New Flood Maps to be Displayed at Open House

Oswego County residents are invited to attend an open house to review the County’s new, preliminary flood maps on Wednesday, May 25, from 4-8pm at the Oswego High School Cafeteria, 2 Buccaneer Blvd., in Oswego, NY 13126. There will be another open house on Thursday, May 26, from 4-8pm at the Central Square Middle School Gymnasium, 248 U.S. Route 11, Central Square, NY 13036.

The open house is being hosted by Oswego County, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which developed the new maps to provide residents with a realistic assessment of their risk from flooding. While there will be no public presentation, there will be mapping, floodplain management and flood insurance experts on hand to answer questions about the maps, potential risk reduction measures or about an individual property’s risk from flooding. Residents are urged to stop in any time during the open house session, as there will be no formal presentation.

The new flood maps are the result of Map Modernization, a five-year, $1 billion Congressionally- directed program to provide updated, digitized flood maps for 92% of the nation’s population. For more information, please log on to

“Letting a community and its residents know about their risk from flooding and how they can take measures to reduce that risk is the reason why we develop the maps and conduct these open houses,” said Tim Crowley, Director of the Mitigation Division for FEMA, Region II, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. “We are grateful that county officials have notified everyone who may be affected by the new maps. That insures a good turnout at the open house which leads, in turn, to a community well informed about their flooding risks.”

Hosting these Open Houses while the new maps are still in the preliminary stage gives communities and residents the opportunity to explore potential risk reduction measures and/or projects which could lessen the impact of a flood and decrease flood insurance rates.

If you are outside of the high risk flood zone on the your community’s current flood map, but are inside the zone on the new preliminary map, you may purchase two years of flood insurance coverage through a low cost Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) after the new map is effective. You need to document the location of your property outside the SFHA on the former map. Or, you may purchase a PRP policy before the map becomes effective and have a total of three years coverage at the lower rate.

If a property is located in the high risk flood zone, it carries a Congressionally-mandatory flood insurance requirement for all structures that have a mortgage with a federally-regulated lender, or have a federally-backed mortgage. In addition, all county and local public buildings located in that flood zone must carry flood insurance to qualify for Federal Disaster Assistance. While the estimates of affected properties are based on parcels, the insurance purchase requirements are based on the location of the structure, not on the property boundaries.

Background on Map Modernization, the National Flood Insurance Program and ‘grandfathering’ is available on the FEMA website, and at the open house.