By Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – The 2010 Massachusetts March flood disaster is the largest disaster we have had in the history of FEMA New England. It was widespread. Half of the state was affected.

Over 100 million dollars in federal disaster assistance has been approved for the seven counties affected by the floods. This aid has been critical for businesses and families to get back on their feet.

WBZ-TV’s Joe Joyce reports

More than 37,000 individuals, household and businesses have applied for federal disaster assistance. After that, small business loans now totaling 40 million have been lent. Some people are just getting back into their homes and the impact both emotionally and financially are still being felt today.

But because of this 100 year flood, adjustments have been made to the flood plain. “We are moving some people into the flood plain, while we are moving others out of the flood plain.” claims FEMA mitigation director Kevin Merli.

Resources: Are You In A Flood Plain?

FEMA’s Interactive Flood Mapping Tool

FEMA’s Static Maps

FEMA’s Google Earth Tool

Recent advances in science and technology have helped to create high definition flood maps. This will create a greater awareness of the flood risk for certain neighborhoods and communities. By Using Google Maps and detailed elevation data, the new flood plain can be overlaid on top of arial photos for a much more interactive and accurate depiction to who is most vulnerable to flood.

“You will see this shaded red area, this shows the extent of the 100 year flood plain for this particular location. People should not be worried if weather they are in or out of the flood plain, but the need to know how the flood plain is impacting their community.” Says Mike Goetz, FEMA Flood Risk Manager.

Many people are very curious to know if they are in the flood zone. If you are, you are considered at a higher risk and are required to purchase Flood insurance which can range from 1,000-2000 dollars a year. If you are considering buying flood insurance…most experts say to not hesitate. Most homeowner policies do not include flood loss. And there is 30-day waiting period for flood coverage to be effective. Quick moving flooding storms can come out of nowhere and leave you unprotected.

Scott Hutchins of Freetown lost his house to last year’s flooding. He is very thankful to have been covered. “We were kicking and screaming saying we did not need it, but it was one of those fortunate things that we did have the flood policy. After the second storm I could almost kayak from the back right through the front windows.

“If you think we get another 50-100 year event..that won’t occur in my life time, you are really rolling the dice on that.” Says Kevin Merli. “We would like the people to read that map and use it, see for themselves if they are in the flood plain and to determine what their risk is.”

Comments (3)
  1. Hoof Hearted says:

    Too bad these maps arent easy t read.

  2. manowx says:

    Al Gore still dancing in the streets

  3. Italo says:

    It’s also important to make note that for elderly homeowners, homes on which mortgages are paid up are not required to purchase FEMA insurance; and now that policy initial deductibles have risen from $500 to $1000, older property owners with little material priorities may decide to forgo the insurance and opt to pay outright for lost items such as a new washer or dryer, while a furnace and boiler may be covered by service plans.

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