2010 FEMA Flood Insurance Study/ Flood Insurance Rate Maps
At their July 16th meeting, the Board of Supervisors adopted a new Floodplain Management Ordinance (Ordinance #396). The Floodplain Ordinance was prepared and adopted in accordance with the requirements of FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The newly adopted Ordinance can be viewed at here.
In 2010, FEMA updated the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for Bucks County. To improve accuracy, the redrawn maps used a new digital base map and incorporated the new Delaware River floodplain study. New surveyed river cross-sections, LiDAR information and updated hydrology were used to prepare the new floodplain mapping. The new FIS and FIRMs made changes to the current flood zones, which determine who must buy flood insurance. This mapping update has changed the flood risk status of hundreds of individual properties. The Township Engineer’s office reviewed the pending 2010 FIRMs to determine which properties would be affected in the Township. Plans were prepared showing the affected properties. The Township sent letters notifying hundreds of property owners of the potential change to their flood risk status.
According to the FEMA website, www.rampp-team.com/pa.htm, a Letter of Final Determination for the 2010 Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) is scheduled to be issued on September 16, 2014. There will follow a six month period in which the municipalities in Bucks County must bring their Floodplain Ordinance into compliance and adopt the new FIS and FIRMs in order to continue to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). At the end of the six month period, on March 16, 2015, the 2010 Flood Insurance Study and Flood Insurance Rate Maps will become effective (replacing the 1999 FIS and FIRMs).
Lower Makefield Township adopted the new Floodplain Ordinance in advance of this date as an important step in the process of joining the FEMA Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS offers a discount for individual Flood Insurance policies within the participating municipality. The Township has been working with FEMA over the past year to complete the necessary steps required for acceptance into the CRS Program. The Township has submitted the required documentation and is awaiting a “Letter of Good Standing” from FEMA. Once the Letter of Good standing is issued, FEMA will assist the Township with completing the Application, the last step of entering the Program. Lower Makefield Township looks forward to joining the CRS Program to provide the opportunity for discounted Flood Insurance Premiums to the residents.
For more information on Flood Hazard Mapping, download FEMA’s Flood Hazard Mapping Fact Sheet.
The 2010 FIRMs are available for review at the Lower Makefield Township Municipal Building Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00 pm, or can be viewed on-line at: http://www.rampp-team.com/pa.htm
An update on the FEMA Map Modernization was presented at the May 4, 2011 Board of Supervisors meeting and can be viewed on the Township Cable Channel, or you can view it online. A Community Meeting held in Upper Makefield Township with FEMA and the Bucks County Planning Commission on April 27th can also be viewed online.