FEMA gives concerned Rapid City homeowners opt - KOTA Territory News

FEMA gives concerned Rapid City homeowners options moving forward

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Some 400 properties in Rapid City will soon be re-zoned as a flood plain because of new regulations by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

As a result some homeowners' insurance rates are bound to skyrocket if they're in a designated high risk area.     

Tuesday night representatives from FEMA outlined a solution for those who think they will be paying too much for flood insurance.

The new flood zoning includes properties on Nebraska, East Centennial, and East Meade streets.

Matthew Buddie, a natural hazards specialist with FEMA gave homeowners his best advice on how to manage their new costs.

He says the best thing to do if your home will be in a high risk area come June 3rd is to either purchase flood insurance now, to possibly get a better rate to cover you for at least one year, or hire someone to survey your property if you believe you are not in a high risk area.   

"I think it's really important for people to understand what their flood risk is," said Buddie. "And the more knowledge you have you can position yourself better to make an informed decision on how you move forward." 

But not everyone was impressed with FEMAs options for concerned homeowners.

Bret McBride says FEMA is leaving everyone high and dry.   

"They need to use more common sense when they do this kind of stuff," said McBride. "It's just a typical government deal, it's trying to squeeze more money out of everybody it seems like, and now it's up to the responsibility of the people to get out of it."

Another option under consideration by the city to help homeowners is to install water ways or drainage ditches, but that could take a while.

It will cost those homeowners thousands of dollars a year if they do not get any before June 3rd; however, homeowners who live in low to moderate risk areas do not have to buy flood insurance, but in the case of a flood, they would have to pay 25 percent of the damage.

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