Thurston County Emergency Management and FEMA will host an open house on newly updated, digitized flood maps on Monday, May 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the New Market Skills Center, Lecture Hall, 7299 New Market Street SW in Tumwater. -30-
The updated maps, known as Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) show the current level of flood risk on properties throughout the county. Changes represented on the new maps are based on new ground elevation data, giving the DFIRMs a higher accuracy regarding the local landscape. The maps are considered "preliminary" until the review concludes and the adoption process is completed. Final adoption is expected to occur by late January 2012.
Changes in flood risk classification may affect mortgage loan requirements. If a property was outside a flood hazard area on the old maps and is now inside a flood hazard area on the new DFIRMs, a mortgage holder may require the owner to carry flood insurance. Regardless of mortgage status, owners of properties in or near flood hazard zones are encouraged to carry flood insurance. Purchasing a policy prior to the expected adoption of the new DFIRMs may qualify a property owner for lower rates than waiting until the maps are adopted. Information is available at www.floodsmart.gov.
Attendees of the May 9th open house can visit various information tables and speak with county and FEMA staff about mapping, floodplain regulations, flood insurance, risk analysis and other related topics. The new maps are now available for viewing at the county's Permit Assistance Center in Building 1 of the County Courthouse and online at www.co.thurston.wa.us/em.
Call the county's Emergency Management office at 754-3360 for more information.