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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 about the new flood maps, starting a 90-day appeals period when the maps may be challenged.

Homeowners who question the map's base flood elevation should contact local officials who may have technical data to bolster their appeal. Storm water management systems, drainage systems, culverts and hydraulic analysis all could be considered in an appeal.

More information can be obtained at local municipal offices, and by visiting


>Highway chief's race still without a winner

The race for Amherst highway superintendent remains undecided.

Currently, incumbent Robert Anderson has a 393-vote lead over challenger Kathy Kaminski, who works as a general crew chief for the Highway Department. More than 30,000 votes were cast but more than 1,000 absentee ballots still must be counted in the coming days.

The margin has remained unchanged since Election Night, even after a rechecking of all town voting machines this past week.

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