Preliminary flood insurance rate maps for Columbia area viewed at open house

Preliminary flood insurance rate maps for Columbia area viewed at open house

COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - State and federal agencies gathered in Columbia Wednesday afternoon for an open house to share the results of a new preliminary flood insurance study for Columbia and portions of unincorporated areas of Marion, Lamar and Walthall Counties.

The event, hosted by the Mississippi/FEMA Risk MAP Team, also featured preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) that included base flood information and identification of areas subject to flood hazards.

"The original program was on a county basis, where we would go from each county and they would just map that county," said Steve Champlin, manager of the flood mapping program with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. "Now, we're doing it on basins, and they'll have portions of multiple counties, like in this case, the lower Pearl."

Maps for individual counties can be viewed on the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality's website at:

Walthall County:  http://geology.deq.ms.gov/floodmaps/Projects/RiskMAP/?county=Walthall

Once the maps are finalized, the public will have 90 days to appeal the results of the study.

The maps will be used by government officials, developers and lenders to determine flood risk.