? How can you see if your home or business is in a special flood hazard area? Also, what is the Grandfathering Rule?
The FEMA Region 6 Regional Insurance Outreach Specialist, Linda Delemare, and the Arkansas NFIP Coordinator, Mike Borengasser will be presenters and available for your questions. The meeting will be at 6:00 p.m., Thursday March 11, 2010 at the Bill Harmon Recreational Center, 51 Shelby Drive, Sherwood, AR 72120. All who are interested are invited to attend. The seating is limited, RSVP to Tracy D. Sims, CFM, City of Sherwood, 6500 North Hills Blvd., Sherwood, AR 72116, telephone 501-835-3288.