New FEMA Maps Designate Chesterfield Areas as Flood Zones

CHESTERFIELD (WRIC) – New FEMA maps put some Chesterfield residents
in a flood plain for first time ever and many are not happy about it.

Most of them live in the Woodlake, Brandermill
and Swift Creek neighborhoods.

Residents around Swift Creek were renewing
their homeowner's insurance and were shocked to learn they now live in a
floodplain and they need flood insurance.

Kamran Raika's home backs
up to the swift creek reservoir and during powerful Hurricane Isabel his
neighborhood saw some damage but he says the water never came close to
threatening his home.

“We have never had
any major issues with water here,” he says. “There were a lot of down
trees some water in front yards and backyards but our house specifically we
didn't have any issues.”

Still, Raika recently had
to buy flood insurance.

FEMA, the Federal
Emergency Management Administration, was ordered by congress to revise its
flood zone maps – most were 30 to 40 years old.

The revisions are forcing
thousands of homeowners across the country to buy pricey flood insurance for
the first time ever.

Raika tried to fight it.

“FEMA reviewed it and
denied the request.”

FEMA tells 8News their
decision to include this neighborhood in what's called a “special flood
hazard area”  is not based on past
storms but topography, water flow, run-off and drainage systems.

Raika's insurance cost him
a couple extra hundred dollars a year but some residents are getting hit with $5,000

Some residents have had
success appealing the FEMA's claim that their home was in a floodplain, so that
is an option.

FEMA says you can also you
can talk with a flood insurance agent about ways to reduce your risk of a flood
and then reduce the cost of your insurance.


Copyright 2013 by Young
Broadcasting of Richmond

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