New floodplain maps mean changes for some homeowners

New floodplain maps mean changes for some homeowners

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by BOBBY SISK / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Bobby: BSisk@WCNC.com

WCNC.com

Posted on September 30, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 8:59 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A few days of heavy rain can lead to panic for people who live in areas at risk for flooding. 

Right now, Mecklenburg County is working to redraw floodplain maps. While some houses are being added in, some are being removed and that is welcome news to homeowners.

Homes at risk for flooding once stood behind the Park Road Shopping Center. After continous problems, the county bought the home and tore them down.

"Instead of having 65 or 75 homes that flood, you just have the greenway," said Tim Trautman, who runs the flood mitigation program in Mecklenburg County.

His office is now working to update outdated flood maps for two reasons.
 
"Number one is there have been changes to the actual floodplains itself. Our current maps are about 15 years old," Trautman said. "And the second thing is we're creating a bunch of new technology."

Rather than displaying one generalized area, the new maps will show different degrees of flood risk. The result means some homes will now be in the floodplain, and other homes will come out.

"I've lived here almost 10 years," said Gary McKee of his home on Manor Road, which was in a floodplain but will not be once the maps are redrawn. "I guess it's the best news I've heard in a long time."

He plans to keep his flood insurance, but expects his rate, which skyrocketed when he got put in the floodplain, will go down.

"The first thing is to just get it reduced," McKee said.

He also thinks the change will help his property value.

Once the new maps are completed, FEMA must approve them. The process could take up to 18 months.

Right now, it appears that roughly 1,150 buildings are considered to be in a floodplain. To see the map, visit http://mapserver.mecklenburgcountync.gov/fmr/

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