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Meadowlakes passes floodplain standard; some homeowners could save on premiums

MEADOWLAKES — City officials have adopted a floodplain map, but with an adjustment aimed at saving residents money on insurance premiums.

The 2012 FEMA Floodplain Mapping Standards are expected to go into effect March 15 for Burnet County communities including Meadowlakes which, like many cities, adopted ordinances with some local changes. The city March 13 adjusted and approved the building standard to a foot above the federal guidelines, said Mike Williams, public works director. That will help save on premiums for some property owners.

“One of the requirements, according to (the Federal Emergency Management Agency), if you’re building in the floodlain, you must build at or above the base flood elevation,”  Williams said. “In our ordinance, we require the contractors to build one foot above the base flood elevation.”

The ordinance, similar to what Marble Falls has, provides the “one-foot buffer” to adjust for potential miscalculations by contractors and to provide an added boost above the floodplain.

“The farther you are out of the floodplain, the cheaper the insurance,” Williams said.

The new map produced by FEMA reflects adjustments made based on the flood of June 2007, when 19 inches of rain fell in just a few hours, causing a catastrophic flood.

“When we had the floods, it gave FEMA a whole new set of data to update the map,” Williams said. “Compared to the map that was adopted in 2007, we had some homes in the floodplain that appear not to be now. We also have some homes that will be included on the map.”

Williams estimated 50 to 70 properties fall within the floodplain; there are 10 vacant lots.

“Overall, the number is going to be less,” he said.

Properties within the floodplain include a small percentage along Meadowlakes Drive; some homes on San Saba Drive; and a number of properties along Dog Leg and Firestone Drive.

According to the FEMA website, property owners who purchase flood insurance prior to March 15 could potentially be grandfathered into the current flood zone. For estimated flood insurance rates, visit www.floodsmart.gov.

To pinpoint a property within the floodplain zone, go to www.fema.gov.

 

connie@thepicayune.com