HENDERSON, KY (2/27/12) – Some Henderson County residents could be impacted by new Geographic Information Systems (GIS) maps, particularly regarding flood insurance policies and rates.
The new maps, in the works since 2008, show that over 1,200 parcels of land within the county lie in a floodplain, with just over half of them located within Henderson city limits. All noted parcels are at least partially affected.
To discuss this development, a public meeting is scheduled so that anyone, especially those who might be affected, can see the maps and ask questions or share any concerns. The forum is scheduled for March 8, 2012 at 6 p.m. on the top floor of the Henderson County Courthouse.
"That's the reason we want to have the meeting, so those people can see if their house or their garage or pole barn is in a flood-prone area," said Brian Bishop, head of the Henderson-Henderson County GIS component. Bishop said the meeting will cover "any questions that may come up about insurance, appeals and things of that nature.”
Personnel from the Kentucky Division of Water and the engineering firm that produced the maps, AMEC, will also be on hand at the public meeting to help answer questions.
For those owners whose property is only slightly in the floodplain, Bishop said those houses might not ever flood but he thinks “it's fair to at least send a letter out" to the community so concerned citizens can come out and be a part of the process.
The new floodplain maps are still in the process of being approved, although concerned citizens may file an appeal of the decision to include their property in the floodplain. Property owners could also inquire about locking in their flood insurance premiums before the proposed GIS map changes go into effect. Bishop reports that the maps could be adopted by December 22, 2012 if there are no appeals.
For your convenience, you find the process of filing an appeal on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website. The local case number is 07-04-0343S and the deadline for filing appeals is May 22, 2012.
In use for over twenty years, the current floodplain maps are based on 10-foot contours, which measure terrain in 10-foot increments. The new GIS technology maps are based on 2-foot contours. This new, more accurate method is a huge development in determining proper floodplain boundaries, but it could also affect those who were not included in a previous floodplain map.
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