Oklahoma Water Resources Board the Water Agency


Flood Map Modernization

Many of the nation's flood hazard maps are outdated and no longer realistically depict the true flood risk. As a result, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is conducting a multi-year effort, the Map Modernization Program, to update these maps and present them in a more reliable digital format that is easily accessible to local and state floodplain officials. Not only will the new maps help manage development and emergency response, but they will assist lenders and insurance agents in offering the proper protection to their clients.

FEMA's 5-year plan, called the Multi-Year Flood Hazard Identification Plan (MHIP), provides the sequence in which communities will be studied. By the end of the 5-year period, an estimated 20,000 communities will have new flood hazard maps. Through a premier data collection and delivery system, a National Service Provider, hired by FEMA, will manage Map Modernization and provide continual, national updates on each community's progress.

In Oklahoma, the OWRB is working closely with FEMA in preparing a plan to update the state's floodplain maps. Critical to this activity will be forming and strengthening partnerships between the OWRB and the federal government, state agencies, and local communities.

Map Scoping meetings are being held in each county where new maps are to be produced. Mapping contractor, Watershed Concepts, along with FEMA, have coordinated countywide efforts in Wagoner, Rogers, Ottawa, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Cherokee, Pittsburg and Pottawtomie Counties. At the meetings, each community within each county was invited to attend and voice their needs and concerns prior to the onset of the process. The map adoption process will take place within the next 12 to 16 months. Map adoption is a critical step to assure each community is compliant with their floodplain management ordinances and regulations. New maps will be formally adopted prior to the effective date of the new FIRM. FEMA and the OWRB will be assisting communities to ensure this timeframe is met.

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Page last updated: February 18, 2011

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