The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Monday released Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for New Jersey’s Middlesex and Monmouth Counties that reflect the latest refinements to the ongoing analysis of flood hazards.
FEMA said this release is the next step in the coastal Flood Insurance Study update. The Preliminary FIRMs replace the preliminary work maps for Middlesex and Monmouth Counties that were released in June/July of 2013 as an interim product.
FEMA said the preliminary FIRMs — which reflect the same coastal flood risks as the preliminary work maps — have now been updated to include riverine flooding.
FEMA said the release of the preliminary FIRMs indicates the first step in the official regulatory review process. The next step is a statutory 90-day appeal and comment period, which is expected to begin in spring 2014.
Property owners and interested parties will have the opportunity to appeal the preliminary FIRMs by submitting technical documentation to their local Floodplain Administrators during this period. Once the appeal period is over, and all appeals are resolved, FEMA will issue a Letter of Final Determination (LFD) to the Middlesex and Monmouth County communities that initiates the six-month adoption period before the maps become effective.
Upon becoming effective, expected to occur in 2015, the new FIRMs will determine flood insurance rates. In the meantime, to promote higher standards for building performance and reduce potential future flood insurance costs, officials are encouraging Middlesex and Monmouth County communities to refer to the standards reflected in the Preliminary FIRMs for the construction of new and substantially improved structures.
Source: The Federal Emergency Management Agency