FEMA explains new Dubuque Co. flood plain map - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

FEMA explains new Dubuque Co. flood plain map

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

FEMA representatives were in Dubuque Wednesday to talk about the new 2011 flood plain map. It goes into effect October 18 and replaces the most recent FEMA map for Dubuque County, which is from 1989.

Some people aren't happy with the changes between maps, as the 2011 map encompasses more homes than the 1989 one.

Elmer Arensdorf and his wife attended the meeting held by FEMA and the city of Dubuque at the City Council chambers in the Historic Federal Building.

"We've lived there for 19 years," Arensdorf said. "We do not see where we should be getting a change from no flood insurance to having to be forced to purchase it."

He might not have to buy flood insurance, however. FEMA says only people in the flood plain with federally-backed mortgages are required to purchase it.

Andy Megrail is the FEMA Region 7 Risk Assessment Program manager. He said the maps are good to examine, since there are so many changes.

"It could be that someone that was in an A zone prior to the maps would be out of it now. It could be that somebody that's never been in the A zone could be in it now," Megrail said. "Looking at the maps early is going to better prepare them for the future, for insurance, for trying to sell their home in the future."

Earlier in the day, FEMA and the city met with insurance agents, lenders and other professionals to prepare them for the changes.

Lisa Kemp is an insurance agent with TRICOR Insurance.

"Just make sure your agent knows what they're talking about," Kemp said," because there are a lot of people that are not really educated on the type of flood insurance that we can offer and the savings we can offer if we do it right away."

Although the map isn't effective until October 18, FEMA representatives say folks in the flood plain should inquire with their insurance agent about any new requirements.

There are ways for homeowners to contest placement in the flood zone, if they believe their house doesn't fall in the risk area.

To check out the new flood maps, people can go to FEMA's map Website at www.msc.fema.gov.

Other useful FEMA sites are:

www.FloodSmart.gov

www.FloodSmart.gov/PRPExtension

People can also call the FEMA service center at 1-877-FEMA-MAP (1-877-336-1617)

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