Local News

4,300 properties to be removed from flood zone

By From page A1 | February 16, 2012

In mid-May, about 4,300 properties in Woodland will be removed from a Federal Emergency Management Agency Special Flood Hazard Area, often referred to as the 100-year floodplain, the city of Woodland announced.

As result, affected residential and commercial property owners will no longer be subject to mandatory flood insurance requirements. Property owners within the city’s high-risk flood zones typically pay between $600 and $1,800 each year for federally mandated flood insurance. By not paying this insurance, property owners will save a total of about $4 million, a news release said.

FEMA updated its maps after the city convinced the federal agency to accept a city-sponsored study that “more accurately characterizes flood hazards along Cache Creek,” the release said.

“It’s a huge victory for our city,” Woodland Mayor Art Pimentel said in the release. “Our entire community will benefit from the fact that these property owners are finally getting some financial relief from excess and mandatory flood insurance payments.

“That’s money that can now be spent locally, leading to greater demand for goods and services, and perhaps new jobs.”

As a result of the mapping changes, property owners will be eligible to purchase preferred risk flood insurance policies at roughly one-third the cost of their current premiums, and receive refunds on their existing higher-cost policies.

Changes to FEMA’s flood insurance rate maps also will remove floodplain-related building restrictions, allowing property owners more freedom to improve properties, and the city more leeway in implementing its General Plan, the city reported.

Property owners affected by the mapping change will be required to renew flood insurance policies that expire before May 16, the date when new flood insurance rate maps take effect. However, once the maps are in place, property owners may be eligible for a full reimbursement of their active flood insurance policy premiums.

To receive refunds, property owners must contact and work directly with their mortgage companies or lenders and their insurance agents. Property owners also may call FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program at (888) 379-9531 or visit www.floodsmart.gov for more information.

On Monday, the city sent letters to affected property owners to announce the news and provide more information. Those with questions about the mapping changes and whether their property is affected may visit the city’s website at www.cityofwoodland.org, call (530) 668-7030 or email [email protected].

Special to The Enterprise

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