Wednesday, October 15, 2014

County takes first step towards approving controversial maps

J-E News Editor
On Monday the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) won a battle at the county level as members of the Webster County Fiscal Court voted to accept controversial and reportedly incorrect flood maps.
“I think we are in a position where we don’t have any choice but to accept the maps in order to protect the county, which is our responsibility,” said Judge Executive Jim Townsend. “We are one of the only counties in Kentucky who haven’t adopted them already.”

The new maps were introduced to the county in December of 2013 and listed several areas as ‘flood zones’ that residents and government officials alike questioned. The county has held out since February in hopes that FEMA would revisit the maps. In the end it was FEMA’s threat to withhold emergency and disaster funding that won out.
“They already have us flagged as a ‘non-participating’ county,” said EMA Director Jeremy Moore. He went on to add that if there were a presidentially declared state of emergency in Webster County this week, the county would be ineligible for federal funds for areas included in those flood zones. Many of those areas include county roads that are prone to flooding and flood damage.
Magistrates voted 3-0 to approve the first reading on an ordinance that will accept the maps. There will be a second reading on Monday, October 27, 2014 at which time the county will officially approve the maps.
Once the maps are officially approved, residents in the affected areas will become eligible for lower priced flood insurance. This is a big help for those residents who are required by their mortgage company to purchase such insurance.
Those residents who feel that their property has been incorrectly dubbed as being in a flood zone will have to fight FEMA’s decision on their own.

Reach MATT HUGHES at 270-667-2068 or

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