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Carroll County Updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps Affect Property Owners and Developers

Oct 2, 2015Latest News

On October 2, 2015, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for Carroll County Maryland will go into effect. The updated FEMA FIRMs for Carroll County were initially presented to the public for comment over three years ago. The updated maps will cover the entire County including the incorporated municipalities. Revised FEMA FIRM maps have been recently adopted in many other Maryland and Pennsylvania counties as well.

If you own or plan to purchase an improved property located in a FEMA delineated flood plain, you will most likely be informed by your lender that you need to purchase flood insurance. Often property owners are confused by this requirement, because their house or commercial property is located well above any potential flood waters. As crazy as it may sound, your structure could be located on high ground, but your lender may ask for flood insurance in order to approve a loan for the property. What can you do if you find yourself in this situation? After talking to your lender, you will most likely be instructed to contact a local surveyor for help.

A surveyor like Hanover Land Services, Inc. (HLS) can often help minimize the cost of flood insurance for a property owner whose property lies within a FEMA delineated flood plain. A surveyor can provide an elevation certification for structures on the property. An elevation certification will show which floors of a structure, if any, are above the 100 year flood elevation. Hanover Land Services, Inc. routinely provides elevation certifications for this purpose.

Some lenders may also require a “Letter of Map Amendment” (LOMA) be issued by FEMA. Your surveyor should be familiar with the FEMA application process. If all structures on your property are built above the flood plain in question, the requirement for flood insurance may be eliminated entirely. In areas without a detailed FEMA study, a house location certification can be provided to verify that your property is not in the flood plain.

HLS may also delineate flood plain boundaries to help a property owner determine if they should apply to FEMA to change the delineated flood plain. The property owner who can show that the flood plain should be redefined with their structures shown completely outside the floodplain boundaries may eliminate their need for flood insurance. If you are interested in finding out more about how a surveyor may be able to help you eliminate or substantially reduce the cost of flood insurance for your property, contact Kristin Barmoy at 410-857-0210 or [email protected].

Further information about the soon to be effective updated Carroll County FEMA FIRM maps and other general questions about FEMA FIRMS can be found via the Carroll County government website at
http://ccgovernment.carr.org/ccg/MapServer4/GIS/webpage/FIRM_Coverpage.html. Pat Varga, the Carroll County Floodplain Management Specialist (410-386-3844), is also available to answer questions about Carroll County properties.

FEMA FIRM maps and information for any area of the Country can be found on FEMA’s Map Service Center at https://msc.fema.gov/portal/