NEWS RELEASE: Dawson County Planning & Development Dept. @ 706-344-3604
NEW PRELIMINARY FLOOD MAPS ISSUED Updated Maps Show Flood Risks Have Changed June 22, 2016 – Dawson County is releasing updated, digital flood hazard maps for public review and comment prior to their final adoption. The maps, known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), show the extent to which areas recently re-mapped in the northern Upper Chattahoochee River Watershed in Dawson County are at risk for flooding. Used to help determine flood insurance and building requirements, the new maps replace maps that were based on outdated studies, which some were performed more than 30 years ago. Residents and business owners can use the maps to obtain reliable information about their flood risk on a property-by-property basis. The maps also provide flood zone and elevation data to help community planners, engineers, builders and others decide where and how new structures, developments, and remodeling projects should be built. The preliminary maps can be viewed online at www.GeorgiaDFIRM.com, including highlighted changes since the last flood map. They also can be viewed in person at the Dawson County Planning and Development Department, 25 Justice Way, Suite 2322, Dawsonville, GA 30534, Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, or at the public Open House mentioned below. The maps were developed by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) under the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Dawson County. The process included an extensive, multi-year review of the changes brought about by environmental, land use and other forces, use of state-of-the-art aerial mapping and risk modeling techniques, and a comprehensive pre-release review. In reviewing the new Dawson County maps, many property owners may find that their risk is higher or lower than they thought. If the risk level for a property changes, flood insurance, lender and building standards requirements can change as well. A public Open House is being held June 30, 2016 at the Gordon Pirkle Room (Georgia Racing Hall of Fame), 415 Highway 53 East, Dawsonville, GA 30534 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM. No formal presentation will be made so residents and business owners can visit at their convenience to view the new preliminary maps, understand how their properties may be affected, review options that they have and learn more about financial and material steps that they may need to take to protect their investment. The updated flood maps are still preliminary and have not yet been officially adopted. In addition to the public meetings, there will be a Public Comment Period during which property owners can submit technical or scientific-based appeals and comments if they feel they are in error. Once all appeals and comments are received and addressed, the maps are expected to become effective in mid-late 2017. At that time, the new flood insurance requirements will take effect. Residents can learn more about the re-mapping project, view the new preliminary flood maps and find a schedule of upcoming meetings at www.GeorgiaDFIRM.com. Individuals with general questions about the local map update efforts can also call the Dawson County Planning and Development Department at 706-344-3604, Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. For information about flood insurance, contact your local insurance agent or visit www.FloodSmart.gov.