New Flood Map Puts Meridian Twp Homeowners in Flood Plain

By: Alex Goldsmith Email
By: Alex Goldsmith Email

Some Meridian Township homeowners are getting bad news from FEMA.

According to Meridian Township's public works director, the federal agency's latest 2011 flood map shows 10 Meridian Township homes near a drainage channel not previously in a flood plain in 2000 are now in a flood plain.

That comes to the surprise of many of those homeowners who tell WILX they haven't seen flooding in the area even during heavy rains that hit the area over the summer.

Any of those homeowners with federally-insured mortgages will now be required to purchase flood insurance policies. Those policies can cost around $200 per month, but these homeowners are likely to get a discount at least for a while.

"Since when they built their homes they were not in a flood plain according to standards at the time, they can be grandfathered in which doesn't eliminate them from having to get flood insurance but it does reduce the premium they'd have to pay," said Ray Severy, Meridian Township's director of public works.

That discount could bring policy costs as low as $129 per year for the first few years, with premiums rising after the third policy renewal but not to the levels they'd otherwise be.

Even with the discount, one homeowner now in a flood plain says he's concerned because any buyer could be scared off by the prospect of paying full price for flood insurance.

It's something Wood Valley Homeowners Association officials can sympathize with.

"[It's] another thing to worry about among all of the other things people worry about when selling a home," said Mitch Mcgrath, secretary of the Wood Valley Homeowners Association.

"Certainly there's an increased cost for a homeowner in the form of insurance, but I come down on the side of thinking insurance is a good thing," said Mark Cotter, the Association's treasurer.

Homeowners unhappy with the new flood maps can appeal their designation as being in a flood zone.

If you'd like to look at FEMA's searchable flood map database, you can find it at: http://msc.fema.gov/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/FemaWelcomeView?storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&langId=-1


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