Flood Zones Becoming a Bigger Issue

This winter was one of the worst many parts of the United States have ever seen. During one of the blizzards, snow was actually falling in 49 out of the 50 states, excluding only Florida.  Slowly, as it came closer to warm temperatures and the spring season, many town officials, insurance representatives, land surveyors and civil engineers had to assess how much flooding may occur from the meltdown of the many feet of snow in so many places.  One issue being looked at by government officials were the rules about flood insurance boundaries – when homeowners needed flood insurance and how the new flood zones would be drawn.

Thankfully, a congressman from Michigan was looking out for citizens located in precarious areas, according to a report from WILX:

“In a town hall meeting, Congressman Tim Walberg told Michiganders he introduced a new bill, the Floodplain Maps Moratorium Act. The bill would delay homeowners in newly drawn flood zones from having to purchase flood insurance for five years. “It appears they are in great error and people that never had to purchase flood insurance now have to do that at a great cost,” said Rep. Tim Walberg, (R) Michigan.”

Even though the new law and flood zones drawn by surveyors have made the matter of getting flood insurance easier for citizens, some still aren’t happy with what seems like forced insurance:

“One commissioner [sic] of Eaton County now finds his home to be in a new flood zone, meaning it has a 26 percent chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. The commissioner says all but one of the 22 municipalities in Eaton County are negatively affected by the new maps.

FEMA declined to comment on the propsed [sic] legislation. But a state engineer that works with FEMA says the new maps are more accurate. But in some areas, such as Eaton County, the elevation on the topographic map were drawn to 10 foot contour intervals and could be more precise.”

It still stands to be seen whether or not this law will go into effect, but this story shows how important the zoning plans that land surveyors make can be.