Are new flood zones crossing the line? - KOTA Territory News

Are new flood zones crossing the line?

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Some 400 properties in Rapid City will soon be "re–zoned" a flood plain.

That's if the Rapid City Council complies with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA's new regulations.    

People living in the areas on Nebraska, East Centennial and East Mead streets are fighting the change.

The newly drawn floodplain would raise insurance costs and possibly lower property values.    

"We looked for a really long time when we bought this house," said homeowner Jamie Heymans. "We probably looked at 100 houses and so to finally find the one that we love and have this news dealt to us is a little tough."

Insurance agents say flood policies would cost homeowners between $350 and $400 for the first year or two if they purchase insurance before the "re–zone" goes into effect on June 3rd.

After what agents call a "grandfather" period, costs could go up to $1,500 or more.

Homeowners in the affected areas are looking to the city for help with elevation certificates and installment of a drain ditch.    

"They allowed this neighborhood to be built here without ever doing any kind of look into whether it's in a flood plain or not," said homeowner Tonia Fischer. "And it came six, seven years after a major flood. Why? Why wasn't something done?"  

City Council members say they really don't have a choice but to adopt FEMA's new policy, otherwise Rapid City stands to lose FEMA funding if a disaster strikes the area.

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