New FEMA Flood Map Means New Bill for Property Owners

People who live or have businesses in the Leeds area of Sioux City may end up having to spend money on flood insurance.

That's because FEMA is in the process of changing its flood maps for the Hoeven Valley.

And tonight city officials met with residents to fill in more of the details.

City leaders are preparing for a visit from FEMA, as the federal agency gets ready to release a new flood map.

"We felt like it was necessary to get the bigger group back together just kind of give them an update, a refresher, on what were dealing with, kind of a little bit of the process moving forward," says Jade Dundas, Sioux City Public Works Director.

The city recently finished a new certification of the levees along the Floyd River.

Because of that, FEMA is updating its maps and some areas that weren't in the flood plain before will soon get added to the map.

That means new bills for homeowners and business owners.

The newly designated area will also affect mortgage lenders and property owners, who will now have to worry about flood insurance.

"It's only mandatory by Federal law, if they have a federally backed mortgage, but it can be purchased as long as -- since Sioux City participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, they are able to purchase flood insurance and it can be purchased through a private, you know insurance," says FEMA Hydraulic Engineer Rick Nusz.

FEMA says flood insurance averages around $4500 a year, but can cost as little as $2000.

Property owners in the flood plain who don't get insurance could lose their mortgage and even their home.

Tonight's meeting was at 6 o'clock at Leeds Elementary School, and was run by the City.

FEMA is expected to be here for a similar meeting about the flood maps in the next 90 days.