FEMA Updates Flood Hazard Mapping for MAGIC communities in the Concord River Watershed

 The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 12, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and will be held in Concord, MA at the Alcott Elementary School located at 93 Laurel Street.

Earlier this year Town officials in twelve of the thirteen MAGIC communities (including Acton, Bedford, Bolton, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Hudson, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Stow, and Sudbury) received updated Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map panels and a Flood Insurance Study report for Middlesex County specific to the Concord River Watershed (this includes the Assabet and Sudbury Rivers).  The Metropolitan-Area Planning Council is helping sponsor a multi-community public outreach meeting for residents of the MAGIC communities who may be impacted by changes to the maps, giving residents an opportunity to view the changes, ask questions about the changes and learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program.  We expect representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (MA DCR) responsible for the State’s Emergency Management response to attend this meeting and present information about how the maps and reports were prepared, the process of reviewing and changing data where appropriate, schedule for implementation, and some of the potential changes being discussed for flood insurance in a general manner.

Although many communities recently accepted updates to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps in 2010 (effective date of June 2010), these were the first set of digital maps for Middlesex & Worcester County. An important change that occurred with the 2010 maps was the shift to the North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) of 1988; however there had been no additional survey or analysis of the flood hazards with the 2010 map changes. Many flood hazards identified in Middlesex County are from the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s and updating the special flood hazard areas was important to FEMA to improve flood risk identification.  

The Preliminary maps that were issued on January 10, 2013 incorporate updated engineering analyses and data within the Concord River Watershed. Only those FIRM panels with updated flood hazard information have been revised. For many flooding sources throughout the Concord River Watershed, the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) and Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) were produced using new hydrologic and hydraulic analyses as well as 2-foot topographic data obtained through Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR). In areas where there were no new studies or information, the current effective digital SFHA was incorporated into the new base map.

FEMA anticipates issuing new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) later this year and communities will be expected to accept these updated maps at the 2014 Town Meeting. Accepting the new FIRM maps allows residents who own structures located in the 100-year flood plain to purchase flood insurance at a reduced/subsidized rate. It also allows communities to receive reimbursement funding when there’s a declared disaster or emergency (such as flooding, hurricane, ice storm or blizzard). 

For more information go to: http://www.floodsmart.gov.

Reposted by Jennifer Burney Town Planner


About Southborough Town Planner

I am the Town Planner for the Town of Southborough MA
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