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Heidelberg Borough

Flood Insurance Mapping Changes 2011-2014

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Special Attention Washington Street, Oak Way and Grant Avenue Residents  FEMA has edited their National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Flood Plain Maps for the State.

The last edit was completed 1995 and has been in effect ever since. These Flood Plain maps show what areas of the Borough are in the 100 year and 500 year flood plains. As it appears, there are no changes to the 500 year flood plain within the Borough; however, parts of Washington Street between Fourth Street and First Street, Oak Way and the property at the terminus of Industry Way are now included within the 100 year flood plains. Special attention should be made to property owners in the 100 year flood plain, as the designation may place various restrictions on future development to your property, including financial lending restrictions. We urge all residents in these zones to take advantage of the National Flood Insurance Program. For additional information, please review the Allegheny County Fact Sheet that is provided in the link below.   The old-1995 edition flood maps are available for review at the Borough Manager's Office. 

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What is the NFIP?

Congress established the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) due to escalating costs to taxpayers for flood disaster relief. The NFIP is based on the agreement that if a community practices sound floodplain management, the Federal Government will make flood insurance available to residents in that community. FEMA maps include the Special Flood Hazard Area, which is the area that has a 1% or greater chance of flooding in any given year. Development may take place within the Special Flood Hazard Area provided that it complies with local floodplain ordinances that meet NFIP criteria.

What is a FIRM?

When FEMA maps flood hazards in a community or county, two products are produced a Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report and a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). An FIS is a narrative report of the community’s flood hazards that contains prior flooding information, descriptions of the flooding sources, information on flood protection measures, and a description of the hydrologic and hydraulic methods used in the study. A FIRM illustrates the extent of flood hazards in a community by depicting flood risk zones and the Special Flood Hazard Area, and is used with the FIS report to determine the floodplain development regulations that apply in each flood risk zone and who must buy flood insurance. FIRMs also depict other information including Base (1% annual chance) Flood Elevations (BFEs) or flood depths, floodways, and common physical features such as roads.

Why Are the Maps Being Updated?

The most significant change to the countywide FIRMs is that the new maps will have an updated base map that will improve the accuracy of floodplain determinations. With this update we have produced a Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map that will be compatible with GIS (Geographic Information Systems). The improvements in spatial accuracy provided by the new base map, and the availability of electronic floodplain information should greatly enhance the ability to use the maps for planning, permitting, and insurance applications. The digital files will be available when these maps become effective.

FIRM - Heidelberg East Flood Plain Map

FIRM - Heidelberg West Flood Plain Map

Allegheny County NFIP - FACT SHEET

Flood Concerns - "We need to be PREPARED, not SCARED"

Ordinance #614 - Enancts 2013/14 Flood Mapping Changes - Sets Policy

Heidelberg Borough - 1631 E. Railroad Street, Heidelberg, PA 15106