ATLANTA – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that two grants, totaling more than $2.3 million, will be awarded to the Suwannee River and Northwest Florida Water Management Districts in support of their floodplain mapping programs.
FEMA will provide $2,308,505 in federal funding toward projects to improve existing flood insurance rate maps and flood risk data, which will strengthen local communities’ ability to understand and communicate their flood risk and make informed decisions about flood risk reduction.
With this funding, the Suwannee River Management District will update flood maps and develop watershed reports for the Ecofina-Steinhatchee Watershed including Taylor, Madison, Lafayette and Dixie counties. Funding will also help the following communities identify areas at risk for flooding and solutions for reducing that risk: the Waccosassa Watershed, including Levy, Gilchrist and Alachua counties. Additionally, funding will be used for coastal flood studies for Taylor, Levy and Dixie counties.
The Northwest Florida Water Management District will use funding to develop and support production of flood maps and flood insurance study reports for the Pensacola Bay and Perdido Bay watersheds including portions of Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties. Funding will also be used to develop additional flood risk data for coastal studies recently performed within the District
Flood maps and flood risk data are being updated for communities across the country with the ultimate goal of protecting property owners and the community from the risks associated with flooding. This is a collaborative process, during which FEMA works closely with states and local communities to incorporate the latest and most accurate information into flood risk products.
Flood risks can change over time due to factors such as construction and development, environmental changes, floodplain widening or shifting, and other natural or manmade changes—which is why it’s important that flood maps and flood risk data are updated periodically to reflect these changes. Additionally, the information developed for these projects will be more precise because the latest science available is applied in gathering flood risk data and creating flood maps.
Updated flood maps and flood risk data will ultimately assist local area governments in planning for future development and rebuilding efforts.
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.