City Adopts Updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps

Due to the increasing rise in tidal waters, frequency of intense storms, and changes in geographical areas that are prone to flooding, Salisbury  has updated its 30-year-old Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM’s) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS).  The previous FIRM’s were adopted in September 1984.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has been working with states and local governments throughout the nation, updating and revising FIRM’s and FIS’s.  These flood hazard determinations may include the addition or modification of the regulatory floodway, Base Flood Elevations (BFE), Base Flood Depths, and Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundaries or zone designations.

For a community to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), it must adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations that meet or exceed the minimum NFIP standards and requirements.  These standards are intended to prevent loss of life and property, as well as economic and social hardships that result from flooding.  The NFIP standards work – as witnessed during floods in areas where buildings and other developments are in compliance with them.  Nationwide each year, NFIP-based floodplain management regulations help prevent more than $1 Billion in flood damage.

Floodplain management regulations, building codes, and standards are adopted and enforced to regulate construction in at-risk areas.  Such regulations for floodplain development ensure that new development does not lead to increased flooding elsewhere, and that new buildings and utilities will be elevated at the correct flood protection elevation.  If a property owner thinks their property has been inadvertently mapped in a Special Flood Hazard Area, they may submit a request to FEMA for a Letter of Map Change (LOMC) which, if approved via FEMA, can lead to lower flood insurance premiums, or the option to not purchase flood insurance.

The new FIRM’s will take effect August 17, 2015, and can be viewed online athttp://www.ci.salisbury.md.us/business/other-information/flood-insurance-rate-maps.

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