Residents can attend an open house in Kent on March 21 to view proposed changes to federal flood maps, discuss the potential impacts of these changes, provide feedback and ask questions.
The preliminary maps delineate flood areas along several rivers and streams in King County, including the Green River, the Cedar River, Springbrook Creek, Mill Creek, the Black River, Kelsey Creek and the west tributary of Kelsey Creek.
Once adopted, these maps will be used to help community officials and residents identify flood risks, determine flood insurance rates and inform hazard mitigation plans and land-use and development decisions, according to a King County news release.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is updating the flood maps based on new data about flood hazards and with input from King County and other affected jurisdictions. This is the first update of these maps in many years.
The open house will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, in the City Council Chambers at Kent City Hall, located at 220 Fourth Ave. S. The city of Kent and the King County Flood Control District will host the forum, with participation by several other jurisdictions, including Auburn, Bellevue, Tukwila and King County. FEMA representatives also will attend.
The preliminary maps show revisions to the 1-percent-annual-chance floodplain, which has a 1 percent chance of flooding in any year. The maps, an excellent reference for residents before or after the meeting, can be viewed online at bit.ly/2F7SOzr.
Floodplain managers from the jurisdictions represented will be on hand at the open house to answer questions, explain the mapping process and discuss what the proposed changes mean for residents and communities. They will also have computers set up to help attendees view specific properties.
After the open house, copies of presentations from the meeting will be available online at kingcounty.gov/floodservices.
Requests for site-specific flood maps as well as other questions can be sent to King County River and Floodplain Management Section, attention Sylvia Aro, 201 S. Jackson Street, Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98104-3855. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the message or letter, please include your full name, full property address, parcel number (if available), contact information (including mailing address, email address and phone number) and questions or requests.
Flooding is the nation’s most common and most expensive natural disaster. According to national statistics, homes within high-risk flood areas have a 26 percent chance of being damaged by flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage.