Frequently asked questions
Preliminary Floodplain Insurance Rate Maps
Why are the maps being updated?
FEMA updates the maps to reflect the most recent flood studies based on new topography and modeling as they become available. This set of maps more accurately depicts floodplain and floodway boundaries and associated information in many areas throughout King County.
What areas are affected by the February, 1 2013 maps?
The Sammamish River and tributaries (Bear Creek, Evans Creek, North Creek, Swamp Creek), Coastal areas (Vashon Island and mainland), White River (from ¼ mile downstream of Highway 410 near Enumclaw to the Outlet Works at Mud Mountain Dam). All other areas in King County are included the Preliminary FIRMs and FIS dated November 6, 2010.
Where can I view printed Preliminary FIRMs and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports?
Available at: King County Water and Land Resources, 201 South Jackson Street, Suite 600, Seattle WA 98104 (contact Ken Zweig, Program Manager) and the following Cities: Algona, Bothell, Burien, Des Moines, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Kenmore, Milton, Normandy Park, Pacific, Redmond, Sammamish, Seatac, Seattle, Shoreline, Woodinville. Contact city offices for further information.
What is the schedule that will result in Preliminary FIRMs becoming effective?
FEMA will meet with city and county staff from affected communities to discuss the process and technical topics in 2013. Based upon city staff input, a public outreach strategy will be developed that may include public meetings. After the community coordination meetings, FEMA will initiate a 90 day public appeal period. If no appeals are submitted, the Flood Insurance Rate Maps and the Flood Insurance Study report will be effective approximately 7-10 months later.
What happens to previously issued Letter of Map Change (LOMC) actions i.e., Letters of Map Revision (LOMRs) and Letter of Map Amendment (LOMAs)?
FEMA has published a list of 3 categories of LOMCs (see below). The document is available here: Preliminary Summary of Map Actions. Cities have also been provided these lists in conjunction with the mapping and flood study document.
- LOMCs Incorporated: One LOMR (SR 202 widening project) is listed as incorporated into the FIRMs.
- LOMCs Not Incorporated: LOMCs that have not been incorporated into the PFIRMs because of scale limitations or because the property or structure is located outside the latest floodplain boundary. These LOMCs will be revalidated through a letter from FEMA after the PFIRM becomes effective.
- LOMCs Superseded: LOMCs that are no longer in effect due to new detailed flood hazard information or insufficient information to make a determination.
What is King County’s role in the process?
Unincorporated King County is a National Flood Insurance Program community affected by the Preliminary FIRMs and FIS. King County staff reviewed the FIRMs and sent FEMA comments. King Country will be participating in the community staff meetings with FEMA and will also participate in subsequent a public outreach meetings to assist in providing information to county residents about the preliminary flood insurance study and mapping.
For more information about King County’s floodplain mapping program please contact Ken Zweig, Project/Program Manager or Jeanne Stypula, Supervising Engineer of the King County River and Floodplain Management Section.