New maps show fewer areas at high risk of flooding

Published 11:39 am Thursday, November 10, 2011

Updated flood maps for Warren County show 20 areas have been reclassified as lower flood-risk areas, including a stretch of Vicksburg’s waterfront area.

Technical adjustments on maps put on display Wednesday inside the county supervisors’ meeting room at the Warren County Courthouse are geared to take properties that weren’t prone to hundred-year floods out of so-called Special Flood Hazard Areas. Those areas are found mainly along low-lying areas on the Mississippi River and along drainage bayous that branch out into the county.

One zone set to be redesignated is west of Washington Street, from Dabney Avenue north along Levee Street to the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railway depot on Levee Street, which sat in floodwater for more than a month when the river rose to a record crest in May. Other rezoned sections of the flood maps, referred to as “panels,” are on drainage bayous east of the city. Warren County’s current map has 45 panels.

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The new maps will be displayed for 30 days, followed by a 90-day appeal period. Full versions of the maps for county boards to adopt are expected to be finalized in a year, said Angela Barial, a flood plain management specialist with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

Owners of homes and businesses in areas taken out of the hazard areas would not be required by their mortgage lender to purchase flood insurance, said James Monohan, project manager with Waggoner Engineering, which produced the map as part of the Mississippi Flood Map Modernization Initiative, the state’s part of flood map digitization nationwide.

MEMA and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality began making small changes to county maps last year.