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Continued: In Scott County, tide shifting for floodplain boundaries

  • Article by: DAVID PETERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 11, 2013 - 4:45 PM

“On July 6, 2012, a law took effect that made significant reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program. Among other things, this law requires FEMA to take immediate steps to eliminate a variety of existing flood insurance subsidies.”

Underlined, and in boldface type, the fact sheet adds:

“Under the new law, flood insurance premium rates on many properties in special flood hazard areas will increase. The new rates will reflect the full flood risk of an insured building and some insurance subsidies and discounts will be phased out and eventually eliminated.”

“There is definitely more of a mood for that,” Jiwani said of a desire to stop placing taxpayers at risk. “But the truth is, people had an incorrect idea of how much [rescuing] had been happening in the past. A lot of what people thought they would get rescued on is a loan, actually — a no-interest loan to stay there,” but not really a total bailout.

In Scott County, Swenson said, existing flood maps date to 1987, “and since then we’ve had a fair amount of development growth” — an epic understatement.

The new maps to be unveiled June 25 in Shakopee will delineate new boundaries.

FEMA experts say the public process involves unveiling of preliminary maps and then a period for appeal. Once the maps are final, all jurisdictions will pass ordinances based on the new maps.

“What’s at stake,” Swenson said, “is that if you live near any water body,” not just the notoriously flood-prone Minnesota River, “you may be required to insure yourself. For some people, this could be a big deal.”

David Peterson • 952-746-3285

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