U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree has been able to amend a major flood reform bill that would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency to re-examine the way it creates flood maps, her office said today.

Last year, FEMA proposed flood plain maps for Portland Harbor that would have made economic development on the waterfront difficult. Pingree worked with the city of Portland to write the amendment, which would require FEMA to consider the unique nature of working waterfronts like those found along the Maine coast. The models FEMA uses to create its flood maps are more appropriate for open, sandy shores and were not appropriate for Portland.

 

In addition to Portland, several communities in York and Cumberland counties are in the process of getting new flood maps. Pingree has

urged FEMA to consider the unusual nature of the Maine coast when creating those maps.

Pingree’s proposal is part of a major reform and extension of the nation’s flood insurance program that is expected to pass the House

as early as today, and then go on to the Senate.