County to Update Floodplain Maps

County to Update Floodplain Maps

The Washington County Engineering Department has announced plans to gather field data in areas of the floodplain in order to update floodplain maps. The project will begin immediately.
Washington County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). As such, low cost federally-backed flood insurance is available for those wishing to purchase it. An Integral part of the NFIP is the official Floodplain Maps, which identify those areas subject to floodplain regulations.
In conjunction with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), Washington County personnel will be gathering field data at all relevant structures, bridges and culverts, which cross Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) designated 100-year floodplains. This effort is an essential and necessary element of the overall program to update and improve the accuracy of the Floodplain Maps for Washington County. While this initial field data effort is expected to take several months, the actual engineering analysis and map generation process will be performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and will take from 1 to 2 years to be completed.
The effort, and the corresponding revised maps, will not physically change the location of actual floodplain areas, but instead will show more accurately where flooding occurs. Before the maps become official, all interested parties will have an opportunity to review the proposed maps and submit comments through a mandatory public comment process. Not only will the revised maps be more accurate, they will also be available in a digital format making them much more accessible and useful than the current documents.
In order to gather the required data, field personnel will occasionally have to enter onto private property to reach the structure. The Engineering Department is requesting citizens' permission and cooperation to do so as no physical marks or damage to the area will occur. The time at each site should generally be limited to less than a half-hour; and the end result of the complete effort will improve floodplain management in the County.
Questions regarding the overall Floodplain Management Program in Washington County should be directed to Terry McGee, Chief Engineer for the County at
240-313-2410, email tmcgee@washco-md.net. Questions regarding the field collection data and field personnel should be directed to Bryan Hale, Chief of Surveys for the County at 240-313-2405, email bhale@washco-md.net.