Federal Emergency Management Agency Floodplain Maps
A multi-year Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) project to re-examine flood zones and develop detailed, digital flood hazard maps has been completed in New Hope Borough. The new maps reflect current flood risks and areas of recent growth, replacing maps that are up to eleven years old. As a result, property owners throughout New Hope Borough will have up-to-date, reliable, Internet-accessible information about their flood risk — on a property-by-property basis. Some property owners may learn that their risks are higher, or lower, than they thought. You should be aware of how the maps changed and why — and how the changes affect your property.
Flood hazard maps, also known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), are important tools in the effort to protect lives and properties in New Hope. By showing the extent to which areas of the Borough — and individual properties — are at risk for flooding, flood maps help business and property owners make better financial decisions about protecting their properties. These maps also allow community planners, local officials, engineers, builders and others to make important determinations about where and how new structures and developments should be built.
New digital mapping techniques provide more detailed, reliable and current data on Borough flood hazards. The results are a better picture of the areas most likely to be impacted by flooding and a better foundation from which to make key decisions.
To ensure that everyone within the Borough has access to the most accurate and up-to-date information about flood hazards, the new map is being made available to the public at Borough Hall, located at 123 New Street. Contact the Zoning Officer, Robert Larason, at 215-862-3347 to make an appointment to inspect the new FEMA map. You may view the map by downloading the PDF file.
The Bucks County Planning Commission recently added the Bucks County Floodplain Viewer on-line at https;//bucksgis.maps.arcgis.com. The Viewer shows the FEMA floodplain boundaries that were adopted by Borough Council on January 20, 2015 and shows flood areas in relation to buildings and tax parcels.
FEMA published a notice of the proposed flood hazard determinations in the Federal Register and published the second of two public notices concerning the appeal process in The Intelligencer on or about August 26, 2013. FEMA also published a separate notice of the flood hazard determinations on the "Flood Hazard Determinations on the Web" portion of the FEMA website at www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/fhm/bfe.
A 90-day appeal period followed publication of the second notice in The Intelligencer. The deadline to file an appeal expired on November 23, 2013.
Following completion of the 90-day appeal period, FEMA issued a Letter of Final Determination that directed the Borough to adopt the new map within a 180-day compliance period as part of an updated floodplain management ordinance. FEMA set an effective date of March 16, 2015 for local government adoption and implementation of ordinance and map revisions.
Click here for more information on understanding changes to the Borough's community flood insurance rate map..
For questions specifically concerning insurance, please call 800-427-4661 or visit www.floodsmart.gov.