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Posted on: January 4, 2021

Town of Amherst Preliminary Flood Maps Enter Appeal Period

FEMA Flood Plain

The Town of Amherst is in the process of updating its Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS). The Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps have been available for review since July 2020.  A 90-Day statutory appeal period began on November 27, 2020 and will end on February 25, 2021. 

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 several years ago to update Amherst’s flood maps.   


A 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. The maps resulting from this multi-year effort have been available for public review since July 2020. 


The maps are posted on our website and can be found by clicking here.


The maps are also available in paper format for viewing at Town Hall, 4 Boltwood Avenue. Interested persons can arrange to view the paper maps by contacting the Department of Conservation and Development, Planning Director, Christine Brestrup at the link and phone number below.   


Public meetings with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and AECOM, the consultant, were held in 2017 and 2019 to discuss the revised flood hazard information, bylaw adoption and other frequently asked questions and concerns. 


The Preliminary Maps are now in a 90-day statutory appeal period, which will end on February 25, 2020.  Once the appeal period is complete and all appeals have been resolved, the town will enter into a six-month compliance period, during which the maps will be presented to Town Council for approval, along with bylaw amendments associated with FEMA floodplain requirements. The Town expects the flood-mapping project to be concluded by August 2021. 


The public is invited to  view the maps online or by contacting the Planning Department staff if you have any questions or wish to file an appeal:  

  • Christine Brestrup, Planning Director, 413-259-3145, brestrupc@amherstma.gov or 
  • Nate Malloy, Senior Planner, 413-259-3322, malloyn@amherstma.gov.

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