In June 2014, FEMA established a new Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for the City of Quincy that added 1,400 properties to the flood plain and raised risk rates for about 2,700 other properties already in the flood plain. The new flood map would equate to significantly higher flood insurance premiums for those property owners. The City felt that FEMA’s new maps overstated the extent of possible future flood hazards in many neighborhoods. They reached out to Woodard & Curran, and together the firm and the City worked with FEMA to modify, or correct, all six of the City’s coastal FIRM panels.
NEW FIRM IS SUCCESSFULLY REVISED
Woodard & Curran helped the City of Quincy create and execute a multi-level approach to addressing the new FIRM. The first and primary level was to draft and submit a citywide Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) to FEMA. As a result, the City won their appeal to move hundreds of properties in Quincy out of the flood plain and lower the flood zone risk for over 1,000 properties. In December 2014, FEMA agreed with the scientific and technical data submitted in the LOMR and initiated the process to correct all six of Quincy’s coastal FIRM panels.
ASSISTING INDIVIDUAL PROPERTY OWNERS
The second level of Quincy’s strategy was to use FEMA’s process to incorporate local data into the flood-hazard depictions for the areas on the FIRM through individual property Letters of Map Amendment (LOMAs). To that end, Woodard & Curran and the City individually assisted approximately 1,800 property owners seeking LOMAs by providing Elevation Certificates, firmettes, and on-call support to homeowners. Finally, the City is working with Woodard & Curran to better leverage the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System (CRS). Quincy is one of a dozen communities in Massachusetts that participate in the CRS program—a voluntary incentive program that provides flood insurance premium discounts to residents in communities that demonstrate efforts to mitigate flood impacts and implement comprehensive floodplain management.