Monday, June 13th, 2016

Morris County has launched a website to inform and assist municipal officials and property owners as they begin the process of reviewing the flood hazard maps provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  This website can be found at: http://planning.morriscountynj.gov/firms

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On February 26, FEMA released the preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for Morris County, kicking-off the formal map adoption process. Once adopted, FIRMs will determine if flood insurance is FEMArequired and the rates that property owners will pay to the National Flood Insurance Program.

In addition, FIRMs help determine eligibility for disaster relief and mitigation funding, and are the best source of data for understanding flood risk in communities, especially when considering future development.

Until the new maps are formally adopted, the existing ones will remain in effect.

FEMA held two meetings in March to inform municipal officials of the FIRMs review, appeal and adoption process, which typically takes 18 to 24 months.  When the Passaic County map amendments along the border of Morris County are complete, FEMA will schedule informational “Open Houses” for the public. Specific dates have not  yet been set.

floodsThe proposed new flood maps will be the standard of flood risk determination for many years (previous FIRMs were in effect from 24-45 years).  As such, Morris County encourages flood-affected municipalities and property owners to attend the public meetings to learn about the preliminary FIRMs, map approval schedules, and how to request changes if you believe the map to be inaccurate.

Morris County’s new webpage “Flood Insurance Rate Maps” can be found at: http://planning.morriscountynj.gov/firms.  The website provides links to view these maps, information about the map adoption process, meeting schedules and presentations, the myriad of resources available, and contact information for officials at the federal and local levels.

FEMA has sent paper copies of the 2016 FIRMs to each municipality; these are available for review by the public. For municipal contact information, go to http://morriscountynj.gov/about/municipalities.  The maps also can be accessed at http://bit.ly/1puArso, or at FEMA’s Map Service Center found at https://msc.fema.gov

To speak directly with a FEMA map specialist, call (877) FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627) from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Questions also can be emailed to FEMA’s Mapping Center at [email protected], or to Jennifer McCulloch, Morris County Flood Mitigation Program Coordinator at [email protected]