Rockland Looking at Working FEMA Flood Map Proposal 

The city of Rockland has received work maps for proposed new flood zones.

It’s part of research the federal emergency management agency has had in the works since 2009 across the nation.

Rockland city officials want to make sure the right steps are being taken for the future.

It’s been 1989 since official flood zones have been determined in Rockland.

“The city of Rockland has received work maps for the proposed new flood zones. We’re very pleased that we’re able to have new maps. The thing is, we’d really like the maps to be right,” said John Root, Rockland’s Code Enforcement Officer.

FEMA received a congressional request in 2009 to update coastal hazard data.

“As a result of that, the agency took on this huge feat to update 100 percent of the nation’s populated coastlines,” said FEMA Region One Senior Engineer, Kerry Bogdan.

Rockland Code Enforcement Officer John Root says findings from a consulting engineer show a big difference in old and new maps.  He says these flood insurance rate maps could have a big impact on properties.

“A structure has to be elevated so that the lowest structural member is one foot above the base flood.   And, elevated on posts and columns, so the water will run underneath it.  If they have mortgages, they may see an increase in their insurance rates. If they did do renovations, they would have to, at that point, elevate the building,” said Root.

One question the city has for FEMA is if they’re considering the breakwater. FEMA says the contractors they’ve hired to research the area have included the breakwater in their field surveys. They factor in waves offshore, and then come up with those starting water conditions.

“Then we need to propagate that on shore, so, things that may have changed since the previously effective map that would influence the way that that wave tracks with the shoreline, such as, if there’s been any erosion that’s taken place, or, if someone’s built a new structure, like sea wall, as well as if there’s been a change in development,” said Bogdan.

The maps Rockland has now are rough drafts. Preliminary maps are expected next year, and the official, digital maps should be completed in 2015.

“When the preliminary maps come out, we will notify all the property owners that are effected by this, and I certainly hope that everyone pays attention, and realizes that they are going to be effected in some way, and we will be sure to let them know how we will be effected,” said Root.