FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Authority, recently issued a new preliminary set of flood plain maps for Cranberry – the first in 30 years. Historically, those maps have been used by mortgage companies in determining whether a property owner will be required to take out federal flood insurance. However, because of a massive shortfall in the insurance program, a 2012 Congressional Act was passed directing property owners federal flood damage insurance premiums to reflect the actual risk of flood damage, unlike the previous insurance program which subsidized those rates. But dramatic rate spikes – as much as 800% in Central Pennsylvania – prompted Congress to reconsider. On March 21, President Obama signed The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, repealing and modifying certain provisions of the 2012 law – placing an 18% cap on annual premium increases, and allowing certain properties to continue paying the previous rates. At its April 1 meeting, Cranberry’s Board of Supervisors was briefed on the FEMA map changes, which are also used by the Township in issuing development and building permits. The new draft maps show far fewer local homes threatened by flooding than in the earlier maps. For more information, contact Engineer Tim Schutzman at firstname.lastname@example.org.