Dean Andrew, Floodplain Administrator
Public Open House –
The Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which
was created in 1968 to encourage communities to adopt floodplain management
ordinances and to help offset rising disaster assistance costs to the federal
government. The owners of property located in Special Flood Hazard Areas, or
SFHAs (also known as the “100-year floodplain”), are required to purchase flood
insurance if they have a federally insured mortgage and their property is
located in one of these mapped areas. According to FEMA, property in an SFHA
has at least a one-percent chance of being flooded in any given year, or a 26
percent chance of being flooded during the term of a 30-year mortgage.
Although flood insurance is sold by
private insurers, the rates are set by FEMA and are based on a property’s
hazard zone designation, which can be found on a participating community’s
flood insurance rate map, or FIRM. Essentially, homes built above the flood level
– the base flood elevation – are generally not required to carry flood
insurance, while homes built below the flood level pay more, according to a
risk-based sliding scale.
The federal program for replacing old
and outdated paper topographical FIRM maps with digital versions began about 11
years ago. Replacing decades-old data with information generated by aerial
laser surveys and new computer models is intended to allow FEMA to more
precisely identify and map flood-prone areas. The digital maps should be easier
to access by the public and easier to update.
The process of updating the existing
flood maps for Salina and Saline County has begun. The Kansas Division of Water
Resources, in a collaborative effort with FEMA and their mapping contractor
AMEC Foster Wheeler, has sent a draft set of the updated FIRMS to community
officials in Salina and Saline County.
The boundaries of many flood-prone areas within the city of Salina shown
on the existing 1986 flood map have been revised.
As part of the process of encouraging
public input on the updated flood maps, a public open house to review the
proposed new maps has been scheduled for Thursday,
May 19, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Heritage Hall, at the Bicentennial
Center, Salina, Kansas.
Officials from Saline County, City of
Salina Planning and Engineering Divisions, AMEC Foster Wheeler, the Kansas
Division of Water Resources and FEMA will be on hand to answer questions
regarding the development of the flood maps, their future adoption and use and
the revalidation of existing Letters of Map Change (LOMA and LOMR letters).
Officials will also be available at computer stations to look up addresses to
answer individual questions and address concerns owners may have about their
property. Maps will be available for
viewing at this public meeting. The
public may also view the maps in our offices at the City-County Building, 300
W. Ash, Room 201, or you can view a map on the Maps Page of the City’s website
at www.salina-ks.gov; from the home screen, click on Maps, then click on “Draft
FEMA Floodplain maps” or use this link:
If you have any questions about
properties within the city limits of Salina, please contact Dean Andrew, Floodplain
Administrator, or any staff member of the Planning Division at 785-309-5720 or
You may also contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Water
Resources, Dane Bailey, Program Manager at (785)296-7769. For more information about Map Modernization
or the National Flood Insurance Program visit www.fema.gov.