In early March 2014, the Town of Dennis received the Flood Insurance Study and Final Flood Insurance Rate Maps from FEMA. This package is set to become effective on July 16, 2014. As a condition of continued eligibility in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) the town is required to adopt the new maps and flood insurance study as part of the Dennis Zoning Bylaw prior to the effective date of the maps.

The following provides a few highlights regarding the importance of adopting these maps

Why do we need to adopt these maps?

  • Maintain Dennis Eligibility for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
  • Loss of NFIP eligibility will eliminate federally backed mortgages within the flood zone.
  • Over 5,000 properties may be unable to attain conventional financing
  • Non-federally backed mortgage companies will still require some form of flood insurance
  • Private flood insurance will cost more than NFIP backed insurance.
  • Town will become ineligible for disaster relief spending such as has gone to Dr. Bottero Road and elsewhere.
  • Town will become ineligible for pre-disaster relief spending such as is available from time to time to assist in making homes flood zone compliant

Why are the maps being updated?

  • Last revised 1992
  • Pre-date most electronic mapping capabilities
  • Do not accurately reflect topography
  • Provide a false sense of security for home owners

What has been the process for updating these maps?

  • Revision in process since 2009
  • Mapping tied to latest GIS mapping capabilities
  • Topography collected by latest LIDAR technology
  • Maps better reflect historic flood patterns
  • Public informational session hosted by the Dennis Planning Department held in 2009 to review planned map revisions.
  • FEMA received public comment on the revisions in 2009 and rescinded the original maps for further study.
  • Revisions circulated to the town and reviewed with residents in 2011.
  • Further revisions completed by FEMA in 2013.
  • Dennis Planning Department hosted a public information session to review the new maps in the Fall of 2013.
  • FEMA received comments through October 2013.

What are the changes that are being made?

  • Maps extend base flood elevations to appropriate topographical boundaries
  • Modifies Base Flood Elevation from NGVD29 to NAVD88 a more accurate base elevation
  • 90% of Changes are due to extending flood elevations to appropriate ground contour.
  • Some properties are actually removed from the flood zone due to these revisions as well.

What is the bottom line relative to the changes? What do they mean to Dennis?

  • In 1944, 238 residences in Dennis were destroyed and an additional 3,898 structures damaged
  • About 1,200 structures are presently in the flood zones
  • Only 1,133 structures are currently insured or ¼ of the number damaged in 1944
  • The new maps will add about 4,000 structures to the flood zone
  • After July about 5,000 structures will be in the flood zone
  • Dennis has added 11,000 homes since 1950



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s