Washington, USA, 17 April 2006: The federal government is spending more than US $1.2 billion to modernize the flood insurance maps of the nation’s 3,142 counties to determine areas that are prone to flooding.
This week, FEMA will start handing Michigan homeowners and communities a tool to prepare for flooding — the first revised Michigan county federal flood insurance map. The Berrien County map goes live on the Web from April 18. Maps for Kent, Washtenaw, Livingston, Ottawa, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties will be done by the end of the year. Work on the next group of counties — Genesee, Lapeer, Allegan, Cass, Clinton, Eaton, Huron, Ingham and St. Clair — is expected to be completed by mid-2007.
All of Michigan’s 83 counties are to be remapped by 2010, although federal officials admit there is a priority to fund map modernization in places where there is significant flood risk and a large population.
The modernization process is a top priority because the old maps have been around for up to 20 years. Plus, the maps are used at all levels of government — local, state and federal — to guide zoning regulations and to determine who must purchase flood insurance.