FEMA threatens to put Logan County on probation under flood insurance plan – Sterling Journal-Advocate

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Flood insurance for unincorporated Logan County landowners set to increase by $ 50 per premium, unless county officials manage to persuade the federal government to change its rules. flood insurance.

The Federal Emergency Management Administration announced Friday evening that the unincorporated Logan County would be placed on probation by the National Flood Insurance Program on March 30, 2022, due to “deficiencies and violations of the county’s floodplain management program. , unless the county can remedy all violations or prepare a FEMA-approved compliance plan.

Logan County planner Rob Quint tried to work with FEMA officials in Denver to resolve the issue. All properties except a handful have been brought into compliance, including two companies who have been told they can come into compliance by having a “flood-proof” barrier built around it. they. The problem is, rough estimates put the cost of such flood protection between $ 80,000 and $ 120,000, depending on the location.

At one of the sites, Quint said, there is a railway elevation between the river and the company. Quint said that historically such elevations have proven to be effective barriers against flood waters.

At the other site, the only non-compliant building is only a tenth of an inch too low and houses unsorted recyclable waste.

In another non-commercial location, the property is 100% owned and the owner has a deviation from county building regulations for the non-compliant structure. Quint said the owner has stated that he will no longer spend any money on the property.

FEMA officials stressed that the county had an option to go to court with landowners to force compliance, but the Logan County Board of Commissioners all rejected the idea out of hand.

According to the FEMA press release, Logan County is an NFIP participating community with 30 flood insurance policies in effect with total coverage in excess of $ 5,000,000 as of December 3, 2021.

The release says that unless the county remedies the violations or completes a FEMA-approved compliance plan, the probationary period will begin on March 30, 2022 and will be in effect for one year. County participation only includes unincorporated areas. The towns of Fleming and Illiff and the town of Sterling independently participate in the NFIP and would not be affected by probation.

FEMA blamed Logan County officials for the situation, saying the county did not have proper plans in place for the floodplains.

“The violations in Logan County are the result of development that occurred without a county floodplain development permit and authorizing construction in violation of local floodplain management ordinances,” the agency said. “This includes several structures built in the floodplain that were not elevated above the base flood elevation as shown on the county flood maps. “

During the probationary period, flood insurance coverage will remain available in Logan County. However, an additional $ 50 will be added to the premium of each new and renewed flood insurance policy sold in the community for at least one year from the effective date of probation. Each holder of an unincorporated Logan County flood insurance policy will receive a notice of impending probation and the $ 50 surcharge.

FEMA has also raised the possibility of an outright suspension of NFIP if the county does not come up with a plan that satisfies the agency.

The Journal-Advocate contacted the Logan County commissioners on Friday evening, but they had not had a chance to respond until press time.


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