Flood Map Challenges and Resources for Eastern Shore Counties

A July 2, 2015, DelmarvaNow article discussed the challenges that revised federal flood zone maps pose for Somerset and other Eastern Shore counties and provided links to useful flood map resources and guides.  As previously reported on Conduit Street, new floodplain maps issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) now include 61 percent of Somerset County, increasing the number of households that need to purchase flood insurance.  Other counties have also seen significant remapping of their flood zones.  From the article:

[FEMA’s] newest flood plain maps for Delmarva, focusing on flood risks and associated insurance requirements, expanded high-risk flood zones in some regions of Sussex County, Delaware and Somerset County, Maryland.

For Melissa Esham, the community association adviser for insurance company Atlantic/Smith, Cropper and Deeley, it’s kind of confounding that those two areas will see more residences require flood insurance when compared to Ocean City. …

Esham still worries about what the new maps will mean for some properties in Somerset County, an area with a poverty rate more than double the national average.

With median home values at $153,600, about half the state average, Esham said “people who are buying their first home” may not be able to bear the weight of an added monthly charge.

“And now they can’t sell their homes either,” she added, pointing to the fact that potential buyers would be subject to the higher-risk rate.

The article also highlighted several online resources:

Floodsmart.gov: Relevant information for those looking into flood insurance coverage — everything from local insurance agents to literature on the National Flood Insurance Program.

http://www.deseagrant.org/: Works with local communities to further illustrate flood risks through her Community Flood Map Visualization Project.

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