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FEMA to hold public information meeting in Auburn regarding flood insurance rate maps

FEMA will hold a public meeting 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Auburn's Dick Scobee Elementary, located at 1031 14th St. NE regarding proposed changes to the FEMA flood insurance rate maps for the King County portion of the city.

New Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) have been completed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and they may include a change in classification for property.

This is not a meeting regarding the operational status of the Howard Hanson Dam.

During the meeting, there will be a short presentation covering:

• Flood study overview

• The process and timeline for appeal

• The timeline for adoption

• The different flood hazard zones (classifications) and what they mean

• How changes in classification affect flood insurance requirements

• How changes in classification affect building regulations

The Draft DFIRM maps are available online at the King County website or are available for viewing during regular business hours in the City of Auburn Customer Service Center located on the second floor at 1 E. Main St.

A new study has been completed using updated flood models and base elevation data, which is used to amend the flood maps to show the level of risk to flooding. The new maps update the classifications of which properties are located within a FEMA Flood Hazard Area and may affect the classification of a property, home or business. Changes in flood insurance policy requirements or rates may follow.

This change may affect a resident's mortgage loan requirements. If your property was outside a flood hazard area on the old maps and is now inside a flood hazard area on the new DFIRMs, your mortgage holder may now require you to carry flood insurance. FEMA requires property owners with a federally-backed mortgage in a flood hazard zone to purchase flood insurance.

Regardless of mortgage status, owners of properties in or near flood hazard zones are encouraged to carry flood insurance. If you don’t have a flood insurance policy, purchasing one prior to the expected adoption of the new DFIRMs may qualify you for lower rates than if you waited until after the maps were adopted. For more information on flood insurance, please go online to www.floodsmart.gov.

For more information about the meeting, contact Chris Andersen at 253-876-1962 or candersen@auburnwa.gov.

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