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Town of Scarborough, Appeal to FEMA Preliminary Coastal Flood Maps for Scarborough Marsh Area

posted Nov 1, 2018, 8:26 AM by Colette Mathieson

Ransom Consulting, Inc., has submitted a 249 page technical appeal document to FEMA related to the Preliminary Coastal Flood Maps on behalf of the Town of Scarborough. The document addresses the legal and technical basis for the appeal as required by the FEMA regulations. The focus of the appeal was limited to the Scarborough Marsh area where our consulting team identified that the preliminary maps demonstrate significant flaws. The findings of the Ransom's appeal documents culminate in proposed 1% annual chance flood zone.  There were no changes to zones in the areas that are exposed to the open ocean. 

FEMA will now review the appeal documents. FEMA may accept the results of the Town's findings as presented, or request additional information be provided, or reject the results altogether.  Based on past experiences our consultants expect that FEMA will likely request additional information before making any final determinations. There is no firm deadline for this to occur, although once the community is engaged FEMA must resolve the appeals before moving forward.

The appeal contains 26 attachments, including modeling diagrams, calculations, and other technical data.  The most relevant documents for the general public are the 20 pages of proposed map changes contained in Attachment #26. The public can view those maps at the following link.  Map Changes  These maps show
FEMA's preliminary zone designations and base flood elevations in RED text; Ransom's proposed map changes are indicated in WHITE text.  Although there are many areas that show no difference between the preliminary and proposed designations, there are many other areas where the zone designation changes to a lower base flood elevation, or the areas are no longer in a special flood hazard area based on Ransom's calculations. 

For the complete 249 page appeal document that was prepared and submitted to FEMA please click the following link. FEMA Appeal Full Report

The Planning Department is actively working to create an interactive Geographic Information System layer to place on our WebGIS parcel viewer so that the general public can see the preliminary FEMA designations and the comparable proposed map changes included in the appeal.  Please continue to check the website for future updates on that progress.