The Town of Amherst is in the process of updating its Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS). Most of the Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps have been available for review since July 2020. Recently revised panels (#170, #351 & # 334), dated June 30, 2021, have been available for review since July 2021. A 90-Day statutory appeal period for panels #170, 351 and 334 began on September 10, 2021 and will end on December 9, 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 are posted on the town website at the following link: FIRM Revision Project - 2021 Update | Amherst, MA - Official Website (amherstma.gov)
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 #170, #351 & #334 are now in a 90-day statutory appeal period, which will end on December 9, 2021. 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 June 2022.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org or Nate Malloy, Senior Planner, 413-259-3322, email@example.com