Maine Officials Say Flood Map Would Hurt Harbor

August 11, 2009

Officials in Portland, Maine say a new flood insurance map of the city harbor being prepared by federal officials would limit development options on all the city’s piers.

Portland City Planning Director Penny St. Louis Littell says the map by the Federal Emergency Management Agency would leave the area with dilapidated, decaying structures where no one can rebuild.

FEMA spokesman David Mendelsohn tells the Portland Press Herald the agency’s job is to identify risk.

In its proposed map, FEMA reclassifies Portland Harbor as an area where FEMA believes waves or high velocity water could cause structural damage in a 100-year flood.

Under that classification new structures cannot be built on piers and wharfs that are over water.

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