EAST GREENWICH — One potential decision by the East Greenwich Town Council could help keep some residents in low-lying areas above water in more ways than one.
Wayne Pimentel, a building official for the Town of East Greenwich, addressed the Town Council Monday evening the proposed changes to the flood ordinance entitled ‘Flood Hazard Areas,’ as well as alterations to the maps that designate the flood zones as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Pimentel stated that the basis for the zone changes is a requirement for the national flood insurance program that is administered by FEMA, which will offer residents who live in the affected areas reasonable rates.
However, Pimentel said that the Town has to adopt a new ordinance in order for East Greenwich citizens to participate in the program and to be able to purchase the insurance. He added that the new ordinance contains new language and over 30 definitions detailing all the requirements.
“It’s pretty much a situation where we have to do it,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel presented two maps to the Council and the public in attendance at Town Hall, both of them showing areas along Greenwich Cove. The first map, Pimentel said, showed an area along Exchange Street that runs off of King Street was changed from an ‘AE’ flood zone – which is defined by FEMA as “Areas subject to a one percent or greater annual chance of flooding in any given year” – to a ‘Zone X,’ an area that has “minimal” flooding potential. Pimentel said there were a few homes that were taken out of that AE flood zone along Exchange Street and placed into Zone X.
For the rest of this story and more local news, pick up the August 29 issue of the East Greenwich Pendulum.