ADA — Approval of a new flood plain regulation at Monday’s Pontotoc County Commissioners meeting will allow residents who live in flood plain areas to get more flood insurance coverage.

A change in the county’s flood plain map from  emergency to regular will allow people to increase flood insurance coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The change was decided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“The change in the map was from a FHBM (Flood Hazard Boundary Map) to a FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map),” Pontotoc County Emergency Management Director Chad Letellier said. “This will allow the county to go from the emergency program to the regular program under the NFIP. The change was based on FEMA’s updating of the flood plain maps in the county over the past two years. We are currently still in the Emergency Program."

Letellier said the change will take effect after July 17, 2012. Under the regular program, home owners, business owners and renters will be able to get substantially higher coverage for flood damage.

In the emergency program, the maximum amount of coverage through NFIP for property damage was $35,000 for a single-family home. When the new program begins, homeowners will be able to get up to $250,000 for property damage.

The change for business structures in floodplains will change from $100,000 to up to $500,000.

“We don’t have a lot of flooding damages here, but if we do, at least people can be insured for flooding, and maybe actually cover the cost of their property,” Letellier said.

Letellier said flood insurance policies are available through private insurance companies, but rates can be substantially higher than through NFIP.

Other coverage limits include one to four-family home contents — $100,000; other residential structures — $250,000; other residential contents — $100,000; business structure — $500,000; business contents — $500,000; and renter contents — $100,000

The Pontotoc County Flood Plain Board is in charge of flood plain regulations, flood plain problems and approving permits for construction of homes and businesses in county flood plains. Board members are Robert Cheadle, chairman; Don Carpenter, secretary; Cody Fry, member, and Gene Overturf, member. One spot on the board remains vacant.

Letellier said anyone wanting more information about the change can phone his office at 580-421-7777. He said anyone wanting more information about NFIP can visit www.floodsmart.gov.

      

 

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