Some Woodbury County residents opt out of flood insurance - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Some Woodbury County residents opt out of flood insurance


Woodbury county officials are in the final stages of adopting new flood plain maps from FEMA.

It has been in the works since late 2009 as the new map will allow a new set of residents to get flood coverage.

The floods have caused many folks to think twice before owning property near water.

However, residents living next to Brown's Lake near Salix, Iowa, they say even though they live next to a lake, they have no fears of flooding.

"It's crazy I mean this area hasn't flooded. You can go back in history and right where we're standing right now it never flooded," said Errol Brouillette a resident near Salix, IA.

As the Missouri poured flood water in neighborhoods around Siouxland this summer, folks here were unaffected.

"We've had the property over 50 years and we've never had water up on the bank," said Tim Owen a resident near Salix, IA. 

This comes as Woodbury officials plan to adopt the new flood plain maps from FEMA that were introduced over a year ago.

"We want Woodbury county residents to have flood insurance and have it subsidized under the federal programs if the mapping warrants it," said John Pylelo Woodbury County Planning and Zoning Administrator.

The new maps affect a lot of people who were not in the flood plain originally.

"Approximately 1,000 property owners and 600 structures," said Pylelo.

But some are choosing not to get flood insurance as the elevation of their homes physically puts them way out of the flood plain, even if the maps say otherwise.

"Everyone was confused because we're 20 feet up from the lake," said Owen.

Some even went as far as getting another opinion.

"So I hired an independent surveyor to survey the property, after 5 months FEMA took our property out of the flood plain because our elevation proved that their data was outdated," said Owen.

So while it may have cost folks here a lot of money to hire an expert, they say it was worth it.

"I figured well the cost of the flood insurance versus the cost of the hiring a surveyor for $700; I'm money ahead at this point," said Owen.

County officials plan to have a second meeting on the FEMA mapping next Tuesday and they will vote to adopt the new maps in the coming weeks.

The residents say that they're going to wait until the county adopts the new FEMA map to see if they need to re-certify their elevation through a surveyor.

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