Contact Us

FEMA Reduces Properties In High-Risk Flood Zones [AUDIO]

Federal Emergency Management Officials explain the drastic reduction in Velocity or “V” zones in the recent release of its Preliminary Work Maps.


During a teleconference Monday, FEMA Hazard Mitigation Branch Director Bill McDonnell says we’re seeing a reduction in “V” zones from the earlier released Advisory Base Flood Elevation Maps (ABFE) because they had not completed its Over Land Wave Analysis, which he says looks at all the obstructions that would impede a wave.

So, McDonnell says in the ABFE map estimated the potential for flooding as very high intentionally to give property owners who wanted to rebuild some sort of a guideline. They mainly did this because they determined that the overall risk for flooding in the special flood hazard area had increased from the current effective maps to where they are now and they anticipate that that risk may even increase in the future.

View The Flood Zone Maps

McDonnell says some of the area’s where they’ve seen significant decreases in “V” zones in the four counties were Atlantic County, where there was an 80% decrease and Hudson County, were there was a 76% decrease.

There was less of a reduction in Ocean County which saw a 45% decrease and in Monmouth County with a 46% decrease.

The good news is that going from the high risk “V” zones to the lower risk “A” zones could spare the property owner tens of thousands of dollars in rebuilding and flood insurance cost.

McDonnell says the Preliminary Work Maps are also a tool for town officials in their planning and mitigation process.

“They will see where they should possibly be rebuilding or maybe where they should not be rebuilding in their communities and they can also petition and apply for mitigation grants from FEMA or the state.”

However, he says the Preliminary Work Maps do not impact the National Flood Insurance Rates. He says only final adopted “Effective Maps” impact insurance rates, which is a process that takes anywhere from 18 to 44 months.

Property owners can see the flood risk zone they’re in by going to, where you can type in your address and see what your flood zone designation is.

You can also get an estimate on your flood insurance rates by calling the National Flood Insurance Program at 877-287-9804, or visit

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Best of WOBM

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for WOBM Listener Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive WOBM Listener Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.