Flood Commission event to mark recovery anniversary

Margaretville — The East Branch Flood Commission, formed in the months after Hurricane Irene, will sponsor a community picnic/ice cream social and remembrance at Margaretville Central School on Thursday, Aug 30 beginning at 5 p.m. with a more formal commemoration beginning at 6 p.m.

The formal program will feature a presentation by Graydon Dutcher of Delaware County Soil & Water District regarding working with the natural processes of streams, and Patrick Davis, who will give a brief overview of the Community Ratings System and what it means for the region.
A puppet show for the younger members of the audience will be presented in the school cafeteria at the same time as Davis and Dutcher’s talks.

This event is open to the entire community; representatives of various recovery partners, including local fire departments and highway crews, Delaware County Emergency Services along with the DEP, DEC, state troopers and National Guard, among others, will be present.

In concert with the Flood Commission and as a part of continuing efforts to reduce the risk of damage from future floods, the Town of Middletown and the villages of Fleischmanns and Margaretville have begun the process required to enroll in FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS), the first communities in Delaware County to do so.

Program enrollment
CRS is a program that acknowledges and rewards flood damage prevention efforts that go beyond the minimum standards of the National Flood Insurance Program; when in CRS, community flood damage prevention measures, including the formation and outreach actions of a Flood Commission, are awarded points.

As a community earns points, flood insurance policy holders receive progressively larger discounts on their premiums, among other community-wide benefits; Middletown and the villages expect to achieve a five- to ten-percent discount on flood insurance premiums through their initial participation in the program.

Participating in the CRS program is also beneficial in that it provides a framework for organizing flood damage prevention activities that are the responsibility of a variety of municipal departments as well as making available, at no charge, technical assistance in designing and implementing flood mitigation activities. Dovetailing perfectly with the regional goals of the Commission, the CRS program rewards a variety of public information activities that will raise awareness of flood damage risk while helping residents understand what they can do to protect themselves before the next flood event. Using CRS, communities can evaluate the effectiveness of their flood damage prevention program against a nationally recognized benchmark while creating permanent prevention practices that stay in place through changes in staff and among elected officials.

The East Branch Flood Commission, which includes representatives from Middletown as well as commission partners Roxbury, Halcott and Hardenburgh, all local fire departments and schools along with Margaretville Hospital, the MARK Project & other major stakeholders, convenes monthly.
The town and villages have submitted a Letter of Intent to enroll in CRS, which is the first step in a process that could take anywhere from two to six months and flood insurance policy holders should not expect to see any discounts on their flood insurance premiums until 2013.

For more information on the CRS program, please visit: www.fema.gov/business/nfip/crs.shtm.
For more information on the August 30 event, please contact Commission Chair and Middletown Supervisor Marjorie Miller at 586-2462 or for CRS information contact Mike Jestremski of Delaware County Planning at 607 746-2944 or Patrick Davis, certified flood plain manager and Middletown’s CRS Coordinator at 586-2344.