COUNTY NEWS: New FEMA letters show exceptions to flood map

20150722bc FLOOD aerial helmsburg road
An aerial photo taken by the Brown County Sheriff’s Department on July 14 shows floodwaters creeping into downtown Nashville, with the Helmsburg Road area heading west out of town (top of image) almost completely covered.

Local residents who were granted previous exceptions by the Federal Emergency Management Agency may still find their property shown in floodplain on new maps coming out in the next few months.

However, they are not really in the floodplain, FEMA says; those exceptions are still good.

Being in the floodplain means higher insurance costs for homeowners.

In December, FEMA sent letters to Brown County and town government leaders affirming the previous exceptions, said county commissioner Diana Biddle. The letters include lists of the properties that will show in the floodplain on newly issued FEMA flood insurance maps, but which FEMA does not consider to be in the floodplain.

The county received a list of about 90 properties, some of which were first given an exception by FEMA as far back as 1995.

All four of the properties on the town’s list had exceptions dating back to 2001-2004.

Town Manager/Economic Development Director Scott Rudd said a task force that he organized appealed all four of the properties listed for the town when they were shown in floodplain on the new maps. Currently, Nashville is working with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and FEMA to try to get a new map that would show those and other properties as not in the floodplain.

Biddle said both of the letters have been recorded in the Brown County recorder’s office.

PDFs of the letters can be found at with the online version of this story.

Brown County residents letter:

Nashville residents letter:

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Ben Kibbey is a Brown County transplant from the cornfields of central Ohio. He covers county government, business, outdoors, sports and general news.