Chesterton Tribune

Flood hazard maps for Porter County released open house Nov. 2

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Preliminary flood hazard maps for Porter County have been released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to the DNR and county officials.

When final, the maps will show flood risks throughout the county and determine whether property owners are required to carry flood insurance.

Some residents may be required to purchase additional flood insurance once local communities adopt these maps. The purchase of flood insurance is required by federally insured or regulated mortgage lenders if a structure is located in a high-risk flood area.

The first new such documents for the county in 29 years came as the result of FEMA, DNR, and the county completing an extensive multi-year study of the area’s floodplains using state-of the-art technologies and risk-modeling techniques.

"Everyone is at some risk of flooding,” Andrew Velasquez III, regional administrator of FEMA Region V in Chicago, said in a release. “Porter County residents and business owners need to know what that risk is so they can make informed decisions about their safety and financial investments.”

An open house will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 2 in the Porter County Fairgrounds 4-H Building, 215 E. Division Road in Valparaiso, for those who would like to learn more about how this new mapping may affect them.

Stations will be set up for property owners to review the maps and discuss any concerns with engineers who are knowledgeable with the map development process. There will be no formal presentation at the open house.

These flood insurance rate maps identify property as having high, moderate or low flood risk. In addition to affecting property owners, these maps allow community planners, engineers, permit officials, builders and others to determine if, where and how new structures and developments should be built.

Additional stations will be available during this time for property owners to obtain information and discuss any concerns regarding flood insurance or related issues with knowledgeable staff from DNR.

A 90-day public comment period will start at a date to be announced by FEMA after the public meeting. During that period, property owners can submit appeals and protests. Once the feedback is received and addressed, the maps are expected to be adopted in 2012, when the new insurance requirements will take effect.

The Porter County project is part of FEMA’s larger effort to modernize the nation’s aging flood maps to reflect the most current flood risks and areas of recent growth.

The preliminary maps may be viewed at



Posted 10/26/2011