Sunday, February 4, 2007

A flood of new maps for westsiders

Thousands of Wichita homeowners will have to consider flood insurance soon now that new FEMA flood maps have been validated. But it could be short lived.

In November, the city poured $600,000 into having a Kansas City consultant take an even closer look than the Army Corps of Engineers did.

The Council will discuss the new maps next week. For a peak, follow the "Read more" link to see the city's news release on the maps.

New FEMA Flood Maps

Could Affect Thousands of County Residents, Change Insurance Needs!

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed revised, detailed, flood hazard maps after conducting a multi-year project to re-examine flood zones throughout Sedgwick County. The new maps will be revealed at a 10:30 a.m. news conference Monday in the Wichita City Manager’s Office on the 13th Floor at City Hall, 455 N. Main.

Media are encouraged to attend the news conference, which will include Director of Planning John Schlegel who will unveil the new maps, discuss their significance and take questions.

“The maps reflect current flood risks and will replace maps that are up to 20 years old,” Schlegel said.

Flood hazard maps are important tools used in the effort to protect lives and properties. By showing flooding risks, the flood maps help residents and business owners make more informed decisions about protecting people and property. These maps also help community planners, local officials, engineers, builders and others determine where and how new structures and developments should be built.

The City of Wichita has approximately 1,400 properties that will be in the 100-year floodplain for the first time. Sedgwick County has approximately 12,850 properties in the 100-year floodplain for the first time. The unincorporated areas of Sedgwick County have approximately 337 properties in the 100-year floodplain for the first time.

A 100-year flood event means there is a 1% chance of flooding any given year. Over the life of a 30-year loan, statistics show that a home within the 100-year floodplain has three times greater risk of flooding than risk of fire; most homeowner insurance policies do not provide coverage for damage due to flooding.

If your property has a structure(s) that falls within the Special Flood Hazard Area (the 100-year floodplain) your property is at risk of flooding. Purchasing flood insurance, for both the structure and its contents, is highly recommended.

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