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Wendy Reuer, Published April 13 2012

Moorhead to unveil new FEMA flood maps Tuesday

MOORHEAD – Residents here have only a few days left to save money on flood insurance before revised flood maps go into effect.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s floodplain maps will be effective Tuesday. The new maps revise the boundaries of the 100-year floodplain, adding an additional 16 homes to the floodplain, according to City Manager Michael Redlinger.

Redlinger said 238 homes sat in the 100-year flood plain under the old FEMA maps, while 254 homes are included in the new maps. Those numbers do reflect recent buyouts.

Flood insurance is required for primary structures with a federally backed mortgage in the 100-year floodplain.

If homeowners have flood insurance in place when the maps come out and their home is found to be in a higher risk zone than before, the less costly policies can be grandfathered in.

Grandfathered policies may not stay at the same premium but they will not increase as much as non-grandfathered policies which could double or even triple in price.

“So you would have cost savings prior to the revised map becoming effective. We’re reminding residents to get your policy renewed if you have not done that,” Redlinger said.

Jerry DeFelice, a FEMA external affairs specialist, said Friday that residents should contact their individual insurance agents immediately if they have not already done so.

DeFelice said even if a property is moved out of the floodplain, residents can still keep their flood insurance plan.

“We encourage people to do that. It’ll be at a much lower rate because you’re at a lower risk,” DeFelice said.

The flood map revision process has been active for about three years in Moorhead, Redlinger said.

FEMA is also working on revising the flood maps in Fargo.

The revised maps are expected in July and are projected to affect about 7,500 parcels in Fargo.

Moorhead’s website was recently updated to provide property owners with information on flood insurance, interactive flood plain maps and many other flood-related topics. The website can be found at www.cityofmoorhead.com.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530

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