OTTAWA — The Village of Ottawa is in possession of new preliminary flood maps from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Although the maps are in the draft stage, if finalized, they could indicate increased need locally for flood insurance or changes in current flood protection rates.

"The biggest change is that they did away with the "B" zones, changing them into "A" zones," explained Ottawa Assistant Municipal Director Jason Phillips at the June 11 meeting of the Blanchard River Flood Mitigation Coalition.

Flood zones are geographic areas that FEMA has defined according to varying levels of flood risk and type of flooding. "A" zones are high risk areas subject to inundation by the one-percent-annual-chance flood event. An additional letter (see draft of composite map) indicates depth of water. "B" zones are areas of moderate to minimal risk. On previous local flood maps, the "B" zone indicated the 500 year flood plain.

According to Phillips, FEMA will hold a series of advertised public meetings about the maps before they are finalized, although no meetings have been scheduled at this time.

The maps are currently posted in the Ottawa municipal building and are also located in the Putnam County Commissioners Office, according to Commissioner John Love.