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Jul 16

Selma Estates Project Update: July 16, 2021

Posted on July 16, 2021 at 11:38 AM by MaryFrances Forcier

Status of Grant Funding

  • In November 2020, the County applied for a FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant that would partially fund the buyout or mitigation of properties within Selma Estates subdivision. The grant application was presented for review to Virginia Department of Emergency Management, which then forwarded the application to FEMA in January 2021.
  • On July 2, 2021, FEMA released the Notices of Funding for the FMA grant. Unfortunately, the Selma Estates Flood Mitigation Project was not selected for the grant.
  • The Department of Building and Development intends to present an item to the Board of Supervisors in September that will outline potential next steps and options for this project.
  • If you have questions or concerns that you’d like to share with us, please email project manager Maggie Auer or contact her by phone at 703-777-0222.

Updating of FEMA map

  • At this time, the county is still waiting on a final decision from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters on how the FEMA map can be updated to better reflect the information provided by the county in its March 30, 2021 Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) application.
  • This application seeks to ensure that FEMA applies the most precise data available in its analysis, which will then provide the most accurate determination of flood risk.
  • FEMA used the approved data submitted by Wood LLC; however, the method of base flood elevation calculation was not the same and therefore not as exact as the method used by Wood, resulting in different outcomes for certain homes.
  • The county appealed FEMA’s decision because it is important for homeowners to have an accurate picture of their current flood risk. The elevations calculated using FEMA’s method do not provide as accurate a picture of that risk.  Knowing the correct flood risk is important so individuals can appropriately plan for the future and can be fully informed when buying, selling, or improving their homes. Additionally, it is important to use the more precise data for flood insurance requirement and so that the correct level of coverage can be obtained.
  • We anticipate a final decision in the coming weeks. If the map is updated with the more detailed analysis, the county will work with FEMA on reissuing a new LOMA determination that reflects the current flood risk of homes within the Special Flood Hazard Area.
  • The county is using the results of the LOMA to help assess which homes are eligible for the flood mitigation project, which includes the potential voluntary buyout of at-risk homes. FEMA’s determination of flood risk will help the county determine which homes are included in the project.