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October 29, 2018

Old Orchard Beach appeals flood insurance rate map changes

Old Orchard Beach filed a formal appeal of the proposed Federal Emergency Management Agency flood plain map on Oct. 26.

Following an analysis of FEMA's proposed maps by Ransom Engineers and Scientists, the town said on its website that its appeal is based upon information it believes is scientifically more correct than the information used by FEMA in the development of the proposed floodplain maps.

The town said its appeal includes proposed changes to FEMA's determination of "base flood elevations" in two flood zones, which the town wants decreased, and the extent of the flood zoned area, which the town wants reduced.

The town's appeal formally requests that FEMA incorporate the corrected information into the flood plain map as outlined in the appeal.

The appeals maps and report prepared by Ransom Engineers and Scientists can be accessed on the town's website.

The town said it expected to learn from FEMA the results of its appeal by late December.

It said the town's website has floodplain resources available and encourages residents with additional questions to contact the town's planning and code office at (207) 934-5714, extension 1533 or by email at jhinderliter@oobmaine.com.

About FEMA’s flood maps

FEMA's Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning program identifies flood hazards, assesses flood risks and provides accurate data to guide stakeholders in taking effective mitigation actions that result in safer and more resilient communities, according to the agency's website.

This data is incorporated into flood maps, known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps, which support the National Flood Insurance Program and provide the basis for community floodplain management regulations and flood insurance requirements.

"Flood hazards are dynamic and can change frequently because of a variety of factors, including weather patterns, erosion and new development," the agency stated. "FEMA, through the Risk MAP program, works with communities to collect new or updated flood hazard data and periodically updates flood maps to reflect these changes."

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