WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 12, 2010, 01:51 PM

Changes to the flood plain map means higher insurance rates for some homeowners

(WDAY TV) - If you're a Clay County homeowner, you need to know about changes made to the area's flood plain. The federal government is re-mapping the entire area, meaning you could be forced to pay much higher insurance rates.

New flood plain maps here in Clay County mean big changes for many homeowners. Some are now under more of a flood risk; other homeowners are being included for the first time ever.

Under the new FEMA flood maps, 80 percent of Clay County communities are now affected. These maps haven't been updated since 1984. Since then, we've gone through significant changes in our water landscape, including two major floods.

Data from the '97 flood is included, but not this past spring. The new mapping raises the flood elevation one foot, meaning many new homeowners may have to buy flood insurance.

Clay County staff tells us though there is new photographic technology that's helping pinpoint exactly who's affected.

“The fact that you can put an aerial photograph behind these new maps and you can make fairly accurate reference to a particular structure being in or out of the flood plains, it's wonderful.”

If you are a Clay County homeowner who disagrees with your new spot on the flood plain map, you must appeal to FEMA by the beginning of April. There are two ways to see the flood plain maps. If you live within a city in Clay County, check with your city staff. For rural Clay County residents, check with county staff in Moorhead.