Portland officials at a press conference today at Union Wharf said they are pleased with the decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to keep most of  Portland Harbor from being classified as a high-risk flood zone.

Penny St. Louis Littell, director of the city’s Planning and Urban Development Department, said that the only part of the harbor that will be included in the high-risk “V-zone” will be  a  25-foot wide strip along the northeast edge of the city-owned Maine State Pier. The inclusion of a small portion of the pier won’t affect the city’s ability to develop it, she said.

Last summer, the agency announced its intention to reclassify Portland Harbor as a high-risk flood zone.

The classification would have prohibited new construction on the waterfront, as well as reconstruction of any structure that was more than 50 percent destroyed. It also would have raised insurance rates for property owners on the Portland and South Portland sides of the harbor.


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