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Community members will have the opportunity to ask questions about preliminary updates to the FEMA flood map for Bristol, Tennessee at an upcoming informational open house. On Thursday, July 13 between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM, staff from the city’s Planning and Engineering divisions will be available to review the maps with interested property owners along with any questions they may have.
As a participating community in the National Flood Insurance Program, city officials work with FEMA to help make periodic updates to the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), which depicts special flood hazard areas and other flood-related data in the city. Homes and businesses in high-risk flood areas are generally required to carry flood insurance as a condition of their mortgage, as flood damage is not covered under most homeowners policies. When flood maps are updated, property owners may find no change in their flood risk compared to previous maps, or they may see that it is now higher or lower than before. These changes could have an impact on the requirement for and cost of flood insurance on a property.
The preliminary flood map changes may be viewed online at msc.fema.gov/fmcv
When preliminary flood maps are issued, individuals have a 90-day statutory period to file an appeal to FEMA through their local community if they disagree with the new flood risk identified for a property. Appeals must be supported by an analysis or scientific evidence showing that the information on the preliminary map is scientifically or technically incorrect. The preliminary maps for Bristol were issued on May 10, but thus far, no requests for appeal have been received by the city.
“All decisions regarding the information contained in the preliminary flood maps and any subsequent appeals are made by the federal government, while at the local level, we are primarily here to serve as a point of contact for our community,” said Cherith Young, Bristol, Tennessee Director of Community Development and Planning. “We wanted to make this opportunity available to anyone who may have questions about changes in their flood risk while the FEMA appeal window is still open.”
The flood map open house is Thursday, July 13 from 4:00 PM until 6:00 PM at the Ewell L. Easley Municipal Annex, 104 8th Street, Bristol, Tennessee. Individuals may drop in at any point during this time to meet with staff. For those unable to attend the open house but who still have questions about changes to their flood risk, questions may be submitted to [email protected] or by calling (423) 989-5514.
Remember that floods can happen anywhere, regardless of whether a property appears on the map. For additional information regarding flood risks and insurance, visit floodsmart.gov.