FEMA's New Flood Elevation Maps Online
By Keith Burton - GCN 11/17/07
The long-awaited FEMA flood elevation maps for the Mississippi Coast have been released are are available for public viewing online and, later, at three open-house presentations. The maps are what has been proposed by FEMA and there could be some minor changes after a five-month public comment period before the maps become final on April 15, 2008.
The computer files for the maps (.pdf) are very large and are best viewed by people using high speed Internet connections.
The maps are the most detail ever released by FEMA and mark the areas along the Coast that are most vulnerable to hurricanes. The maps show details down to the street level and can be zoomed-up by viewers to find where their home and business sits in relation to the risks identified by FEMA's research.
The maps will help Coast communities develop flood mitigation plans and new zoning and building regulations that will help protect residents from future storms, but the maps also reveal how vulnerable some areas of the Coast is from hurricane storm surges and even general flooding. (GCN Screen-Shot below)
The maps were released by FEMA Nov. 16.
The maps will also be available during three public open houses:
Dec. 11, noon-8 p.m.: Hancock County and incorporated communities, Our Lady of the Gulf Parish Community Center, 228 S. Beach Blvd., Bay St. Louis.
Dec. 12, noon-8 p.m.: Harrison County and incorporated communities, Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum, 2350 Beach Blvd., Biloxi.
Dec. 13: Jackson County and incorporated communities, Jackson County
Civic Center, 2902 Short Cut Road, Pascagoula.