Proposed flood maps for Rockford unveiled, open house Dec. 17

Online Staff Report

Rockford officials and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have announced the release of Rockford’s new proposed flood maps, which depict flood risk across the community.

The new proposed flood maps were developed after an extensive, multi-year study of multiple waterways within Winnebago County that used state-of-the-art technologies and risk modeling techniques.

The maps, known as a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) panels, and related flood risk data and information, will be used to update plans to protect the community from flooding, help inform future development and identify changes in flood risks.

Marcy Leach, engineering operations manager for the City of Rockford, said: “Over the years, the city has maintained a close partnership with FEMA to make sure that we have the most accurate picture possible of our flood risk, and take measurable steps towards reducing that risk. This information will not only ensure that our homes and businesses are insured appropriately against flooding, but will help us make more informed decisions about how to protect Rockford from what might otherwise be devastating events.”

The new map is still preliminary and has not yet been officially adopted. Rockford officials encourage residents and business owners to review the proposed flood maps to learn about local flood risk and identify any concerns or questions about the information provided.

A Public Comment Period will be opening soon during which time property owners will be able to submit appeals and comments related to the map’s accuracy. Once these comments are received and addressed, the maps are expected to be adopted. Once the map becomes effective, any related new insurance and floodplain management requirements will take effect.

Open house to highlight flood risk changes

Residents and business owners are encouraged to attend an open house from 4 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 17, at RMAP (Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning), 315 N. Main St, Rockford, to learn how and why the local risk of flooding has changed, how the proposed new flood maps will be used, and the steps they can take to protect themselves from extensive flood damage. Representatives from the City of Rockford, FEMA, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois State Water Survey will be on hand to answer resident questions.

View the Preliminary FIRM panels

The Preliminary FIRM panels are also available for viewing and download at www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata or at www.illinoisfloodmaps.org, where specific changes to the maps can be viewed.

Questions regarding this project should be directed to Marcy Leach at (815) 987-5570 at the City of Rockford Public Works Department.

Posted Dec. 3, 2014

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