At its June 17, 2020 meeting the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve moving forward with an appeal to FEMA’s proposed Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

Woods Hole Group, the consulting firm hired by the County to review the maps, presented a summary of its findings so far that identify areas of regional and local impacts. Early findings from the review indicate potential inconsistencies with standard practices on key components of the Risk MAP study and with available data used to support FEMA’s study.

  • Storm selection
  • Statistical analysis of storm sets
  • Wave model validation
  • ADCIRC + SWAN model mesh resolution
  • ADCIRC + SWAN modeling of reefs
  • Overland modeling of mangroves
  • Transect spacing and location for overland modeling
  • Topography

On May 4, 2020, County Staff and Woods Hole Group submitted some of these findings to FEMA requesting that FEMA reconsider the Preliminary Maps in advance of the start of the required notice in the Code of Federal Register (CFR) and the appeal period, which is expected to begin in the fall of 2020.

Staff received a reply from FEMA on June 11, 2020 addressing each of the comments Monroe County and Woods Hole Group had on the Preliminary Maps. In each case, FEMA respectfully declined to make any adjustments or changes to the Preliminary Maps and analysis as it is currently presented.

Woods Hole Group’s findings also represent issues identified by FIRM’s consultant Ransom Consulting. The two firms are working together on the appeal for the County and municipalities. FIRM has entered into a contract with Woods Hole Group to study the maps’ impacts on Key West.

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