Federal Government Extends Floodplains In Rogers, Wagoner Counties

Friday, July 16th 2010, 10:10 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

ROGERS & WAGONER COUNTIES -- You may live in a floodplain, even if you're still in the same house you've always lived in.

The federal government has extended the floodplains, meaning more Oklahomans may need flood insurance.

We've seen all too often the dangers of flooding in Oklahoma. It's a natural disaster that can strike quickly and destroy nearly everything in its path.

Now the Federal Emergency Management Agency has increased the size of the floodplains in Rogers and Wagoner Counties.

Magan Green is the director of the planning commission in Rogers County. She has spent months going over the maps that show the extended floodplains.

If you live in a 100 year floodplain, that means there's a 1% chance every year that your property will flood and it means you must buy flood insurance. 

Green says FEMA extended the floodplains by removing the buffer that surrounds the old floodplain. It's something, she says, that's done time to time as more homes are built into the countryside.

"As development occurs, studies are done on these properties to determine if maybe the floodplain is broader, maybe it's smaller," said Green.

If you're new to the floodplain and the feds say you have to get flood insurance, you can appeal. The catch is you have to hire an engineer and it could cost quite a bit of money.

But Green says it may be worth the check, saying some engineers have already found discrepancies on the new maps.

"In some areas I've noticed when I look at the floodplain on our existing maps, it looks like if there was a creek they would just extend it on out, like that, on our flood maps. They would just extend the floodplain on out," said Green. 

View FEMA's flood maps. You have until September 29th to file an appeal.

The National Flood Insurance Program