New FEMA RATE map will finally be adopted. Really
At the risk of reminding readers of Peter who too often cried “WOLF!” for no reason, I am again offering encouragement to seriously consider buying flood insurance now if you live or own a business anywhere along Sand Creek in Batesville.
The new FEMA RATE flood plain maps will take effect Tuesday, May 16, following a public hearing that must be held by April 15. The preliminary version of this map was offered for public viewing in 2010. Once finally adopted, it will replace the present map adopted in 1989.
According to the 2010 preliminary version of the map, large areas of Batesville, including portions of the Square and areas along College Street to Panola Avenue would have been placed in flood hazard zones where any property owner with a federally-insured loan would have been required to buy flood insurance at a rate commensurate with the threat level of its classification.
Fortunately, the city went to work and paid its engineer to develop survey data and gather other information that, when presented to FEMA, convinced them to remove large areas from flood zone classification.
Still, the new map will place areas along Batesville’s Sand Creek into flood hazard classifications that were not before. Property owners will be required to buy flood insurance who have not previously been required to buy the coverage.
However, before the new map finally become effective, those property owners can buy flood insurance under the old map classification, saving considerably on the flood insurance premium cost for the first year.
If you live in the city and are concerned about your property being reclassified, John McCollum is the person to see. He is the city’s flood plain manager. He has the maps. McCollum can also provide you with the property information that you can take to your insurance agent to buy flood insurance. McCollum is in the Batesville Code Office where College Street meets the Public Square.
County Flood Plain Manager Chad Meek said that outside the city, the new map will take more out of the flood plain than it will put in. Still, if you live in a low-lying area and are concerned, he can check the map and tell you exactly how your property is classified on the new map. If you learn that you do need flood insurance, Meek can provide you with the classification information you need to take to your insurance agent to buy it. Meek is located in the Cliff Finch County Office Building on Eureka Street.