In a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator R. David Paulison, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) is objecting to FEMA’s expansion of the 100-year flood plain in Buffalo’s Old First Ward, Cobblestone District, Inner Harbor, and Waterfront Village as proposed in their map dated September 28, 2007.
In his argument against the revised map, Congressman Higgins points to historical data and FEMA technical errors as evidence supporting a reassessment of the findings, “There is no precedent justifying this declaration and furthermore I take great exception with their numbers related to Buffalo River depth and discharge.” FEMA estimates the depth of the buffalo River to be eight feet while the United States Army Corps of Engineers dredges the river every other year to a depth of 22 feet.
Upon learning that FEMA preliminarily included the Old First Ward and other neighborhoods along the Buffalo River in the 100-year flood plain for purposes of the National Flood Insurance Program, Congressman Higgins immediately contacted FEMA to express his serious concerns with this proposal. Congressman Higgins has worked with FEMA over the last week to advocate for the exclusion of these neighborhoods from the flood plain.
“For too long residents in South Buffalo have been unfairly burdened with the costly expense of paying flood insurance on property that will never experience a 100-year flood,” said Congressman Higgins. “While we have won the fight against this designation in a portion of Buffalo, I will not sit by while other neighborhoods are wrongly identified and negatively impacted. We will use the facts to fight for a reversal.”
In a detailed analysis attached to his letter Congressman Higgins uses stream research data to further boost his case against the revised flood zone map.