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New website provides proposed flood risk mapping revision information

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Seaford-area residents are asked to review and comment on proposed floodplain mapping changes in the Clear Brook watershed by visiting a new website managed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, at bit.ly/2YZX2BS.

The proposed floodplain map changes for Clear Brook are being made because a recent evaluation found the Hearns Pond area floodplain is receding and areas downstream are slightly expanding.

The new website includes a video — also available at bit.ly/35WyElR — that provides information for residents about how the proposed changes may affect their properties and flood insurance rates. Visitors to the website can also record their comments on the proposed revisions. Any comments must be received by May 31.

“DNREC and its consultant performed updated watershed modeling, which included recent improvements to the Hearns Pond Dam to produce more detailed and accurate flood risk assessments and maps for the Clear Brook watershed,” said Michael Powell, administrator for the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship. “This improved study and map will ultimately be adopted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to produce updated federal floodplain maps for the watershed.”

DNREC partners with FEMA to improve the accuracy of flood risk maps statewide. Delaware’s current flood risk maps are used by FEMA to set flood insurance rates and enforce local floodplain codes. FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program makes flood insurance available to property owners. Mortgage lenders require borrowers whose properties are located in a designated flood hazard area to buy flood insurance as a condition of receiving a federally backed mortgage loan.

Standard homeowners insurance does not cover damage caused by flooding, but all property owners and renters can buy flood insurance. Homeowners interested in how the proposed changes could impact the cost of their flood insurance premium should contact their insurance agent.

For more on flood risk maps, contact Gina Tonn or Michael Powell with the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship, at 739-9921. The Division has also posted more information about the flood mitigation program at bit.ly/2LnUS6P.