FEMAâ��won’t yet get county flood map backing
Published: Thursday, June 27th, 2013
After listening to over two hours of comments from a packed house at the Hermosa Fire Hall, the Custer County Commission tabled a decision on whether or not to concur with the results of a three-year study on a revised floodplain for the Hermosa area.
The decision came at the commission’s June 19 meeting, which included a joint Hermosa Town Board/county commission public hearing on the revision of flood hazard delineation for the Hermosa area. After the flood of 2007, the Town of Hermosa, through the Black Hills Recovery Network, commissioned a study of the area that, if approved, will lead to an eventual change to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) floodplain map of the area.
As part of the Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) process, both the county and Town of Hermosa must sign that they concur with the study and resulting new floodplain map. The revised floodplain map was unveiled at the June 19 commission meeting. The county already voted to help fund the Black Hills Recovery Network’s application for the LOMA at a previous meeting.
Two Hermosa area residents, landowners and developers, Marvin Bishop and Matt Ramsey, were two of the more outspoken opponents of the map as presented. Both men questioned the accuracy of the map, saying there was new channeling, dirt moving and other construction done that have an impact on the floodplain delineation. They also questioned why a 30-inch culvert along Hwy. 79 between the former Rockin’ R and storage sheds was overlooked in the study.
Dave Muck, vice-president of Ferber Engineering, the firm that conducted the study, said the culvert in question was in fact considered, but its effect during a large rain event would be “negligible.” He also said the information used for the study was a snapshot from three years ago, so any flood mitigation work done by private parties since that time would not be included in the study.
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