Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water… proposed changes made by FEMA to La Porte City’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) could require some local homeowners to purchase federal flood insurance.
A recent flood hazard map study of all communities in Black Hawk County includes updated information on the existence and severity of flood hazard areas.

What Has Changed?
In a flood hazard mapping fact sheet, FEMA noted, “The Iowa Department of Natural Resources incorporated new terrain in the form of LiDAR flown in 2010. The effective stream reaches in Black Hawk County were redelineated on top of this new dataset and the Special Flood Hazard Areas were revised.”

That means where the new map moves homes that were previously in the 500 year floodplain into the 100 year floodplain, homeowners may be required to carry federal flood insurance, if they currently have a federally-backed mortgage. Homeowners without a mortagage, or whose mortagage is not federally-backed would not be required to purchase flood insurance.
The publication of the preliminary FIRM will be followed by a formal community coordination meeting, which will address the revised flood hazard information and other frequently asked questions and concerns. Homeowners with concerns are advised to attend the meeting, which will be announced as soon as city officials are contacted by FEMA to schedule it.

Following the meeting, there will be a 90 day period where homeowners may pursue a specific appeal process. Roughly six months after appeals have been resolved, the new map will take effect.

Area residents can review the new flood maps online by logging onto www.lpcia.com. Under the Useful Links menu, select “Parcel and Flood Maps.” Then select “Floopdplain App” to view a map of the city. By zooming in, indvidual lots can be selected to see exactly how a property has been classified by FEMA.