On May 13, 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) initiated the required 90-day appeal period for the proposed updates to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM’s) for Prince William County. These maps show the projected flood risk of properties, as well as areas that are subject to flooding. FEMA is revising the maps to incorporate newer topographic information and more current data effecting flood risk. The FIRMs for most of the County were last updated in 1995 for the riverine areas, and for a limited portion of the County along coastal areas in 2015. Changes in the FIRM’s could impact which property owners need to obtain flood insurance or may trigger the need to alter existing policies.
Property owners can find detailed information regarding FEMA’s study, as well as view the Preliminary FIRMs using an interactive map tool, on the County’s website by clicking Prince William County FEMA map changes web page. Property owners can also view a hard copy of the Preliminary FIRMs in person at 5 County Complex Court; Suite 170; Prince William, VA 22192 on weekdays from 9 AM to 4 PM.
The map changes can be appealed by property owners if they perceive that the modeling or data used to create the maps are technically or scientifically incorrect. Property owners can submit appeals to FEMA through Prince William County along with engineering data to contest the overall accuracy of the published Preliminary FIRM maps. An appeal must include technical information, such as hydraulic or hydrologic data, to support the claim. In addition, if property owners see incorrect information that does not change the flood hazard information, such as a missing or misspelled road name, they can submit a written comment.
Please submit appeals and comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the appeal period, the next step in the mapping process is the resolution of all comments and appeals. Once they are resolved, FEMA will notify Prince William County of the effective date of the final maps, which is anticipated to be sometime in the summer of 2022.
If you have questions about the proposed flood map updates, you can contact Watershed Management Branch at (703) 792-7070 or FEMA at 1-877-FEMA-MAP.