Revisions to Milton-Freewater flood zone drawn


MILTON-FREEWATER — The Umatilla County Land Use Planning Commission will hold a hearing today on revisions to the federal flood zone map for the Milton-Freewater area.

Constructed in the 1950s, the levees were classified “at risk” by the U.S. Army Corps of engineers in 2006 due to areas that needed repair. The loss of accreditation came as FEMA was in the process of modernizing flood maps throughout the United States.

Because the Milton-Freewater levees were rated as “unacceptable,” new flood maps were drawn as if the levees were basically non-existent. The action required many residents to buy flood insurance.

Residents of the flood district approved a $2.85 million bond measure in November 2010 to fund repairs to the levees so they could be brought back up to federal standards.

The revisions to be discussed at today’s hearing will make some slight changes to some properties in the existing floodplain. According to the county Land Use Planning Department, the revisions affect the Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Insurance Rate Maps for properties along the Walla Walla River.

The commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. at the Milton-Freewater Public Library, 8 S.W. Eighth Ave. The flood map revisions are the second item on the agenda.

The commission will make a recommendation to the Umatilla County Commissioners, which will hold another public hearing on the issue next month. That hearing is set for June 13 at 1:30 p.m. in room 114 of the Umatilla County Courthouse, 216 S.E. Fourth St., Pendleton.

Andy Porter can be reached at or 526-8318.


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