Proposed FEMA Floodplain Map Includes 61 Percent of Somerset County

An April 20 article reported that new floodplain maps issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) include 11,000 additional aces  in Somerset County.

Inland residents of Somerset County — some living miles away from the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries — may discover their properties are now included in the 100-year floodplain, a change that could require them to carry flood insurance for the first time.

New maps recently issued by Federal Emergency Management Agency show an increase of 11,000 acres from the current maps that were adopted in 2011, said Gary Pusey, the county’s planning director. Currently, 56 percent of the county is in the floodplain, but it will increase to 61 percent if the new maps are adopted.  …

If the new maps are adopted, many property owners who find themselves in the floodway will face higher flood insurance rates, while many others who are in the expanded 100-year floodplain will have to carry the insurance for the first time.

The article also reported on the implementation of new federal legislation designed to help offset recent and sometimes dramatic flood insurance premium increases that were the unintended consequence of changes to the National Flood Insurance Program in 2012.  (The new legislation was supported by the National Association of Counties.)

In March, Congress passed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, which protects homeowners who are current on their flood insurance policies from dramatic increases in premium costs.

Last week, U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., urged FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate to implement the new law “without further delay.”

Prior Conduit Street Coverage of National Flood Insurance Program Legislation