Planning & Zoning Director Laurence Bradley announced today that new flood zone maps prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will go into effect on July 8.
Prior to the effective date of the new maps the Planning & Zoning Commission will conduct a public hearing to modify the zoning regulations to reference the new mapping.
“In all, 1,122 property owners were affected by the new maps which in turn will impact their need to have flood insurance,” Bradley said.
”Until the new maps go into effect, all property owners are strongly encouraged to utilize the new flood zone map data as the basis for their renovation projects.”
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The new flood zone data is available at the Planning and Zoning Office and online at http://www.starr-team.com/starr/RegionalWorkspaces/RegionI/Pages/default.aspx.
Failure to build to the new flood levels could potentially impact a property owner’s flood insurance rate, Bradley said.
“All property owners in flood zones should check with their insurance carriers to see how their rates may be effected,” he said.
Flooding is the most frequent and costly natural disaster in Westport, Bradley said. The risk for flooding changes over time due to erosion, land use, weather events and other factors. The likelihood of inland, riverine and coastal flooding has changed along with these factors.
“The risk for flooding can vary within the same neighborhood and even property-to-property,” he said. “But it exists throughout the area. Knowing your flood risk is the first step to flood protection.”
For general information about the flood map changes, contact Michelle Perillie or Laurence Bradley in the Westport Planning and Zoning Office at (203) 341-1076. Staff is available for questions regarding new flood maps on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. -noon.
Property owners may also obtain additional information regarding the National Flood Insurance Program, by calling the National Flood Insurance Program Help Center at (800) 427-4661, or by accessing the FEMA FloodSmart website at: http://www.floodsmart.gov