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Updates to FEMA map will change who has to pay for flood insurance

Posted at 10:48 PM, Oct 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-11 23:48:49-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi City Council amended an ordinance that updates the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements, adopt the new Flood Insurance Study (FIS), as well as the new Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

“It’s important to remember if we don’t adopt this, then we could jeopardize the people in this community from ever being able to buy flood insurance of any kind,” said Councilman Mike Pusley during the presentation.

Corpus Christi is part of this national program that helps to reduce flood insurance for property owners. Within the NFIP is the Community Rating System (CRS). Cities are given a score one through 10, with one being the best. Cities can move up their score with the more requirements that go above the minimum requirements for flood prevention. Corpus Christi currently has an eight giving people a 10 percent discount on flood insurance.

“Our goal, which this ordinance will allow us to do, is to get to that class five which is a 25 percent discount,” said Gabriel Hinijosa, interim director of the public works department

The ordinance will change some requirements for those building in floodplains. The original ordinance said your lowest floor of your house has to be 1 foot above the base flood level. That was edited to include machinery and equipment must be 1 foot above the base flood level too. The revision also has requirements for garages that are attached.

"The garages will have to meet the plus one standard that we have in our current ordinance," Hinijosa said.

For garages below flood elevation, they must meet NFIP requirements or have proper flood openings in the walls.
The adoption of the new Flood Insurance Rate Map will change who thse new rules apply to. The map is more comprehensive than the last and will include more people in a floodplain than previously.

“Mortgage companies are still trying to figure out how they’re going to implement it, when they’re going to send letters out, if they’re going to give them a 30 day grace period. They’ll receive a letter stating that now they’re mandated to purchase flood insurance,” Katie Chapa with public works said.

This ordinance is not going to raise premiums. That directive comes from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“It’s a very ,very complex system. So, everybody that’s looking out there that pays flood insurance, your next bill, four out of five people is going to be higher because of Risk 2.0 and the changes that FEMA made,” said Councilman Greg Smith.

The city is a working on a way to help some people pay for flood insurance. It would come to those who have a mitigation project taking place nearby and may be in a low income area.

“With this map change, we have some people coming into a flood zone which we have projects going on in those areas that will later hopefully take them totally out of a flood zone," said Chapa. So, I contacted FEMA, they have similar situations going on in Louisiana and one of the communities there is looking for outside funding to help cover a portion or all of flood insurance for those areas, that are maybe low cost or low income. For the duration of whatever mitigation project the city is doing."

The new map takes affect on Oct, 13.

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