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Updates to the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps

The City of Walker is a member of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Our membership in this program makes it possible for Walker property owners to acquire flood insurance throughout for homes and businesses throughout the city. The coverage should be readily available from your home insurance provider. The NFIP program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

FEMA has been developing updated maps for what they call the Special Flood Hazard Area, or more commonly referred to as the 100 year storm or 1% annual chance flood. These maps are used by mortgage companies to determine whether a home is within a designated floodplain. In our region, the official floodplain is typically associated with an overflow of the Grand River. In Walker, however, there are a few tributaries that also have floodplain areas associated with them. These other areas include properties tributary and adjacent to the Indian Mill and Brandywine Creeks.

On August 26, 2021, FEMA published an official notice in the Grand Rapids Press confirming their intention to publish final Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). These maps would replace the 1983 maps that are currently in use. This was the 2nd public notice of the mapping update. Residents and property owners have 90 days to file objections to the new maps. A pdf version of the map is also available under the Engineering Department’s Flood Insurance tab on the city website. Objections to the new designation need to be supported with technical data suggesting that the mapping data is incorrect and must be sent to the local government agency. The local agency, and NFIP member, is required to compile the objections and submit them directly to FEMA. 

The City has reached out directly to property owners that are shown within the new boundary several times since this process began. The public notices and direct letters started in 2005 and most recently, invites were extended for a virtual open house that was held on March 22, 2021. We don’t anticipate any additional delays with FEMA’s implementation of the new map. If you have objections or questions this 90 day period will likely be your last chance to register concerns. Objects can be directed to our Engineering Department at sconners@walker.city. We will share each correspondence with our FEMA representatives.