On August 26th, Federal, state, county and local officials were available to answer questions from Whidbey Island coastal residents about general flooding and the federal flood insurance rate maps newly issued by FEMA. The new maps, accurate to within 1-2 feet, are issued free by request to any waterfront homeowner, and show the elevation one would have to build to avoid flooding during a 100-year flood event.
Although no official was able to say how many Island County homeowners will see an increase in their premiums or what the average increase will be, the maps provided clarification of those at risk for not only tsunami, but also flooding caused by a combination of high tide, high wind and rain. For homeowners with federally backed loans, flood insurance is required. It is optional for other homeowners to insure their structures and its contents. According to a FEMA representative at the meeting, flood premiums set by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are increasing due to Congress phasing out some flood-insurance subsidies, the increased number and size of flood claims, increased populations in floodplains and increasingly frequent and severe storms. To find a flood map or learn more about the full range of flood risk products for your community, click here https://msc.fema.gov/portal/
To determine if your community will be receiving new or updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) in the near future, a Letter of Final Determination (LFD) is sent by FEMA to the Chief Executive Officer of a community stating that new or updated maps will become effective in 6 months. The letter also notifies floodprone communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that they must adopt a compliant floodplain management ordinance by the map effective date to “remain participants in good standing in the NFIP”. The Washington communities whose LFD’s effective date is in December of 2015 are:
Castle Rock (City, Cowlitz)
Cowlitz County (Unincorporated Area)
Kalama (City, Cowlitz)
Kelso (City, Cowlitz)
Longview (City, Cowlitz)
Woodland (City, Clark and Cowlitz)
For more information click here http://www.fema.gov/letter-final-determination
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