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Mar 15 Flood Map Presentation

Release Date: March 04, 2010
Sussex Residents Urged to Attend 'Open House' Mar. 15th To Check Flood Zone Status of Homes, Businesses

Barbara Lynch
FEMA, Region II

Sussex Residents Urged to Attend 'Open House' Mar. 15th
To Check Flood Zone Status of Homes, Businesses

NEW YORK - Feb. 19 - Sussex County residents are invited to review the county's new, preliminary flood map at the Sussex County Main Library on March 15th. The "Open House" will be held between 4pm and 8pm. The library is located at 125 Morris Turnpike in Newton.

Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) will be available to answer questions about the county's new flood maps, and their implications for mandatory flood insurance. There will be no formal presentation. The conversational, Open House format will allow residents to get answers specific to their property and situation.

Sussex County's new, preliminary flood is part of a national, $1 billion initiative to update the country's flood maps for 92% of the population. The digital technology allows for simultaneous layers of data, providing residents and local and state government the ability to more accurately assess a property's risk for flooding.

The new maps, based on revised hydrologic and hydraulic studies of the Delaware River completed in June 2009, will replace maps for Sussex County communities that date back to the 1970s and 1980s.

"The new, preliminary map doesn't present any major changes in the flood plain," said Mary Colvin, Acting Mitigation Director for FEMA, Region II, which covers, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. ""But there are some changes, and that's why we want everyone to check the status of their property so they aren't hit with any unpleasant surprises down the road."

Inclusion in a flood plain carries a mandatory flood insurance requirement for all properties with a federally-backed mortgage. Knowing whether your property is subject to this mandatory flood insurance requirement enables owners to take advantage of the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) "grandfathering" provision, which enables owners to buy insurance at a reduced rate before their property is formally placed in the flood plain. To qualify for this savings, owners must purchase flood insurance before the preliminary map becomes final, which officials anticipate will be early next year.

Sussex County residents can check the new maps at the Feb. 25th Open House or at their municipal offices. The new, preliminary maps are also online at:

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.