FEMA starts process to finalize flood maps in Ocean County
The official process for finalizing controversial flood maps in Ocean County has begun.
The federal agency that manages flood insurance for thousands of New Jersey residents today announced the release of preliminary flood insurance rate maps for the Jersey Shore community hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency released the maps on Friday.
Similar maps are also available for Hudson, Middlesex and Monmouth counties.
The release of the preliminary flood insurance rate maps triggers a 90-day appeal and comment period that is expected to begin this spring.
FEMA says the maps may become effective in 2015.
FEMA started to update the maps — upon which homeowners’ flood insurance premiums are based — before Hurricane Sandy hit on Oct. 29, 2012.
After the storm, the federal agency released advisory maps that drew wide swaths of the Shore into the most at-risk flood zone, known as the “V” zone. The state then adopted those controversial maps though officials admitted the regulations would likely change.
And the maps did change.
The revised maps released in June for four counties — Atlantic, Hudson, Monmouth and Ocean — scaled back the “V” zone by at least 45 percent.
Erin O’Neill/The Star-Ledger