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Ontario County to host open houses on new flood insurance maps

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

With severe weather incidents on the rise, Ontario County is taking steps to address the impact of natural disasters, including flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) to update the region’s flood risk assessments. These new maps, which replace outdated paper maps from as far back as the 1970s, highlight significant changes in flood hazard areas and aim to guide flood insurance requirements.

To assist residents in understanding these updates and their implications, FEMA, in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and local officials, is holding Open Houses. These sessions are scheduled for Wednesday evening at Richmond Town Hall and Thursday afternoon at the Safety Training Facility in Canandaigua. No formal presentation is planned; instead, attendees will have the opportunity for individual discussions with FEMA representatives about flood risks, insurance changes, and what the new FIRMs mean for their properties.

The updated maps not only reflect more current data but also provide digital access, enhancing transparency for property owners. It’s a significant shift that may affect insurance obligations: about 200 structures might be exempt from high-risk flood zones, potentially removing federal insurance mandates, while nearly 3,000 could be newly designated within these zones. Residents and stakeholders are urged to engage with the provided tools and reports to better prepare for future flood events. This process underscores the importance of personal and community awareness, particularly as Ontario County has faced over 50 flooding events since 1996, causing upwards of $20 million in damages. Residents can find further details on Ontario County’s webpage or through the county’s Planning Department.

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