PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Region III office, recently released updated digital flood hazard maps that show the extent to which areas throughout the county are at risk for flooding.
The new flood maps, officially presented to community leaders in October, mark the first time in 14 years that a comprehensive re-examination of Montgomery County flood zones has been conducted. Residents and businesses will now have up-to-date, reliable, Internet-accessible information about their flood risk on a property-by-property basis. The revised maps will also allow community planners, engineers, builders and others to make important determinations about whereand how new structures and developments should be built.
"Historically, flooding is the most costly natural disaster affecting Montgomery County" said MaryAnn Tierney, FEMA Region III's Regional Administrator. "The modernization of outdated flood maps addresses a real need. The likelihood of flooding in certain areas of the community has changed."
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. FEMA and Temple University's Center for Sustainable Communities worked closely to develop the new flood maps after an extensive, multi-year study of the county's floodplains, which used state-of-the-art technologies and risk modeling techniques.
"Throughout the past 14 years, our landscape has changed in a way that has affected our residents, both in and near flood hazard areas," said Thomas M. Sullivan, Montgomery County Director of Public Safety. "These updates will make Montgomery County more current in assessing these flooding hazards. This is the first step in helping our residents to become better prepared for floods, which continues to be our top natural hazard threatening the County."
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 Montgomery County 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.
To ensure that all residents and business owners understand the map change process and are aware of their options, map information will be available at local municipal offices, 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.
"We are proud of the strong community partnerships that have been developed over the course of this effort and look forward to continued communication and outreach that will help both organizations and individual citizens respond effectively to map changes in the area," said Ms. Tierney.
The updated flood hazard maps are still preliminary and have not yet been officially adopted. To learn more about the flood map modernization project, visit www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-flood-hazard-mapping.
To view the new digital flood maps, residents are encouraged to visit www.rampp-team.com/public.htm. They should contact their municipal governing body with any questions.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
FEMA Region III's jurisdiction includes Delaware, District of Colum...