A new interactive map feature on the Rockland County website allows residents to view their property in relation to its flood risk. County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef announced on Monday that the Rockland County Planning Department’s Geographic Information System (GIS) team implemented the interactive map application.
The GIS team and the Rockland County Office of Fire and Emergency Services in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Rockland County Flood Hazard Mapping Update project developed the Preliminary FEMA Flood Risk Study Map Application, The interactive map can be found on the Rockland County GIS Portal.
Residents can find out if their parcel is located in the preliminary 100-year flood plain, or if it is slated for removal from the current 100-year flood plain as part of the process for reviewing and digitizing the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).
Community members can also view and print other preliminary FEMA map data, and new data including 2010 aerial photos of the county and 2007 building outlines. Users can search for their property by its tax identification number or by street address.
Vanderhoef said the launch of the application provides user-friendly access to GIS-related resources for citizens, businesses and local governments.
GIS Director Douglas Schuetz said, “The direct access it provides residents to the FEMA mapping update is important, and we are proud to be able to continue improving the accessibility of vital data like this to Rockland residents.”
The new resource will be valuable for emergency services as well.
"This interactive mapping application will serve a multitude of functions to assist in identifying mitigation strategies, as well as for formulating enhanced emergency response procedures," said Christopher Jensen, Program Coordinator for the Rockland County Office of Fire & Emergency Services.
Once logged onto the county's GIS Portal, which serves as the gateway to GIS information and computer-generated maps, residents may reach the new application by clicking on the “Interactive Maps” tab and Preliminary FEMA Flood Risk Study.
When FEMA maps flood hazards in a community, two products result: a Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report and a FIRM. A FIRM illustrates the extent of flood hazards in a community by depicting flood risk zones and is used with the FIS report to determine who must buy flood insurance and the floodplain development regulations that apply in each flood risk zone.
As part of FEMA’s Flood Hazard Mapping Update project, Rockland County’s FIRM has been revised to reflect new data and converted to a digital format so residents, homeowners, business owners and officials can better understand their flood risk and manage development. The digital format of Rockland’s FIRMs (DFIRMs) is more accurate and easier to update than hardcopy maps, and shows more clearly if structures are located inside or outside flood hazard areas.
This first countywide study for Rockland resulted in 160 miles of new or revised river reaches, which means potential changes in flood insurance coverage and building requirements for property owners. The DFIRM for Rockland County
is expected to be finalized in the summer of 2013. For further information on the National Flood Insurance Program, residents can go to www.FloodSmart.gov. Additional information about the floodplain-mapping project, including a Rockland County Mapping Fact Sheet, can be found at https://www.rampp-team.com/ny.htm.
FEMA has not yet finalized the Flood Hazard Risk Study upon which the interactive map is based. Property owners should be aware that the map layers on the DFIRM Interactive Application, representing the flood boundaries, could be revised inthe future.