DNREC Announces New Flood Planning Tool - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DNREC Announces New Flood Planning Tool

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DOVER, Del. - DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section has announced it is now offering a flood planning tool online which can provide up-to-date information to better determine flood risk for homes and businesses.  The interactive map can also help in planning and designing development projects in accordance with floodplain codes.

DNREC officials say the map can provide residents, businesses, floodplain managers, insurance agents, developers, real estate agents, engineers, surveyors and local planners with a means of making informed decisions about the degree of flood risk for a specific area or property.  Users have the ability to look at the current effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) layer as well as the preliminary FIRM layer. 

The preliminary layer shows Delaware areas that will be revised with more detailed information as a result of flood studies that have been conducted.

DNREC officials say the new website also displays FEMA’s regulatory floodplain boundary via aerial photography. The site also features DNREC’s analysis of several special flood hazard areas that have not previously been studied in enough detail to establish a base flood elevation. The Flood Planning Tool can be found at http://maps.dnrec.delaware.gov/FloodPlanning/default.html  

Over the past 12 years, DNREC officials say the Division of Watershed Stewardship has partnered with FEMA to improve the accuracy of Flood Insurance Rate Maps created in the 1970’s through a Cooperating Technical Partnership. DNREC completed floodplain mapping for all three Delaware counties in 2016. DNREC officials say the improved flood risk maps incorporate the results of more than 330 miles of flood studies. 

According to DNREC, property owners along Zone A floodplains have had a difficult time in the past at both understanding their flood risk and in getting properly-rated flood insurance. Base Flood Elevations and Advisory Flood Heights have now been determined in most of these areas, and a more accurate depiction of flood risk is now available. In the future engineers, developers and local officials will also be able to download HEC-RAS models (HEC-RAS is a widely-used computer program modeling the hydraulics of water flow).

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