State officials to bring Alcorn flood maps for review

CORINTH – State officials will present preliminary flood plain maps for Alcorn County at an open house from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Corinth Library.
County officials received copies of the new maps this week to give flood plain manager Ricky Gibens, county engineer Ricky Newcomb and Tax Assessor Kenneth Brawner a chance to preview them.
There are some community and road names that have been identified already as needing correction, Gibens said, and a couple of people whose homes were previously identified as being in a flood zone have raised objections as well.
“This is a chance for people to see how the state has mapped our area to qualify for federal flood insurance, and they need to let us know if they think something’s not right,” Gibens said.
By September 2010, Mississippi expects to have flood plain maps finalized for all 82 counties, completing a project that has been under way since 2003. The maps are used to determine what areas throughout the state are more prone to flooding, and to determine risk for the National Flood Insurance Program.

Deadline approaching
Alcorn County also is operating under a looming deadline to establish a flood plain management plan that the county originally agreed to implement in 2003.
State officials became aware of the county’s deficiencies during an April site visit, and the county is in the final 30 days of an extension from the original July 11 deadline to comply.
“I’ll be meeting with (Chancery Clerk) Bobby Marolt and Ricky Newcomb to develop an ordinance for the supervisors to review and approve,” Gibens said. “We also have to implement a process to issue building permits in flood plain hazard areas.”
If the county shows adequate progress by its next deadline, Gibens said he expects the county will be given the time it needs to fully comply.
“It’s a daunting task, all that we have to do,” Gibens said, “but if we don’t comply we would lose a lot of grant funding. Flood plain management is added to many other roles I serve for the county – emergency management, fire coordinator, monitoring illegal dumping and others – so I’ve asked that someone be assigned who can work with me full time on this important job.”

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal