Latest FEMA flood map removes large areas of Westport from mandatory flood insurance requirement

A large section of Westport has been removed from the federal flood insurance requirement with the adjustment lat month of the FEMA flood map for the area.

Mark Davis, certified floodplain manager, noted the updated flood map of the city showed “the main area between Elizabeth Street and the white line at Harbor Street in the marina area has been entirely removed from the flood zone. The area between Elizabeth and Ocean Avenue to the south that was A3 is now considered a shaded X Zone and is not required by FEMA to have flood insurance or to elevate.”

Homes listed in FEMA Zone A3 areas are required to have flood insurance. A large number of properties were previously listed in Zone A3 areas, including homes and businesses along Montesano Street, Grant Avenue, Ocean Avenue east of North Forrest Street and many of those from Ocean Avenue south. Those are now out of the mandatory flood insurance zone with the recent redrawing of FEMA’s maps.

“All the old B Zones are gone; those areas have been completely removed from the flood plain,” said Davis. “As well as anything south of Ocean Avenue.” B Zones are those where flood insurance is not required, but the chance of flooding is great enough it can adversely affect property values.

Why did the flood map change so drastically?

“There were a few factors, but I think the biggest contributor to the A3 flood zones is our canal from the bay,” said Davis. “There has since been a floodgate installed that can be closed in case of a possible flood event.”

FEMA takes such mitigating factors into consideration when drawing its flood maps. The floodgate on the canal impressed officials enough to remove the vast majority of Westport from the flood map, which will greatly improve property values and lower flood insurance premiums, should people continue to carry the insurance even if they’re no longer required to do so.