FEMA Map Updates Flood Insurance Requirements

May 13, 2013

On June 3rd many Rapid City residents and businesses may suddenly find themselves under a mandatory flood insurance requirement.

FEMA redrew the flood boundaries around the Rapid Creek watershed.

The move caused about 800 buildings in Rapid City to see a change in designation – it may require many residents and businesses to buy into the National Flood Insurance Program.  

Rapid City is holding an informational meeting on the FEMA flood map changes on Tuesday, May 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m at City Hall.

This 2009 flood pushed Rapid Creek out of it's banks into the system of parks that run through town. Flood events like this help FEMA update its flood maps.

The new flood boundaries are drawn around Rapid Creek and many tributaries.  Half of the affected 800 structures moved into areas that require flood coverage on any mortgaged buildings, and the other half moved out of the designated areas. Barb Fitzpatrick with FEMA says anyone in with mortgaged property in the 100 year flood plain will need flood insurance.  She adds that it’s a good for others to consider flood coverage as well.
“Statistically 25% of all of our policy claims are in the zones outside the flood zone.  So, 25% of people still get flooded. As we well know the water doesn’t follow our map, water goers where water is going to go," says Fitzpatrick.  

Fitzpatrick says the city joined the National Flood Insurance Program in 1971 and the maps have been redrawn several times since then.  She says normal homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding– so extra flood insurance is needed.