Public Invited to Review Flood Maps in Kanawha County, WV

Release Date Release Number
R3-NR-22-017
Release Date:
May 13, 2022

PHILADELPHIA - FEMA is proposing updates to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) along the Elk River in Kanawha County, West Virginia, and the Town of Clendenin. Community partners are invited to participate in a 90-day appeal and comment period.

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 in West Virginia in June 2016.

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.

The 90-day appeal period will begin on or around May 20, 2022. 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.

The next step in the mapping process is conducting this 90-day appeals period and addressing any comments or appeals that are received. Once they are resolved, FEMA will notify communities of the effective date of the final maps.

Submit appeals and comments by contacting the following:

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 Region 3 Changes Since Last FIRM Viewer: https://arcg.is/1GrCKv.

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.

Kanawha County Flood Mapping Milestones

  • May 30, 2019 — Flood Risk Review Meeting to review draft flood hazard data.
  • Dec 13, 2019 — Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map released.
  • Mar 3, 2021 — Community Coordination and Outreach Meeting to review Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map and discuss updates to local floodplain management ordinance and flood insurance.
  • Oct 25, 2021 – Revised Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map released
  • On or Around May 20, 2022 – Appeal Period starts.
  • June 2023* — New Flood Insurance Rate Map becomes effective and flood insurance requirements take effect. (*Timeline subject to change pending completion of the appeal review process.)

If you have any questions, please contact FEMA Region 3 Office of External Affairs at  femar3newsdesk@fema.dhs.gov.

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FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region 3’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

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Last updated May 17, 2022