WINCHESTER — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is proposing updates to its Flood Insurance Rate Map for Winchester and is inviting the community to participate in a 90-day appeal and comment period.
According to a media release from FEMA, the updated maps were produced in coordination with local, state and federal officials, and significant community review has already taken place. Before the maps become final, though, city stakeholders are asked to identify concerns, ask questions and submit appeals or comments during a 90-day appeal period that began on Nov. 6.
Residents may submit an appeal if they perceive that modeling or data used to create the map is technically or scientifically incorrect, the release states. An appeal must include supporting technical information, such as hydraulic or hydrologic data, and cannot be based on the effects of proposed projects or projects started after the study began.
If property owners see incorrect information that does not change the flood hazard information — such as a missing or misspelled road name or an incorrect corporate boundary — they can submit a written comment. The next step in the mapping process is the resolution of all comments and appeals. Once they are resolved, FEMA will notify communities of the effective date of the final maps.
Appeals and comments should be submitted to local floodplain administrator Kelly Henshaw, an engineer with the city of Winchester, at 540-667-1815, ext. 1481.
For more information about the flood maps:
View the proposed maps online at the FEMA Flood Map Change Viewer — http://msc.fema.gov/fmcv.
Use a live chat service about flood maps at http://go.usa.gov/r6C.
Contact a FEMA Map Specialist toll free at 1-877-FEMA-MAP, or by email at FEMAMapSpecialist@riskmapcds.com.
Residents and business owners are encouraged to review the updated maps to learn about local flood risks and potential flood insurance requirements. Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flooding, but there are cost-saving options available for those newly mapped into a high-risk flood zone.
Learn more about flood insurance options by talking with your insurance agent, visiting floodsmart.gov or calling 1-800-427-4661.