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Town moves on flood map appeal

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Hingham officials said they will file an appeal to the new Federal Emergency Management Agency flood maps that have added hundreds of homeowners into the flood zone. Town Administrator Ted Alexiades said town-hired engineers GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc. found numerous problems with the new maps, including incorrect wind speed data and vague topographical information. “We found the effects of a hundred-year storm aren’t anywhere near as dramatic as the FEMA flood maps projected,” Alexiades said in a phone interview. Hingham approved the new maps in 2012, but is reconsidering after a federal mandate dramatically increased flood rates in 2013. Though FEMA has delayed map implementation in Plymouth County, Alexiades was unsure if the delay would apply to Hingham, as the maps have already been approved. Residents and officials have since scrambled to contest the maps in order to stave off dramatically high rates. Hingham plans to file an appeal by March 1 and expects a decision by Sept. 1, a month before new flood rates are to take effect, Alexiades said.

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