Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
April 22, 2021
The City of Fernandina Beach has been hard at work over the past few years to reduce damage from heavy rains and floods while at the same time lowering premiums for flood insurance. At the April 20, 2021 Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) Regular Meeting, Commissioners encouraged those efforts by issuing Proclamation declaring April 2021 “Flood Awareness Month.” Building Director/Floodplain Administrator Stephen Beckman and Administrative Services Manager Angie Lester accepted the Proclamation
WHEREAS, the City of Fernandina Beach is located on a barrier island in Northeast Florida. From time to time, extreme rainfall, tropical storms, and hurricanes affect this island. These weather events can cause coastal and riverine flooding which damages homes and businesses whether they are in high-risk special flood hazard areas or low to moderate risk flood zone areas; and
WHEREAS, a significant reduction in property damage can be achieved when appropriate flood preparedness, control, and mitigation measures are taken prior to flooding; and
WHEREAS, approximately fifteen years ago, Fernandina Beach became a voluntary participant in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which offers residents reduced flood insurance premiums based upon the City’s compliance with rigorous NFIP regulatory standards aimed at reducing flood risk and flood damage; and
WHEREAS, City efforts, led by Mr. Stephen Beckman, Building Official, and Ms. Angie Lester, Community Rating Service Coordinator, have successfully reduced the City’s flood rating, and those efforts will continue, seeking to achieve the City Commission goal of a ‘3’ rating by January, 2024; and,
WHEREAS, public education and awareness of potential weather hazards and methods of protection are critical to the health, safety and welfare of residents. The Florida Floodplain Managers Association (FFMA) declared the month of April 2021 as Flood Awareness Month to promote awareness and increase knowledge of flood risk, the availability of flood insurance, flood protection methods, and how to prepare for emergencies.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Michael A. Lednovich, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Fernandina Beach, Florida, do hereby proclaim the month of April, 2021 as:
“FLOOD AWARENESS MONTH”
and encourage citizens to protect themselves and their property from flooding by visiting the Fernandina Beach Building Department for cost saving information related to flood mitigation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I hereunto set my hand and caused the Official Seal of the City of Fernandina Beach, Florida, to be affixed this 20th day of April, 2021
In accepting the Proclamation Beckman thanked the FBCC and said, “I want to emphasize the Community Rating System. It takes a whole community of people working together to better the situation and reduce flood risk.” He advised that City staff will be at the Farmers Market on N. 7th Street Saturday to answer any questions or provide suggestions to citizens.