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The original item was published from 6/20/2019 10:35:21 AM to 6/26/2019 12:00:04 AM.

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Posted on: June 20, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Public Meeting: Preliminary Flood Maps

FEMA Flood Plain

A public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Room, Town Hall, for the purpose of presenting the Town of Amherst’s Preliminary Flood Maps (FIRM – Flood Insurance Rate Maps) to town staff, board and committee members and the public, and receiving comments.

Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps for the Town of Amherst have been available online and in the Planning Department office in Town Hall for review and comment since June 19, 2019. 

The Town of Amherst is in the process of updating its Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS).  The purpose of this study is to create accurate federally approved maps for land affected by flooding in order to provide information to landowners, the Amherst Conservation Commission, the Planning Board and other interested parties.

Amherst’s federal flood maps (FIRM maps) were last updated in 1983.  New, better technology for mapping flood prone areas is now available and Town Meeting appropriated funds to update Amherst’s flood maps.

Consulting firm, AECOM, was hired by the Town and has been working with the Town and with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to create more accurate mapping of the floodable areas along rivers and streams in Amherst, including but not limited to Cushman Brook, Hawley Brook, Baby Carriage Brook, Mill River, Muddy Brook, Fort River, Eastman Brook, Hop Brook, Plum Brook, Amethyst Brook, and Adams Brook, among others. 

Previously, Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps were presented at a public meeting in September of 2017.  At that time the town became aware of a new method of analyzing flood data and determining flood boundaries which had just come into use in the spring of 2017.  This new method is known as the “2017 Regression Analysis”.  In the spring of 2018 Town Meeting appropriated an additional sum of money to update the maps using the 2017 Regression Analysis to assure the town that we would be receiving maps based on the most up to date methods.

The Town of Amherst will be using these new flood maps for decades to come; previous flood maps have been in use for 35 +/- years.  We are likely to be using these new maps for the next 40 years. The mapping using the 2017 Regression Analysis has now been completed and the maps are being presented in a public meeting for review and comment.  

Click here to view the maps online! The maps are also available in paper format for viewing at Town Hall, 4 Boltwood Avenue, in the Department of Conservation and Development.

The meeting, open to the public, with FEMA  and AECOM, will provide an opportunity to discuss the revised flood hazard information, potential bylaw adoption, and other frequently asked questions and concerns.

Please view the maps online, visit Town Hall to view the maps and come to the meeting on June 25th .  If you have questions, please send them to:  Christine Brestrup, Planning Director, 413-259-3145, or ,Mike Warner, Applications Manager, IT Department,

 We expect that the project will be completed by the end of the calendar year 2019 and the maps will then be presented to Town Council for approval as the official FIRM maps.

Questions? Contact: Christine Brestrup, Planning Director, 413-259-3145; or Mike Warner, Applications Manager, IT Department, 413-259-3247 

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