FIRM has entered into an agreement with Ransom Consulting Engineers and Scientists to obtain and analyze the scientific and technical data used to generate FEMA’s new Monroe County flood maps.

Although draft maps have not been released, FIRM anticipates the need for an appeal. Ransom has successfully appealed flood maps for other communities resulting in maps with lower base flood elevations than FEMA’s preliminary maps indicated.

FEMA has engineering data from the contractors who are performing the flood insurance study. Local governments can request that FEMA share those data submittals with Ransom who will then gain an understanding of the scientific and technical basis for the proposed mapping.

“Because of the complexity and the volume of the data, it would be difficult to develop an appeal within the 90-day timeframe offered by FEMA,” said FIRM President Mel Montagne. “We believe it is in Monroe County’s best interest to take a proactive approach and begin preparing for an appeal now given the impacts the maps could have on insurance rates, building costs and property values.”

The draft maps are expected in the spring of this year for local governments to review for technical accuracy. The preliminary maps will be available for public review and input as early as fall 2019. The communities then have 90 days to mount an appeal to FEMA. The current maps for Monroe County were drawn in 2005.

With improved technology and added levels to the modeling, the new maps are expected to bring significant changes to some areas of Monroe County. FIRM will be working with local governments to provide outreach to residents in order to be prepared.

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