FEMA DRAFT COASTAL FLOOD MAPS AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING
COMMUNITY INPUT MEETINGS TO BE HELD EARLY 2020
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) multi-year study of Monroe County’s coastal flood risks reached its next step with the release of the DRAFT Coastal Flood Maps to staff of Florida Keys municipalities and Monroe County. Coastal Flood Maps, otherwise known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are used to determine the minimum elevation needed for construction to reduce the chances of flooding, as well as construction methods required in certain zones. The draft maps are currently under review by staff and a technical consulting firm hired to analyze how flood risks are changing based on studies and the best available science and technology.
After the draft maps are reviewed by local governments, FEMA will consider the staff input and issue PRELIMINARY maps – slated for December 2019. The public will have an opportunity to comment officially about the PRELIMINARY maps through local community meetings to be scheduled by FEMA in early 2020, possibly January.
Although the formal public comment period will not be open until PRELIMINARY maps are issued, property owners can provide comments on the DRAFT maps to local government staff. A link to the DRAFT maps has been made available by Monroe County at the link provided below so property owners can view the DRAFT maps and see potential changes to their flood zone. FEMA has stressed that these are DRAFT flood maps. Owners of property in Islamorada can email comments on DRAFT maps to firstname.lastname@example.org. Floodplain management staff will document the comments submitted and provide them informally to FEMA.
The link below will open a FEMA FIRM Draft Maps mapping tool on the Monroe County GIS database. Zoom in to identify the FIRM Panel section where the property is located. Click within the section to view a popup containing a link to the Draft Map (PDF) of that panel section. Please note: the search by property address in the top left-hand corner is not currently functional for all addresses.
Following the formal public comments or appeals period for the PRELIMINARY maps early next year, FEMA will complete the review of all comments and appeals and publish the final Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). The FINAL FIRMs are expected to become effective sometime in 2021 or 2022 at which time they will be used to determine the minimum elevation needed for construction to reduce the chances of flooding and the construction methods required in certain zones. Additional information about the new draft coast flood maps and the FEMA process to publish the final FIRMs, please visit www.monroecounty-fl.gov/floodmaps.
Islamorada property owners may send questions to email@example.com.