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FEMA changes might mean more flood insurance required

September 02, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Federal Emergency Management Agency changes to flood plain maps in Franklin County, Pa., could lead to additional property owners being required to carry flood insurance, municipal officials said Wednesday.

Flood plains are shown around smaller waterways such as Spring Run, Biesecker Run and Bailey's Run for the first time in Washington Township, Pa., according to township officials.

"Some banks say if a flood plain is in your yard, they want flood insurance," Township Manager Mike Christopher said Wednesday.

Issues also could develop when selling affected properties because buyers' mortgage companies likely would require flood insurance, Christopher said.

Some estimates show flood insurance can cost a property owner more than $1,000 a year, he said.

To view the maps, visit http://www.rampp-team.com/pa.htm. Washington Township residents can see the maps at the township office.

Other municipalities are affected by changes, too, Christopher said.

Washington Township property owners with land along water will be receiving letters notifying them maps have changed. However, Township Supervisor Elaine Gladhill said the supervisors can't ensure all the letters will reach the correct recipients, so property owners should proactively look at the new maps.

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Landowners who feel the maps are incorrect should write a letter to the township or FEMA asking why the changes were made, Christopher said.

To revise the maps, property owners might need to hire an engineer and submit the information to FEMA, he said.

"The main creeks are pretty much the same as they were before," Christopher said.

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