Falls OKs New FEMA Maps, Removes 600 Residents from Flood Area
The Falls Township Board of Supervisors proved that hard work and persistence – especially for the benefit of Township residents - pays off. After working for the last several years to remove people mistakenly included in a flood hazard area, the Falls Supervisors adopted new FEMA maps which remove an estimated 643 residents from areas previously deemed flood plains.
“When people were refinancing their homes, and selling their homes they were being forced to buy flood insurance but living in an area that had never flooded,” Supervisors Chairman Bob Harvie said.
Hearing this prompted the governing body to work with other elected officials and FEMA to bring about a change. The board adopted the change in the form of an amendment to its flood plain ordinance, which includes, among other things, more up-to-date FEMA flood maps.
According to Tom Bennett, Falls Township’s Floodplain Administrator, the new maps effectively removed 643 from the flood area. Ultimately mortgage companies determine if homeowners need flood insurance, he said.
“You need to prove to them that you’re not in a flood plain anymore,” Bennett said.
His office is willing to help provide the necessary paperwork to help residents. Residents can call him at 215-949-9000 Ext. 251 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To view flood maps to see how your property fits into the flood hazard areas, residents can visit floodsmart.gov.
A few apartment buildings and about 35 residents are all that remain in the flood hazard area, according to Bennett.
For those who remain in flood-prone areas, Bennett said flood insurance discounts may be available. As a result of the Township’s community rating system, points accrue and apply in the form of less expensive flood insurance. FEMA developed a point system to reward municipalities with flood insurance discounts for each community service announcement and flood control and education measures undertaken.