FEMA demands flood insurance near Floyd River - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

FEMA demands flood insurance near Floyd River


The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, says homes and businesses near the Floyd River have to get flood insurance.

People in Leeds are scratching their heads, and those who grew up there say it hasn't flooded since the 1960's.

Since then, the Floyd levee has kept the neighborhood protected.

"It seems ridiculous to me...since they redid the Floyd channel...there hasn't been any problem for years," said Patrick Miller.

"I was told a long time ago, there was never gonna be anything in like that," added Dennis Robeson.

"I'm not sure about fair, I don't think it's necessary. In 2011, we had the bad flood in the Sioux City area and everywhere else, we had no risk whatsoever here at all," argued Kevin James.

Major weather events, like Hurricane Katrina, prompted FEMA to certify levees across the country.

Sioux City's Public Works Director, Jade Dundas says FEMA's findings indicate the levee itself is in excellent condition and that the potential for flooding remains unchanged. But, the potential for ponding, or localized flooding during heavy rains triggered the government's decision to force flood insurance on certain home and business owners.

"It's an evaluation of the drainage system capacity. For example, if the Floyd River was full, and the gates were closed, then a rain event on the outside of the levee would then cause ponding issues. The study assess various scenarios that we have not experienced yet," said Dundas.

Two public meetings are planned to discuss the impact of FEMA's decision on local property owners.

The first is at 2:00 p.m. at City Hall. The second is at 7:00 p.m. at Leeds Elementary on February 20th.

Dundas says the city also plans to discuss some solutions the city is prepared to pay for to take as many people as possible off the flood insurance requirement.

There are some commercial properties that are also on the flood insurance map.

One area that isn't is the new development along the Outer Drive bridge. Officials say it is surrounded by other property that will need flood insurance, but just made it out of the boundary.

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