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Rockport Appeals FEMA Flood Insurance Maps

1.7.14

Bearskin Neck in Rockport, MA

The Salem News reports that Rockport town officials have begun formally appealing new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood insurance rate maps and the base flood levels imposed by the federal agency.

In their appeal, conducted by Applied Coastal Research and Engineering Inc., the town states that they are “firmly of the opinion that the proposed (base flood elevations) determined by the (flood insurance survey) and shown in the preliminary (flood insurance rate maps) covering the town are scientifically and or technically incorrect.”

In Rockport, particularly, the coastal research firm proposed that FEMA’s method of determining the base flood elevations for Sandy Bay, Main Street and Bearskin Neck do not reflect the accurate topography of the area, and as a result, “greatly overestimates the level of flooding” risks for the town.

So far, Rockport is the only community on Cape Ann to appeal the FEMA flood insurance rate maps or the base flood elevation levels.  According to the article, Congressman John Tierney, whose 6th Massachusetts District includes Rockport and all of Cape Ann, has urged communities to challenge the maps, while also calling for a reform of the Biggert Waters Act of 2012.

The act requires owners of all properties with a federal mortgage and within a designated FEMA “flood hazard” to have flood insurance.  FEMA officials have conceded that the law will mean higher premium rates for some, but not all, flood insurance policy holders.

Read the entire Salem News article.

NAR site on Nationl Flood Insurance Program:  http://www.realtor.org/topics/national-flood-insurance-program-nfip

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