Philadelphia - FEMA is proposing updates to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) along the Susquehanna River in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania and its incorporated areas. Community partners are invited to participate in a 90-day appeal and comment period, which will begin on or around July 1, 2021.
Because flood risk changes over time, flood maps are routinely updated to more accurately represent flood risk. In this case, updates were made in response to the extensive flooding seen during Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011. For more background information on this mapping update, visit: https://www.fema.gov/pennsylvania/mitigating-flood-risk.
The updated maps were produced in coordination with local, state and FEMA officials. Significant community review of the maps has already taken place, but before the maps become final, community partners can identify any corrections or questions about the information provided and submit appeals or comments.
Residents, business owners and other community partners are encouraged to review the updated maps to learn about local flood risks and potential future flood insurance requirements. They may submit an appeal if they perceive that modeling or data used to create the map is technically or scientifically incorrect.
- An appeal must include technical information, such as hydraulic or hydrologic data, to support the claim.
- Appeals cannot be based on the effects of proposed projects or projects started after the study is in progress.
- If property owners see incorrect information that does not change the flood hazard information—such as a missing or misspelled road name in the Special Flood Hazard Area or an incorrect corporate boundary—they can submit a written comment.
Appeals and comments may be submitted by contacting your municipality’s floodplain administrator. The next step in the mapping process is the resolution of all comments and appeals. Once they are resolved, FEMA will notify communities of the effective date of the final maps.
The preliminary maps may be viewed online at the FEMA Flood Map Changes Viewer: http://msc.fema.gov/fmcv. Changes from the current maps may be viewed online at the Susquehanna River Flood Map Viewer: https://arcg.is/1CLSan. If you do not have access to the internet, you can view hardcopies of the maps by contacting your municipality’s floodplain administrator or by contacting the Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority: Christopher J. Belleman, PE, Executive Director; firstname.lastname@example.org; (570) 208-6100 ext.1. Additional information and property owner resources are provided on the Authority website at www.lcfpa.org .
For more information about the flood maps:
- Use a live chat service about flood maps at http://go.usa.gov/r6C (just click on the “Live Chat” icon).
- Contact a FEMA Map Specialist by telephone; toll free, at 1-877-FEMA-MAP (1-877-336-2627) or by email at FEMA-FMIX@fema.dhs.gov.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood. There are cost-saving options available for those newly mapped into a high-risk flood zone. Learn more about your flood insurance options by talking with your insurance agent and visiting https://www.floodsmart.gov.
Luzerne County Flood Mapping Milestones
- Aug. 16, 2017 — Flood Risk Review Meeting to review draft flood hazard data.
- Sept. 15, 2020 — Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map released.
- Nov. 5, 2020 — Community Coordination and Outreach Meeting to review Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map and discuss updates to local floodplain management ordinance and flood insurance.
- On or Around July 1, 2021 –Appeal Period starts.
- Luzerne County Open House (date and location to be decided, at the County’s discretion)
- September 2022* — New Flood Insurance Rate Map becomes effective and flood insurance requirements take effect. (*Timeline subject to change pending completion of the appeal review process.)