Flood plain map receives an update

Published 10:00 am Friday, March 31, 2017

LaGRANGE – The county commission discussed the approval of an update to its Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance that would allow the ordinance to reflect the latest flood plain map update from the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the commission’s Thursday work session.

FEMA updates the flood plain map every five years, and the county is required to approve this update by April 19. The main update for the county ordinance will be updating the date that the study and map was released to reflect the current plan. The update primarily considered areas near West Point Lake and the Chattahoochee River, so other parts of the county would not be effected by the change.

“All that FEMA looked at – and their engineers – was the Chattahoochee River this time,” said Senior Building Official Jay Anderson, noting that that did include areas around the lake. “… The only changes that (it) did to the good or the bad were around the lake and around the river, and I’m working… to get a list of exactly where the parcels or property owners would be effected, and we’ll contact them.”

According to Anderson, most of the results of the change will be positive for property owners.

“Most of the ones around the lake that got adjusted, got adjusted for the good, and as you know, we don’t really see flooding around the lake,” said Anderson. “It is more around the tributaries.”

The updates will let prospective builders know if their proposed construction site is in a flood zone prior to construction as part of the county’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, which discourages construction in areas on a flood plain and allows the county to be part of the Flood Insurance Program.

“That is the main thing we corrected,” said Commissioner Morris Jones, of the ordinance that has been in place for years. “People go in and build in that flood zone, and now they are warned if they can or if they can’t.”

The FEMA flood plain maps were not changed due to the flooding that occurred in December of 2015.

The county commissioners plan to vote on the update to the ordinance on Tuesday at 9 a.m. at 100 Ridley Ave.

Reach Alicia B. Hill at alicia.hill@lagrangenews.com or at 706-884-7311, Ext. 2154.