Patrick, Keating: Not So Fast on New Flood Maps

New flood zone maps could bring drastic insurance rate spikes to many homeowners. File photo.
New flood zone maps could bring drastic insurance rate spikes to many homeowners. File photo.
By Roberto Scalese

Governor Deval Patrick wants the federal government to hold off on new flood table maps. Consumers and officials alike are concerned that the new maps will lead to rate shock for flood insurance buyers, according to the Boston Herald.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is finalizing the new maps, which put more areas in potential flooding zones. Flood insurers in some cases have already abandoned the old federal maps in favor of the new proposal, which puts more homes in flood risk and allows them to charge more for insurance.

“FEMA has these new maps which go into effect really soon, and in some cases, are already being used by insurers as a model for their rates. And our appeal to FEMA is, slow down,” Patrick said yesterday, according to the Herald.

Representative William Keating wrote an editorial in the Boston Globe calling into question the accuracy of the new maps. Keating cited two experts who reviewed the plan questioned the scientific methodology used.

"Their findings indicate that FEMA applied an inappropriate methodology for our region when establishing the new flood zone maps," wrote Keating. "The methodology employed used the Pacific Coast model, which does not truly reflect flooding patterns found on the Atlantic coastline in New England."

Is your property affected by the new flood map proposal?

To see if a specific property is affected by these changes, residents can use the FEMA search tool. Enter an address in the field and click search. On the results map, the address will be shown with a "FIRM panel" identification link. Click on that to get a map of the address and surrounding area.


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