UPDATE ON FEMA FLOOD RISK MAPPING PROJECT:
Appeal Period to begin on March 2, 2016, and ending on May 31, 2016
When FEMA proposes new or modified flood risk mapping determinations, it must provide affected communities with a 90-day appeal period. The City of Windsor Heights was notified that the 90-day appeal period will start on March 2, 2016, and will conclude on May 31, 2016. During the 90-day appeal period any owner, or lessee of real property in Windsor Heights who believes his or her property will be adversely affected by the flood hazard determinations may make an appeal through the Floodplain Coordinator in Windsor Heights.
Appeals of the proposed flood risk maps shall be based solely on scientific or technical evidence contrary to that of the proposed flood risk maps and accompanying Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report and must meet data requirements as defined in Part 67.6 of the National Floodplain Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations.
For more information on the appeal process, contact the Floodplain Coordinator at 515-645-6826 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit FEMA’s website for up to date information: www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/fhm/bfe
Flood risk can, and does, change over time. Flood risks change for many reasons: new development, changes in levee classification, and environmental changes, to name a few. As a result FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is updating Flood Hazard Maps across the country, including Polk County and cities within Polk County. FEMA has prepared Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) which will replace the maps that were last updated in 1992.
The current FIRMs for the City of Windsor Height were adopted in October of 1992 and do not in all cases reflect today’s risk of flooding. To identify flood risk in Windsor Heights, a detailed study of Walnut Creek was conducted by a local engineering firm and from that data, FEMA developed preliminary maps. It is estimated that the final maps will become effective by March or April of 2017.
After letters were sent to approximately 140 property owners in either the 100-year or 500-year floodplain notifying them of the change, a public open house was held on December 14, 2015 to answer questions regarding the Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps and flood insurance requirements. Representatives from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources gave a presentation and helped to answer questions.
The Flood Insurance Rate Maps are important tools used in the effort to protect lives and properties in Windsor Heights. By showing the extent to which areas of Windsor Heights and individual properties are at risk for flooding, the FIRMs help property owners and residents make more informed decisions about personal safety and financially protecting their property. The maps also allow planners, local officials, engineers, developers and others to make determinations about where and how new structures and developments should be built.
If you notice an error in the FIRMs, you can file a comment or appeal through the City of Windsor Heights. FEMA will not allow property owners to go directly to them for an appeal. The maps are still preliminary; it is anticipated that the regulatory public comment and official appeal period will start in March of 2016 and expire in June of 2016. You can appeal at any time before the expiration date. This is the time when property owners have the opportunity to submit technical and/or scientific data to comment regarding their individual property, or to appeal regarding the accuracy of the mapping process in general.
To view the preliminary maps, click below. The floodplain boundary in Windsor Heights is split in three different panels.