FEMA Publishes New Flood Risk Maps for Texas County

August 18, 2005

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently presented draft flood risk maps to communities in Columbia County, Texas. The maps identify known flood risks and are used for insurance and development decisions. A 90-day appeal period for the preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps will begin in September.

“We encourage Columbia County residents to look at the preliminary flood maps and to be familiar with flood risks in the community,” said Gary Jones, FEMA Acting Regional Director. “The maps can help residents make informed decisions about flood insurance and flood protection.”

The flood maps show revised floodplain boundaries based on up-to-date topographic mapping for Barlow Branch, Nations Creek, Tanyard Branch and tributaries to Barlow Branch and Big Creek. Approximate analyses were used to study areas with lower development potential or minimal flood hazards. Residents and property owners may submit scientific or technical information if they believe the flood maps contain errors. Appeals are submitted through communities to FEMA, and FEMA will notify communities, insurance companies and residents of the effective date of the final maps after resolving all appeals.

Floodplain administrators in each community have copies of the maps available for public viewing.

When the flood maps are finalized and effective, some flood insurance policyholders may see changes in their policies. Jones recommends that all policyholders contact their insurance agent or company to ensure that they have adequate coverage and that policies account for new flood risk information.

More information on flood insurance is available at www.floodsmart.gov.

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