Flood map appeal period begins

Starting Jan. 25, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) begins its official 90-day technical appeal process for residents, municipalities and businesses to submit comments and appeals regarding preliminary floodplain maps.

Appeals and comments from residents will be accepted by FEMA until April 24.

According to a Hays County press release, the next step in the mapping process is the resolution of all comments and appeals.

“Once they (appeals and comments) are resolved, FEMA will notify communities of the effective date of the final maps, which are expected to be complete in spring 2019,” the press release stated.

BE AWARE

See the proposed FEMA flood plain maps online at maps.riskmap6.com/TX/Hays/

John Nett, Buda city engineer, said FEMA began the process of updating the floodplain maps in 2011 and that the preliminary maps were made available to the public for their review on April 7, 2017.

Nett said that residents, developers and businesses with comments or appeals requests could submit those concerns in writing to Buda and they would be submitted to FEMA through the city.

Tom Pope, the Hays County Floodplain Administrator, will be accepting all comments and appeals from property owners in unincorporated areas of Hays County until the end of the appeal period. Residents living in Dripping Springs, Kyle, Wimberley and San Marcos should submit their comments or appeals to their respective city offices.

“This is your opportunity to review the latest FEMA information to learn about local flood risks and potential future flood insurance requirements,” Pope said. “The review period allows stakeholders to identify any concerns or questions about the information provided and to participate in appeal and comment periods for the maps.”

Comments can consist of property owners reporting incorrect information that doedsn’t change the flood hazard maps. That can consist of a missing or misspelled road name or an incorrect boundary.

However, property owners can submit an appeal if they believe that modeling or data used to create the map “is technically or scientifically incorrect,” according to the release.

The claim must include technical information, such as hydraulic or hydrologic data, to support the claim, according to the release.

Nett said Jan. 18 city officials found some issues that could mean filing an appeal.

The city will join residents and developers who have noticed errors in the maps as well.

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