Is Your Property Located In a Floodway, Floodplain, or Other Special Flood Hazard Area?
Do you want to know if a property is located in the floodway, floodplain, or other special flood hazard area? The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a flood map service center where you can search an address, place, or coordinate for free.
Select the link above and type in the address, place, or latitude/longitude coordinates, and then select the “Search” button. The displayed map, also known as a “firmette” can be downloaded and printed from FEMA’s webpage. The map page will also provide PDF information of any amendments that may have been made to the property or flood map. For additional assistance, please contact FEMA.
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
Upper Allen Township is a participating community in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). As such, the Township agrees to abide by federal rules and regulations designed to protect the community from some effects of flooding.
Several areas within the Township are located within federally recognized floodplains and are subject to restrictions on development and use. In return for our participation in this program, property owners are eligible to obtain flood insurance from the federal government (typically issued through an independent insurance broker).
Since the Township participates in the NFIP, we are required to govern regulations regarding development in floodplain areas. Chapter 245, Article X of the Township Zoning Ordinance identifies what restrictions apply when developing within a floodplain.
Please check with the Community Development Department before beginning any work. For work to existing structures – whether internally or externally, a permit may be required (or written acknowledgement of the work along with the proposed cost of improvements) to make a substantial improvement or substantial damage determination. If your project does involve development in the floodplain, a Floodplain Supplement to Building & Zoning Permit Application must be submitted with your building and/or zoning permit application. The supplemental form can be found on our Applications page.
Flood Insurance, Flood Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants and Other Assistance, and Substantial Damage Determination
2019-2023 Map Updates
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers the NFIP, has updated its Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). The new FIRMs are effective as of September 7, 2023. The purpose of the updates was to reflect new Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) and floodplain boundaries for Cumberland County communities. Preliminary FIRM panels and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) are available for review on FEMA’s Map Service Center website.
As a result of the updates, some floodplain boundary areas have changed throughout the Township. What this means for residents is that some properties currently identified in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) will be removed, while other properties currently in a lower risk zone such as “X” will now be in a SFHA. If you would like to learn more about FEMA, floodplain management, and if your property is within a designated floodplain area, click here to be redirected to FEMA’s website. To view a paper copy of the FIRM maps, stop by the Community Development Department.
Additional Information Regarding the Recent Changes
Below is a brief timeline of events that took place between 2019 and 2023.
2019 – Township staff and officials, Cumberland County staff, and representatives from FEMA began working together to discuss and review the upcoming FIRM and FIS changes.
FEMA hosted a public open house event on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 where residents were invited to come view the maps and have their questions answered by FEMA staff. The meeting was held at the Cumberland County Planning Department offices at 310 Allen Road (Conference Room B), Carlisle, PA 17013. FEMA staff, County staff, and insurance specialists were present to answer questions.
FEMA held a formal public appeal period beginning on February 4, 2020. During the public appeal period, residents had the opportunity to submit technical and/or scientific data to file a protest regarding their individual property, or an appeal regarding the accuracy of the mapping process in general.
The 90-day public appeal period for the draft Flood Rate Insurance Maps (FIRMs) began on February 4, 2020 and concluded on May 4, 2020. Floodplain changes are available to view here: Cumberland County Planning Department Floodplain Maps. If you have questions about the FIRMs or the appeal process, you may contact FEMA at 1-877-336-2627 or by email at FEMAMapSpecialist@riskmapcds.com.
Update: FEMA’s next step is to revise the preliminary maps based on information provided to them during the 90-day appeal period. FEMA anticipates the maps will become available to municipalities around October 30, 2020. If there are no further changes on FEMA’s end, they anticipated the map revisions would become effective around February 25, 2022. All dates are tentative and subject to change at any time, and as of March 2, 2022 the Township has not received any notice from FEMA.
Update: 04/07/22. Revised preliminary maps are tentatively scheduled to arrive to the county by the end of June 2022. Another appeal process is likely, given the results gathered during the previous appeals. The next 90-day appeal period for these revised maps will most likely occur in the Fall 2022. Once the appeal period ends and the maps are finalized, FEMA will issue a Letter of Final Determination, to which the maps will go effective six months afterwards. The expected timeline in which the maps will be finalized is Spring 2023. All dates are tentative and subject to change at any time.
Update 04/11/22. A second appeal period will not take place. The revised preliminary maps arriving in June 2022 are to resolve the appeals submitted during the last regulatory appeal period. FEMA will issue a Letter of Final Determination around October or November 2022, which will go in effect six months afterwards. The estimated timeline in which the maps will be finalized is May 2023. Until the new floodplains become effective, municipalities have the option of managing to the most restrictive BFE provided by FEMA. All dates are tentative and subject to change at any time.
Update 10/13/22. The Letter of Final Determination (LFD) is tentatively scheduled for December 21, 2022, with an effective date of June 21, 2023. These dates are subject to change at any time.
Update 01/03/23. The Letter of Final Determination (LFD) that was tentatively scheduled for release on December 21, 2022 has been delayed by FEMA without explanation. We will update this page once FEMA provides a new LFD date.
Update: 01/20/23: FEMA is expected to issue the Letter of Final Determination (LFD) in March 2023. This date is subject to change at any time.
Update: 03/09/23: FEMA has issued its Letter of Final Determination (LFD). The revised Preliminary Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report and Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) will become effective on September 7, 2023. Prior to the effective date, FEMA will provide the Township with final printed copies of the FIS report and FIRM. Once received, this site will be updated so anyone wishing to view the information may do so at the Township Building.
Prior to the September 7, 2023 effective date, municipalities were required to adopt a Floodplain Ordinance and Floodplain Map. The Township had floodplain regulations within its Zoning Ordinance; however, updates were necessary to ensure the floodplain regulations complied with new standards set by FEMA and other state regulatory agencies. A draft ordinance was posted on this page for public review. There were multiple opportunities to discuss the ordinance during the public meeting/hearing process. Public meeting/hearing dates and times were posted as they became known.
Draft Ordinance: Draft Floodplain Ordinance-Revised 06/2023
Draft Flood Map: Draft Flood Map
Public meetings/hearings to discuss the Floodplain Ordinance:
- Planning Commission to discuss ordinance: Reviewed on 04/24/23. Continued discussion on 05/22/23. Planning Commission recommended approval of the ordinance on 05/22/23.
- Board of Commissioners’ meeting to discuss ordinance: Pending review on 06/21/23
- Public Hearing to receive testimony regarding the ordinance: 07/19/23 at 6:15 p.m. Public Hearing Notice
- Board of Commissioners’ meeting to consider adoption of the ordinance: 07/19/23 at 6:30 p.m. and after close of the public hearing.
- On July 19, 2023, after the close of the public hearing, the Board of Commissioners adopted Ordinance # 826. This ordinance repeals and replaces Article X of the Zoning Ordinance. A copy of the ordinance can be viewed here.
You may view the floodplain changes on Cumberland County’s Planning Department page here: Cumberland County Planning Department Floodplain Maps. If you would like to learn more about FEMA, floodplain management, and if your property is within a designated floodplain area, click here to be redirected to FEMA’s Map Service Center website.
Floodplain changes are available to view here: Cumberland County Planning Department Floodplain Maps. If you have questions about the FIRMs or the appeal process, you may contact FEMA at 1-877-336-2627 or by email at FEMAMapSpecialist@riskmapcds.com.
Click on the following files to view additional information from FEMA.
Posted 2019 updates and general updates to the page: 07/11/2019. Additional updates: 03/03/22, 04/07/22, 10/13/22, 01/03/23, 1/20/23, 03/09/23, 03/27/23, 04/11/23, 05/02/23, 05/23/23, and 06/08/23, 06/22/23, and 07/25/23. Last updated: 09/14/23.