Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Pennsylvania Releases New Mapping Tool To Show Flood Risk Areas

On June 7, the
PA Emergency Management Agency released a new mobile PA Flood Risk Tool  that provides the latest flood mapping information. 

The new mapping tool, which can be used from a desktop computer, cell phone, or other mobile device, brings together data from FEMA and across the Commonwealth into one consolidated application.

“This is a great way for the residents of Pennsylvania to learn about their flood risk in an easy-to-access application”, said Maurie Kelly, Director of Informatics at Penn State’s Institutes of Energy and the Environment. “Users just type in their address and can immediately see information about their location, print a report, or get a quick 3D visualization of how a flood will impact their home.”

The PA Flood Risk Tool is designed to provide floodplain managers, insurance agents, developers, real estate agents, local planners and citizens with a clear picture of flood risk for a specific area or property. 

With the onset of Hurricane Season this June, the tool will help the Commonwealth’s residents be prepared for tropical storms and heavy summer rains that have historically caused significant floods in Pennsylvania.

“This new flood risk tool will be a valuable resource in addressing the Commonwealth’s top natural hazard,” said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. “The team worked diligently to develop a resource that incorporates multiple flood risk products and datasets into one tool that is straightforward to use and provides a lot of information for emergency managers, county and local officials and citizens alike.”

The tool provides access to the best available flood information in both a Public and Expert mode including:

-- Flood Risk Summary – key flood risk information pops up in an easy to read table when you search your property. 

-- Personalized Flood Risk Report –users can download and print a map with flood risk information unique to their properties.

-- Flood Depth Visualizations - show residents and businesses how deep water can be in a flood.

-- Cross sections for Approximate Flood Zones- help local communities regulate floodplain development.

-- Preliminary Flood Zones- provide the latest information for maps being updated while in draft.

The tool was developed by Penn State University in partnership with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and funded with a Cooperating Technical Partners grant from FEMA. 

“We’re happy that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania leveraged this funding to build a tool that will help local floodplain administrators across the Commonwealth.  The tool gives access to up-to-date information so local officials can more easily and consistently manage development in the floodplain.” said Janice Barlow, FEMA Region 3 Acting Regional Administrator. “It’s even better that the public can also easily learn from the tool.

Visit the PA Flood Risk Tool website to see it for yourself by typing in your address in the search bar or click the launch tool button to begin exploring the map.

Related Articles:

-- PEMA/Insurance Dept. Urge Pennsylvanians To Consider Purchasing Flood Insurance

-- PEMA/Health Urge Residents To Prepare For Hurricane Season And Extreme Summer Heat 

-- Gov. Wolf: 2021 Climate Impacts Report Projects Pennsylvania Will Be 5.9° F Warmer by Midcentury, Precipitation To Increase, Targets Areas to Reduce Risk

[Posted: June 8, 2021] PA Environment Digest

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