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>Residents' input urged in drafting flood maps

WASHINGTON -- Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are urging residents affected by its flood maps to submit appeals and supporting data before the maps are finalized.

"The fundamental purpose of these preliminary maps is to identify properties that are at risk for flooding," said Stephen Kempf, FEMA's regional administrator. "If residents can document that their home has a specific elevation or surrounding topography that mitigates that risk, we want to know."

Next month FEMA will place public notices in local papers to officially notify residents of the new flood maps. These public notices will start the clock on a 90-day appeals period, during which any technical or scientific aspect of the maps pertaining to the base flood elevations may be challenged.

Individual homeowners who question the map's base flood elevation for their property should contact local officials who may have technical data to bolster their appeal. Storm water management systems, drainage systems, culverts and hydraulic analysis are all examples of factors in an appeal.

More information can be obtained at local municipal offices, and at the following Web site:

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