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If your property is now located in a flood zone, you may be required to purchase flood insurance.
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While climate change and increased development contribute to the increased flood zones, the main reason is better flood modeling techniques and data than was available in 1981.
Based on the 2020 LFHA report, dredging the flood control channel provides some protection from flooding adjacent to the channel, and reduces the depth of flooding in other low lying areas. However, a large portion of the flooding shown in the new FEMA maps comes from high streamflow overtopping the banks in Six Mile, Cascadilla, and Fall Creeks.
The dredging project will be performed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and is an important component of the City’s flood control program. The City is supporting the DEC in this effort, but has no control over the project schedule and budget.
The city has applied for three large FEMA grants to provide funding for additional engineering design and construction of flood mitigation measures. If any of these grants are awarded, a design process will begin using the concepts and data from the LFHA report and from public input. Once design is complete, the city will apply for a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) from FEMA, which means that FEMA will revise the flood maps if the mitigation measures are constructed as designed. Once the construction work is complete, the city will apply for a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) from FEMA. A LOMR will reduce the extent of the flood risk zone and will remove mandatory flood insurance requirements from those properties that are no longer in the zone.
The new FEMA maps will go into effect sometime in 2024, but the exact date is not yet known. The city is still waiting to hear if any grants were awarded for flood mitigation. If awarded, the grant(s) will be managed by the City DPW, and it is expected to take 18 months for design, permitting, and procurement activities, followed by another 18 to 24 months of construction. We anticipate another 6 months to apply for and receive a LOMR.