MEDFORD, Ore. -- The Jackson County Board of Commissioners approved changes to county flood maps Wednesday. The decision included adopting a physical map revision from FEMA for sections of the Rogue River, Little Butte Creek, and other streams and rivers in the Upper Rogue Watershed. Commissioners also approved a text amendment to the Jackson County Land Development Ordinance.
Retired Certified Flooplain Manager Mike Mattson said these changes have been in the works for several years now and are important to stay in compliance with FEMA regulations.
"We have flood insurance rate maps and we've had them since 1982, unfortunately for most of them they haven't changed the data at all since 1982," Mattson said.
Commissioners said these changes to the flood maps will take nearly 1,200 people out of the floodplain, which is an area near bodies of water that are at risk for flooding.
Mattson said research and data from FEMA have helped change the floodplain.
"The hundred year flood elevation, what they call the base flood would occur, changed and they were lowered basically because we had better data."
These new changes must be approved and go into effect by Jan. 19, 2018 or the county could be at risk of losing flood insurance from FEMA.