Updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps
for Essex County
Webpage updated 6/29/09
FEMA Revises Schedule for New Flood Insurance Rate Maps
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has revised their schedule for finalizing the updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps for Essex County. Originally, FEMA anticipated that these maps would become effective in June 2009, but in order to thoroughly review the appeals submitted during the Appeal and Protest period, FEMA has delayed issuing the Letter of Final Determination by a year. Maps are now scheduled to become effective in June of 2010.
Flood Maps are Changing……..What You Should Know
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recently completed a study which re-examined Essex County flood zones and has developed preliminary revised detailed, digital flood hazard maps for the Town of Swampscott. The proposed new maps -- also known as Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) -- reflect current flood risks, replacing maps that are over 25 years old. The reason these maps are produced is to provide home owners, mortgage companies, insurance companies and agents and other interested parties information specific to flood risk. Maps can be viewed on-line, see the links below, or at the following municipal offices: Building Department and Public Works.
How will these changes affect you?
Some parcels in Swampscott may have been mapped into a higher risk zone, known as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), and other parcels may have been mapped into a lower risk zone. The SFHA is the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The lower risk zone area is the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 0.2% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
Parcels in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA): If you have a mortgage from a federally-regulated lender and the building(s) on this parcel are within the SFHA, then by federal law, your lender must require you to carry flood insurance when these flood maps become effective. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federally underwritten program provided by nearly 100 insurance companies and written through licensed insurance agents. Contact your insurance agent to learn about lower-cost “grandfathering” options offered by the NFIP for properties being mapped into higher-risk areas for the first time. If you do not have a mortgage, FEMA still recommends that you purchase flood insurance, but you are not obliged to do so. Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not
provide coverage for damage due to flooding. For more information on flood insurance, visit the National Flood Insurance Program’s website, www.floodsmart.gov *.
Parcels in Zone X: While flood insurance in these areas is optional, maintaining coverage is recommended by FEMA as the flood risk has only been reduced, not removed. Lower cost flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is available in low- to moderate-risk areas and you may also qualify for the even lower cost Preferred Risk Policy (PRP). Contact your insurance agent to learn more about how to convert to the PRP. For more information on flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov *.
If you feel there has been an error, you can file a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA)
If you believe that your property has been included in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) in error, then FEMA has established administrative procedures to change the designation for these properties on the effective FIRM. These processes are referred to as the Letter of Map Amendment, or LOMA, process and the Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill, or LOMR-F, process. Through these processes, an individual who owns, rents, or leases property may submit certain mapping and survey information to FEMA and request that FEMA issue a document that officially removes a property and/or structure from the SFHA. In most cases, the applicant will need to hire a Licensed Land Surveyor or Registered Professional Engineer to prepare an Elevation Certificate for the property. Upon receiving a complete application forms package, FEMA will normally
complete its review and issue its determination in 4 to 6 weeks. Guidance information and determination requirements can be found at: http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/fhm/fmc_loma.shtm or you can call the FEMA Map Assistance Center at 1-877-336-2627.
Here’s where to go for more information.
Swampscott Department of Public Works (DPW) is available to assist residents one-on-one and provide information at the Office of the Department of Public Works, 22 Monument Avenue, or by calling Victoria Masone at 781-596-2750. Hard copies of maps are also available for review at the DPW office.
Richard Zingarelli, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Flood Hazard Management Program: 617-626-1406/ Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions about filing an LOMA or LOMR-F, contact FEMA Map Assistance Center: 1-877-336-2627.
* Note: The tool entitled “One-Step Flood Risk Profile” on www.floodsmart.gov is based upon current 1982 flood maps and does not reflect changes proposed in the Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps. Review the maps provided below and on the Swampscott DPW web site for proposed map information.
Maps – Exhibit 2 Flood Insurance Rate Maps (Swampscott maps only)