Claremore Daily Progress

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November 15, 2012

FEMA flood maps cause frustration

CLAREMORE — Many Rogers County residents may be surprised to learn that recent changes to the FEMA flood plain maps have thrown them into high water.

The problem is that property that has not been listed in the 100-year floodplain is now facing additional insurance requirements.
Homeowners in these areas now must spend anywhere from $500 to $2,000 on the low end for insurance, according to Rogers County Planning Commission Director Larry Curtis. Prices can vary depending on the property size and value. Additionally, participation in the National Flood Insurance Program is keeping the price from being much higher, according to Curtis.
Curtis said that rates would otherwise be as much as $6,000 a year for residents without the NFIP. Even with the lower price some residents are still feel shocked to learn they live in a floodplain, Curtis added.
Flood insurance plans are issued through FEMA although a few companies offer coverage separately, he said.
Lindsay Bippus is just one example of a property owner dealing with the issue. Bippus owns property near 161st Street in Owasso.  
The property has never flooded and recently she discovered it was located in the floodplain.
“It is very frustrating,” Bippus said.
Like many other property owners in the area, she is now required to get flood insurance or a new survey and elevation study to appeal FEMA’s decision.
The study has to determine that the property is above the flood plain and could cost $800 to $2,000 depending on the size of the property. Bippus is working to resolve the issue through FEMA after she learned her neighbor is not listed in the floodplain.
“We are trying to determine if there is any recourse with FEMA,” Bippus said.
“It is not all doom and gloom,” Curtis said. The Rogers County Planning Commission is available to assist property owners with questions and appeals to FEMA. Rogers County offers information to residents regarding the floodplain online at www.rogerscounty.org.

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